Prof. Dr. Makarand Paranjape

Dr Paranjape is a famous Indian novelist and poet. He is hugely respected in the Indian academia. He was a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University for 19 years before becoming the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, since August 2018. His much-celebrated collection of published works include 120 academic papers, a novel, several poems, short stories, and essays. He has also done book reviews and also writes as a columnist for various renowned publications.

  • Identity's Last Secret

    Identity’s Last Secret

    At its core, Identity’s Last Secret is about a difficult relationship and its aftermath. But to decipher the riddle of such a relationship is no less a challenge than fathoming the enigma of life itself. And, quite graphically, dramatically, it is a blood trail that leads back to the original wounding. That is also the path to the surcease of pain and, eventually, the mastery of suffering.

    Which is why this book has stayed with me, urgently and insistently, for the good part of the preceding decade. Not only did the writing of it generate insights and modifications in my life, but also secured changes in the real world. The book could not be published till these transitions resulted in a decisive turn in my world. Like the answer of the universe to a plea or prayer.

    More than ever, the writing of this book has convinced me of the power of the word. Can there be any doubt that the word moves and alters reality? Contrary to W.H. Auden’s pessimistic dismissal, “Poetry makes nothing happen,” the word can be life-changing if not earth-shattering. Like a mantra, the energised word, through its very utterance, whether voiced or silent, sends a reverberation across the cosmos.

    As to changing our own minds, many have experienced, experimented with, what writing can do. Words come to us from mysterious sources. By invoking, nurturing, formulating, and releasing them, we can modify our circumstances and shift our consciousness.

    Writing can be both therapeutic and dynamic. It can heal us and mend hearts. That is because much of our world is actually of our own making. We only think that external forces control our lives.

    In realising ourselves, we change our relationship with others and, in fact, with the universe too. Poetry, thus, the writing and reading of it, can fundamentally modify our perception both of ourselves and the world.