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Meet Ronen Chatterjee, India's youngest writer

india Updated: Feb 17, 2008 00:00 IST
Manoj Sharma
Manoj Sharma
Hindustan Times
Boy Wonder

Ronen Chatterjee is not particularly fond of books: till date, he hasn’t even read a single novel. Neither does he wish to. But he has always had stories in mind — and an urge to tell them.

At 11, he asked his mother to write them down. She suggested he write them himself to derive maximum satisfaction out of the creative process. Two years later, he started penning them down himself and today, this soft spoken Delhi lad is the country’s youngest author to have a novel to his credit.

On his 15th birthday last year, he released Fire Within , a collection of seven stories published by Har-Anand Publications. “These are stories of three generations of tennis players.

The message is that you can achieve anything in life if you have the fire within,” says Chatterjee.

The journey has not been easy, though. No one — teachers, peers, relatives — took him seriously as a writer. “When the manuscript reached the Head of the English Department, my parents were advised that I should focus on studies,” says the student of Delhi’s DPS, RK Puram.

But Chatterjee kept writing and his stories got bigger and better. “I had no idea it would make me famous,” he laughs. More so, since after finishing the book, he got many rejection letters from publishers, who thought he was “too young” to write a book.

Now, he is still savouring the new-found fame. “I was much sought after at the book launch last yea. I signed many copies at the event, including one for quiz master Siddharth Basu.”

And all the others who has almost written him off are now coming back to congratulate the young author. “My English teacher and Head of Department are quite happy with me now and they have even congratulated me. It’s nice to be a little famous.”

An accomplished author? Maybe. A voracious reader? Not yet. “I haven’t even read Harry Potter,” says the author, ready with his next work. “It’s about life in a boarding school,” is all that he is willing to tell you. Watch this space.