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Book review: My mute girlfriend by Himanshu Rai

Category : Book Reviews

My mute girfriend is one of the most sensational book I have read over last couple of years.
This book will be an amazing read for all the people who believe in true love.
This book is written in a first person narrative which is easy for common people to understand.
The stories of Rohan, Vaidehi and Navya are beautifully written.
Simple language is used in this book. I am a big fan of simple language.
Story revolves around the teenage college life which most of us can relate.
Straight story, said superbly and gracefully.
I am pretty impressed by the title. It is certainly very catchy and attract young readers.
I must say Himanshu is another bestselling writer in the making after reading this book.
Overall 4/5 is my rating.
Please do purchase the book if you like reading the love stories and believe in love.

Amazon book link 

— Prabhuprasad

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Author interview with Ashwini Bagga

Today, we have Ashwini Bagga with us, here is an brief introduction about him. Followed by this interaction with me.

Born and brought up in Jaipur, erstwhile a Software Engineer turned Road Safety Expert, Corporate Trainer and Speaker.

Recently served as Road Safety Consultant at Road Safety Cell, Transport Department, Rajasthan under Project Management Consultancy Services by Consulting Engineers Group Ltd. for Rajasthan Road Sector Modernization Project funded by World Bank.

I am an avid reader, travel freak and an eager learner and at present undergoing Ph.D. from Manipal University Jaipur on Road Safety. Besides being an active member of various social, cultural and literary forums, I also spare time for my passion for writing and guitar.

  1. Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

I started my professional career in the field of writing as a content writer. I developed content for websites, wrote articles and blogs etc. I also jotted down scripts for few commercials for one of the FM channels. In fact, I was keen to spin stories especially for films and at a later stage I switched myself to fiction writing.

  1. When did you start writing?

I have been writing since my school days but that was an era when I had been new to this field as an amateur writer I could not gain much attention. I loved to read and listen ghazals. In my earlier days of writing I wrote lot of ghazals, poetry short stories etc. I still love ghazals and Late. Shri Jagjit Singh Ji is my favorite.

  1. When you published first?

Many of my poetry, ghazals and articles had been published in various newspapers, magazines and websites. My first non-fictional work was on Road Safety. I wrote two books on Road Safety titled “Road to Road Safety” and “Essentials of Road Safety”. In year 2017 my debut fiction Barista Bollywood got published.

  1. Describe yourself in day to day life?

This is one of the toughest question because I find it difficult to define myself confining to the activities I expedite in a day. Apart from writing, I have to manage my professional life as well. I try to maintain a balance between the two. Being a Road Safety Expert and a Corporate Trainer (Road Safety) I address various community groups to sensitize and educate them. I prefer maintaining a daily checklist to manage my day to day activities and I plan my day accordingly.

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Writing is also one of my passions and other than writing I love playing guitar.

  1. Tell us more about your book?

My latest creation is a contemporary fiction titled Barista Bollywood. It is a 300 pages story that portrays life of three young aspirants who wish to get a breakthrough in Bollywood. The trios named Akash, Anisha and Shamit hails from different cities in India and dreams to established themselves in the film industry in their respective verticals.

Well, it is a known fact that behind the glitter and glamourous face of Bollywood, there also exists a dark and gloomy side of Indian film industry. Though competition, exploitation, gender discrimination, casting couch, rigged award ceremonies and monopoly are some of the elements which defines the darker sides of Bollywood. The story of Barista Bollywood details the failure of the three characters, their struggle and a captivating plan that shocks the reader at the end. Barista Bollywood is overall an inspiring entertainer that is capable of captivating reader’s mind till the last page.

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

As I described earlier, I try to balance my professional and writer’s life. Depending upon the workload I shift my timings and plan a day’s activities accordingly.

  1. What according to you are best marketing stragies for a young writer?

Best or worst, a particular marketing strategy could not be recommended for all user groups. Depending upon the circumstances and available resources one needs to carefully devise his or her own marketing strategy. Now days I see lot of young minds coming up with innovative ideas and I appreciate their courage and imagination. Depending upon one’s creativity, nature of product one must carefully plan his or her own marketing strategy. Market has abundance of marketing tools and services to promote young authors, even they can also harness power of social media to expand their reach. Marketing strategy also depends upon the kind of publishing method one has opted.

  1. Which is more important to you Content or marketing?

Marketing something without having quality content is next to impossible. To market something one must have solid grounds. Money can buy success but not happiness. Without content one’s identity will soon die. It is my personal opinion and suggestion to the aspirant authors that they must focus on quality and depth in whatever they are writing. If their writing reflects substance, the marketing will work for them two folds. At stage one, one will have mechanized followers and subsequently they will celebrate the organic one, which will come their way by default.

  1. Your favorite writer and why?

I prefer reading Indian writers. Amish and Ashwin are my favorites. I had also read Chetan Bhagat a lot and of course every reader would have read Chetan Bhagat at least once in their life. Amish’s imagination is superb whereas the deep-rooted research by Ashwin in his writings projects fascinates me the most. Work of both the authors is beyond imagination. I believe writing historical, mythological thrillers is one of the most difficult tasks in fiction writing.

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on three projects as far as my writing is concerned. First, I am planning to have my fiction Barista Bollywood translated in Hindi. Thereafter I will launch its Hindi edition. Second, I have outlined story of my second fiction and it will be a suspense thriller this time. I hope, by the end of this year I will be able to finish writing my second fiction. Third, in collaboration with a production house I am working on producing a web-series on Road Safety. The series will comprise short videos highlighting various issues of Road Safety. The videos will aim to enlighten, entertain and educate the viewers through innovative ideas and concept I have written and developed.

