Book interview with writer Joginder Rohilla

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Book interview with writer Joginder Rohilla

Today, we have on board Joginder Rohilla with us. Let us talk about his book and the journey.

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

Reader, writer, traveler, a change maker, a seeker and an IT professional!

  1. Joginder at his book reading event.

    When did you start writing?

I started writing poems and short stories in college and later on came up with the idea to write a novel.

  1. When you published first?

I got published first in 2014 with @Dreams.

  1. Describe Joginder in day to day life?

Read, write, work, happy and content, family!

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Reading, writing, making a difference, traveling and photography

  1. Tell us more about your book?

@Dreams is a journey of three youngsters about finding ways to achieve their dreams in college. It’s a story of love, laughter, friendship, struggle, inspiration and lifelong learning. It unfolds the maze of life through learning therapy to transform life in the direction of dreams.

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

I write whenever writing muse strikes me. There isn’t any particular time. I write whenever I want to!

  1. Your favorite writer and why?

Paulo and Herman Hesse – both are unique in their own aspects. Their literature is life changing and helping readers to have a better perspective towards life.

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on a poetry and short story book. Starting up a publishing house is also in the pipeline and sooner or later will be a reality soon.

  1. Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

Strive hard for your dreams and make world a better place for all.

  1. Joginder in one sentence.

Dreamer, learner and leader!

  1. Do you have any message for the budding writers?

Keep writing. The universe needs your words.

FB – https://www.facebook.com/dreamerjogi/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.in/Dreams-Jogi/dp/8182535468

All the best Joginder and wish you a successful future ahead.

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Interview with Journalist, professor and a writer Subodh Jha

Subodh sir it is a privilege to have you on board. Thank you so much for taking time and answering my questions.

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

Ans. I begin with my greetings to the fellow litterateurs and the practitioners of English Language Teaching (ELT). I am basically a man of literature. A poet, reviewer, translator, editor, documentation editor and writer of research papers on literary topics and or authors. I am also an ELT expert and have written a number of books on English language Teaching (ELT).  As far as my academic credentials are concerned, I was a science student till intermediate level. After securing first class in I.Sc. (Bio), I opted for English Hons, for the simple reason that my natural love has been literature. I have been writing poems from my school days both in Hindi and English, many of them have been published in reputed journals and anthologies. I did B.A. Hons. in English Language and Literature in 1984 and M.A. in 1986  from BRA Bihar University , Muzaffarpur (Bihar). I was awarded Ph. D. for my work on F.R. Leavis. The title of my thesis was “THE CONCEPT OF SIGNIFICANCE’ AS AN AESTHETIC AND MORAL CATEGORY: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF F.R. LEAVIS’S LITERARY CRITICISM. I worked for over a decade in a college in Nepal – Nuwakot Adarsh Multiple Campus, Battar, Nuwakot in various capacities – lecturer, Assistant Campus Chief and Campus Chief (Principal)_from 1991 to 2001 till I joined Hindustan Times (Patna edition) as a correspondent. I left Hindustan Times in 2003 to join as a lecturer in Magadh University, Bodh Gaya. Presently I am working as Associate Professor, Department of English, S.N. Sinha College, Jehanabad (Magadh University). I have written a number of books and research papers in addition to developing syllabi and textbooks for NCERT, SCERT (Bihar), SIERT (Rajasthan), IGNOU and NERIE –NCERT (Meghalaya). I have also been writing reviews and research papers and articles constantly and consistently.

Shri. Subodh Jha

  1. When did you start writing and what did you begin with?

Ans. Well, I started writing poems and reviews since my school days, to be precise when I was in class IX.  After post graduation in 1986, I turned to writing papers on literary issues and authors. I also wrote on how to translate and did some actual translation work as well. I also wrote features on burning issues in Hindustan Times (Patna edition).  My series on the condition of schools in Patna made the honourable High court (Patna) take suo motu cognizance  and ask personal appearance of the three education secretaries  – Primary, Secondary and Higher education. This happened in 2002 .   I  have also done documentation of several works, programmes and projects  conducted and/ or organized by various agencies such as UNICEF, Valid International etc.

