In today’s technology and social media driven world, ‘true love’ may seem passe, but Durjoy Dutta, one of India’s leading romantic fiction writers, said digital love, like romances in the earlier times, is very “passionate”. “It’s great to find your soul-mate at the click of a button,” he said. The writer of bestselling books like, “Of Course I Love You…”, “She Broke Up, I Didn’t!”, “Oh Yes, I’m Single!” and many others, was speaking at a session titled, ‘The Heart of the Matter’ at Penguin Fever 2017, a special edition of the publishing house’s annual Spring Fever.
Writers Ravinder Singh and Sudeep Nagarkar were also part of the session held yesterday at India Habitat Centre here. Dutta, who himself proposed to his wife for marriage on Twitter, said that people are dismissive of the new age romance thinking it is “transient” and “not real”. “But it’s as passionate as love in the past,” he said. Having penned nine love stories and been married for a year now, Nagarkar said he was still trying to get his head around the complex concept of romance.
He admitted that the style and language of love had changed over the years. “But, the essence is still the same,” he added. Some of his books include “She Swiped Right into my Heart”, “It started with a friend request”, “You’re the password to my life” and “You are trending in my dreams”. Singh agreed saying that love at first sight continues to happen; only the medium had changed. “We are living in a time where love at first sight has become love at the display picture,” he quipped.
For those aspiring to write romantic fiction, Singh said it was important for the stories they tell to touch the readers’ hearts. “While I may be sleeping, unknowingly, someone else is reading the book and perhaps shedding a few tears for my characters. “That is the best thing about writing a book,” he said.
The writer has several books including “I Too Had a Love Story”, “Can Love Happen Twice?”, “Like it happened Yesterday”,”Your Dreams are Mine Now” and “This Love That Feels Right”, to his credit. Talking about choosing their characters, Nagarkar said he preferred creating someone who is relatable. Dutta said he was all for drama. He chooses to focus on a single trait and then build a world around it. “When you get a character that is idealistic in an imperfect world, you automatically get a lot of drama,” Dutta said.
The six-day-long literary celebration marking the 30th anniversary of Penguin Random House India, began on October 26 and has already hosted the likes of Arundhati Roy, Shobhaa De and Vidya Balan. Upcoming sessions include “The Rise of the Elephant” featuring politician-writer Shashi Tharoor along with Gurcharan Das and Sonu Bhasin, and “The Line of Beauty” featuring Perumal Murugan, Kannan Sundaram, Bibek Debroy and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. The event will come to a close on October 31.