Category Archives: Interviews

Meet Ms. Meena Mishra, the author who sold 1000 copies of her latest book ‘The Impish Lass- Book 2 ‘without spending a penny on any sales, promotion or advertisement, in less than 2 months, in this pandemic.

Meet Ms. Meena Mishra, the author who sold 1000 copies of her latest book ‘The Impish Lass- Book 2 ‘without spending a penny on any sales, promotion or advertisement, in less than 2 months, in this pandemic.

– Meena Mishra

What is more challenging – writing a book successfully or selling it?

Writing a book is easier than selling it. You have control over your writing, but you have no control over the sales of the book. If you have lots of money to spend on marketing and advertisement, the visibility of your book helps you reach out to the readers. If you are already  famous with a big sales record you don’t have to put in efforts for these things but if you are a beginner like me who is beginning from the scratch with no support from any big name in the industry, it’s very difficult to sell your book.

  • Ma’am, your book has got 5-star ratings on and kindle apart from receiving raving reviews from the readers including the greatest nuclear scientist of this country Padma Vibhushan Dr. R. Chidambaram. How are you feeling as an author?

I am glad ‘The Impish Lass- Part 2’ has been well received by the readers. Actually at the end of the day you feel delighted as an author if your readers value and appreciate your efforts. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have been a part of my editing team.

(The participants of ‘Be an Editor for a Day,’ contest, Yutika Bhansali for handling this contest. Core editing and proofreading team – Praniti Gulyani, Ishani Behari, Kirthika Jayakumar, Sheila Bhattacharya, Shruti Bhardwaj, Anamika Kundu and Aparna Bhat for editing and proofreading all the stories at least 5 times. I am so very grateful to my self-motivated team.

Of course, I would like to express my infinite gratitude towards Dr. R. Chidambaram for being kind enough to accept my invitation of writing the foreword for this book. The official letter sent by him is like ‘Bharat Ratna’ for me. Something I would like to treasure for lifetime.

  • How did you manage to sell 1000 copies within two months in this pandemic and lockdown without any marketing or advertisement?

I do have my personal contacts that includes my friends, colleagues, poets, writers, editors, relatives, and ex-students. I received an overwhelming response from all of them. I would send them personal messages asking them to support me by buying my book and they would oblige me. There have been writers and friends who were either hospitalized or quarantined due to Covid, still they bought my book to show their love and support towards me. My friends from Mumbai English Educators’ Team and Asian Literary Society also came forward to support me despite their personal struggles. My colleagues who had never ever read a story or poem of mine before, also came forward to support me wholeheartedly. I am so very grateful to each one of them.

  • Is it right that you discouraged the readers to buy the book from different online platforms and encouraged them to buy directly from the publishing house? Don’t you think it would have added to your book coming up in ranking of bestsellers?

Yes, I did. I am not only an author but the CEO of The Impish Lass Publishing House too. Why should I encourage the people to buy from online platforms?  I don’t believe in this bestseller ranking and all. For me, It reached my readers and they could resonate with the stories, nothing else is more important than that.

  • Which is your favourite story in this book?

‘How I Spent My First Earning ‘is my personal favourite as it portrays my love towards my mother.

  • Who inspires you to write?

I have been living in an imaginary world with my secret muse. It’s my world where there is love, fancy, imagination, drama and much more. Whenever I am happy, sad, mad, upset, I share my feelings with him. He is a patient listener and always gives me right suggestions. Whenever I write something, first I seek his opinion on it and then proceed further. The last chapter of this book, ‘A Letter to My Muse,’ is dedicated to him.

  • What would be your next step after this? I mean any other book in line.

I would like to rework upon my novel ‘Within the Cocoon of Love,’ co-authored by Vishwas Vaidya, a poet cum scientist from Pune.

  • What is your message for the budding writers?

Don’t consider your first draft as your final draft. Work and re-work upon it. Get it edited, re-edited and proofread before your work goes for final printing. Be patient. There’s no short-cut to success. You never know whether your book would get buyers or not. Have faith on your skills and keep on honing them.

  • You have done so many anthologies. Which is your favourite anthology and why ?

The Bitter Almonds conceptualised and edited by Najeeb S A is my favourite anthology due to many reasons. First of all, the theme’ magical realism,’ was too difficult to understand. The editor was patient enough to give so many examples so that we could understand what to write. Secondly, the editor had not only done an honorary job but ensured that almost 50-60 copies were bought by him and his friends. As a publisher this was the first anthology with zero investment and lots of profits in terms of reaching out to the elite readers and sales as well.

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Women’s Day Special: Author Reetwika Banerjee shares her thoughts

Reetwika Banerjee is an award winning author and short filmmaker. By profession, she is a cybersecurity consultant working for global clients . Her main responsibility is to advocate precautionary measures to senior management about critical data breaches and cyber attacks.

What is the most important challenge that women face today?

Inequality. Even if we claim equality for women, until the time thoughts change, equality can never be achieved for women which i think is the biggest challenge for women in today’s world. For ex. Maternity leave for working women is 6 months but paternity leave if at all any, is hardly 5 or 10 days. Does that mean from 11th day onwards the baby becomes mother’s responsibility and father can go back full time work as earlier?

Author Reetwika

What needs to change in the next 5 years?

