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Meet Dr. Sudarshan Chatterjee

Nirmala Garimella
12/14/2002

Sudarshan Chatterjee has seen enough pain and suffering in his lifetime. As a cardiologist for 12 years, he says “I see death and life every single day” and "one fine day it dawned on me that I could vividly describe these real life experiences”. We are sitting in his office at New England Medical Associates on Andover Street in North Andover. And thus the writer in him bore fruit with the very first novel ‘The Seven Steps' slated to be published in a couple of months. He holds up the cover design for me to see. It has a charming Bengali bride, a breathtaking visual of the worshipping sun and it seems that Chatterjee's 355-page novel 'The Seven Steps'to be published by Earth Times is on its way to a promising success.

It was in 1983, that Sudarshan Chatterjee came into the United States. To become a doctor was the fulfillment of his mother’s dream. Born in Calcutta, he moved to Kanpur and later to Agra from where he graduated in medicine. He trained further at Rutgers University in New Jersey, finally settling down in North Andover in 1990. He built a thriving medical practice called North Andover Medical Associates, a large multi-doctor group which he later sold to Caritas Medical Group. He moved on to open another practice, New England Medical Specialists with Dr. Anita Kumar on Andover Street in North Andover. He is also an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

“Writing was a process that dawned, when I went back to reading books"says Chatterjee,”I missed them, because I spent so much time reading medical journals and realized that I like reading fiction again. Also there was this need to do something beyond medicine and writing seemed a great choice to me. I am a great fan of V. S. Naipaul,Naguib Mahfouz and enjoy books written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, like ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude and Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro's 'The Remains of the Day'.They are all excellent storytellers. The novel that I have written is rift with war and conflict. I weave traditional Myth with contemporary issues. The story is of an American girl of Indian origin who goes back to India in search of her roots. I have compared and contrasted the two cultures of East and West. Mythology excites me. It has dominated our lives and our religion and there is a lot of Philosophy in it which has stood the test of time. In the novel Neha, the heroine, seems like Radha. But Krishna never really marries Radha so therein lies the conflict in the story”. The whole plot is a figment of my imagination.The novel took more than five years to write because as he says ”I wait till my heart fills up. I don’t write if there is nothing to write and I check the authenticity of my writing”.

Chatterjee in on his second book now but is not yet ready to reveal the details. He is also the President of AAINA, an organization that hopes to connect and bring various organizations together for the common good. It’s most recent events include an Indo Pak symposium, meeting with local State Senators, and in organizing an All India Day in future. Chatterjee is also a great lover of Hindustani Classical Music and Ghazals and modestly admits that he sings in the classical style. Wife Kalpana is a painter and dancer and has helped build his practice. At the end of a long day however, Sudarshan Chatterjee says he enjoys doing his most important job, “ Spending time with his wife and two sons, Shantanu and Animesh, playing, helping with their homework and reading to them in bed” It is obvious that for him,'Home is where the Heart is'



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