  1. Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

In fact, there are many but the point which matters here is, the platform. In case of writing, I find that young generation is keen writing about love, friendship and relations because at this age they perhaps had not explored other avenues of life. Give time to ripen your writing skills. It will come naturally and gradually with the time.

If one wishes to have advise for self-development, then one must have hunger to learn. Learning is the only key to expand one’s capabilities and skills. It is true that one cannot learn everything and on the other hand one must not let go a chance to learn whenever it happens. Remember, learning brings you returns, may be after a year or after a decade but it definitely pays you back.

  1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

I Am A Rare Creature on Earth.

Weblinks

  1. Website – http://www.ashwinibagga.in/
  2. Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshwini/
  3. Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorAshwini/
  4. Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/AuthorAshwini/
  5. Barista Bollywood on Amazon – http://www.amazon.in/dp/B073ZC58QC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500369157
  6. Barista Bollywood on Flipkart – http://www.amazon.in/dp/B073ZC58QC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500369157
  7. Photographs – http://www.ashwinibagga.in/gallery-personal/

Thank you for the sincere answers sir. I wish you all the very best for your future books.

If you are interested in publishing your interviews, please write to me at prabhu@prabhuprasad.in

 

 

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Interview with Shilpa Pitroda, author of Book ‘An optional Love’

 

1-Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Ans- Shilpa means imaginative art. I am a columnist and Author.  Also founder of an organisation called FADES. I am from a small mines area called Noamundi, Jharkhand.

2-When did you start writing?

Ans- Since college days; I have always been a reader but had never thought of writing until I won few writing competitions which boosted my confidence. I started with writing articles and short stories for various publications and got appreciated too.

3-When you published first?

Ans-My debut novel was “An optional love” which released on 1st January 2017.

4-Describe yourself in day to day life?

Ans- I am very simple yet moody person. My days go by attenning inspiration and nights with ink and paper.

5-What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Ans-Hobbies, I am into social work. Cooking calms me. Nature stirs my soul. I love reading. I am a big bollywood junkie. Also I like to sit alone and observe everything around.

6-Tell us more about your book?

Ans- “An Optional Love” is a real life simple love story. It’s about girl who had wished her first love to be her last but unfortunately she got shattered when she found her partner cheating on her. A journey which shows how one has to bear all those pain all alone and overcome it &  still live life.

My second book is “Grievances of Life” is a short story that is an amalgamation of little bit of romance, family love and an excessive amount of emotions. The book highlights the stories of three characters- Aahil, Dhyey and Mithil. Aahil breaks entirely when he loses his father forever and falls in the trap of regret when his mother reveals the darkest secret of his life. Dhyey killed his own girlfriend when he figures out that she has cheated on him that too for a man who is very close to him. Mithil felt broken the day he lost his girlfriend Afreen forever.

7-How do you manage your writing time?

Ans- Management never a virtue of an artist. It makes me think hard about my routine everyday.

8-What do you think of modern day relationships?

Ans-These days relationships are about control and lust. I fear what hunger one carries. I believe in freedom that too to end.

9-What do you think about cheating in relationships?

Ans-  It’s like Rape. With a personal experience I can say that’s the worst people can do with the person who loved them with everything one could have. Stay loyal people. Lies, excuses, cheat and betrayal don’t only hurt current state of mind but deletes the ability to trust someone further forever…cheating is some worse than the word disgusting. I feel breakups are easy to deal but being cheated on is really taught to deal.

10-How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

Ans- Intimacy is something everyone desires. Speak it or not. Without it frustation grows. Get in bed more often. Spice up things.

11-What according to you are best marketing strategies for a young writer?

Ans- Get on to know people. More you have around more you have to market. Be like water…. Go with its properties. And don’t do just for fame but for contributing literary world too.

12-Which is more important to you Content or marketing?

Ans- I feel content. It’s all about grey matter.

13-Your favorite writer and why?

Ans- Frankly my list is long. Every writer has their own style of writing and creative ideas which impresses me.  And I respect them all. If I had to pick names then it will be surely Paulo Coelho and Ruskin Bond.

14-What are your upcoming projects?

Ans-  Well I am coming up with two projects. I am planning to release second edition of my first book An Optional Love. And by the year end I will be releasing another tittle (will announce the name soon) its a spicy pschyological thriller, one of my favourite genre to read. I am sure people are gonna love it.

15-Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

Ans – Read and read. Knowledge is the future of humanity.

To upcoming writer’s- focus and edit like your life depends on it.

16-Can you tell us more about FADES?

Ans- FADES – Fighting against depression and enlightening soul. Our mission is to prevent, spread awareness, articulate and be a helping hand to people who cannot cope up with their life.

We provide free counselling and are available 24*7.We want to eliminate the mental-illness taboos from the Indian society so that more and more people come forward and talk. This way, someone’s life could be saved

17-What made you start this organization?

Ans -After surviving from depression, which almost gulped everything, I stood for. I feel that if a certain incident could make me feel that way then there are numerous people in India, who are feeling like I did and craving for help from inside.

With this initiative, I am looking forward to bring out a change in the society and change the statistical data of India, which tells that India has highest number of depressed people in the world. I feel when someone dies then death does not only take the life from the victim but from the around as well. As our motto “Let’s fight depression together for we are the same”

18-Describe yourself in one sentence.

