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‘Everyday there is a new surprise, new learning experience and new opportunities’ – says Aseem Mahajan In A Recent Interview

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About The Author:
Aseem Mahajan is a storyteller who physically resides in India, but his soul can be present at Himalayas or perhaps at Jupiter as per his fancy. You can reach him at: [email protected]

Briefly describe your journey until now. Have you accomplished what you wanted or still have a mile to go?
The journey has been pretty amazing so far. Had my share of success and failures. It has been a great learning experience. Took me 6 years to finish the book because of the complex plot. I am pretty surprised at myself that I actually managed to write this book over the years, perhaps it was my belief in what I was doing. Took me a while to find a good publisher. I was lucky to find a good agent Suhail Mathur from Book Bakers who connected me to Harpreet Makkar from Petals publisher (Red ink publishers) and there was no looking back since then. I wouldn’t day I have accomplished everything I have aimed at as it’s an ongoing journey and there is still a lot to explore and evolve. Everyday there is a new surprise, new learning experience and new opportunities.

What is your book “Captain Elephant: The Mystery of the Bomb” all about?
The story takes place in a fictional island called Pinzoora. It is about a boy called Mayas, and how he evolves into a super hero. But the book isn’t just about his journey of becoming a super hero, it’s about his journey from becoming a super hero to a good human. All this revolves around a mystery that involves a dangerous terrorist Popananda and his nuclear threat to Pinzoora which sends the island into shambles.

What follows is something that a reader should read himself/herself as I wouldn’t want to spoil the suspense by revealing the plot.

I would call it a mixed bag of suspense, humor and emotions. I have interacted with plenty of readers and each individual had a different take away from the book. Some loved the suspense, some found the suspense nail biting, I was surprised with the number of readers highlighting the social message that touched them as I never imagined that people will look beyond the pot boiler story.

What is the most fulfilling part of writing this book? And what is the most challenging?
The most fulfilling part of writing this was that I stuck to something that I strongly believed and completed it. I never let the hurdles get in my way. I have been told some nasty things by publishers and lit agents. I was told to stick to a formula that sells and which is demand. Even though publishers loved the plot and concept, they refused to take up the book as they thought it wouldn’t sell as this kind of plot and story has never been tried before in India. But I have never let these setbacks deter me. Of-course I have a lot of respect for everyone who rejected the book as well, I took away something valuable in wisdom and considered it as a learning experience.

Why is it that Indian writers don’t frequently win big awards such as Booker/ Nobel Prize/ Pulitzer in Literature?
I think there are many Indian writers that are doing some amazing work. Right now the Indian book market is quite different from what is expected of fetching a booker or Pulitzer. This is because of what the readers demand. But I feel these awards are not the only criteria that should been seen as a bench mark. I feel Indian literature today is most intriguing and captivating and the world is noticing it!

How would you like to inspire the creative people wishing to make their career in the field of literature?
Just write right! There is no alternative to quality work so never compromise on the quality. 97% of writers never finish their work and more than 99% of the books are rejected by agents and publishing houses. So make sure you write something that you insanely believe in and finish it no matter how long it takes.

What is the next book that you’ve planned?
I haven’t planned my next book yet, but I have few ideas that I would like to work on. But it should take a while.

 

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Books & Authors

From Corporate Banker To An Award Winning Debut Author | Dots & Streaks The Journey

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How many times we must have gone to the movie halls and applauded watching the Bollywood flicks like ‘Three Idiots’ or ‘Tamasha’. Why do we applaud when we hear those clichéd dialogues time and again which tell us to follow our heart and success will follow on its own. We applaud every single time and even pay to watch and hear those dialogues on reel but do we really practice them in our lives for real. 

As a society we are conditioned since childhood on the definition of success. A definition that beautifully and faithfully covers academic endeavors, jobs and gets monetized thereafter, but miserably fails to cover satisfaction and happiness. That which comes from following your heart’s calling. That which may or may not provide a steady salary or means of livelihood but does provide gratification. Shouldn’t gratification also be a part of the definition of success.

If yes, then why as a society we don’t encourage one’s heart’s calling or nurture one’s passion wholeheartedly. While it is important for every individual to strive for a basic livelihood, isn’t it also important that if that same individual also has a passion and a penchant to pursue it alongside, as a society we encourage that to flourish too. Will it not be for the betterment of the society as a whole if the talents are brought to the forefront adding to the richness of the society at large. Will not encouraging and building a wholesome personality lead to a happier person and therefore a happier society. Isn’t the definition of happiness also distorted today with the mental conditioning of the society leading to a larger section of it leading depressed lives. 

