Love in the time of pandemic
Best selling romance novelist Durjoy Datta opens up about love and romance. The author feels that there’s an old-world charm to the new-age love stories
Having authored around 20 books, Durjoy Datta is one such go-to author for everything that involves romance. Be it the teenage meet-cutes, complicated family lives or dystopian nightmares filled with science and reincarnation, Datta’s books have touched upon each of these themes. Since his first book ‘Of Course I Love You ..!’ released in 2008, he has come a long way with several best-sellers to his name.
“But at the core, it is always romance,” chuckles Datta. The young author was briefly in Kochi to release a compilation of the micro love stories from his fans titled ‘Pocketful O’ Stories: Micro-tales on Unexpected Moments of Love’, the third book in the series. ITC’s Engage, one of India’s leading fragrance brands collaborated with Datta and invited love stories directly from people all over the country.
“We got around 30,000 entries. People opened up about their love. I had to pick from around 400 which was a daunting task,” quips Datta.The author says the book has touched upon all the ways to fall in love. “The pandemic has rewritten how people fall in love, but not the love itself. Now, everything happens online — they chat, fall in love and even have heartbreaks without even meeting each other in person. However, I feel like even that has got a charm to it. Though it all happens online, the romance is alive and has an old-world charm,” he shares. Pocketful O’ Stories is about such romances that happened during the pandemic.
“That’s why I feel like, if I write a love story centered around the pandemic, everyone feels that I ripped it from this book,” he laughs. But the temptation is there, he adds.His latest novel, released just last year, ‘A Touch of Eternity’ was released in the middle of the pandemic. The story unfolds like science fiction. There’s also reincarnation and a scientific study on souls.
Like ‘A Touch of Eternity’, over the years, Datta’s writing has changed and grown with him.”My first book was published when I was 21. I was in college then. There are so many ways that young adults can fall in love,” he quips. Datta drew from real-life experiences in his initial books. “After writing so many books, I had to search for other ways to find new inspirations. People around me, stories that I read, heard and things that I see online, all have something to offer,” he says.Though Datta is known for his quick writing and at least one bestseller a year, during the pandemic he spent his time mostly reading. “I read everything. From romance, young-adult fiction, and thrillers to non-fiction, I spent all my time just reading. However, mostly it was young-adult fiction,” he says.
Datta loves to say he has turned old now. So much that it has become a catchphrase. However, the 35-year old and his books remain young at heart. Stories where love blooms on every page, happy endings that fill your world with a cheery mood, and the old world charm of romance envelops you with feelings that catch you off guard. He is proud of the romance tag, though critics love to mock the genre. “I don’t care about it. I am not shy to read a romance book on the metro, then why would I mind writing one,” he asks. The author proudly reads and writes romance and has a strong following of readers in the country who eagerly wait for his next offering.