He may look like just another youngster with dreams in his eyes but there is more to him than just dreams as Arka Datta is a talented writer, graphic artist, owner of a company, occasional chef to his family and friends and a man who has tasted success at a very young age. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent Priyanka Dutta engaged the multifaceted young man over a cup of coffee. Excerpts….
Priyaka Dutta, Sholoana Bagaliana– Tell us a little about your background.
Arka Datta– My family moved to Kolkata when I was 14, from a small town named Tribeni. I have done my initial schooling there. It has been another 14 years and now I have become a proper Kolkatan. My father works in SBI and my mother is an English teacher. I also have a younger brother who is a student. But I don’t believe it matters where I come from. What matters is where I am going…
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bagaliana– What inspired you to start writing?
Arka Datta– Words have always fascinated me, from a very early age. Though, I had taken up writing seriously only when I was an adult, I think the love for literature was always there.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– You have worked as a graphic artist also. Why did you suddenly start writing stories?
Arka Datta– Well, it’s hard to address the “why.” See, as a child I wanted to be an astronaut, and then a mad scientist, and then a normal scientist. As I grew up, it came to understanding that I am a rather imaginative person, and I love to paint. So, graphic art somewhat seemed like a natural career choice. Few years later, one fine morning, I just woke up and realized that I had to write things that I imagine. I guess the geometric presentations of my thoughts weren’t enough for me anymore.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bagaliana– Your debut story Here’s How It Goes was chosen from a huge number of submitted stories by reputed author Ravinder Singh. How was the feeling when you saw your story on print?
Arka Datta– I still cannot comprehend that feeling with words. Ironic, considering I am supposed to be an author. But one thing I can surely say is that there is no greater joy for a writer than being able to move people with their words.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bagaliana– Why did you start with a love story? Any special reason?
Arka Datta– Sorry to disappoint you, but the answer to this question is rather plain. It was a love story because Penguin India was looking for love stories for their anthology ‘Love Stories that Touched My Heart.’
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What is your next story that you are currently working on?
Arka Datta– Currently I am working on my first novel. The writing is complete, but now I am busy with the toughest job of all; waiting for responses from publishers.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What is the genre of writing that you prefer?
Arka Datta– I like to write stories that are based on human emotions. The psychological aspect of human behavior is what interests me the most, and that reflects on my work mostly. May it be romance, or thriller, or drama, my genre is always constructed around psychology.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What are your hobbies?
Arka Datta– My main hobby is watching movies. Language or genre doesn’t matter as long as it offers food for thought. Other than that, I like to paint and eat (yes, it’s a hobby) and enjoy PNPC sessions with my friends.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Who are your favorite authors/ poets?
Arka Datta– This will take some time. There are unlimited numbers of them. But I will start with Arundhati Roy. The God of Small Things inspired me more than anything else. Other than her, I love Julian Barnes, Haruki Murakami, Dan Brown, and of course, Rabindranath Tagore as a poet.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– There is currently a rise of writing stories revolving around mythological characters. Do you have any plans of doing a similar thing?
Arka Datta– No! At least not right now. There are too many of them, and truth to be told, I neither have anything new to offer nor I can match the brilliance of some of the works out there.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– How supportive have your parents been about this choice of profession?
Arka Datta– I must say that I have been extremely lucky when it comes to parents. They have always inspired me to be free and supported my life decisions. Without that, it would have been really impossible to take the risks I have taken in life.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Many stories are now adapted for the silver screen and television. Do you have any plans of writing a story which can be adapted for a similar medium?
Arka Datta– Right now, all that I can think about is becoming a published novelist. Once that happens, I will surely think about it. Who can deny that stories, that are adapted into films, reach more people!
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What is the USP of your writing style?
Arka Datta– As I said earlier, I try to bring a psychological angel to things that happen in my stories. And I don’t believe in absolute white or black. This surely can help my readers to relate to the stories more. I have this idea that every story is true for someone, somewhere. That is the USP of my writing.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Arka Datta– Surely as a bestselling author of few books. Anything else will be an added bonus.
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.