I turned to writing on ELT in 2006 when I was invited by  SCERT, Patna to draft BCF (Bihar Curriculum Framework) and curriculum and thereafter Textbooks from class I to class XII.  Since then I have worked for NCERT (New Delhi), SIERT (Rajasthan), IGNOU (New Delhi), NERI –NCERT (Meghalaya) and BBOSE (Bihar) for  developing  curriculum  and textbooks and study material. 

  1. Would you tell us about your poems?

Ans. Well, I have written a number of poems both in Hindi and English. Most of these poems are on human relationship and man’s helplessness on several occasions. You can also notice in some of my poems a voice of protest against the established norms and  rituals as they come in the way of human urges.  The title of some of my poems in English includeTOMORROW AND TOMORROW’,  ’PORTABLE ETERNITY’,  NAILED THROAT’,  ’MEMORY –PRESSURE’ ,  ’MIGHTY THREAD’, ’WHIRLPOOLS OF SENSATION’,  ’TAILORED INTIMACIES’, ’AN OBLIGED MAN’, ’THE HOOTER’, ’KITCHENED DESIRES’ ’ELEMENTAL DRIVES’,  ’WILL THERE BE RESURRECTION?’, ’FEMALE EDITION OF HAMLET’ ,  ’CLEOPATRAN BEAUTY’, ’I MUST GO, MY LOVE!’, ’THE DEVIL TIME’ etc. You can have a look on a few poems.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow 

Tomorrow tomorrow and tomorrow

Don’t induce into me

The concept of dusty death;

Instead,

They enchant me

To an uncharted land of divine bliss

That could have been mine right now

But that is denied!

May be

I deserved it

For the deeds

Lodged in an unredeemable past;

But that could be

Only when tomorrow comes by!

Yesterday, today and tomorrow converge

In the myth of my personal life

Which is also the myth of universal life!

Time is continuous with soul

That dies not;

Time will die when death die

But soul, my soul –

My personal-universal myth

Is immortal,

It is a continuity

In which a divine will dwells!

Mighty Thread

No no no! We can’t part ways!

Can’t be submissive

and follow the dictates

which our heart admits not!

True, the odds are against us

We might not ever meet

In the lane of institutional knots!

But does it matter?

 

Your longings in my veins mount

And I often feel drawn

In your laky eyes

And get drown’d!

Oh! What’s this mighty thread

That pulls me up

And splits apart

In the air with CARE!

Memory -Pressure

Last night

the memory- pressure

mounted suddenly and

the pulsing ache

of betrayal

surged deep into me!

With smouldering lead in my eyes

I shored the gulf of three years

To the seeding-centre that

paddled my adult dreams

Amidst  the hissing breath

of the June winds

only to nurse me as

a staring  frown

upon the unparented patterns

Of our sleeveless surroundings

 

Should I refool with them now?

Or make a starved protest

against the devouring system

On a grey chariot of  Charted flames?

 

  1. You have written on human relationship. What do you think of modern day relationships?

Ans. See, relationship is not a word; it is a feeling, a realization. If you feel or realize from the bottom of heart, you will be true to relationship. However, the present generation fed on ‘everything fast’ usually has little regard for such relationships. There are some people even in this age who care for relationship but they are very few in numbers.

 

  1. What do you think about cheating in relationships?

Ans. Cheating in relationship, in my opinion, is a sin. This is the worst thing a man can do. However, cheating has become very common even in the most intimate relations today.

 

  1. How important is physical intimacy in a relationship?

Ans. Physical intimacy has its own importance. It strengthens relationship. It may not be everything but it truly is something.

 

  1. How many books have you written or edited? Tell us about your books in detail.

Ans. Well, I’ve written four books in addition to the Textbooks that I have written or edited for NCERT (New Delhi), SCERT (Bihar), SIERT (Rajasthan), IGNOU and NERIE –NCERT (Meghalaya). I have also edited about 40 books and journals both in private capacity or for different agencies.  The books I have written include Inspiring Days (2009), Issues in Education at Elementary Level (2013), English Language Teaching (2015) and English Language Education (2015).