Ans- A blue soul with a black heart

Thank you Shilpa for such a honest answers. I will you all the success. I want your organization really helps many more souls around the world.

If you are looking for an author interview, please drop me a mail at prabhu@prabhuprasad.in

 

 

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Author interview with Amit Joshi – A corporate trainer

Dear friends, today we have Amit Joshi with us.

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Amit Joshi is a Corporate trainer for Behavioral and Leadership skills. He has trained over 3000 participants from more than 35 leading MNCs and the author of the book – Freelance training- How to crack the Freelance Training business in India.

 

When did you start writing?

I started writing almost 8 years ago when I used to occasionally write articles, however started writing seriously just a couple of years ago when I wrote my book.

When did you get published first?

My first book “Freelance Training” got published in August 2017

Describe yourself in day to day life?

My daily life revolves around Business development, Training content development, Training delivery, and writing activities. Things are quite dynamic and I have to adjust my routine as per my training programs for my clients.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Apart from writing I like sports and I like to play badminton when I get a chance. I also play the flute occasionally.

Tell us more about your book?

Before I give information about my book, I would like to set some context. There is an immense scope for Training in India because of the skill gap between the Industry requirements and the skills provided by our educational institutes. There is also an immense need for training the existing workforce to meet the challenges faced by modern day organisations. A lot of companies are now realising this and have increased their focus on Learning and development. The training industry is quite nascent in the country and needs to evolve at a rapid pace to meet this challenge. Companies either have a dedicated training team to up-skill their workforce or tie up with Training partners to achieve this. Thus there is a growing need for trainers specialising in a wide array of subject areas and skills to keep up with the requirements. This need is being addressed either by full time training professionals or through Contract/Freelance Trainers.

Although there is a huge number of Freelance trainers who are either established or aspiring, there is very less visibility in terms of how one navigates his or her way in the Indian Freelance Training business.

About the book:

My book “How to crack the Freelance Training Market in India” aims to address this very challenge. It is the definitive guide for people wanting to make freelance training their career with the knowledge, skills and tips to tap into and sustain in the market. The books contains –

  • A step by step guide to help trainers in their journey in the Freelance Training market

  • Practical tips and insights based on first-hand experience

  • Tools to help them implement and carry on the learning from the book

  • Guidance from the Top trainers in India

  • Ways to get an edge over your competitors in the Training arena

  • Leverage the ideas to add an additional income source along with their regular job

How do you manage your writing time?

Given my schedule, it is difficult to set a fixed time regularly for writing. I find time to write, in chunks i.e. some days I get more time whereas there are days when I do not get time at all. However I make sure that my mind is always working on the concept/subject I want to write on. I then break it into smaller tasks, starting with the broad outline, sub topics in the beginnings. Once the flow and the outline are clear, it becomes easy to elaborate on them when I get some more time. This is how I managed to write my book.

What according to you are best marketing strategies for a young writer?

Firstly, it is important to understand the importance of marketing. If any writer thinks that once I write a good book, it will sell on its own, then it results in their own peril. One has to understand, no matter who has written or what the book is about, it has to be marketed. Once the writer has made a firm decision to market his/her writing, there are ample options both online and offline, for marketing. Offline options include hiring a PR agency to do book launches or reading sessions. Online options include getting the book reviewed by book bloggers, Author interviews and marketing the book on social media.

Which is more important to you Content or marketing ?

Both are equally important. If you understand it deeply enough, your content is driven by your marketing. Marketing involves what your audience would like to read about. Once you have a good understanding of the audience’s requirement, you then develop your content accordingly and again use marketing to spread the word.

Your favourite writer and why?

There are a few favourite authors mostly from the Non-fiction books domain. I am thoroughly impressed by Malcolm Gladwell, Ram Charan, Robert Kiyosaki and Robin Sharma.
All of their writings are based on in depth research, succint writing with a lot of valuable tips to implement the learnings from their writing. I strongly revommend reading their books to whoever is interested in Non-fiction self help, Management and Leadership related books.

What are your upcoming projects?

In the future I am planning to write books on alternative careers for today’s youth and about learning styles and preferences of children.

Connect with author

LinkedIn and Facebook

  • Book sales channel weblinks.

Buy the book on Amazon

Thank you Amit for your wonderful words. I wish you all the very best for your future books. 

If you are interested to publish your interview, please write to me at prabhu@prabhuprasad.in

 

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Author interview with Virag Dhulia

Dear readers, today we have Mr.Virag on board with us. Lets us talk and know about him more. Here is a short description about him.

I am a computer engineer by profession, worked in the software industry for almost 10 years before I quit my job to pursue my passion of writing and filmmaking. As of now, I run 2 YouTube channels – “Chai Pakoda” and “The Hu-Man” alongside writing stories, scripts and poems.

  1. Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Answer: I started by writing articles on social issues. My first book was a 2-book series titled “The Secrets of Manhood” which focused on problems faced by men. After that I wrote a political thriller, a fiction novel titled “Chess without a Queen”, in the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh. This novel encapsulates a lot of references from real life in highlighting various aspects of politics, governance, corporate affairs, media, bureaucracy, police, law and order in today’s turbulent times. And it also raises a question about redemption. Occasionally I also write movie reviews, short film reviews, lyrics.

