Controversy’s favourite child, a literary firebrand and a personification of eccentricity, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin is all this and much more. Exiled for 22 years now, Nasrin’s voice exudes loneliness as she opens up about her college years in Bangladesh, her brief stay at Kolkata and her connect with Delhi. “I love to visit CR Park. I pick up fish, ‘muri’ (puffed rice) and ‘mishti’ (sweets). I get the Bengali connect there, which makes me feel at home,” she says.
The author, who rose to fame for her powerful works on women oppression, such as Lajja (Shame) and her fearless criticism of religion, loves exploring the city. She says, “My favourite places are Humanyun’s Tomb, India Gate and the area around south block. Whenever my friends come here, I take them.”
A self-confessed foodie and cook, Nasrin, who loves Delhi’s butter chicken, says, “Karim’s is my choicest food joint. You will also find me in Nathu’s, gorging on their various delicacies.”
The 7th part of her autobiography, which is translated and published as Exile: A memoir, recently, has references to her stay in the city. Ask her about the most whimsical act that she has done, and she remembers, “I don’t know how to drive. But, once, while travelling in Dhaka, I asked my driver to teach me the basics of driving, which he did in five minutes. Then, instructing him to sit beside me, I drove the car on a highway, without having a license.”
A book lover and avid reader, who has a collection of more than 10,000 books, Nasrin loves visiting Connaught Place in search of books. “Most of my books come from Kolkata. But I do drop in to book shops in CP,” signs off the writer, who has made Delhi her home now.