What I said in previous ques… our attitude towards women need to change at first. They r not baby producing machines who “enjoy” maternity benefits, free salary etc etc which unfortunately many educated persons think even today.

What is your greatest strength?

My self confidence is my greatest strength.

Women Empowerment: how pertinent the idea is?

The day when women will truly be empowered, the question will no more be raised. I hope that answers your query. 🙂

Rape cases are on a rise in India in spite of rampant protestations. Who is to be blamed according to you?

Half educated parents of modern India.

On the recent #MeToo movement, your opinion?

Awkward situations do arise at workplace, but it can be both for men and women. It should not be made typecast.

Peaceful single parenting v/s dysfunctional couple parenting?

I will go for peace for children… because I believe peace is most important for healthy mental upbringing of a child.

What advice would you give to young women of today?

Be responsible towards your kids (young mothers) so that at least u take an oath not to upbring a criminal.

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Women’s Day Special: Author Shilpa Pitroda shares her thoughts

Shilpa Pitroda is a poet, writer, and author of the  novel ” An Optonal Love and Grievances of Life”. She has spent the last decade reading and writing romance novels giving her characters palpable spark. She has also built an online platform “FADES” for spreading awareness about the people suffering from depression and provide them counselling too, that too with no charges. Shilpa lives and works out of her home at Noamundi, Jharkhand. She can usually be found reading a book, and that book will more likely to be a psychological thriller. She contributes articles on raising awareness on social issue’s in local newspapers. Her shayari’s with a tag – #kalpanicthougts are loved by people on social media’s.
Apart from this, she is a person with good heart who loves to live a simple life with her people around. She enjoys cooking for them too. If you are looking for someone to talk your heart out,  she is a great listener one can share with.

1. What are the most important challenges that women face today?

Answer- India is a country where women are given the status of a goddess. However, the problems they have to face just show the opposite of this concept. 

Author Shilpa

Firstly, violence against women is a very grave issue faced by women in India. It is happening almost every day in various forms. People turn a blind eye to it instead of doing something.Next up, we also have the issues of gender discrimination. Women are not considered equal to men. They face discrimination in almost every place, whether at the workplace or at home. Even the little girls become a victim of this discrimination. The patriarchy dictates a woman’s life unjustly. Moreover, there is also a lack of female education and the gender pay gap. Women in rural areas are still denied education for being a female. Similarly, women do not get equal pay as men for doing the same work. On top of that, they also face workplace harassment and exploitation

2. What needs to be changed in the next 5 years?

Answer-  In society for the betterment of woman, I think, the basic key (almost in all the situation) for improvement of the women will always be education of women as well as their families. Moreover by teaching the boys of every school to how to respect a girl, woman, lady equally. Government should also make strict rules for  rapist, acid attackers, domestic violence guilty and such more- the one’s who don’t respect the women.

We might not get the results over night but surely we can change the trend. Women too need to be admanent when it comes to their right, safety education and so on and so forth. I would like to believe that we get to see a society where women’s are treated with equal respect in near future.

3. What is your greatest strength?

Answer- I believe that one of the greatest strengths of women are their ability to adapt; allowing them to be both vulnerable and nurturing and strong and independent. As a women I am bless with these qualities all ready. With it, I love to write and have a great zeal to learn new things. These two skills make the greatest strength for me that rewards me in my profession. Although I have an expertise in technical writing, I also have a hand on writing for a wide range of topics. Therefore, I believe that writing for different audiences is my core strength. People also  say they see me as a dependable and reliable person. I feel obliged to help others and have helped many people in previou in their key projects or situation where they needed my expertise. I consider this as my strength also.

4. Women Empowerment: how pertinent the idea is?

Answer- It’s a fact that empowered women can cause healthy changes in society by discharging different responsibilities in different roles. No society can achieve sustainable progress with a minimal or negligible role of women. If one delves with gge wide and deep angles of the roles and responsibilities a necessity of fine tuning them would certainly pop up. For instance, no daughter is born with required manners to behave well with her parents, no women become a wife with full of knowledge and understanding of how to live with her husband, kids and laws. So regardless of her roles, she needs comprehensive training to excel.

By empowerment of women we mean the moral education, intellectual and cultural development by virtue of which a woman not only understands her status and the spirit of her roles but also know how to discharge the response in different circumstances. The success of the process of empowerment depends on mutual cooperation. Both within and outside the four walls. The society should feel it’s importance and facilitate with all possible modes to ensure a smooth and productive process of all around development. The crux of the spirit of women empowerment is to help her understand the roles and discharge the responsibilities to the perfection.

5. Rape cases are on a rise in India despite rampant protestations.  Who is to be blamed according to you?

Answer- The only things that lead to rape are wrong mentality, lack of control and insensitivity of the rapist. A victim of rape is often shun by the society and blamed for the act. Faced with this stigmatization, victims are often scared to speak out. In cases that end up in courts, the victim is equally subjected to so much scrutiny and is not given the necessary protection. All these have made victims of rape to be silent about their experiences and the act continues with impunity. Society should treat victims of rape as VICTIMS not as the perpetrators. They should be given the necessary protection. Offenders should be punished accordingly. People should be educated on these issues. They need to stop pointing fingers at the victims. Even the law should be little quick in decision making and we need more and more people in force like VC Sajjanar and his team. Sometimes it’s better to take in hand than to wait for year’s like in nirbhaya case.