  1. When did you start writing?

Answer: I wrote my first poem when I was in class 10, about 16 years of age. After that I continued writing poems for some years, until, in 2007, I started writing articles and blogs which continued into me writing fiction from 2016 onwards.

  1. When you published first?

Answer: My first book “The Secrets of Manhood, Part 1” was published on 25th May 2013.

  1. Describe yourself in day to day life?

Answer: I am a night person, so I get up late in the morning and too lazy to go and have a bath till my mother pushes me to go for it. Currently, I am focusing on developing a few stories at a very high level which are based on various themes like revenge, betrayal, choices in life, linguistic diversity in India, international espionage. I have yet not decided which one of them would be developed on a full-fledged basis. Most of my time is devoted to thinking and writing apart from developing a web series for “Chai Pakoda” which requires me to go out and at times, making videos for “The Hu-Man” channel.

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Answer: My hobbies include traveling, reading about science and technological developments, dancing and choreographing, watching movies and sometimes, I just prefer lazying around, maybe sleep and do nothing.

  1. Tell us more about your book?

Answer: My novel, “Chess without a Queen” is essentially the story of two rival political parties in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India and the story begins with the elections due in a couple of months. Up until the elections, the 2 parties play a lot of games upon each other and the elections (which happen somewhere midway) lead to the formulation of another conspiracy which traps the new young CM in a crime he did not commit. The rest of the story is his fight against it and the discoveries he makes in the process. The characters are mostly inspired from real life and the story has elements of planning, conspiring, revenge, betrayal, friendship, camaraderie, love, understanding, empathy along with a lot of aspects of politics, governance, bureaucracy, media, police, law and order, legal system of India, the challenges of poor people and much more.

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

It’s tough to say that, as I do not have any specific time allocated for writing. But I think a lot, in fact, the thinking is constantly on, even when I am doing something else and then I need about 2-3 hours of time to pen down my thoughts. That is mostly in the quiet of night. Naturally, as I start writing, more thoughts develop with the flow but I cannot start writing without an initial thought. Sometimes, I encounter a writer’s block. I usually take a break and do something I haven’t done in a while. It may be going for a long drive or a solo trip also.

  1. What do you think of modern day relationships?

Answer: Modern day relationships aren’t much different from their older counterparts. Even today, the expectations for loyalty, fidelity and honesty in a relationship remain pretty much the same, except for the fact that modern day relationships are fast paced (mostly owing to technological advances and ease of remote communication). So, in earlier times, by the time a partner started feeling a tear in the relationship, they would have been so deeply bonded that it was tough to contemplate a split. But these days, owing to fast pace, most relationships reach their saturation so fast that we have started witnessing break-ups, hook-ups and two-timing all the more making us feel that quality of relationships may have decreased but at its core essence it still remains the same, except for the pace.

  1. What do you think about cheating in relationships?

Answer: I think we have attached a little more importance to fidelity in relationships and the sanctity around it. It may not always be cheating as an over-possessive partner can also precipitate cheating. Absurd as it may sound, I have come across numerous relationships wherein a partner went on a fling to either ignite some jealousy or just to make a point that they still have options. Either ways, the need to do so arises from the insecurity that we see is building around us about cheating partners. It is happening for sure, but I think it is much ado about nothing. A little acceptance about the natural philandering ways of the human nature might also go a long way.

  1. How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

Answer: In a word, very important. Having said that, it does not preclude the significance of emotional intimacy. Often, physical intimacy has been looked down upon in a relationship. But for a relationship that is emotionally intense, if physical intimacy is missing, that relationship will die soon. The human touch has its own way of communicating many unsaid feelings which words can never express. But, that does not pave the way for the hook-up culture and the one night stands because it takes time, patience and perseverance to develop an emotional bond with someone. However, for any relationship to prosper, both physical and emotional intimacy are essential. One does not survive without the other.

  1. What according to you are best marketing strategies for a young writer?

Answer: A young writer faces many challenges. Getting your work published is a very small part of it, even though, in the draft stage, that looks as a very daunting task. But, in today’s times, it is far easier to get a book published than to sell it. A young writer should have a multipronged approach wherein they should focus not only on increasing the market footprint of their work, but also on building their personal brand as an author. The usual tools of paid marketing, or a professional publicist are not within the ambit of every young writer. And therefore, social media comes to the succor for them. However, building a brand on social media is a long, tedious practice requiring a lot of patience and perseverance. Young writers can increase their social media presence by writing on topics that are relevant to their work, occasionally giving out small snippets of the work already written. Most importantly, they should focus on getting their work reviewed by a variety of readers and having those reviews on your Amazon account can go a long way into getting the fame that they crave for. Lastly, they should be shameless in promoting themselves.

  1. Which is more important to you Content or marketing?

Answer: In a single word – both. One cannot survive without the other. Macabre marketing is no way to make a crappy content popular. Sooner or later, the truth will be out. Similarly, just good content does not guarantee automatic sales. You have to market yourself and the work in order to get into your reader’s attention span. Focus on each aspect as and when required. When you are writing the content, focus on it. Once done, plan your marketing. Talk to experts, the been-there-done-that folks but at the end of the day, your marketing strategy shall be yours because you have to execute it.

