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

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- santoshkandalkar@gmail.com

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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Interview with Ms.Preethi Richards

Dear Readers,

It gives me an immense pleasure to introduce a new poetess in the world of literature. Let us welcome Ms.Preethi Richards on our poetic community. Here is a quick and detailed conversation with her.

Prabhu: Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Preethi: Yes, I would be glad to do so. First of all, I wish to thank Prabhu sir for giving me such a beautiful opportunity. I am the author of “Naked love” which is recently published. The place where you live particularly influences you. This influence comes from either the people or the hometown. I can proudly say in my case it is derived from both my hometown- Jagtiyal and the people residing in it. I had my schooling done in Mount Carmel high school in my little town itself. The strongest influence regarding the literature I received is from my school.

Ms. Preethi Richards during the interview with Prabhuprasad Paduchuri

Prabhu: How was your writing experience?

Preethi: I feel like am very newbie in the world of literature. However, I experience a great satisfaction and happiness whenever I get a chance to express my feelings into the words.

Prabhu: Tell us about your first book the Naked Love experience?

Preethi: Amazing!! And I take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me out in making such a beautiful work. I thank my supporters for building me, my family, my friends and my readers who are my future builders.

Prabhu: Describe Preethi in day to day life?

Preethi: You would see me either buried in the words or simply spending most of the time with my precious ones.

Prabhu: Describe more about your book the Naked Love?

Preethi: I still consider myself as a beginner in this vast world of literature. Short poems are challenging enough in their own. Pulling pieces together into an anthology is the biggest part. Naked love is such a collection of words.

Prabhu: What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Preethi: Apart from writing, I love to read. I like to speak with the people around because everyone has something meaningfully beautiful and interesting to share. I believe that all people around us are the beautiful spirits who are built from the different experiences in life. .

Prabhu: How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

Preethi: I feel like am not yet qualified to answer this question. I believe intimacy is all about complete trust and the pure love one has for their partner.

Prabhu: What are your upcoming projects?

Preethi: As of now, I am working on marketing and sales of my present book.

Prabhu: What inspired you to write?

Preethi: Well..!! I get my inspiration from the world around me. Somewhere I heard writers are the deep listeners and I do agree with that.

Prabhu: What time of the day do you usually write?

Preethi: Not particularly a time for it. When something becomes part of your life you will figure out the time no matter how the day is.

Prabhu: What can readers take away from your book?

Preethi: Naked love is purely a journey of love. We connect to people technically more rather than emotionally. Words do a lot more to the people. When you can’t put your love into the words, life will be more meaningful. This book will surely help you in expressing your love. Readers can relate themselves more with the content of the book. I wish and I hope this will reach you.

Prabhu: Have you incorporated something into your book of your real life?

Preethi: Of course, all the time. I do have the notes of few things which happen to me that might be in the past or in the present. All thanks to my hobby of maintaining a dairy in everyday life.

Prabhu: Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

Preethi: To all the youngsters I say, just focus on what you really want to do in life and help yourselves. Don’t be tough on yourself.

Prabhu: Preethi in one sentence?

Preethi: A soul wandering through Universe.

Prabhu: How can readers touch base with you?

Preethi: I am always glad to interact with my readers. You can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2VcAagS

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2DnenZQ

You can purchase my book via the links provided below:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IF3Bl2

Flipkart: https://bit.ly/2Zml5bN

Notion Press: https://bit.ly/2Dp0xWG

Thank you so much Preethi for taking your time and responding to our questions. I wish that you write many more bestsellers in the days to come.

All the best for your future work.

Interested to publish your interview about your work, please contact me via the above mentioned details.

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Author interview with Virag Dhulia

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

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

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

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

  1. When did you start writing?

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

  1. When you published first?

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

  1. Describe yourself in day to day life?

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

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

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

  1. Tell us more about your book?

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

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

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

  1. What do you think of modern day relationships?

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

  1. What do you think about cheating in relationships?

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

  1. How important physical intimacy is in a relationship?

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Your favorite writer and why?

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

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

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

  1. Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

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

  1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

Answer: Positive Attitude in Negative Situations (pains).

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

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

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Author Interview: The Crossroads by Sudipta Mukherjee

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

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Author Sudipta

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

When did you start writing?

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

When you published first?

“The Crossroads”, in 2015.

Describe Sudipta in day to day life.

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

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

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

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

Tell us more about your book.

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

How do you manage your writing time?

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

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

How important intimacy is in a relationship?

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

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

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

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

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

Your favourite writer and why?

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

What are your upcoming projects?

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

Any tips for the upcoming generation.

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

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

Sudipta in one sentence.

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

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

Contact me to feature your author interview.