6. On the recent #metoo movement, your opinion?

Answer- Thankfully the #MeToo movement is slowly and finally, having it’s moment of reckoning in India. First, for all the brave women that are coming out and telling their stories, kudos to them. I am moved by the courage that they show. Especially in a society like ours where the problem is a epidemic and deeply entrenched, I know how daunting it should be to come out and just talk about it. You are trailblazer and keep the good fight going. Hopefully, this awareness will bring some light to the darkness. The darkness where this shady crimes have been going on for far too long.

Lastly for the ones belittling, making memes and questioning why the women are all coming out of sudden now, I don’t know whether to envy or pity them. Obviously one doesn’t understand how trauma /harassment of any kind works. It’s a dark complicated icky feeling buried deep inside you. Let us be happy that the truth has finally bubbled to the surface. Sure we need due diligence, not blaming innocent people and all that stuff. When the experiences are real, the voice matter, and the stories do have value.

Whether I believe every accusations or not, whether I react to every story or not, I firmly support the #MeToo Movement and stand by the Women, irrespective of whether I know them or not.

7. Peaceful single parenting v/s dysfunctional couple parenting?

Anwer- A family is the single most important influence in a child’s life. It provides security, identity, and values to its members, regardless of their age. An individual learns about his sense of self and gains a foundation for the rest of his life. This foundation includes the family’s values which provide the basis for his own moral code. Therefore, the parenting style that parents adopt while raising children can have a huge impact on their development and growth.

In a normal functional family, there is mutual respect between family members and everyone has each other’s back. For dysfunctional families, there is always tension and mistrust amongst the parents and children. Also, the authority of the parents in the family is often misguided. Even amongst adults, there is a certain level of mistrust and resentment. The members do not create a safe surrounding for a child to grow. Also, dysfunctional families do not value apology and do not allow for emotions to be expressed reasonably.

8. Your take on the recent film, “Thappad”, that is meant to be a slap on chauvinism.

Answer– Thappad bears its message, more essential than ever, on its chin: Women are not property. Wives are not owned. Dreams have no gender, and everyone is allowed to realise them. And how all it takes, from a woman who just wants self-respect, is a decision to say no, Not Even One Slap.

Thappad though isn’t a film that is cut from the same fabric of #AllMenTrash. Despite being alive to systems of oppression, it is gentle. It’s a film about muted grievances, yet it’s not angry. Not loud, yet holds its ground – and more importantly, doesn’t give anyone an easy pass or lowers the standards of acceptable behaviour.

Overall, Thappad is a gem of a film that is a silent slap to our society and the ‘yeh sab chalta hai‘, ‘bardasht karo‘ mentality. You will be inspired if not challenged to bring about a positive change.

9.What advice would you give to young women of today?

Answer-Darling,Be humble and bold. We need to be fiercely and bravely humble in recognition of our humanity and character, giving ourselves the grace to be who we truly are.

And then be bold, to do whatever God tells you. Don’t shrink back, be courageous, strong and take new ground.  Be unashamed of what you believe in and what you stand for. Your thoughts and opinions are valued and needed. Remember, behind every successful woman is Herself.

Happy Women’s day to all of us!

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Women’s Day Special: Author Satabdi Banerjee shares her thoughts

Satabdi Banerjee authored her book of poems, ‘A Sip of Coffee’ in September 2018. She is a freelance editor book review expert. She had been an integral part of many published anthologies. Satabdi hails from the ‘City of joy’ Kolkata. She pursued her education from Carmel School and later graduated in Psychology honors degree. She is trained in English language certification of TEFL/TESOL and works as a Career Mentor and Education Consultant. Expression, Communication, and empathy have been her life candles. She is a trained dancer and takes keen interest in all creative endeavors. She is an empath, a life philosopher, and a spiritual healing practisioner. She can be reached at

1. What are the most important challenges that women face today?
Satabdi – The most important challenge women face in today’s society is the courage to express themselves. Indian society has always conditioned our upbringing and parenting. As a consequence, the free will to express any form view to choice is not there. The second challenge which women struggle is of acceptance and acknowledgement. From body shaming to lack of confidence in our own abilities, women live in denial which is again a by-product of social evil.

Author Satabdi

2. What needs to be changed in the next 5 years?

Satabdi. The Country’s Economy for  sure. That will impact the society and thus pave way for more improved and international environment. Eventually we can expect  psychological and social literacy and awareness

3. What is your greatest strength?

Satabdi. My family and their trust in me.

4. Women Empowerment: how pertinent the idea is? 

It is very much a relative term. It corresponds to certain field of society but again in certain cases, it’s just a special privilege which guides women to realise their own strength which gets loose somehow in the society.

5. Rape cases are on a rise in India despite rampant protestations.  Who is to be blamed according to you?
Ans. The administrative system ofcourse. I mean, be it theft or robbery, a just punishment is the only execution expected. There will be all sorts of people around us and honestly criminal instinct cannot be controlled but law and legislative penalties should be more authoritative and powerful.

6. On the recent #metoo movement, your opinion?
Satabdi – Again as answered in my first question, I feel the #metoo movement is a genuine platform where women felt they can open up their post trauma stress and express their voice against the wrong. This will drive more women to address something which is wrong and not acceptable.