  1. Your favorite writer and why?

Answer: There are a lot of wonderful writers available and it is really a tough choice to pick up one. But when I read Anand Neelakantan’s Ajaya (1 & 2), I have not been able to get over with him. We have grown up reading stories of villains destroying the lives of people and heroes vanquishing them in the end to emerge victorious. All these stories give us a hope that doing good harbingers good in turn. But that is a very idealistic child’s view of the world. In real life, heroes and villains aren’t segregated by black and white lines. Hero and villain reside in the same person. Anand’s approach to tell the story of the Mahabharata from Duryodhan’s (actually Suyodhan, which was his real name) perspective gives us a peep into the mind of the “villain”. His approach challenges our thought process, social structures and beliefs. And this is what makes Anand my favorite writer. I am currently reading his next work Asura: Tale of the Vanquished which is Raavan’s story.

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

Answer: I am currently working on a lot of different themes as I have yet not decided about my next book. But, as mentioned before, some of the themes I am considering revolve around revenge, betrayal, choices in life, linguistic diversity in India, international espionage. Apart from that I am also writing a new web series titled “Jai Ram Ji Ki Neta Ji” for my YouTube channel – Chai Pakoda. This series is a political satire and reflects on the equations existing between the politicians and bureaucrats.

  1. Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

Answer: I think today’s young generation is very dynamic and vulnerable at the same time. Dynamic, because we are seeing a lot of child prodigies coming out with flying colors. Even the average child of today is smarter and more knowledgeable than most adults. I myself dread, at times, talking with teenagers. Jokes apart, all that glitters is not gold. Today’s young generation is smart, cool, informative, focused and along with many things, it is vulnerable as well. I have been to the school in the late eighty’s and the early ninety’s and I hail from a very humble middle class background. So, I did not have too much exposure in my childhood. But, now I think, it was a blessing in disguise because the human brain can process only so much information. And when a young impressionable mind is exposed to a deluge of information (most of which is irrelevant to the child, at that point of time), it can also have a negative impact on the child without proper channeling and parenting. And that’s why today’s young generation, though dynamic and brilliant, is also easily confused and offended. It has too much on its plate and it can only eat so much. Today’s children need their parents in their life all the more than we did.

  1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

Answer: Positive Attitude in Negative Situations (pains).

Thank you Virag for your honest and inspiring answers. I will sure that someday you are going to change the world. All the very best for your future.

Dear friend, if you are interested to publish your interview please drop me a mail at prabhu@prabhuprasad.in

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Author interview with Vivek Srinivasan

Tags :

Category : Interviews

Here is an interesting author in between us, Mr. Vivek. Lets talk with him.

  1. Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Vivek Srinivasan has been an entrepreneur for the past decade and during this time has dabbled in several businesses. He is founder of Startups Club which he founded along with Salma Moosa. They have been building the community and the business around it for the past 5 years. Vivek speaks at several events and is known for talking about Startups as well as Technology and the future.

  1. When did you start writing?

I have been writing for the past decade. I used to write blogs and authored articles for publications such as Entrepreneur.com. While I had started several books, I had not finished too many of them till recently.

  1. When you published first?

2017 December, our first book got released to public. Even with that one there was a lot of consternation over whether to release it or not. But we finally released it.

  1. Describe yourself in day to day life?

I spend a couple of hours every day reading. I tends to enjoy travelling and my work requires travelling hence I end up travelling almost every week. Also, I am fortunate that my work involves meeting a lot of people, I get to meet about 100 entrepreneurs every week as well as some really inspirational achievers. Otherwise, my day passes like the day of a regular person; work and back

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

I like to play the piano and I am learning at the moment. I also love to listen to music. I travel a lot for leisure as well.

  1. Tell us more about your book?

A Thought to a Million Dollars is my first book co-authored with my co-founder Salma Moosa. It is a book that chronicles the journey of Startups Club a company that we founded 5 years ago on this very day. The journey of how a hobby turned out to be a business valued at a Million dollars is a truly fascinating one and this book shares the journey from two perspectives; that for mine and Salma. Every chapter in the book has 2 versions, one is mine and other Salma’s which makes for an interesting and dichotomous read.

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

It happened very suddenly in our case. Since this book is very autobiographical and hence came together very fast. It was a weekend at Goa where we sort of competed to finish the book. The book got written over two 6-hour sessions. It was finished in 12 hours. The editing and other finishing took long and we had not anticipated the work that would go into it. The actual writing was done in just 2 days.

  1. What do you think of modern day relationships?

Relationships are fragile and they are getting more and more frayed with the lack of human connecting and too much of digital connectivity.

  1. What do you think about cheating in relationships?

Keeping the flame alive over a long period of time takes effort. Something new always comes with its own excitement and temptation. It seems effortless.

  1. How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

It is extremely important. While humans are social our physical intimacy is critical to our mental well-being as well.

  1. What according to you are best marketing strategies for a young writer?

Know the people for whom you are writing, don’t assume everyone is going to want to be a reader. Once you know your target audience, you are going to have to figure out where they spend most of their time and undertake activities at those places.

  1. Which is more important to you Content or marketing?

There is no marketing without content. It is important to focus on good content to make an impact.

  1. Your favorite writer and why?

I read a lot of non-fiction. In the fiction category it would be Khaled Hussaini.

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

I am planning to write a book on how to start a startup

  1. Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

Focus on making yourself better each day. There is much to learn in this world and most things are not easy to learn. Keep updating yourself.

  1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

I am a thinking, a traveler and a creator.

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Author interview with Dr.Anita Bakshi

Dear friends, today we have Anita Bakshi with us. She is a doctor cum author. Let us talk about her books and writings.

