Mumbai: Although brand collaborations with bollywood and cricket are accepted modes of enhancing engagement with audiences, it is relatively new for novelists.

Especially, when the ask of the novelist is integral to his craft; that of sharing stories.

Crossword Bookstores hosted one such unique collaboration, between  deodorant brand Engage from ITC, Penguin India and bestselling romance author, Durjoy Datta. As a part of the engagement, Datta took to social media and asked fans to send in micro-stories of love, in just 250 characters via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 


The response was overwhelming, with more than 11,200 submissions coming in from all over the country. The best story for the day was shortlisted by Datta.

About the book Durjoy maintains, “When you read  this book, note that the best stories aren’t mine.” Jesting, the author further added, “I’m insecure about my writing.”

Subsequently, 250 such playful, romantic, and unexpected micro- stories were  compiled into a book titled “Pocketful O’ Stories” – each of them celebrating romance in unexpected places from libraries and trains to offices and colleges. Datta has integrated 10 of his own stories within the book. 


Speaking about the event, Maulik Desai, Head of Crossword Bookstores said, “This is an exciting collaboration between an author and a brand, and we hope that more Indian brands will follow suit. Durjoy Datta is one of India’s most popular young writers, and a favourite with teens and the youngsters who shop at Crossword Bookstores. An engineer-turned-writer out of passion, he has written bestselling novels that include Of course I love You…..Till I Find Someone Better, Now That You Are Rich Let’s Fall In Love, World’s Best Boyfriend.”

“We don’t hear a lot about brands collaborating with authors mainly because brands don’t think that way. I was playing around with this idea of curating a book with my readers for a while now, so when Engage approached me in 2017 for this campaign, I was more than happy to go ahead with it,” said a modest Durjoy Datta at the launch of Pocketful O’ Stories at Crossword Bookstores, Malad. Young female fans of the author turned up in large numbers to meet their favourite author of romantic fiction.

Also present was RJ Kabir from Ishq 104.8, who hosted the event and probed Datta to talk more about his experience of writing romance in fiction and in real life. 

Further elaborating on the idea, Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC, said, “Innovation has been at the core of product and communication for brand Engage. Be it the revolutionising Engage pocket perfumes or the wide range of fragrances in the portfolio. Pocketful O’ stories is one such innovation where stories of unexpected moments of love bring out the Engage philosophy of playful romance and the product characteristics.”

Season II of this campaign will return with Durjoy Datta centering around the theme of love with a twist to it.