‘Zarina’s encounter with Mr Eastwood’, gouache on paper by Siona Benjamin (detail)
‘Zarina’s encounter with Mr Eastwood’, gouache on paper by Siona Benjamin (detail)
  Crossings at Benares Junction

  first impressions
  Vol VI : issue 3

  Jayant Sankrityayana
  Kaushik Basu
  Altaf Tyrewala
  Shilpa Paralkar
  Parismita Singh
  Only in Print
  New Writing Award
  Current Issue


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Kaushik Basu



Siddharth Chatterjee: Aged thirty-nine, charming, shock of unkempt hair, though the director should be prepared to trade hair volume for acting talent

Melba Iyengar: Late twenties, pretty, stylishly dressed

Professor Chaudhuri: Fifties, has a pompous style and speaks the Queen’s English, or nearly so

June Chaudhuri: Late forties, looks pleasing

Professor Srivastava, the Vice-Chancellor: Sixty-ish, grey hair; always in a dhoti and kurta

Suresh Gupta: Thin, small build, speaks English with a desi accent. Like with a lot of thin people, it is difficult to tell his age. Could be in the early forties

Mr Sharma: Mid-thirties, has the style of an unabashed entrepreneur, which he is

Lacchu: Has the style of a street ruffian, which he may or may not be

Madhu: Mr Sharma’s new secretary, vaudeville look

Mr Ghosh: Avuncular, in his forties

Mr Trehan: Delhi middle class, late forties

Mrs Trehan: Delhi middle-class housewife, or homemaker, if you wish, mid-forties

Gautam:Aged twelve or so

Jennifer (Jenny): Sweet, hippie-ish American girl, early twenties

Mr Bentley: Grumpy and arrogant foreign tourist

Kavita Sharma: Early thirties, good-looking and, more importantly, has sex appeal. Sari-clad

Ticket collector and miscellaneous others on the train and platform


p. 1 p. 2 p. 3 p. 4 p. 5 p. 6

Kaushik Basu is Professor of International Studies and Economics at Cornell University. He believes this play to be his first attempt at ‘serious’ writing. Well-meaning friends have told him that academic papers don’t count. The notes for this play remained stashed in a drawer for years until he was “an invited professor somewhere”. He declines to disclose where, for fear of not being invited ever again. This is his first published creative work (2005)