7. Peaceful single parenting v/s dysfunctional couple parenting?

Ans. Peaceful single parenting because it’s important to deliver a healthy environment, good education and well psycho-physiological nourishment. Anything which is not well functional well or not constructive should not be encouraged.
8. Your take on the recent film, “Thappad”, that is meant to be a slap on chauvinism.

Satabdi- I had been advised to see the movie but I have not yet seen the movie. I don’t think all men are bad and unsupportive of women. But in a case as projected, I feel any message or action is inevitable.

9. What advice would you give to young women of today?

Satabdi – Read more of biographies and autobiographies of enlightened souls and take inspiration. Introspect to educate yourself to those little significant actions taken which had the effect of creating revolution. Small or big, walk with a purpose in life. Try to touch lives with humbility. Practice and preach Random Act of Kindness.

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Women’s Day Special: Preethi Richards shares her thoughts

Preethi Richards can usually be found in reading book, and the book will be more likely about living the souls. Preethi is the author of a poetry book Naked love which she made her debut in writing before the completion of her graduation. She is good at her motivational speech and short stories making.
1. What are the most important challenges that women face today?

Firstly the violence, women are subjected to domestic violence more often than we think almost everyday in various forms like dowry or just to show them inferior people subject women to face violence.Marital rape sexual harassment physical abuse and the number goes on.

Author Preethi Richards

Even though there is a change in today’s world for women still there is a gender bias system when it comes to capabilities of work at work places that should be changed capabilities of work should be taken into consideration rather than genderSociety should be more flexible in accepting women in all the fieldsWhen it comes to marital rape or sexual harassment families and society tend to keep it as a secret and blame the victim this should be completely stopped and let women speak for loss and freedom the way society looks at such type of situations should be changed this brings the equal rights to everyoneEducation is the basic right every child deserves unfortunately due to gender discrimination in most of the areas still the girl child is not getting proper basic education and she is being imposed by household works in keeping her younger siblings and taking care of them where families feel educating girl child is a waste of money and time this type of thinking should be altered.
3. What is your greatest strength?My greatest strength is believing in myself which is given by my family and my dear ones who never discriminated on gender basics and provided me the equal opportunities

2.What needs to be changed in the next 5 years?

4. Women Empowerment: how pertinent the idea is?Undoubtedly it’s the relevant way to let women enjoy their power and rights on their sources of income and it lets a women to understand their capabilities and increases self confidence

5. Rape cases are on a rise in India despite rampant protestations. Who is to be blamed according to you?
The stereotypical culture and mindset of men and society to be blamed here. The shifting of blame from perpetrators to victims and the weak judiciary along with the unwanted usage of technology by peers are causing a great damage both to their lives and the mindset’s they are eventually damaging the others lives.
6. On the recent #metoo movement, your opinion?

As in our culture and the family norms often women are supposed to be quiet and maintain silence but #metoo movement provided a place to let women speak and it’s necessary to break the silence and expose the culprits in these cases #metoo movement is the brave act according to me.

7. Peaceful single parenting v/s dysfunctional couple parenting?

Ideally children needs a support from the family which builds a strong basement in early childhood mental condition but if the dysfunctional parenting occurs it leads to the mental trauma of children in those cases I support for the peaceful single parenting no matter how hard it is.

9. What advice would you give to young women of today?

Dear Women stay strong , fierce and stand up for your passion because this world needs a lot of people like you who could build and lift hopes in other individuals.

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Women’s Day Special: Author Moushumi Bhattacharjee shares her thoughts

A teacher who loves her profession and feel proud to be a contributor, though in a small way, in future building of the nation. A lover of literature,  she loves to express her thoughts through her writings. Her articles, short stories and poems have been published in several newspapers, magazines and journals. Presently she is Associate Editor of NAMASTE INK,  an international magazine.

Q1.what are the most important challenges that women face today?

Ans: Age old prejudices and discriminations are the biggest challenges women are facing despite their capacity to execute the toughest job. Even if they are highly educated their efficiency is still questioned. It took more than 70 years for India to give commission ranks to women officers in Indian Army.  And till date USA couldn’t appoint a woman to the post of the President, where modernity came much earlier than most of the countries of the world. Sexism should end , as we know both man and woman are equally important for this humankind to survive.

Author Moushami

Q2. What needs to be changed in next five years?

Ans: Violence against women has to be curbed.  An woman is not safe even in her home also. We hear about domestic violence every now and then around us. A society cannot prosper without a happy home. And a happy home is that where a woman lives without any fear. So let’s stop violence in every sphere and make our world a better place to live in.

Q3. What is your greatest strength?

Ans: My greatest strength is my belief in myself. Though I’m never aggressive or assertive, but I know how to prove my part when I feel I’m right. I have the courage to face any problem or criticism that come my way without hurting others.

Q4.  Women Empowerment : How pertinent the idea is?

Ans: Women Empowerment means equipping women with education, confidence and a good life. Women should have the right to participate in education,  society, economic activity and politics. They should have the freedom to choose their own lifestyle. They must have a say in crucial matters of family, society and the world. But that doesn’t mean that they get the power to dishonour nature’s law and lead their life according to their own wishes.

Q5. Rape cases are in rise in India between rampant protestations. Who is to be blamed according to you?

Ans: It’s the whole system to be blamed. Education system,  parenting, policies of government, indifferent attitude of the society, economic disparities, etc. are responsible for the rise of rape cases in India and in the world. The society is losing its ethics, its values. People are least bothered about the pain and worries of their brethren now a days , and that really hurts.

