Gaurav Thapar’s dark humour book Calcutta Dope starts hilariously with Calcutta dope Dhananjay and French dope Max going about lusting after women and food in Calcutta. To top up the ridiculousness of their situation is Dhananjay’s choice of career after a hot shot MBA: music industry. His interactions with his filmi colleagues at the music company he joins and the underbelly of music industry like Bhojpuri Pop star Gudda Rangeela are a riot act.
The metrosexual perspective of Calcutta comes alive what with its forward women, vibrant night life and a veritable gastronomic buffet on disposal. The young in Calcutta are wild, live in the moment and are unapologetic. So it's Park Street, which has displaced Howra Bridge as the defining landscape of Calcutta.
Parallely another narrative is placed in front of the reader::the deep, poetic, passionate love and eventually hate relationship Dhananjay shared with Vaishali, his colleague from his first job in the southern panorama of Kerala. The relationship which Dhananjay feels is a soul connection with Vaishali but ends up destroying because of his obsession with her...and the guilt of which makes him fear solitude and escape into his hedonistic world.
Back in his hedonistic world comes another twist in the tale: a trekking trip to Sikkim with Max’s French friends which starts ostensibly to mingle with the ladies in the group but becomes living hell for Dhananjay, challenging his limits physically and emotionally as he is forced to confront solitude and his past with Vaishali..
Things become psychedelically interesting when Vaishali’s path crosses with Dhananjay’s again but by this time Dhananjay has ceased to differentiate between reality and imagination, good and bad. But there is some hope, a psychologist friend can take him out of the rabbit hole back to the confines of reality and judgment. Will he?