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

My name is Anita Bakshi and I am a doctor. I am Pediatric Intensivist which means that I work in a Childrens’ ICU dealing with the very sick babies.

When did you start writing?

I am not one of those persons who can say that I always wanted to write though I see so many who say they wrote at 8 years, 10 years whatever. I have had a very busy life and never considered myself as a person who could pen something of worth, let alone a book .

I lost my husband to cancer. After that I had a huge lacuna in my life and also suddenly , it seemed, that I had lots of time with nothing to fill it . I started writing in 2013 in small bits , almost like a diary and that became the first book which I have on Amazon called ‘Living with Merlin’.

Following that I wrote about my passion in life , which is working with children and that book is titled ‘PICU , The Transplant’ and it deals basically with the working of a unit in which the stories of children , their families and their interactions with each other and with the medical fraternity are highlighted . It is a book which deals with emotional and family issues and concerns of parents with children in an ICU. It also serves to highlight the commitment and lives of the doctors and the somewhat callous attitude of the younger ones sometimes . Thought it is written as fiction most of the stories are real .

When you published first?

I published on Amazon Kindle in 2013 and later since it did garner some interest I self-published the same book in 2014.That was done through Partridge publishing and now in retrospect I feel it was not such a good idea.

Describe yourself in day to day life?

I used to have a very busy work schedule with many nights on call . Now I have reduced my hours but basically it is go to hospital, work, come back, walk my dog and do the housework .I go for movies rarely but I enjoy going out for a meal and socializing with my friends or my father .

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

I love music, reading and I love to knit . Nowadays when the art of knitting is so rare I still love to pick patterns and make sweaters , scarves and caps . An old -world hobby but it is very relaxing and makes me feel better than meditation. Reading is a hobby which every writer must have . You have to read to increase your knowledge , your vocabulary and your story telling skills.

 

Tell us more about your book?

My book is basically about carrying on in life after a huge loss . Everyone will face grief at some point and it can leave you so broken that you feel that going on is impossible. I have tried to look for ways to cope and one of them was to get a pet and that is what the book is named after . But more than that it is a kind of philosophy of life , about the little things that matter , about doing what we want to do now in life rather than waiting for the perfect time which may never come . It’s about all the little things that count , about accepting and making your memories your little stash of happiness .

It is about smiling through tears and finally about leaving the tears behind or learning to turn them into little dewdrops which can actually enhance your life .

No one will see a life which is all happiness and sunshine so there is something in this book which anyone can relate to – it is about managing , it is about living in the moment and not waiting for some great day to turn up to give you happiness. It is about the little things .

How do you manage your writing time?

I am an early riser so write for an hour or so in the morning . If I go many days without writing anything then I put a target for myself like say 500 words every day and preferably 10000 or 2500 words this week – and then I am allowed to write any junk but I have to get the word count . I thing once one sits down to it , its work at the end of it , then it gets done . The quality check can come later.

What do you think of modern day relationships?

Modern day relationships have turned very selfish and superficial. I believe in commitment for a lifetime and I stand by the institution of marriage . But I also believe that for relationships to be good people need to work hard at them – a little caring , a little bit of attention ( or rather lots of it ) and sometimes tolerance . No one can be at their best all the time so you need to show your partner that you care , that you are always there . Today everyone wants perfection and wants it all good – it doesn’t work like that – there will be good times and then there will be bad times .And so you need to stick it out .

Time is what you have to give to make it work – decide that for a few years you will do your best ( and now I am talking marriage ) and then decide to be happy with it – then it will work. Don’t give yourself the choice of opting out in a hurry .

What do you think about cheating in relationships?

It is completely unacceptable . A one off can happen to anyone but that one must tell one’s partner and I am sure he or she will accept it but carrying on with another person while in a committed relationship is going wrong.

How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

Very important and if you cannot enjoy the physical aspects of the man woman equation then you can forget it . Wont last for long.

What according to you are best marketing strategies for a young writer?

Social media is one option definitely because it gives you some exposure to the public ,actually it pushes information in your face. But at the end of the day it has to be good to sell . Also one must actively try , over and over again for traditional publishing . It takes time and it may happen but you have to try . Carry your book on you at all times and at any opportunity give it to someone – often that’s free but it cant be helped . Go for reading meetups and book clubs and read out from your book .

Don’t hang back , put yourself out . It isn’t easy especially if you are an introvert . Now there are marketing agencies which can help you I have been told and I intent to use them for my next book.

Which is more important to you Content or marketing ?

Both are important and I believe that everyone has a story to tell . How well they tell it is another matter and I am sure one can improve . But if no one reads your book how will you know ?

Your favorite writer and why?

I went through a phase where I loved Chitra Devkaruni because she writes well but her subjects are all Indian and so it gets tedious . I have enjoyed Amish Tripathi’s books .But my favorite is an author called Jodi Piccoult . She goes really in depth into her topics and her books can make you think , they can make you cry . it works for me .

What are your upcoming projects?

My next book is called ‘A prescription for doctors’ and is a rather serious book dealing with my perceptions of the changes in the medical profession over the last few decades . Attempting to understand how we went from a ‘noble profession’ to ‘scoundrels and crooks’ and even as one book says ‘rogues’ . I have tried to analyse where we could have gone wrong and also how the public needs to change its attitude too . Hopefully it will be out in one or two months.

Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

That is simple . Write if you love to write and for no other reason .Write everyday and write about the things you know or if you prefer , fantasise . In every fiction there is some fact and in every fact there is bound to be some fiction in the telling . Publish everything you feel is worth it , put it out there and let others judge it . Don’t be shy and don’t worry – just go on doing it . It will fall into place the more you keep on at it .

Describe yourself in one sentence.

Hardworking and sincere with strong conscience .

Well, it was nice talking to you Anita ji. There is lots of honesty in your words and someday, your writings are going to change the world. I wish you a very best for your career ahead. 

If you would like to publish your interview, please drop me a mail prabhu@prabhuprasad.in

 

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Author Interview: The Crossroads by Sudipta Mukherjee

That’s Sudipta Mukherjee, author of “The Crossroads”.

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Author Sudipta

I really don’t know how much or to what extent do I qualify in calling myself a part of this “world of literature.” But thank you for this honor that I am showered with. Literature flies with two wings; reading and writing. A reader: yes that’s what I am. An avid reader, who prefer company of books more than any human interaction. A writer: yes, there is one within me. A toddler, crawling, fumbling, desiring to stand. My life as a writer is still a bud, yearning for the sunshine, yet to bloom. The journey has just begun. Like every other writer, I too wish to be accepted, read, appreciated and loved. Remembered. At times critiqued. I too want my stories to cross societal barriers and geographical boundaries. A person sitting in his drawing room in Venezuela or Bosnia should read my stories, the way I read Isabella Allende’s or Marquez’s. There can be no better way of connecting the world than through stories. Man is mortal, one of the first sentences that I learned in childhood. The very basic of all learning. Now that I have been born, physically speaking that is, I know I will perish one day. What I truly desire is that my stories to live on… long after I shed my last breath.

When did you start writing?

My journey of words, that’s how I like to call it, started as a function of two factors, my life and my readings. It’s not that one fine morning I woke up, took a pen and some papers and started writing. It’s never that simple. Writing came to me gradually, like blossoming of a flower. Nobody sees a flower blooming. Perhaps the flower itself is also not aware of its magnificent transformation. But it’s there, and we know it’s there. Officially, my first work, “The Crossroads” was published in 2015. That was when the world began to read my story. But now that I am on this path, I don’t think I will ever call it a quit. Not in this life really.

When you published first?

“The Crossroads”, in 2015.

Describe Sudipta in day to day life.

Well, this question reminds me of the long and often boring (my teachers, please forgive me for this) essays that I had to write during my school days. Describe the life of a coin, or the life of a pen. Even better, one day in the life of a salesman. Too habitual, I used to think. The teachers ought to be more creative while choosing essays, I grumbled. Like a rainbow, may be. Or a doll that spoke. I apologize. Back then, I failed to realize that routine or mundane can also be interesting, if looked at in a different way. We don’t necessarily do the same job exactly in the same way every day. Do we? Other than brushing our teeth of course.  There is always a difference, however imperceptible.

Sudipta, in day to day life is routine in a diverse and of course interesting way. I cook for my family, do groceries, buy spinach and potatoes, clean bathrooms, tidy up my house (I cannot stand a messy house), at times socialize, make calls to family and friends, care for my husband and daughter, load the washing machine, unload the dishwasher… the list goes on and on. In fact, other than watching television, I do everything. And I do it with joy, knowing and reminding myself that the interesting cocktail that we call life is after all a heterogeneous miscellany of innumerable elements. And each one of us has a different blend… that’s its beauty.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Let me correct it, writing is not my hobby. It’s my passion. Yes, talking about my hobbies, I love travelling… seeing all the magnificent and diverse colours of the world. That in itself is an achievement no less than any other accomplishments of life. I love cinema… the good ones. The thought provoking ones and not those, which titillate your nerves with meaningless comedy and fake stunts. Watching a good cinema makes me forget myself, totally, even if for a while. I love cooking… varied and interesting dishes. There are few pleasures that match with the absolute joy of feeding a loved one. Noticing the sparkle of delight in their eyes as their gustatory senses get caressed and satisfied.

Tell us more about your book.

About “The Crossroads”? Honestly, I can go on and on, endlessly with it… the story, the characters, the theme, the thought… etc etc. It never bores me. But I would request the readers to read it first hand, explore the story themselves, in their own way. I want my Aparajita and Aniruddha and Raunak to last in their minds. I wish them to fall in love with my characters, which unfortunately cannot happen second hand. There is no woman who will not love Raunak Gupta; and no man who will not adore Aparajita’s simplicity. After all, the true joy of knowing a story is by reading it oneself. There is no other way.

How do you manage your writing time?

Managing time in itself is a challenge, let alone writing time. It slips out of your hand much before you realize. I admit it’s really difficult to extract some serene hours from the day to think, to write. The world is so full of commotion and chaos, that it robs you of your peace. Peace that is pertinent to creative thinking.

I generally write at night. The nightly silence, the twinkling starts, the orb faced moon, all makes me contemplative. When half of the world sleeps, authors scribble. I need serenity to let my thoughts flow, to let words form and reform. I cannot breathe where there is too much of noise, unless of course when I am partying.

How important intimacy is in a relationship?

Intimacy is important. I don’t deny it. I dare not. The holistic pleasure of touching each other, in any form… cupping the hand, a pat on the shoulder, or even a kiss on the lips, is comforting. It gives you a sense of security. Even a child, just born, responds to touch. Is soothed by it, is lulled to sleep.