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Author Interview with Ch Lady Diana

Hi readers, today we have Ch Lady Diana a fantastic writer with us. Let us chit chat about her work.

Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?

Ans: My name is Ch Lady Diana. I was born and brought up in the beautiful valley of Manipur. I have always loved literature particularly because it helped me to express. I call myself a day dreamer.

Ms.Diana

When did you start writing?

Ans: I have always written short poems or stories for myself. I just never thought of publishing them. The earliest write up, if I remember correctly, dates back to the days when I was 10 or something and I had written about my sleepover experience with my cousins. I also remember that I have always had problems in expressing myself verbally. I have been an introvert and there were phases into that too. So, once I needed to tell my dad about something which I couldn’t express and I ended up writing it in the form of a letter and placing it over his pillow. So writing, to the introvert child that I was, has helped and proved to be therapeutic.

When did you published first?

Ans: I published my first novel The Mirage of Love in 2015. The novel has many questions and observations about the society by a woman. So, it carries the dialectics of a feminist but equally important for anyone who wants to understand individuality.

Describe Diana  in day to day life?

Ans: The everyday-Diana is a workaholic. The recurring days make her say, “OMG I can’t be Prometheus.” Monotony kills her and she wants regular changes in her life. She likes to take on different projects and learn new things. She loves her job. She is always eager to learn. She loves to read. The regular Diana wakes up on time to finish some chores and make some time to write in the morning. The regular Diana goes to her office and likes facing challenges and learning anything new. Most of the time, the regular Diana handles her writing career during the time that spans from post-dinner to the wee hours of the night.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Ans: I like to watch movies, watch documentaries on Netflix, irritate my sister, dote on my son, cook for my family (when mood commands), explore restaurants and eat something good, read books, etc. I am a warehouse of activities.

Tell us more about your book ?

Ans: Lovin’ A Hero is a romance fiction that explores the complex issues of second love, giving life a second chance, second marriage, parental-trust issues and changing gender roles. It’s a funny narrative so people are actually laughing while reading it. While it is also tied to a string of emotional moments, no different from the ones that we go through during hard times when we start questioning our intelligence, our abilities or we withdraw altogether from any form of human connection because we are not able to rely or trust again and the times when we even think that we are facing some sort of existential crisis. Personally, my favourite moments are the ones with the sky lanterns and the rain moment.

What do you think about modern day relationships?

Ans: Modern day relationships are complex. I think relationships have always been complex. It’s just that today, people are more aware and hence, they express better about their desires, issues, stress, etc. People today are more open to explore. I don’t believe in the fact that the previous generations had better relationships.  Young people of today want their relationships to work as much.

Is physical intimacy important in a relationship ?

Ans: Yes, it’s important. Not that it’s the sole important issue nevertheless it’s important.

How do you manage your writing time?

Ans: It’s a lot of running on the treadmill metaphorically speaking. Between raising a kid and a full time job, it’s very difficult to get the much-wanted time to write. Since three years now, or to say more precisely since the time I have focused myself on the writing career, my time to write can happen anytime and anywhere. I take notes on my phone or laptop when I am travelling, the couple of hours in the morning before office is very precious, the hours after everybody has slept is even more precious, writing means your light is always on. Can’t help it. But I enjoy every bit of it. There is no other way I would prefer doing this. I feel very lucky to be around like-minded people. I am in a circle of so many creative minds who keep motivating me even when I am suffering from some kind of mental blockage…so it’s a new kind of lesson every day.

Your favorite writer and why?

Ans: This is the most difficult question. I really don’t know how to answer this one. I am a bookaholic. I like to buy books even when I can’t find the time to read it. I am a literature person, so my muse has always been the Classic writers of Europe. I have studied drama, so I like reading the scripts too. Right from Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Ibsen to post-colonial works especially by Spivak, to J K Rowling, Amish…all of them are my favourite. Even Sidney Sheldon and Sophie Kinsella. I travel in the metro and if I see somebody reading a book, I am weird enough to sneak a peek at the cover to check it out. I am really not discriminate with authors.

What are your upcoming projects?

Ans: I am currently working on about four projects. The latest one will take a year or more, it’s about livelihood in politically torn places and I am focusing on the cultural and political dialectics of my home state Manipur. It is titled The Vanquished Paradise.

Any tips to the upcoming young generation.

Ans: The most important tip is don’t follow the hysteria. Create your own concepts. Learn to read between the lines and work hard enough to create your own name anywhere you go.

Diana  in one sentence.

Ans: I will always be the day-dreamer that I am.

