Author Interview: The Crossroads by Sudipta Mukherjee

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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.

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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Home sweet home- Satabdi Banerjee

Satabdi Banerjee

I lend out a room for you, In space of a home I have of own.

Dwelling in; I share my living… In hope…shall grow with you!

I lend out my trust in you,  With a belief over togetherness…

As, sharing is all it takes, To love and nourish my belongingness!!!

My home will live a life of its own;

Blooming each day with the radiant sunrays ushering through the window…

My room will then be fed with care…

And soon shall I see prosperity prevail!

In my home…. Sweet home!!!

 

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Counting hollows – Satabdi Banerjee

Satabdi Banerjee

You count my numbers?
The first, the second and the last?
I wonder your impression for each count you hold.
Do u reflect? or, just let it be a random?
Or even more, welcome upon a challenge to test?
Ask me, how I had seasoned my each flower…
Gazing through their blossom,
And witnessing their aging decay.
Each, beholding it’s unique innocence,
It’s own fragrance,
It’s own charm.

I have seen it all,
have ripened the pain with each passing decay,
A new hope yet despair bore in.
Count my challenges if you may,
As can your eyes bear to see.

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When I first look into your eyes!! – Kriti Singh

When I first looked at in your eyes,
I found something magical hidden in your eyes,
I found the love which was lasting till infinitude,
I found the feelings which was everlasting till affliction.
When I first looked at in your eyes,
I believe something extra ordinary hidden in You,
I believe our love lasting throughout the Spring,Summer,Autumn and Winter,
I believe our love lasting throughout the murkiness.
When I first looked at in your eyes,
I know something special hidden in your emotions,
I know the love lasts in every storm and ups & downs,
I know the love lasts in everything good or worse.
When I first looked at in your eyes,
I felt God has given me a special blessing,
I felt we are meant to be,
I felt no matter the circumstances we ‘ll be together forever,
I felt day & night, good & bad, happy & sad,
Our love endures forever!!
Copyright: Kriti Singh

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Dear O Dear

Hey beauty, hey beauty,

To love you sincerely is my duty.

Hey gorgeous, hey dear,

Please love me once in a year.

Hey sweetheart it’s your smile,

Which fills my heart with happiness for a while.

Your eyes are very much bright,

My passion for you reflects all that light.

The situation of my heart is tight,

I cannot remain further silent and quite,

Come on, Oh dearest dear,

   I want to fly our love in a kite.

Image source: http://www.cfau-pd.net/

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