Q6. On recent #metoo movement, your opinion?

Ans: I appreciate the endeavour of activist Tarana Burke against sexual harassment and sexual assault. This movement enthralled many powerful personalities of the world and  they are trying to empower women through empathy, especially young and vulnerable women. Thousands of young men and women are joining this movement everyday to show solidarity with the victims.  Awareness about this heinous crime is increasing, and more and more people are talking openly about this. But it should not become a fashion to tag oneself  #metoo without following and believing its underlying principles, otherwise it will lose its effect in the long run.

Q7. Peaceful parenting v/s disfunctional couple parenting?

Ans: A child needs the comfort lap of both the parents. But still peaceful single parenting is far healthier than a chaotic, messy relationship.

Q8. Your take on the recent film , ‘Thappad’, that is meant to be slap on chauvinism.

Ans: Though I have not seen the movie yet,  but as it begged the headlines because of its critical take on chauvinism,  I read its reviews in several news dailies. I applaud the director’s perspective and congratulate him for addressing such a vital issue of our society. May be in a small way this will make a difference in the attitudes of the members of our society.

Q9. What advice would you give to young women of today?

Ans: Being a teacher I’m able to watch closely the behavior and activities of young girls around me everyday. I feel sometimes the young generation is reeling in a state of confusion.  I advise them to have confidence in their individuality. Should not become easy prey to drugs and sex. Life is precious, so it should be lived to its fullest without lamenting for one’s deeds in the end.

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Women’s Day Special: Author Sudipta Mukherjee shares her thoughts

Sudipta Mukherjee was born on 19th of July, in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and raised in a Bengali household of South Kolkata. Her father Samir Mukherjee was a banker and mother, Neena Mukherjee, a home maker. She has an elder brother, Sandip who once had been her partner in crime, but now is her chief confidant. “Together, we are a world,” she says reflecting on some of the delightful moments she had spent with him.Sudipta did her schooling from St. Helen School (Secondary) and National High School (High Secondary) Kolkata. For college, she went to Dinabandhu Andrews College, Kolkata, and did her post graduations from Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Mysore. She had been awarded with Rudrappa Memorial Medal (Gold) for her outstanding academic performance in MSc.After her formal education, Sudipta spent some years working for multiple organizations, banking sector predominantly, in different cities to enrich her experiences of life and living.These experiences and explorations eventually transformed themselves and metamorphosed inside her mind, breeding within her the desire to write and tell stories. Today she calls herself a storyteller.In 2015, Sudipta published her debut novel, The Crossroads, which is a story of self-discovery of a young girl Aparajita Basu.Three years later, in Pune International Literary Festival, 2018, she launched her first non-fiction, Turning Towards Light (part of an Anthology called The Wind In Our Sails). A few of her novels are due for release, but will talk more about them later. Sudipta lives with her husband, Amitkumar Bhattacharya and daughter Ananya and writes full-time. She divides her time between Pune, Kolkata, and everywhere else. “I would like to see myself in every city of the world,” she says and smiles.

What is the most important challenge that women face today?

Safety to begin with, given the ridiculous rise in cases of violence against womenising cases of vilolence on w. Be it sexual or domestic, in the house or on the job. All of it falls under the patriarchy and the ways it affects women, economically, physically and professionally.

Author Sudipta Mukherjee

Secondly, the perpetual juggle between home and work. The choices that women make, at times, are forced to make, in the name of priority. Be a high performing professional, or be a good wife. The demand of it. The artificially created necessity to perform, constantly and consistently, in both. The need to excel! The need to prove yourself, round the clock, 365 days a year. If you work from home because your child is not well, you are being unprofessional. If you disregard your ailing mother-in-law and rush for a meeting, you are an irresponsible homemaker, you are being selfish. You cannot be good at both. Worse still, you cannot be good at either.

  • What needs to change in the next 5 years?

People’s attitude, across the country; globally if possible. We don’t strive to attain female dominance; what we are truly seeking is equality. Men should be with us, not against us. Men should add to our strength, and not demean us. We are worthy, and men should understand it. It’s more about creating space for one another, respecting each other, and not proving one’s superiority over the other.

While we continue to support women at home and around the world, we need to pay attention to our boys as well, especially while raising them. A mother does not raise a son, she raises a future husband, a future father, and of course a future citizen of a country. So dear mother, you can teach him a lot more and a lot better.  

Secondly, and more importantly, the world needs to be less violent and more loving, more all-encompassing. The only way to achieve this is to erase all the harrowingly cruel stories of rape, abuse and harassment, be it sexual, be it another kind. And fill it with stories of love, of hope, of relationships of every kind. Life is good, and love, divine. Let’s love one another and live happily ever after, and not continue this endless debate of who is better.

  • What is your greatest strength?

My family, of course. The people, the men, who surround me, immediate and distant. And those, who support me, believe in my dreams, salute my ambitions, and respect me the way that I am.  

