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Durjoy Datta: A romance with the pen

Durjoy Datta  

Author and screenwriter Durjoy Datta isn’t only a man of words, but impressive numbers too. When he wrote his first book at the age of 21, just to gauge whether his work is good enough to be published, it sold over 50000 copies in a year. He was surprised to have earned more than his father then. His popularity only amplified ever since, and the 30 year-old has now come up with his 14th book The Boy Who Loved, which he was seen promoting at Landmark, Hyderabad.

Talking about how he comes up with nearly two books a year and continues to elicit impressive reader responses, he states candidly, “I still don’t think I write at the highest quality. India doesn’t have a lot of commercial authors, when you see people like Nora Roberts or James Patterson abroad, you realise they are adept at balancing quality with quantity. Another reason behind my pace as a writer is the rate at which I change as a person. I’m still learning to be a writer. When I’m on an idea, if I take too long to write it, I’m sure my view will change by the time I end it.”

Pressures of commerce

Speaking of the pressures of commerce overtaking content, Durjoy recalls trying to force-fit content for market needs, and being unsuccessful at it. “There were a couple of books I tried to tailor towards readers’ wants and they didn’t work. Now I only write what I want to and hope the reader likes it too. A reader won’t pick your book just because your previous work was successful, you need to give them the respect they deserve.”

Most of Durjoy’s works have been romances, some of them escapist, some rooted to reality. Over time, he has realised that he needn’t temper his stories in a realistic setting for a reader-connect. “The more I write about families, the more I’ve understood people will find a way to connect with them. Most characters in The Boy Who Loved are loud and have adverse reactions to situations. At the end of the day, you can’t cater to everyone.” He hopes for more Indian books that focus on middle class families set in a metropolitan city. “Indian literary works generally focus on the downtrodden.”

Wearing many hats

Besides writing short stories and co-authoring books, he co-wrote for television shows like Sadda Haq- My Life, My Choice, Million Dollar Girl - From Banaras to Paris and Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi. “Co-writing is always exciting, but the challenge lies in how you mould yourself to the other person. With television, everything on script is great. Only when TRPs drive the content, things get worse. I don’t consider myself loyal to any particular format, I only do something that interests me.”

Post his foray into publishing books a few years ago, he has a word of advice: “Get into the business only if you’re passionate because there’s no money in it.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 2:38:08 PM |

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