Thank you for the wonderful answers Ms.Daina. Wish you all the very best for your both professional and writing career. For author interviews, please write an email to prabhu@prabhuprasad.in

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Author Interview with Geethanjali Dilippe

Dear readers, today we have with us an award winning poetess Geethanjali Dilippe with us. Let us talk about her inspirational poetry journey.

  1. Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature? On the book cover and therein pages read me as Geethanjali Dilip; a graduate in English literature from Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai. Also with linguistic skills honed as a French Post Graduate from Bangalore University. It’s been more than three decades now teaching French at my centre, Zone Francofone in Salem. In the field of Poetry and literature till now two of my co-authored works and compilations have seen the daylight titled as, “Between Moms and Sons“, co-authored with poet Aakash Sagar Chouhan and “The Virtual Reality” with seven poets. Readers and fellow Poets/Writers also find my contributions on miscellaneous themes at various virtual spaces like Infornicle.com, Differenttruths.com and also on my personal pages on Facebook like Alcove ATMA, Geethatmaa, and other collaborative poetry pages with fellow poets. There is an effortless smile, which relives again and again in this slideshow of endeavours having been felicitated with ‘The Reuel International Award for Poetry 2017’ by The Significant League.
  1. When did you start writing? 

I have contributed poems and articles for my college magazine, The Scrambler. It all started there and triggered a passion to write and spill my soul, my scripts found their place in cultural events and competitions, in schools where I taught French in Salem. My grand daughter – Aarushi’s birth gave a rebirth to my writing and I started compiling poetry in earnest. Eventually, her magical charm became my muse and the daily posts on Facebook have literally made a poet out of me today for which the inspiration got fed by all my virtual, mutual and close friends from their encouraging feedback.

  1. When did you publish first?

In February 2016, a poetry anthology named “Between Moms and Sons”.

  1. Describe Geethanjali in day to day life?

A passionate home-maker, revelling in little miracles of life like the songbirds greeting every dawn, the blossoming flowers in my garden, the rustling trees that breathe with me, my folks and friends, a music too resonates within in all that I do; my students define the meaning and purpose of my life, and poetry unravels my soul, when muses a plenty tap on my shoulder from dawn to dusk.

  1. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

The arts and creativity in any space of my life, music and poetry being a very huge and fulfilling part. Travelling opens up an entire world to me.

  1. Tell us more about your book?

“Between Moms And Sons”, started as a Facebook page with my co- author, Aakash Sagar Chouhan. When we saw the response and appreciation, we took it to the next level, of publishing with Raindrops Company, Bangalore. It has 31 poems including mine and Aakash’s, mostly based on the subtle bonding and relationship of a mother with her child.

  1. What do you think of modern mom-son relationships?

It depends entirely on where it all started, based on the socio-economic scenario and milieu. But from what I observe, in today’s world, a mom has learned to accept that she needs to let go of her son, however close he is to her, allowing him to soar to skies, giving him wings of freedom. I don’t have a biological son, but yes virtual sons who mean so much to me.

  1. Single parent relationships with kids are changing fast in present day society? What do you say?

Definitely! Considering so many marriages on the rocks resulting in divorces; today’s single parent is economically independent to manage pretty well without his/her better half to support them financially, although emotional substitution remains a challenge. Thus it leaves a lot of space for a parent to fill lacunas of single parenting, to give that fulfillment of a complete family for the kid.

  1. How do you manage your writing time?

I juggle my time pretty well, smoothly sailing at a point of my life, when I don’t need to run around to different schools to teach. So my leisure hours get engaged in writing; poetry by nature being spontaneous and not so time consuming like novels or long articles. A Poet is still a Poet even on flights, rail tracks, highways, between cooking and running the home.

  1. What do you want to tell new generation working moms?

Let thy family be the first priority come what may.

  1. Your favorite writer and why?

Mostly I read spiritual literature. It has been really long since I read fiction as voraciously as I used to during my school days. Poetry is more my interest and there are far too many beautiful writers; I cannot enlist really. So I feel every writer writes differently for a specific purpose and I imbibe from the soul of that writing.

  1. What are your upcoming projects?

My second sequel to “Between Moms and Sons”, ” Samudrika Chants” co- authored with Ms. Seema Jayaraman, again a poetry page on Facebook, ” my own page ” Geethatmaa”, a solo anthology.

  1. Any tips to the upcoming young generation?

They have a lot to look forward to, and every generation has its dog days and field days. The mantra is to not take anything for granted but watch the moonrise when you can and go with the flow.

  1. Geethanjali in one sentence.

A handful of song offerings to the Divine.

Thank you so much maam for honestly answering our questions. I wish you all the very best for your future works.

For author interviews, please write an email prabhu@prabhuprasad.in 

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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.

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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.

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