A part of my strength does come from the ordinary, the mundane women I meet on a daily basis. Some such women, for whom Woman’s Day is not too different from Children’s Day or Republic Day, or even their birthdays (if at all they care to know or remember one). It is just another day of their long and laborious lives. Neither does the day bring forth any extra or extravagant message to them; nor do they spend a second contemplating on topics like women’s liberation and gender inequality. The domestic help, who cleans my home, who toils from sunup to sundown, tirelessly, in order to earn a living, honestly and with pride. The moushis, who are twice my age, but works incessantly in my apartment complex, denying their age, defying their ability. The elderly bhajiwali of my neighborhood, who stands the entire day in her shop and does mental calculations in a flash. She always greets me with a smile. I draw my ability to smile from her, from all of them. They fill me with hope, and a kind of inner strength that is well felt but difficult to describe.

  • Women Empowerment: how pertinent the idea is?

Great idea! But the question that still lurks is what percentage of the women population of our country is truly empowered? In an urban setting, it could be possible. Yes, however small the fraction is. It is possible. But what about the rural sectors, the acres and acres of villages, where women are still meant to breed and cook, wash clothes and wash utensils.

Two concepts: Education and Economic independence. Educate your girl child. Let her learn, let her grow. Let her earn a living, let her be economically independent. Let her decide for herself, what is wrong and what is right. When she should marry, and to whom? Let he be. Her life should be her choice, and not a decision thrust on her by society. That’s real empowerment. When every girl of our country would be free to speak her mind, to choose from one billion choices, to be the exact person she wants to be, that day we could say that yes, our women are empowered.

  • Rape cases are on a rise in India in spite of rampant protestations. Who is to be blamed according to you?

Rape is the obvious outcome of a defective society. It’s a disagreeable product of an obnoxious and perverted mind. Protestation; however rampant and relevant they apparently appear, is no solution. Neither could it bring one. We need more stringent laws, to protect women against rape. We need justice; immediate and impartial. We need punishment for the convicts; speedy and severe. The convict deserves to be punished, and deserves to be punished at once, without fuss, without mass or media bantering.  

It is easy to blame the boy who attempts rape; difficult to understand the psychology that plays behind it. Precautions should be taken to prevent it from happening. Boys should be educated in the real sense of the meaning. They should be well schooled in value system. They should be taught to value women, and not abduct her modesty.

  • On the recent #MeToo movement, your opinion?

Pertinent. I am surprised that it started so late. Why did these women keep their mouth shut, and for so long? I am even more surprised that it vanished so abruptly, almost silently. What could be the reason for its sudden disappearance? Women who spoke out are brave. I salute their bravado. It is not easy to talk about sexual harassment, so openly, that too against men who are apparently powerful. It takes courage to rip open that façade at brutal costs. It might have cost them a lot in their personal lives. But in the end, nothing substantial came out of it. Other than a handful of cases, where the guilty was deserve-fully punished, the movement dissipated into the oblivion. And so did the accusers. I wonder why.

  • Peaceful single parenting v/s dysfunctional couple parenting?

For the healthy development of a child, role of each of the parents cannot be denied. A child needs a father, as much as he needs a mother. Choosing one of the two should not be the case, especially in the formative years of his life. But a child certainly does not need a father, who is an abusive husband, or a mother, who is abused and silenced. A child does not need a mother, who is dominating and bossy, or a father who lacks self-esteem. Teaching a child the power of a slap, showing a child the defenselessness of an abused victim is like turning him into a person, who could be capable of either being an abuser or a victim, if not both. For him, relationship would be a farce, and forever.

I am not averse to the idea of single parenting. If it ensures an all-round development of a child, then why not? But the question that still remains, what does the child want? How complete his growth would be if he does not see his father ever since he opens his eyes? In future, would he turn out to be a good father? Or would he continue the wrong legacy?

  • Your take on the recent film, “Thappad”, that is meant to be slap on chauvinism.

Relevant! It’s a need of the hour. Women have suffered in silence for too long. It’s time to pay back. I am happy that somebody, especially a man (Anubhav Sinha) has at last come up with the idea of a strong Thappad to chauvinism, to incorrect parenting, to the idea that it is okay to hit your wife.  Bollywood is not famous for women centric films, let alone the ones that cast a straight and strident slap on the patriarchy. I would love to see many more films like “Thappad” in the years to come. Cinema is a mass media, and has the potential to appeal and move the masses. Films focusing on women’s issues could go a long way in altering the mindset of people, in changing their perspectives, and shaping the history of women’s evolution.

  • What advice would you give to young women of today?

I resolutely don’t advice. But I can certainly opine.

Women, look beyond your mobile cameras. There is more to life than a well filtered selfie. I am at once amazed and bewildered to see the ridiculous number of selfies posted in instagram and facebook, by young women on a daily basis, with the determined intention of creating a sensation through photo-shopped looks. You are worth a lot more than those thousands of likes and fake comments put together. The invention of camera phones is a brilliant idea. Use, and not abuse them. Let selfie be just a word and not an obsession. Let our true beauty shine through our work, our compassion, and our insurmountable ability to empathize.

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Women’s Day Special: Author Moitrayee Bhaduri shared her thoughts

Moitrayee Bhaduri is a content specialist, screenwriter, and author of two crime thrillers: The Sinister Silence (2015) and Who Killed the Murderer? (2019). She is passionate about music, enjoys reviewing books and films, and loves dogs. Currently, she lives in Mumbai.

What are the most important challenges that women face today?

MB: Being accepted as an individual with her own set of needs and aspirations. Learning to put herself first is also a challenge for most women.

What needs to be changed in the next 5 years?

Author Moitrayee Bhaduri

MB: Even if we take one step forward each day, there will be progress.