The first book Inspiring Days: A Guide to innovative comprehension (ISBN 13:978-81-7719-066-9)  is a collection of essays with activities. Written jointly with Dr. Binodanand Jha and published by Pinnacle Books Private Limited (New Delhi)  in 2009, this book is about 15 such days that have incontrovertible historical and cultural significances. These days include  Independence Day,  Republic Day, Teacher’s Day, Literacy Day,  Children’s Day, Gandhi Birth Anniversary and Kabir’s Birth Anniversary. The festivals included in the present selection are Dipawali, Vasant Panchami or Saraswati puja, Eid, and Christmas.  The treatment of these festivals is more rational than ritualistic. Inspiring Days also contains topics of general awareness. These include Science Day, Environment Day, Population Day and International Women’s Day. These lessons are meant to acquaint the children with the world and environment around them.

The strength of Inspiring Days lies in two facts. The first is related to content.  There is no dearth of essays and literature on the topics selected in the present collection but there is hardly any significant work that seeks to assort them together for children. The second distinguished strength, which is of greater importance, is related to approach. Inspiring Days is not the usual collection of essays, giving only information. Its deliberations are activity based; it is a practical book about observing inspiring days in a creative way.. Hence, it contains several activities at the end of every chapter. These activities are addressed more to the teachers than to the students as the teachers are supposed to play the anchor role for the group activities suggested in the selection. These activities are merely suggestive, encouraging the teachers to use their imagination and introduce any activities that they think can make the celebration meaningful and inspiring. Inspiring Days, therefore, is not a mere reading exercise. It strives to create environment for learning through creativity. This is the distinguished strength of this book.

The  second book Issues in Education at Elementary Level (ISBN 978-93-82120-06-3) is jointly with Dr. Awadesh K Mishra and K. Anowarus Sadat. Published by Lakshi Publishers and Distributors (New Delhi), this book focuses on the issues that the teachers at the elementary level come across. We all know that the elementary school provides a smooth transition from informal learning in the home to a formal learning experience and lays the foundation for future, successful learning in school and in life. Issues in Education at Elementary Level  tries to promote an understanding of the language characteristics of learners, language usage, socio-cultural aspects of language learning, language as a process and the functional use of language across the curriculum. The objective behind this approach is to ensure that the teachers move away from the conventional focus on language as a subject, which emphasizes its grammatical structure rather than usage. You can say that this book is a sort of resource book for the teachers and teacher educators at the elementary level in different states.

Issues in Education at Elementary Level ,therefore, is a very useful attempt to equip the teachers with the necessary understanding of the teaching learning process and the learning strategies needed at this level. The teachers and teacher educators at the elementary level will benefit immensely if they go through the book seriously.

 

I must admit that there are so many issues and topics which need serious attention at the elementary level. It is not possible to include all these topics in one book but we have tried our best to incorporate as many topics as possible and do justice with all of them. Our aim in the present book has been the inclusion of all those aspects of education that make teaching-learning activities quite effective and meaningful.

The third book English Language Teaching written jointly with Dr. Meena Sehrawat is published by Lakshi Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi ( ISBN 978-93-82120-65-0). The book comprises Six units, touching upon different components of D.El.Ed. (Diploma in Elementary Education) syllabi implemented in different states. We have made attempts to present the concepts as lucidly, interesting and practical as possible. We have avoided dull monotonous theoretical discourses by incorporating activities, elaborate examples and sample frameworks wherever needed. At the end of each unit, we have summarized the main points of the unit under the heading Let’s Sum Up. Review questions have been given after Let’s Sum Up. Each unit has elaborate list of references which have either been used in any way or are useful for further detail readings.  We have encouraged teacher- trainees to go through the material on their own, learn from their mistakes and arrive at an understanding of concepts and approaches but here teacher educator might act as guide and facilitator. They should focus on linking concepts with classroom transaction, analysing existing textbooks and materials for English, developing tasks and activities for children, and trying them out first in simulation and then in schools during School Experience Programme(SEP).

