Celebrating 50 years of his association with India, eminent French author Dominique Lapierre is coming up with a book describing some of the fascinating experiences he had in the country.
Already published in French, the book is now being translated into English titled India - My Beloved and is scheduled to be released later this year.
"It is like my song of love for India, the place where I have been coming very regularly since the last 50 years. It has been an emotional journey for me where I have got a lot of love and support from the people. The book is my way of expressing gratitude to them," Dominique told PTI.
The book narrates his experiences while travelling to almost all parts of the country and is rich with anecdotes.
Dominique, who was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2008, is best known in India for his book The City of Joy, which was also made into a movie directed by Roland Joffe and starring Patrick Swayze.
In 1975, he had co-authored Freedom at Midnight, which chronicles the events leading to India's independence.
"That book had ended with the death of Mahatma Gandhi. Now I take the story forward by talking about other great Indian leaders who played a major role in post-Independence era."
The story behind the creation of Bangladesh is also included, the 80-year-old author said.
Asked if the book would highlight social and economic issues faced by the underprivileged in the country, Dominique replied in the negative.
"It is not about issues or poverty in India. While focusing on the post-Independence history, the book shows what makes India a great country," he said.
The author is also involved in philanthropy and founded the "City of Joy Aid" which works for the uplift of underprivileged children in the slums of Kolkata.
Funded by half of the royalties he gets from his published literary works, he provides regular aid to a network of clinics, schools and rehabilitation centres run by a local NGO "Southern Health Improvement Samity".
"Financially, I have been trying to improve the lives of people here and in return they have showered me with love," he said recalling that it was more than 40 years ago when he visited Kolkata for the first time to research on Mahatma Gandhi.
"This book will introduce India to foreigners around the world," he said, adding that besides the metro cities, he has detailed his experiences in the two states of Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
The book is already popular in France, Italy and Spain, said the author, who also wrote a book on Five Past Midnight in Bhopal chronicling the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Dominique Lapierre's New Book Explains Love for India
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