What is your greatest strength?

MB: I would say…patience.

Women Empowerment: how pertinent the idea is?

MB: Women empowerment is more relevant today than ever, especially in the light of the current socio-political scenario in our country and the world.

On the recent #metoo movement, your opinion?

MB: This was a much-needed movement. I am happy to see so many women and also men coming forward despite all odds to make themselves heard.

Your take on the recent film, “Thappad”, that is meant to be a slap on chauvinism.

MB: I watched ‘Thappad’ just today and loved it! It is a powerful film and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s a film you should watch with your family.

Simply and subtly, the movie conveys an important message. It highlights the thin line between adjustment and compromise. Self-worth and self-respect are important to everyone, regardless of their gender!

What advice would you give to young women of today?

MB: Be yourself and focus. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

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The Founder and CEO of The Impish Lass Publishing House Meena Mishra Interviewed the Author Santosh Kandalkar

The Founder and CEO of The Impish Lass Publishing House Meena Mishra Interviewed the Author Santosh Kandalkar. Here are the excerpts.

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

I am Santosh Kandalkar. I am a teacher, teaching in Marathi medium school in Mumbai. I have done  my Master’s degree from Mumbai University. I teach English to 8th ,9th and 10th std. I like reading books. I like to write poems in English and Marathi language. I think Literature depicts social, cultural and religious life of human being. English literature is very rich in the world. I am feeling very happy and proud because I can express my thoughts and ideas through the medium of English poetry. As an English language teacher, I come across various new course books of English language in daily teaching learning process which are based on NCF-2005. I think writing poems is a very nice and innovative medium for English teacher to express himself to the world! Because an ample opportunities are there in these new course books for learners and teachers to express themselves,.  These course books are one of the best sources of inspiration for me to write poems as ‘Be a Poet’, ‘Write your own poem’, etc. such activities are included in these course books for the learners, so why shouldn’t an English teacher express himself through different mediums like poems, stories and other forms of literature?

2-When did you start writing?

Mr.Santosh Kandalkar

I started writing from 2015-16. In the beginning, I wrote few poems and shared with some English teachers on WhattsApp groups. They liked my poems and suggested me to continue writing. I got an opportunity to write articles of English subject in Daily Loksatta, a leading newspaper for 10th std. students. My friends suggested me to publish a book of my English poems.

3-When did you published first?

Everyone wants to be appreciated for his little efforts put in by him. Respected Meena Mishra  Ma’am is an award winning author, poet, short-story writer social worker, editor and an educator who gave me an opportunity to publish my five poems in the anthologies ‘I Owe You One’ in 2018. I have contributed to many anthologies published by The Impish Lass Publishing House.

 4-Describe yourself in day to day life?

As a teacher, I am a straightforward person by nature! I like to live in the company of good friends. After school I like to read books and write poems. I am a  humble, kind and soft-spoken person  but firm enough to handle my daily work efficiently. I am sensitive towards poor and needy. I love my work and I believe that human life is very beautiful so we should enjoy it!

5-What are your hobbies apart from writing?

It is well said that, ‘Reading is an adventure, it never ends….’, so I like reading. I like listening music apart from writing. Reading and listening music give me pleasure. I like to learn new things in day to day life, specially regarding teaching as it is my profession. I think it’s a very noble profession. 

6-Tell us more about your book?

Ok. Its a very good question. It was my dream to publish a collection of my poems. I could complete it with the help of Respected Meena Mishra Madam and the whole team of The Impish Lass Publishing House, Mumbai. Basically the poems in this book are the sweet memories and experiences of my past life. So the title of the book is, ‘Reflexiones Aleatorias- Random Ruminations’. Some poems are written in free verse and I tried my best to write sonnets like, ‘My Beloved Chums’, ‘My Beloved Pen’, and ‘To My Loving Mother’. Themes of many poems are related to our day-to-day life. I am very optimistic person so I tried to express my optimistic views through the poems like, ‘Life’, ‘Words’, and ‘The Makers of Fate’. I am quite sure that readers will like these poems.  

7-How do you manage your writing time?

As a teacher I have to do a lot of work and complete the responsibilities. I am working as a teacher in secondary school in the morning session. After school timing, I try to write in the evening after 6.00 pm. Though my schedule is very busy, my learners, my school and my family give me energy to do this creative and constructive work of writing!

8-What do you think of modern day relationships?

Faith is the foundation of all relationships. So  one should be honest and sensitive towards the people around you.

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

It’s a very nice question. Actually content should be rich but if the writer wants to reach upto the most readers he should know the marketing skills. So I think both are important in today’s scenario.

10-Your favourite writer and why?

Sudha Murthy, Chetan Bhagat and Subroto Bagchi are my favourite writers. I like the writer Chetan Bhagat because the language he uses in his books is very easy to understand and the themes and issuses he uses are related to today’s social situation. Sudha Murthy’s all books are very motivational and thought provoking. I like Subroto Bagchi’s ‘The Professional’, ‘The High Performance Entrepreneur’, are very useful and interesting books which give life lessons to the young professionals. I like to read R. K. Narayan and Gustav Flaubert too.

11-What are your upcoming projects?