English Language Teaching seeks to incorporate every item needed at D.El.Ed. stage. However, special emphasis has been laid  on the pedagogic skills, inclusive education, and language across curriculum along with CCE concerns. The reading material consisting of several extracts on the various topics listed in the syllabus are either taken from authentic sources as they are or rewritten and adapted, as the need be. We expect that the teacher-educators will support the teacher-trainees in understanding the concepts, practising skills and strategies while transacting. They may go beyond the material to get additional information and design activities to supplement it.

The fourth book English Language Education again written jointly with Dr. Meena Sehrawat and published by Lakshi Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi ( ISBN 978-93-82120-72-8) is the continuation of our previous book English Language Teaching. Together they constitute a complete package for two year D.El.Ed. courses in different states of the country. Both these books offer a lot to the  students of the D.El.Ed. courses – both in terms of knowledge base and pedagogy. We have taken special care to address the issue of transaction in the classroom. Needless to say that English Language Education like English Language Teaching is in tune with The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005.

The NCF 2005, we all know, places a major concern in school education on quality and child centred approach. It emphasises on the need to connect the knowledge to the world outside school. Textbooks have already been developed and implemented inschools in the backdrop of NCF 2005. The developments in the field of education have necessitated the restructuring of elementary teacher education curriculum to keep pace with changing demands and challenges of the society, school education and changing role of a teacher. Both English Language Teaching and English Language Education strive at ensuring this goal of the NCF 2005.

English Language Education includes an extensive unit on Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE).  The book comprises altogether five untouching upon different components of D.El.Ed. syllabi implemented in different states. Like English Language Teaching in this book too we have made attempts to present the concepts as lucidly, interesting and practical as possible. The same framework has been used in this book.

  1. Would you like to tell us about the books you have edited?

Ans. Well, I have edited altogether 40 books and journals. The most important being Literature, Culture and Language Education (ISBN 978-81-906622-8-4) published by  Lakshi Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, (2011).  Co-edited with professor Dr. Awadesh K. Mishra and Dr. Mazhar Asif,  this book ‘raises several issues regarding importance of culture and contextualization in the field of language education, incorporation of literature, culture and technology in language education, and so on, in the North East Region (NER). The relevance of this endeavour lies in the fact that language is not only a tool for communication and knowledge but also a fundamental attribute of cultural identity and empowerment, both for the individual and the group.  Similarly, tteaching of literature cannot be separated from teaching culture. Literature, Culture and Language Education comprises 22 papers including mine entitlrd ’Selection and Exploitation of Literary Texts for Language Teaching’. The major hypothesis of my paper is that selection of literary texts and its subsequent exploitation for language teaching is a very important task and it requires a very careful consideration. I provide some practical suggestions for this task of selection and exploitation of literary texts from my experiences in Bihar. In this paper I have observed that the introduction of literary texts must be from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from the simple to the complex and from pleasure to instruction, from speech to aesthetic considerations. The objective is not to impart information or knowledge but to develop effective communicative competence that again depends on the development of four language skills namely listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Other important works include Pedagogy of English – II, D.El.Ed. – O.D.L, (2014: SCERT, Bihar, Patna) , Pedagogy of English – I, D.El.Ed. – O.D.L, (2014: SCERT, Bihar, Patna), Vidyalaya Netritva Vikas. A Handbook (2014: NUEPA: New Delhi), self learning Material (SLM) for class X (Bihar Board of Open schooling and Examination, Patna), Self learning Material (SLM) for class XII  (BBOSE, Patna), English Language Proficiency and Pedagogy. BSTC (D.El.Ed.) – Second Year (2016: Rajasthan State Textbook Board & SIERT, Udaipur, Rajasthan), English Language  Proficiency and Pedagogy. BSTC (D.El.Ed.) – First Year (2014: Rajasthan State Textbook Board & SIERT, Udaipur, Rajasthan).