But a relation solely based on sexual needs is savage, sadistic. It is bound to fail. And it should. There is no exception.

One should have a deeper understanding of his/her partner, for a relationship to last and grow. It takes time, patience, respect, a great deal of maturity and perhaps many more, to handle a relationship. To make it last in a world that is so pathetically transient. It pains me to see the sorry state of relationships these days, especially prevalent among the youngsters. A typical relation starts with a “hi” or a “wave” and not too long after, ends with “Am blocking you… FUCK OFF”… all in one chat window. In this era of virtual socializing, real relationship is the first casualty.

Physical beauty is the reason for modern day relationship. What do you think?

Physical beauty is a gift, distributed randomly, and perhaps stupidly. Most beautiful people don’t deserve to be beautiful… or rather to be called beautiful. A lovely face often masks an ugly interior. These days, thanks to all the big brands… L’Oreal, MAC, Clinique, Bourjois… etc etc etc (I refrain from listing, because practically it is endless) too much important is given on looks. Perhaps more than it deserves. Cloak has become more important than the core. It shouldn’t be. Relationship based on the casing is fragile, is shallow. It lacks depth, and a spiritual bonding that is pertinent to any relation. Be it between two friends, or lovers or couples. It’s very interesting that men these days start a conversation saying… “You look gorgeous” or “You are very attractive”, as if looking gorgeous or being attractive is an achievement that deserves a sincere applause. And what makes the joke even more funny is, they think that women will be flattered by such compliments, and will be game. Nothing could be further from truth. If a man asks for my hand only because of my looks… gorgeous or attractive or whatever, I better not marry him at all. Beauty is much more than ones skin. It is the mind that matters, and not the mask.

Your favourite writer and why?

As I have reiterated earlier, in some of my previous interviews, I don’t have one favourite writer. It is my belief that all the works of any one writer cannot be equally good. It just cannot be. And so liking all the works of one particular writer is equally difficult. I am a big fan, rather a big lover of good story. It is always a story that captivates me, more than the story teller. I read all kinds of books (fiction, non-fiction, biographies, auto-biographies, metaphysics, spirituality…) written by authors from every corner of the world… Indian, Canadian, North American, Latin American, Turkish, English… etc. I apologies, I cannot list them all, because in that case the list itself will be longer than the write up.

What are your upcoming projects?

Well, there are quite a few. Two novels, a collection of short stories. And a few plays that I am currently working upon. Will publish them when the time is right.

Any tips for the upcoming generation.

Yes, a sincere request to unhook yourself from your mobile phones. The craziness that I see around… this selfie mania, and the obsession of remaining perpetually online, clicking and posting, even if, it’s not worth a look or a share, is literally ridiculous, if not idiotic. Use technology, don’t abuse it. Relationship is pertinent to life and not mobile phones. Real love is more important than fake sex chat. After all, a good many generations survived and flourished when the word “mobile” only meant movable or wandering, at best. And apple and blackberry were just fruits.

Had Einstein been hooked to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, who would have thought about the theory of relativity? Had Shakespeare constantly chatted with Milton in Messenger or WhatsApp, paradise would neither have been lost nor regained. And forget about Julius Caesar, Othello or Desdemona. The world would not have even known their names. Just think about it.

Sudipta in one sentence.

A writer by passion, a traveller by fascination, a loner by choice. (You said one sentence, so I restricted myself to one. Or else, as naturally I could go on and on).

Thank you Sudipta for honestly answering my questions. Wish you all the very best for future.

Contact me to feature your author interview.

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Book Review: Clandestine Waters by Sumit Vanjani

Category : Book Reviews

Just completed the book, I am happy to share the thoughts that are uppermost in my mind.

This is a brilliant book by a first time author Sumit. This book is a page turner. I completed this book in two sittings. The cover of the book is attractive and the title is very interesting.

It is a great work to read for young students to inspire about life and its different phases. Loved the characters of Mr.Atul and Ms.Neha. So many young readers can relate their story in this book.

I personally liked this sentence.

‘Something caught his eye – an unknown number!

The message read “Happy New Year. No ac needed. Neha.”

Chapter number two on texting is one of the best that I have read so far.

I will rate this book as 4/5

 

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Book Review: Rooh se rooh tak by Vinit Bansal

Category : Book Reviews

Rooh se rooh tak is a hindi sensational novel written by Vinit Bansal. If you are the one who likes true love stories with some twist, this is the one you must read. Characters and plot is perfect to keep the reader interested in every page. The story begins with Neel and also talks about the friendship between Neel and Randeep. The feelings of Neel, Aditi and Randeep were brilliantly described in a simplistic manner. This book will give you the essence of true love and feelings for your beloved.  Every chapter is carefully written and words are chosen wisely. I must say this must be the standard of Modern hindi writers. I strongly recommend this novel to every hindi reader.

Rooh se rooh tak by Vinit Bansal

Vinit Bansal is a writer of many books but this one is the most romantic I must say. This work will inspire everyone including those true lovers, sensitive naïve teenage girls, budding writers and more importantly the readers of Hindi.

I just feel cover could have been more attractive. The language used in the book is very simple and lucrative for the common readers.

I must say that this book has the potential to be converted into a film. These are exactly the characters we find in our daily lives. College going students will connect to the book very easily. Author has put in a lot of hard work it seems. The book is well edited and cleanly presented.

If you are a passionate lover and a follower of true love, this book will be an emotional gift for you.

My verdict 4 out of 5.

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