Kama: The Riddle of Desire


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‘This is an exquisite book, at once tender and profane, like desire itself’ Shashi Tharoor

‘With this book and others, Das has established himself as a truly modern Indian thinker’ Sanjaya Baru, The Week

‘Das has created this sense of enchantment . . . He is a poet-philosopher to be cherished’ The Hindu

‘Das’s unique success is to tell the Indian story of “desire” which is much beyond sexuality’ Indian Express

‘If you are someone who has ever loved, or lost, or dreamed of loving, or is frustrated by its paradoxes, this book is definitely for you’

India is the only civilization to elevate kama-desire and pleasure-to a goal of life. Kama is both cosmic and human energy, which animates life and holds it in place. Gurcharan Das weaves a compelling narrative soaked in philosophical, historical and literary ideas in the third volume of his trilogy on life’s goals: India Unbound was the first, on artha, ‘material well-being’; and The Difficulty of Being Good was the second, on dharma, ‘moral well-being’. Here, in his magnificent prose, he examines how to cherish desire in order to live a rich, flourishing life, arguing that if dharma is a duty to another, kama is a duty to oneself. It sheds new light on love, marriage, family, adultery and jealousy as it wrestles with questions such as these: How to nurture desire without harming others or oneself? Are the erotic and the ascetic two aspects of our same human nature? What is the relationship between romantic love and bhakti, the love of god?

About the Author

Gurcharan Das is a renowned author, commentator and thought leader. He is the author of two bestsellers, India Unbound and The Difficulty of Being Good, which are volumes one and two of a trilogy on life’s goals, of which Kama: The Riddle of Desire is the third.
His other literary works include a novel, A Fine Family, a collection of plays for the theatre, Three Plays, and a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm. His last book, India Grows at Night was on the Financial Times‘ best books for 2013. He is general editor for Penguin’s multivolume ‘Story of Indian Business’. He studied philosophy at Harvard University and was CEO, Procter & Gamble India, before he became a full-time writer. He writes a regular column for six Indian newspapers, including the Times of India and occasional pieces for the Financial TimesForeign Affairs and New York Times.
He lives with his wife in Delhi.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Allen Lane (21 August 2018)
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0670087378
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0670087372
  • Author : Gurucharan Das
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Pages ‏ : ‎ 320
  • Binding : Hardcover
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 839 g


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