I have also edited some journals. These include nine issues of Edu Explorer, a journal of education (ISSN 2320-060X ) published biannualy by Education Foundation (New Delhi), three issues of Bihar Journal of Sustainable Development, (2005, 2006 &  2007: DAGAR, Patna. Besides, I have , two books on Jagjivan Ram   –  Babu Jagjivan Ram: Ahead of his Times (2007) & Remembering Babujee: Hundred Years of a Visionary  (2008). I have also edited a book Patna Multi-Hazard Disaster Management Response Plan, Earthquake Information Cell, PRDA, Patna (2007: Disaster Management Cell, PRDA, Patna)  and  several other books  and documents for diffrent agencies.

  1. What made you write books on ELT? How important is ELT in modern world?

Ans. As I told you earlier it was in 2006 when I participated in workshops  on developing Bihar Curriculum Framework (BCF) and thereafter on developing curriculum that I realized the needs of writing good books on ELT. My experiences of writing textbooks for Bihar (class I to class XII, D.El.Ed. & B.Ed.) as member coordinator and Resource person (SCERT), BBOSE (Secondary  & Senior  Secondary level), NCERT (primary, upper primary levels and B.Ed), NERIE – NCERT  shilling (elementary level), SIERT, Udaipur, Rajasthan (D.El.Ed)  gave me greater exposure and helped me write reference books and study materials on ELT.

  1. When did you get published first?

Ans. I was first published when I was in graduation. This was in Career & completion Times. My arguments under the column “For & Against” were judged the best on four occasions. However my first literary publication was when I was in post-graduation. Two of my poems “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” and “Portable Eternity” found place in an anthology entitled New Talents in Indo English Poetry. Since then it has been a regular feature.

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Ans. My hobbies include reading, participating in seminars and workshops, playing and watching cricket, movies and social media.

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

Ans. The more the pressure the more prolific I become in terms of writing. Whenever I think that I’l do a particular writing task slowly when I am free that task remains neglected, Since I have been a journalist, so I understand the importance of deadline. Give me a deadline and I’ll complete the assignment  Of course, for it I have to sacrifice many things. At times,  I complete the  task at 3-4 am.

  1. Who is your favourite writer and why?

Ans. My favourite writer is D.H. Lawrence. I like him because of his attempt to capture the rhythm of blood. His delineation of the complex relation between instinct and society is very faithful and captivating. Another writer whom I adore is Jane Austen. I like her for graphic details of the upper middle class society to ensure our encounter with basic truths of life. Among poets, my favourites  are William Shakespeare and John Donne.

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

Ans. I am working on two upcoming projects  – one is a book entitled “Challenges of Teaching Language and Literature in the Age of globalization”. Several papers have been assorted and edited by me for this book. Another project is a book on F.R. Leavis.

  1. How will you describe Subodh in one sentence?

Ans. Subodh is thoughtful, caring and loving.

I wish you enlighten many more souls in the days to come.

Please author interviews, please contact the above mentioned phone number.

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Book interview with Author Ruchika Rastogi

Hello Readers, thank you for connecting with us. Today, we have on board a sensational writer Ruchika Rastogi  with us.

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

I am a being having found my love in literature long back but agreeing to its proposal after a gap of many years. Having done my Masters in English literature Currently, I am working as an English teacher in Delhi. While teaching students, while correcting their mistakes, I realized that I had this passion for this language–English, due to which only I always try to find flavor everywhere–be it a tasty dish or not so tasty and still never gets bored.

Ms. Ruchika Rastogi

When did you start writing?

I started writing way back in school. I used to write whenever I had any free time but had never thought of pursuing it to any other level. It is only few years back, when my book got published that I realized I am quite passionate about writing. I felt so relaxed and satisfied after seeing my writing in print.

When you published first?

My book, A Mystical Majesty – the woman, got published last year only. It was such an indescribable moment. I felt like carrying a small baby in my hands. I was feeling speechless,literally.  It brought out the hidden emotions, the inner feelings, the arguments, the conclusions and the solutions, everything, right in front of me.

