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25 May 2020, 23:48 HRS IST
  • PTI
    • Bookworm
  • Ex-diplomat Dogra pens story of friendship, love and loss
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  • <>New Delhi, Sep 4 (PTI)
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    ormer diplomat Rajiv Dogra, who has penned two books on Indo-Pak relations and the Durand Line, is equally at ease with fiction and has just come out with his third novel. Dogra, who was India's Ambassador to Italy and Romania, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies in Rome and Consul General in Karachi, says fiction comes naturally to him though non-fiction fulfils him. His latest novel "Second Night" is a story of friendship, love and loss; and, in his words, a "Thousand and One Nights" compressed into one night. "Second Night", published by Rupa, is about a woman determined to escape and a man who has vowed to find her. An unforgettable tale of friendship unfolds as three friends come together in Mussoorie to spend the most amazing night of their lives. "Sometimes we restrict love to a narrow space of man, woman relationship. But human emotions can be rich in a variety of other ways. There is the bond between siblings. And that between friends too," he says. "That apart, the question which is being asked in India and outside for sometime is this: is the 'novel' dead? I remember a conversation some years ago with British journalist and writer Ian Jack. We were in a reflective mood talking of this and that when he unexpectedly sprang this question at me, is novel dead? "I recall having replied that as long as there is variety in human interaction people will keep writing about it. And the novel will keep surprising the world with its newness," Dogra told PTI in an interview. "Second Night" is unusual in its range, he says. What prompted him to write a romantic novel? "I recall my first visit to Verona in Italy. There, the legend maintains that Romeo and Juliet had actually lived in houses that still stand not too far from each other. Juliet's house draws people from all over the world and its walls are covered by thousands of messages in almost all languages known to man. "Each one of those messages beseeches Juliet to help the young in their love. I have been there a number of times since, but that first look stayed with me. That amazing phenomenon kept haunting me urging me to write and add a fresh chapter to that splendid

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