Welcome again. Today we have Gautam Dutta, author of Strangers With Known Faces. Lets interogate him in our today’s session…
1. Tell us about yourself.
I am an academician by profession, and have been associated with various Universities, both in India and abroad. I am currently working as an Assistant Professor in Manipal University, Jaipur. Though I am a faculty at the Department of Electronics and Communications, I am interested in eclectic topics like as Science, Psychology, Philosophy, and International Geopolitics.
2. What brought you in this writing world?
Writing is one of the best ways to express oneself. I am not good in art or music. But I have a good imagination. And I like telling stories. Consequently, writing is a natural choice.
3. What after writing?
I will continue to keep write and tell stories. And I will continue with my academic career simultaneously.
4. What made you write ‘Strangers With Known Faces’?
First of all, I started writing this as a confession- as a release from the mental burden that I had been carrying in my mind. In life, I have done a lot of blunders, taken wrong decisions, and wasted my time over trivialities. In short, I have led a much screwed up life so far. I could not tell my story directly. So I made up a story that is fictional, but where the emotions are real.
As the name of the book suggests, there are many people who were once important in our lives but are now out-of-touch for a very long time. They are practically strangers. What happens when they meet again? I have seen people who called themselves ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’. Imagine the surprise when six months later they message me and say that they just have no news of each other. And I have seen such ‘friends’ reuniting in strange circumstances, and then splitting up again.
The name of the book also signifies certain aspects of people that are completely hidden from you. You think you know someone- but do you really? What are the dark secrets that person may be hiding? What is the actual definition of the word ‘intimacy’? So who is really a stranger, and who is a friend?
And finally, the name of the book means that you are not only a stranger to each other- but to yourself as well. There are so many aspects of your own personality that you are not aware of, but others are. Then you pretend to be someone who you are not in reality- in order to make an impression. The Johari Window comprises of the Arena, the Façade, the Blind Spot and the Unknown Self.
I once went to a bookshop, and found two distinct classes of fictional books in stores. One was books about life in college, life after college, love, romance, etc. The other was conspiracy thrillers. I decided to combine both genres in one story.
5. Tell us a name of a fictional character that resembles you and why?
Ranbir Kapoor has perfected the art of playing the confused young man on screen. I am one myself. My life has been as weird and complicated as the characters he plays.
6. According to you what is the real meaning of literature?
Any written work can and should be considered literature. There may or may not be creative or artistic merit in them. But that is a subjective definition. In the world of literature, there is a place for everything.
7. Names of authors you follow. And why?
I generally read non-fiction more than fiction, as I like studying books on philosophy and psychology. That helps me in getting more detailed portrayals of my characters. As far as the fictional part goes, I am more inspired by movies than books. I like Action Thrillers as wellas Romantic Dramas. Some of the authors/filmmakers whose works inspired my book are Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, the Walchowiskis, Christopher Nolan, Guru Dutta, Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, and Karan Johar (Yes, that is correct. Read my book, and you will understand why).
8. Anything about your upcoming work?
My second book is also one that spans two decades. It is a story of friendship, love, loss, redemption. It is aa coming-of-age romantic drama about people who suck in their personal relationships. And true to my storytelling style, it also has action scenes in appropriate places.
9. How can our readers connect with you?
You can connect me through my Facebook page.
And my e-mail ID is firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Any words to newbies?
Write what you want to….but remember that not everybody will be interested in reading what you have written. Accept that. And please please please…….get your manuscript corrected for grammatical errors and typos.