Describe  Ruchika in day to day life?

Ruchika, in day to day life is an easy going, fun loving person, who is very emotional and loves to do crazy things. She loves movement–be it movement in life or in career.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Apart from writing, I love to watch movies, travel, read books, play badminton and explore different truths of life.

Tell us more about your book?

My book, A Mystical Majesty is about the journey of a girl, from the time she completes her schooling till her old age. It’s about the various situations; a woman faces in her life. It’s about the optimistic handling of those situations without getting into the trap of pessimism. It’s about being opinionated but still docile; it’s about being honest but not rude. It’s about being rational still not partial. So, in short, through it, I tried to bring out the different facets of a woman–related to her freedom or her career or while marrying or while discussing various issues with her grown up children. Thus throwing light on the fact that –we should move ahead with a mind of our own because each individual has his own independent situation so obviously, its handling will also be different.

How do you manage your writing time?

I try to write whenever I feel like, generally early mornings, when I can concentrate fully on my piece.

What do you think of modern day relationships?

Most of the modern day relationships are imitated. The relationships are losing their charm as people are more interested in aping others instead of blossoming theirs. And when they realize this, they might have reached so far in imitating that sometimes it becomes really difficult to move back and rectify. But there are others too, which I like–They are ready to compromise, sacrifice or listen for the sake of their family only but never at the cost of their self-esteem.

What do you think about cheating in relationships?

I am totally against cheating in relationship. Either you should be there or you shouldn’t be there. If you have guts to cheat, then you should have guts to admit your feelings too, without being a coward.

How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

Physical intimacy is essential in a relation but it’s not everything. Trust, love and respect are the most important ingredients of a successful relationship.

Your favorite writer and why?

I don’t have any favourite writer. I like Shakespeare because of his writing style. The amalgamation of dialogues in a poetic style is superb. I like Sydney Sheldon because of the way she brings out the mystery element in the end.

I like Rabindranath Tagore, Munshi Premchand because of the essence of purity And Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam–his writings were the master pieces. So many are there that I can’t restrict myself to one.

What are your upcoming projects?

My upcoming projects are–

  • Working as a contributing author in the global digital magazine: Raising World Children
  • Working as a contributing author in the anthology–100 Moms, one journey
  • Working as a contributing author in the next of Cyclops Publication.
  • And lastly, but certainly very important, working on bringing out my second book, which will be a book of short stories.

Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

– If you are writing, write with your soul because then only your individuality will reflect in it, which will definitely leave its mark on others.

– And the more you re-read your work, the more clarity will come in your mind about what you want to focus and what you want to reflect.

Ruchika in one sentence.

Ruchika loves to be Ruchika only, not anybody else,a mystery who needs to be unfolded at each stage.

Connect with Ruchika

Facebook  

https://www.facebook.com/A-Mystical-Majesty-The-Woman-591942620953393/

Mail Id

mail.ruchikarastogi@gmail.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/mail.ruchikarastogi/

Thank you so much Ruchika for your honest answers. It was an amazing interview. All the best for your upcoming projects.

If you are interested to publish, your interview please contact the above mentioned phone number.

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Together we love.

Slumber haunts
I sleep tonight
In lieu of your desire
To keep us enclosed
Patting a lullaby
As we move to a faraway land…
Motion of illusions
Underneath closed eyelids

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A poem on Corporate Life – Prabhuprasad Paduchuri

Dedicated to all hard working employees.

We both joined office on the same day.

You talked diplomatically,

I preferred emotional conversations.

All the times, you smiled at boss jokes,

Where I didn’t find any humour or sarcasm.

During the coffee breaks, you were expressive about weekends,

While I was shy to expose my personal life.

You kept on presenting false reports to manager,

While I was one to stay back and complete the work.

You were busy about giving negative feedback,

While I was preparing for my distance learning course.

After 2 years, you got promotion and best employee certification,

While I was forced to get minimum rating under Bell curve.

