Meet Prerona Dutta: Mathematician-Blogger-Photographer and One of the Most Creative Writers on YourQuote.
Our writer Arushi Gupta caught up with Prerona Dutta. In this interview, Prerona unravels more about her life, career, talents and love for writing. Read on.
Describe yourself in 1200 characters (250 words) — imagine an autobiography or a third-person description.
Every person has different sides to his or her character. Some remain content with knowing just a part of them; Prerona likes to explore all facets of herself in as many ways as possible. She is currently a student aspiring to pursue a PhD in Pure Mathematics after completing her Masters from Pondicherry University. She has always been passionate about Mathematics and wanted to pursue higher studies in it since her middle school years. All through out her life, she has constantly been supported by her parents in all her decisions as they stood by her in whatever she decided to do. Apart from studies she has dabbled a little in a lot of other things, music and photography being ones she still clings on to. Writing was never done consciously while she was still in school but she enjoyed participating in creative writing events and was encouraged by her teachers to do so. Her school played an important role during her formative years in cultivating the habit, but that took a hit in college due to immense academic pressure. It was revived again in Pondicherry and is now well-sustained by YourQuote. Quiet corners being Prerona’s favourite spots, she feels more comfortable while expressing herself by writing but she can be a chatterbox too when wavelengths match. Known to be calm and patient, she still has a violent streak that peeps out once in a blue moon, when pushed beyond the threshold. Writing helps her to vent out such extreme feelings. She likes to have an opinion of her own about things, which are mostly too idealistic to be possible and hence she prefers to keep them all to herself. In a nutshell: An epitome of contradictions as she often claims herself to be, here is Prerona, hoping to live up to her name.
Where have you grown up?
My growing years (age wise I mean, mentally there will never be an end to it) were spent in Kolkata. I was born here in 1993 and have lived here till the completion of my undergraduate studies. My schooling was at The Future Foundation School, Kolkata and thereafter I moved on to St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata to study B.Sc. Mathematics Honours. So the City of Joy has been the prime witness to nearly all important events of my life.
Are you still living there?
Yes, I am back in Kolkata. I had been in Pondicherry for the past two years. After completing my Masters in Mathematics from Pondicherry University, I am currently applying to different places in India and abroad, appearing for a series of exams to obtain a doctoral position and pursue a career in research.
If you had to change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I don’t think I would like to change much in my life. I only wish that I had a time-turner, so that I could go back once in a while and make up for some of the lost time. I would also have felt better if I were able to make a tiny but significant contribution to the field of Mathematics by now. And sometimes, when my writings come out with a strong message, I regret not being able to be that vocal about those pertinent issues in real life. Nobody is stopping me really, but it’s just that I fail to understand the general mindset these days and do not want to hurt or offend anyone even unintentionally. So I keep my opinions to myself and express them once in a while through my works.
While growing up, was it the pressure by the academic or the pressure put by parents that deterred you from creative writing? How did you deal with this?
The first and foremost thing that I need to clarify is that, my parents never put pressure on me under any circumstances. In fact when in college I began writing less because I had to attend to studies they used to keep telling me that I should not give it up, but try to write something whenever I find time. Not only in case of writing but music, karate, painting, photography, whatever I have indulged in has been supported extensively by my parents. If I started giving up on any of my hobbies it hurt them more than it did to me. So once I revived my practice of writing after starting my own blog Alter Egos during my days in Pondicherry and was further motivated to do it regularly by joining YourQuote last December, my parents were probably the happiest. My teachers in school had encouraged me to pursue creative writing as long as I was there under their care. I realized that I had a passion for writing since the time I was in the fifth standard and then onwards I became a regular participant in intra-school events. Apart from that, my school sent me to different workshops and contests in creative writing all over the city that opened my eyes further. In college the academic pressure increased, but I never felt bad about it. Mathematics has always been my favourite subject and I feel fortunate to have been able to go for higher studies in it. So even though I had a lot to study and needed to give up on a few other things, I did so quite happily and I wrote once in a blue moon whenever I had the opportunity. In my second year of college I was nominated into the editorial board of the annual departmental magazine Beacon. That was the year it began to be published and for its second edition next year I became the Chief Editor. So even if I wasn’t writing as much, I was well-involved with the creative process.
What genres do you like experimenting with?