I am planning to write poems on certain themes which are related to human life. I would like to publish one more poetry book in this year. If time permits me , I would like to write some interesting short stories for youngsters. As  earlier I have mentioned that I like to write poems in Marathi language also, so I am planning to publish a book of my 50 Marathi poems! And I am sure it will be the best treat to the poem lovers!

12-Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

I would like to suggest to young generation to limit their daily screening time. Instead of spending to much time on mobile and other gadgets try to read good books, try to learn new things, take exercise daily at least for half an hour because health is very important in our life. Share your thoughts and ideas with your parents and other elder persons. These constructive things will help you to build your career and to be successful in your life. I think the youngsters should be able to differentiate between the real world and the virtual world.

13-Describe yourself in one sentence.

I am very optimistic person and I believe in integrity and honest hard work to achieve my SMART goals!

14. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

This is an interesting question. When wind blows it carries several seeds from different trees to a far off land. The seeds settle on a new ground and if any of them find the earth at the new place fertile and conducive to grow, it stars growing fearlessly. The fertile ground in this narration is our mind. So many beautiful ideas that can be a great story are floating around. A fertile mind can easily grab a few of them and help them grow with its loving touch, knowledge and candour.

You can contact Mr.Kandalkar via the details below.

Mr. Santosh Kandalkar, M A (English) B. Ed.

Email address-

Mb. 9757215221

Thank you so much Ms Meena and Mr Santosh for giving your precious time and sharing the interview with us.

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Ms. Meena Mishra- Founder and CEO of The Impish Lass Publishing House interviewed Ratnadip Acharya

Ms. Meena Mishra- Founder and CEO of The Impish Lass Publishing House interviewed  Ratnadip Acharya  – the famous author of Paradise Lost and Regained and Life is Always  Aimless. Here are the excerpts…

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Answer: In my early twenties I started feeling thatI could express myself, my innermost thoughts and those of others in an articulate way. In the beginning, I used to spin a tale and narrate it to my friends, claiming that it was a short story by Guy De Maupassent, O Henry, and the likes. I was afraid if I told them that I devised the story they might not have listened to it. If they loved the story, secretly I felt wonderful within. It strengthened my understanding that I could create an interesting plot. And thus this long dateless journey started.  

  • How long does it take you to write a book?

Answer:I am assuming here that by a book you mean a full-fledged novel of say, 70 to 80 thousand words. The first draft takes around six months, and then second and third drafts much lesser time, say one month each. If you are into a process of writing a long novel, please don’t forget to rework on it several times. Believe me, every time it will be a better product and the last draft will be so different from the first one.  

  • What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Answer:Once the first work, the chapters lay-out is done and I have to start writing the book word by word, I prefer writing early in the morning. Usually I write from 4.30 in the morning to 7.30 at a stretch. In these three hours Iused to write between 600 and 700 words (sometime 100 words more or less) and I think it is fairly enough.

Author Ratnadip with Ms.Meena Mishra
  • Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Answer:This is an interesting question. When wind blows it carries several seeds from different trees to a far off land. The seeds settle on a new ground and if any of them find the earth at the new place fertile and conducive to grow, it stars growing fearlessly. The fertile ground in this narration is our mind. So many beautiful ideas that can be a great story are floating around. A fertile mind can easily grab a few of them and help them grow with its loving touch, knowledge and candour.

  • When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Answer: The first book I wrote when I was barely 26-year old. It was a collection of 12 short stories, close to 60 thousand words book. I named it Random Thoughts. Most of the stories in the collection were of surprise-ending, a genre of short story that I love the most yet now. Unfortunately, in India short story collections are not published for their discouraging marketability.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Answer:I have many other hobbies like I constantly learn and perform new street magic, solve Rubik cubes and Rubiks of different shapes, meditate, and if time permits jog for an hour four to five times a week. Apart from that I read lots of books. Earlier it was mostly fiction but now nonfiction elbowed away fiction works.

  • What does your family think of your writing?

Answer:I stay with my wife and son and both are extremely supportive towards my writing. Chiefly my wife, Sophia, who is an accomplished book editor as well, is my most exacting critique. If she gives an affirmative nod to my story or novel, well, I heave a sigh of relief. 

  • What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Answer:Again this is a beautiful question.  Scientists say those who are genius use barely 10% of the entire prowess of their brain and we ordinary mortal beings? May be not more than 2 % of our actual ability. Isn’t it? Whenever you get into a creative work, whether it is composing a poem, writing a large novel, creating a painting, through your artwork you reinvent yourself, you get an opportunity to look into yourself and come across many beautiful dimensions within you that you were not aware of hitherto. It is such a rewarding experience. Probably in this process we use a little larger section of our actual potential and fresh life juice rejuvenates our beings.

  • How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

Answer:So far two of my novels published and had been accepted very well by the kind readers. But my favourite one would be the novel that is slated to publish soon. It is historical mystery thriller, based on the least known part of the country. I think the readers will find it a great read.   


Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Answer:Please don’t be in a hurry to write a book, please don’t consider that you are well-quipped to write well after reading a few chick-lits. It might have proved helpful to a few authors to shoot to success but it will not repeat every time. Read good novels, books, authors. Read Tagore, Leo Tolstoy, R. K. Narayan, Dickens, Naipaul to name a few. You will certainly have an enriching experience. And then as you sit to write you will naturally form better sentences, will write more articulately. Probably, that age-old proverb by Henry Ford will always remain true.

There is no substitute for hard work.

Thank you.     


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