We both had girlfriends, while you got married to her,

Whereas my girl hates me to the core for what I am.

You bought a car and flat,

I stay in hostel and travel in local buses.

You invested in stock market and building assets,

I choose to invest in people’s smiles and dreams.

Accidentally, we both died in the same month.

We both took nothing with us.

Many people attended your funeral ceremony.

4 people were also carrying me on their shoulders.

1 month later, nobody remembered you.

While so many homes were still weeping for my loss.

#PrabhuprasadPaduchuri

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Book interview with Ms.Nalini Priyadarshini

Friends, today we have on board the bold and beautiful writer Nalini Priyadarshini.

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

I am Nalini, the author of Doppelganger in My House and co author of Lines Across Oceans.  My poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, podcasts and international anthologies including Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Dukool, In-flight Magazine, Yellow Chair Review. I am presently working on a travel based fiction in collaboration with my husband as we both are ardent travellers.

When did you start writing?

I was extremely fond of reading as a child. In those days I tried keeping a journal and wrote story books complete with pictures. I also enjoyed writing letters and had several pen-pals. Got interested in poetry when I was in college and wrote in both Punjabi and English for our college magazine. I was also the student editor of English section of Deepshikha, our college magazine and my short story on female feticide won the first prize for the best article. After I started working, writing was reduced to a stray poem now or then scribbled in haste at the back of books or notebooks most of which were eventually lost.

My second and more serious inning with writing came after the birth of my second child. I quit work to be a full time stay-at-home mom. Suddenly I realized that wiping dirty bottoms all day did not fulfill me. I missed the company and conversation with other grownups. I was lonely and miserable. At such a time, writing came to my rescue and I started writing poetry which proved to be cathartic. I started a blog ‘Twilight Musing’ and started putting my poems over there. It was beginning of a new and exciting association with other poets and writers I found online.

When you published first?

I published first in 2011. In fact, I stumbled upon a call for submission on facebook while browsing. Brian Wixon, a Canadian writer and published was publishing an anthology. He also made a group with all the poets that he included in the book. It was exciting to read and share poetry in those groups and a great learning experience too. That was the beginning of my tryst with anthologies and literary journals that I not only love to read but also write for.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Reading remains my first love. I enjoy watching movies, traveling, gardening, hanging out with friends and cooking for them. I am open to new ideas and adventures and one of those people who would try anything at least once.

Tell us more about your books?

Doppelganger In My House is my solo poetry collection. Poems included in this book were written over a span of 10 years or so. Since it was not planned in advance, there is no thematic unity in poems. There are love poems rubbing shoulders with food poems and funny, irreverent poems while jostling with existential and political poems. The book is roughly divided into 5 sections. Each section starts with a four line poem that sets the mood for succeeding poems.

My second book, Lines Across Oceans, is a collection of love poems written in collaboration with an American poet, D. Russel Micnhimer. Russel has been writing poetry for over forty five years and has been conferred with Poet Laureate for his book, Notes To Be Left With Gatekeeper.  Along with free verse, various Japanese poetic forms have been used to create classic piece of poetry included in this book. Writing Lines Across Oceans has been an extremely enriching experience as I, for the first time, learnt the discipline needed to write form poetry.

I cannot speak about these two books without mentioning the wholehearted support and encouragement of my mentor Dr. Madan G Gandhi that made these books possible.

How do you manage your writing time?

Though I would love to have some sort of daily writing routine, I have none at the moment. Poems have their own whims and fancies and come to me when they are ready. I try to capture them and if I don’t they just float away.

Your favorite writer and why?

There are several writers and poets that I love to read. It will be quite unfair to        name just one. And then, I keep discovering new writers whose writings fascinate me. T.S. Eliot, Khalil Gibran, Kamala Das, Khushwant Singh, Ruskin Bond, Gabriel Garcia Marquez besides several contemporary poets and writers have been a source of inspiration.

 

What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on a travel based fiction for adolescents/young adults in collaboration with my husband, Vikas Singh who is an avid biker, traveler and story teller. Also, I am planning to engage more in translating and writing literary articles than I am at the moment.

