Durjoy Datta at the launch of his latest book at Crossword, City Centre Salt Lake.
Picture by Chanchal Ghosh
They arrived more than an hour in advance, excited at the prospect of meeting their idol. And when he did arrive amid claps and cheers, they wanted to know the secret behind his cute dimples. No, this is no Bollywood hero but Durjoy Datta, author of 10 novels and heart-throb of thousands.
Datta was in the city to launch When Only Love Remains at Crossword Bookstore, City Centre Salt Lake, on July 25. Most of his young fans had already read it and were ready to discuss the characters with him. And some personal tidbits too, like why he did not churn out more romances or is he negotiating with a producer.
Datta with his gelled hair and cute smile looked no less than a Bollywood hero. But what made him click was his sense of humour and his ability to chat uninterrupted with the young crowd. “I don’t know why you read my books but am glad you do. Please buy 10 copies of it,” he joked as fans gushed and squealed.
Talking about his latest book — a romance between a struggling musician and his flight attendant fan — Datta shared how he had been a member of many fan groups and clubs himself. “I would write mails to my favourite authors and never get any reply. What if J.K. Rowling actually wrote back to me and we fell in love? Maybe we would have got married and had a child called Harry Potter,” Datta said, again amid peals of laughter.
The author’s every sentence evoked a similar reaction. The audience wanted to know if he loved cliches, why his central characters in many books (five to be precise) were called Dev and Avantika and when would the protagonists in Sadda Haq (a TV serial scripted by Datta) finally fall in love.
“We plan to continue the serial for another five years and make it yet another (Kyunki) Saans Bhi Kabhi...,” quipped Datta.
But Datta was quick to point out that he does not always resort cliches. Talking about how he had written Till the Last Breath to silence his critics, he said: “It was not a campus romance, neither were there any sex scenes. The plot did not follow any of the cliches that I am known for. Yet it did so well.”
An engineer and MBA by profession, Datta said: “Had I not done my management before taking up writing, my parents would have thrown me out. Now they think I am safe as I have a fall-back option,” he said.
There seemed to be no secrets between this author and his fans. They knew about Datta’s favourite author (John Green), all his fictional characters and their quirks as also about his co-authors. It was like an interaction between old friends.
A fan had only one complaint. “Why do you ever stop writing? You should just go on writing more and more books. They are so us,” he told his favourite author.