An Interview with Durjoy Datta


VP- First and foremost a hearty congratulations on OILY (Of course I Love You) having sold more than 25,000 copies, did you expect to strike gold in your very first attempt?


DD- Very frankly speaking, I had expected that the book would do reasonably well, but it has far surpassed my expectations. It has been seven months since its release and I wasn’t actually looking at the figure of 25000 so early in the day.


VP- Where do the characters in your book stem from mostly?


DD- The characters are fictional, though they are very generic in nature. We often come across characters like them around us. Though some of them can be called as to being inspired by people around me, they are more a reflection of people we share our lives with.


VP- You’ve been blogging since November 2006, how did that come about? Was that any kind of stimulus for the book?


DD- It was a very random decision to take up blogging. A few friends were doing it, so I too joined the bandwagon.


It wasn’t actually a stimulus, but yes, it helped to great degree. Once you join blogsville, you get a fare idea of what people love to read making it a great testing ground for your writing. Moreover, you are exposed to the writings of millions of bloggers all around the world and that leaves a lasting impression on you.


VP- How much of yourself do you see in Deb, the protagonist in your book?


DD- At certain levels, I do think there is a lot of me in Deb, though I haven’t actually been through all the things he has been through in the book, but I know his behavioral patterns aren’t very different to mine. But then again, I see a lot of Deb in many guys around me.


VP- How easy or difficult was it to find publishers, once you’d finished writing?


DD- Contrary to what we had thought it would be, it turned out to be a rather pleasant experience. Our manuscript was accepted within days of us submitting it and it hit the stands within two months of acceptance. The publishing team at Srishti was extremely helpful and cooperative, not to mention unwaveringly patient


VP- If you were to change something or rewrite a particular part in the book, what would it be?


DD- Why fix that ain’t broke? I would rather not change anything!


Though if is just have to, I would have liked to stretch the latter part of the book just a little bit more. But there is huge maybe in front of that statement.


VP- Who are your favorite authors?


DD- I read almost anything that I can lay my hands on so instead of authors, I would say there are certain books that have inspired me, chief amongst them being The Devil Wears Prada and A Million Little Pieces.
And I have to choose one favorite author; I would be Maanvi, my co-author.


VP- Are you reading anything currently?


DD- I just finished The White Tiger and I think it truly deserves to be where it is. I am looking forward to reading Vikas Swarup’s work which seems to have caught everyone’s fancy these days.


VP- What are your views on the trend of young authors like writing ‘techie-lit’?


DD- I see it as a very positive sign of things to come. For long, people who aren’t very inclined to read a Rushdie or an Arundhati have been falling back on at foreign authors, who write stories set in lands they have never been to. These new generation authors give them a chance to read books which are closer home, and something with which they can connect to in a much better way.


More so, these are stories set around them, their peer circle, and their society.


VP- Who has been the harshest and best critic of your writing?


DD- I think that will be Maanvi. If somebody’ success or failure rides on what you are writing and if he or she trashes what you write, there must be a good reason for it. And believe you me; she never cut backs on words when she has to criticize. We had come on the verge of never seeing each others’ faces again on more than one occasion, but we survived.


VP- Can you give us a sneak peek on your future projects, including your second book?


DD- Yes. There are two books that I am working on right now, one of which will be released in July and is already in the editing phase. The story revolves around the happenings in an investment bank during times of recession. Once again, I am co-authoring it with Maanvi (who incidentally works in an I-bank herself). The other book is predominantly set in Brazil and is yet to take shape.


VP-Has your everyday life changed in any way after the release and success of the book?


DD- It hasn’t changed a lot I would say, but yes, it is not exactly the same anymore. The mail box is always full, sometimes I do get recognized by people and frankly speaking, it is highly pleasing to go through this phase. Though I would still like to think that this is just the beginning of bigger and better things to come. Fingers crossed!


Compiled by:
Vandita Naroola