Any tips to the upcoming generation of writers.

One should read and write as much as possible to improve one’s craft and never rest on past laurels. And yes, always follow your heart without worrying too much about what others think.

Nalini in one sentence.

Oh, Nalini is too complex to fit in a single sentence. My poetry is mostly as attempt to understand my own self in relation with the world I live in and people who cross my path. The journey of self discovery is long and I have just started.

Thank you so much Nalini for the honest answers. I wish you all the best for your upcoming projects.

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Meeting your soulmate – An article by Swarupa Chavan

Who believes in true love? I guess the concept is fast becoming an extinct. There is no time to devote to mushy feelings when there are more practical and worldly dreams to be achieved. The rat race is getting competitive by the day and the heart is scared to venture out in the dream land and struggles to survive in the materialistic world.

To some it might sound a bit cliché. But a soul which is aware can relate to this very easily. It is something which cannot be explained with words but needs to be felt with the heart. We are all souls come on this earth with some purpose. And as long as we are alive it means the purpose is still unfulfilled.  Our hearts are in constant search of love. Either you are aware and accept it or you are terrified to accept it and pretend not to agree. But each soul is in search of its other half. One question constantly haunts us… How do we identify our soul mate when we meet him? Do they come with any tag or label marked with our name? It is simple… our heart would identify our soul mate.

Have you ever felt that you have met a person previously, whereas the fact is it is the first time you are meeting him. His voice, his face, his smile and the look in his eyes all seems way too familiar. You find yourself relating to the person more comfortably and realise you had been waiting for him all this time.

Have you ever experienced an instant connection with a stranger? In the middle of the road while walking to work your eyes meet and something flashes at the back of your mind. You give him a second glance and find him looking back at you with the same curiosity. Somehow he seems to be familiar, but you cannot place the connection. Thinking that he is probably an everyday commuter you ignore and move ahead. But his image keeps flashing back in your mind. Days later if you are lucky you see him again and this time he smiles. You do not trust a stranger and look elsewhere. Scared of the intimation, scared to acknowledge your feelings, scared to accept that you have been knowing him for several life time’s earlier. That is the way we humans have been programmed to function. If you find it difficult to accept, how are you going to explain this to others? The very idea is laughable. We are in a hurry to achieve our materialistic goals and reach our hazy destination and do not heed to this message which the forces of the Universe are sending our way. It seems impractical and way too unrealistic. Thus we miss the opportunity to connect with the one whom we are searching our entire lives.

So our next question is… Do we keep heeding to our impulsive responses and smile at strangers who might be our potential soul mates? Here again the answer might be simple. You need to be connected to yourself first, know who you really are and what it is that you wish to achieve in this time and space. This clarity would help you and your soul mate to connect over the chaotic lifestyle and bring you together.

After all finding your soul mate was never a small affair… that extra effort is definitely worthwhile. So next time you see a stranger with that strange look in his eyes… quieten your heart and listen to it.

© Swarupa Chavan – Award winning author and poet.

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She loves you forever

She loves you forever 

She is the one of the prettiest girl both in her college and society. Hundreds appreciate her beauty, few want to be with her while others seek opportunities to talk. A few of her followers are excited that at least she is connected with them virtually on a social networking site.

One fine evening you saw her at a coffee shop for the first time. Along with the sips of coffee, she was laughing at the jokes of her friends. You found her attractive, cute, charming and a lovable personality. You were also impressed by those beautiful smiles and her shying nature. All you wanted at that moment was to talk with her. Due to your colleague’s flight in the next hour, you left the place.

Few days later, you met her again at the bus stop. She was rushing to the college. She appeared as if she didn’t want to miss the single lecture. You followed her, she was in her usual moods, singing and enjoying the soothing breeze of the city. You introduced her as a newcomer in the city. You asked her the route which you already knew. She guided you with the bus route and helped you boarding the correct bus. Till that time, your eyes catched her name, class and the college address mentioned on her i-card.

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