Broadly speaking, poetry is the genre I am most comfortable in. Previously I used to stick to rhyme schemes. Even now that remains a favourite but after coming across a few Japanese poetic forms like haiku, tanka, katauta, sedoku and so on, I have become obsessed with them as YQians must have observed by now. In this age when things are moving at a blinding pace and people have less time on their hands, these shorter versions of poetry seem more appealing as means to convey my views in a few words. I wish to keep writing inspirational quotes as I often do now, but apart from that I would like to write more short stories dabbling a little in the genres of satire, humour, mystery, adventure, science fiction and sports fiction, weaving in a few relevant messages wherever I can. ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell being one of my favourite literary works, coming up with something in that line is a dream that I wish to give life to, in the long run.
Would you call yourself an introvert?
I would definitely call myself an introvert because I am quite shy and hesitant in meeting new people and striking up a conversation. My friends circle is more likely to be a polygon. Once I feel comfortable talking to someone, I can keep chatting away as my friends know very well but I can never start a conversation with strangers or people I am acquainted with but do not feel comfortable around. In fact I always prefer writing to talking while expressing myself. I love to be left alone, in a quiet corner or out in the lap of nature. Even in gatherings I usually feel out of place. I like to listen to others whereas they want me to talk too, so I sneak away quietly whenever I get a chance.
What does your name mean?
My name means ‘inspiration’, same as the Sanskrit word ‘Prerna’ or ‘Prerana’ as it is spelt usually but I spell it the way it is pronounced in Bengali, which is ‘Prerona’.
Why do you refer to yourself as “epitome of contradictions”?
I like to describe myself that way because I often tend to have contrasting views on something and have felt that there are many contradictory traits in me. I won’t elaborate much on this as it will leave both me and everyone else befuddled but I’ll try to give you a small example. I always look for the logic behind things and tend to reject those which seem illogical apparently. In this way sometimes I am unable to accept things which happen for practical reasons because according to me they aren’t right or logical. This entire attitude itself then probably becomes most illogical because instead of trying to modify the setup from within, I go in favour of doing away with it knowing fully well that it’s not the way for things to work out in reality. I don’t know if what I said just now makes any sense or not, but that’s how this contradictory nature of mine works, the most sensible thing that I say could often be followed by something completely in contrast. Even in my writings there are many contrasting features, for example sometimes I wish to convey social messages about doing something for the betterment of the world as a whole, then again I write a few pieces that talk only about I, me and myself not bothering about anything else that is going on. But I don’t try to change these antithetical features of mine as I feel they would let me explore different facets of myself and become more versatile in the process.
If you could solve one mystery of the world, what would it be?
Contributing towards solving one of the many unsolved mathematical problems is a dream that I have cherished for long. I do not know if I can ever manage that but I will definitely do whatever I can to work towards it. Keeping that aside, there are other intriguing mysteries in the world that could be looked into. If possible, someday I would like to figure out how to bring parity in people’s standards of living and create equal opportunities for everyone without the effort actually resulting in further inequalities.
How did you come to know about YourQuote?
I came across YourQuote in an unusual way. As I already mentioned, I have a blog called Alter Egos. So while putting a tagline for it, I had made up my own quote which said ‘Logic is a function that assigns purpose to creativity.’ For some reason these words appealed to me and I was inspired to immortalize them however possible. I wanted to secure my copyright over it, so that just in case I manage to do something good in life, people can have words of wisdom from me to decorate their essays or other pieces of work. With this in mind I began searching for ways to achieve it and came across the name of YourQuote somewhere on Google, I cannot recall exactly where I saw it. So I joined thinking that I will post this quote, it will become mine officially forever and then I will forget about it all. But as fate would have it, once I joined and posted one quote, I could never forget about YourQuote again and fortunately so!
Who are your favourite writers on YourQuote?
I really cannot make a list as such because I love going through every work I see. YourQuote is such a huge pool of talent and I am fortunate to have come across many stalwarts giving out their best works here every single day. I look up to all of them, Harsh Snehanshu, Ayena Makkar Girdhar, Tanmay Sharma, Bharath Nandibhatla, Sara Jothi, Sakshi Vashist, Abhinav Nair, Aditya Kurdekar, Sreepoorna Tupaki Sir, Jhelum Anikhindi, Anubhav Srivastava, Mohini Dhankhar to name a few and all others on this great platform. Thank you YourQuote, the founding fathers Harsh Snehanshu, Ashish Singh and all other dedicated members who keep it functioning daily. I hope to keep writing and learning daily from everyone over here. Finally, thank you Arushi for this heart-to-heart session, I feel humbled and honoured. Let us keep writing and let our quotes do the talking.
Here are some of the best quotes by Prerona. These have made it to Hall of Fame as well in the app.
Follow Prerona’s writings here: http://yourquote.in/prerona-dutta-jck/quotes/