Rajrupa Gupta is an avid blogger, writer of fiction and author of the book, “The Crazy Algorithm of Love”, which is a simple romance story that happens in a software company. The book is her debut publication and she was delighted to have me interview her. It was a delight to interview her as well.
Me: Your book shares a love story happening in a software company. Was it inspired by your own life perhaps?
Rajrupa (RG): No. This is not in any way inspired by my own life. However it is influenced by the day to day life of people in a software company. Anyone familiar with the IT industry would definitely nod their heads at some points or more as they are bound to relate to what happens in the story.
Me: You chose to already have the protagonists in love, rather than build their love story up through your writing? Why was that?
RG: Falling in love is the easiest part. To make a relationship work is tough. I wanted to write about that. The insecurities, the doubts, the egos, the compromises and the sacrifices which characterize a relationship were the things I wanted to talk about.
Me: Very interesting point that you make. I liked the story, but the last part seemed to be rushed a little. Were you contemplating another ending perhaps?
RG: I was. Yes. I would have loved to make the two protagonists wait a little more for their reconciliation. But being a new author is not easy in India.
Me: I guess that’s true, even elsewhere too. You touch on arranged v/s love marriage in your book. But the twist you have given to the “arranged” love story, I didn’t quite imagine that happening. What made you think of that? Was it done purposely?
RG: I am not sure if there was anything that made me think like that. I kept writing what came to my mind. Even though I try to make an outline of what I am going to write, often it is in my head and often I take a detour.
Me: Good. That shows in your writing too, that it is from your heart. Now that the book is in print, would you have changed anything? Or happy with how it’s turned out?
RG: Not now. Maybe few years down the line when I am older. But yes, there are few things which I would have written differently if I were writing the book now. I know better now than when I was writing the book.
Me: True that. We grow with writing, and also reading what we wrote afterward. So the genre you chose is romance. Are your future novels going to be of the same genre? Have you begun working on your next novel? Is it a sequel to this one?
RG: No. My next novel will be a complete detour. And yes. I am already writing it.
Me: So that’ll be another surprise for us. Can’t wait to see what it is. Friends and family play a big part in any author’s life I feel. Did your friends and family know you were writing the novel? How did you balance your time?
RG: I am an introvert by nature. I speak very less, and don’t interact with people much. So obviously no one knew about my venture except my husband. But surprisingly people who knew me weren’t too surprised when I told them. That surprised me a lot!
Evenings I came home from office and started writing while my husband took care of all the household works. That’s how I balanced my time.
Me: Good to see your husband helping out, and that your book is completed because of his support too. Nowadays, movies based on books by Indian authors seem to be more. If someone came to you wishing to make a movie from your novel, would you give the rights? Or would you prefer the book only in print?
RG: I have been a book buff all my life. And I have always hated it when my favourite novels turned into horrible movies. So yes, I like my book in print. That’s a dream come true.
But if a book like The Three Mistakes of My Life can be turned into a film like Kai Po Che, I don’t mind seeing my book being enacted on the celluloid.
Me: Ok. So we can wait for that too. May your celluloid aspirations come true sometime!
We’ve been chatting on the book for a while. Let’s get to know the author a little now. Tell us, what are your favorite novels? Have they affected your writing in any way?
RG: Being a Bengali I come from a rich heritage of literature. Many of my favourite novels are written in Bengali. I love reading Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Samaresh Majumdar, Ashapurna Devi, Shankar and many more Bengali authors. I read them quite often.
I also love Harry Potter. I admire Tolkien. I read Ayn Rand few years back and was blown away. I loved the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Recently I am reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I am loving it too. So I can’t segregate my favorite novels that way.
Me: Ah. Another Harry Potter fan huh? Good to know. Who is your favorite literary character? Is that Harry Potter too?
RG: It has to be Feluda. My all-time favorite – the adorable Feluda by Sathyajit Ray.
Me: Oh. I’ve not read that. I must make a note to read it soon then. What are your hobbies and passions apart from writing? There must be something that keeps you occupied, right?
RG: Yes… Reading! I can read through the night and still not feel tired the following morning if I have a nice book with me. Apart from that I like to try new recipes sometimes.
Me: So we might get a cookbook from you sometime too I guess! With writing, you are busy mostly. How many books do you usually read in a year?
RG: Can’t say really… but recently when I moved my home, the Packers and Movers carried six large boxes of books. That’s my collection during the last five years of time.
Me: Six boxes. Wow. Wonderful collection it must be.
Returning to your writing now, do you, after finishing the entire novel, thoroughly check it for places it can be better? Is that possible?
RG: That’s the boring part. Especially for a person like me who never revised even exam papers. But yes, I guess that’s something you cannot avoid when writing a novel.
Me: Ah. After hours of enjoyment writing, I guess a little boredom is warranted. You are a new author. What would you say to someone who’s about to read your book?
RG: Go on! Read it! I am sure you will love it!
Me: Simple and to the point. In the same manner, what advice would you give to other writers thinking of becoming published authors?
RG: Be patient and self-confident. You will make it.
Me: Thanks Rajrupa. Good to have chatted with you. I think the readers would definitely love your book. I wish you and the book all the success.
(April 15th, 2013)