While we grapple with all these questions time and again, there are individuals like Nitish Raj who come forward into action to address these questions. Nitish Raj (Editor-in-chief) and the team of Literary Mirror invited entries from all over the country far and wide in the area of literary fiction and poetry by organizing LIT Digital Awards 2020 in the wake of Covid era. The mission of the awards was to recognize talent in literary field without any distinction whatsoever between the experienced authors and the budding ones. An award designed to purely recognize talent based on the sole merit of the writings and to honor them thus providing a huge boost to such endeavors. 

And true to the promise of its mission the eminent Jury members of the LIT Digital 2020 awards declared ‘Dots & Streaks’ as the winner. A maiden attempt by one such debut author Ellora Mishra. An engineer by qualification from BITS Pilani, Rajasthan and MBA from XIMB, Bhubaneswar the author had been pursuing her career as a corporate banker all this while. While writing was her childhood passion and she found it therapeutic she could never pursue it beyond her blog nor got the required encouragement to do so. 

As Covid struck and gave her that much needed break from the mundane she found time to pause in life, reflect and follow her heart for once which she did by penning down the book ‘Dots & Streaks’. Interestingly, the book ‘Dots & Streaks’ through its short soulful poetic tales addresses the same issue and the mental conditioning of our society. The lyrical verses are a philosophical journey into one’s life compelling the reader to pause and ruminate over all those incidents, emotions and events that seemingly by-passed as mundane in one’s life. But, therein in the ordinary and the mundane resides the true essence of life. The book very beautifully emphasizes this very fact of life as a whole. 

The author Ellora Mishra of ‘Dots & Streaks’ truly believes that as a society there should be more such endeavors to recognize talent in various fields of creativity which is essential to spread positivity in a big way. In the author’s words “while we keep blaming the societal conditioning for our job frustrations and all the distorted definitions, it’s also important that we as individuals support each other too in such positive endeavors taken by another in pursuing their passion. We ourselves tend to spend at the blink of an eye on coffee or pizza but when it comes to buying a book by a new author we hesitate to do so. Till we do not change that attitude ourselves we can’t keep blaming the society for not encouraging creativity or passion.”

Needless to say, we definitely need more such awards like LIT Digital Awards 2020 and a change in our attitude to encourage and harness talent rightfully. Hope awards like these and a journey like the book ‘Dots & Streaks’ serve as a wakeup call to each and everyone going forward.

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Books & Authors

Nitish Raj Receives Advance Royalty for 25,000 Copies

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The acclaimed author and literary critic, Nitish Raj had received an advance royalty of 25,000 copies for his upcoming masterpiece, Love In Modern Times by P.R Productions and Publishers. Mr. Raj had also earlier published a novel. His columns and literary criticisms have got published in various media houses of national and international repute. 

In the words of Mr. Raj; “There is no shortcut to success, inspite of that we need to be  consistent. Today’s youngsters are good when it comes to hard work but they lack direction. If we understand what we are running for in the current time frame, the destiny and destinations are not very far.”  Prateek Sharma; Founder, P.R Productions & Publishers says, “This book of Mr. Raj contains 20 different stories which had touched the depths of the emotions of the mere mortals. And I more than sure that readers will fall in love with it.”

This deal has been facilitated by Literia Insight and his Founder, Vikash Saxena says, “I am very happy that our author has received an Advance Royalty of 25,000 copies which is a unique feat in itself. The budding writers should focus on writing something which could be a torchbearer to the society. It should be at a level which could help us to understand the difference between the right and wrong aspects of society. Writers should be focused towards quality writing. I hope that young writers would understand this fact and will enrich us with quality writing.”

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Books & Authors

Short, Not So Sweet – Jatin Khandelwal revived the art of storytelling

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You read a story either for the content or for the style of storytelling. Seldom, you do so for both. Author Mr. Jatin Khandelwal , in his book ‘Short, Not So Sweet’ had been able to put a collection of fourteen such stories which appeal for both their contents as well as storytelling style.

Though stories with a twisting end are the most popular of the lot, constructing and deconstructing such stories are the toughest of jobs one writer is presented with. Mr. Jatin Khandelwal unlocks this complex trick with ease. He had taken the art of telling thrilling stories to the next level by keeping the length of the narration just about perfect and by adding the right degree of twist to end the story.

One story that stands out is ‘Abracadabra’. Through a magical path of its own, the story revolves around multiple emotions effortlessly and in the end leaves the reader with a sense of hindsight thought. The other stories too are written equally well by this young, adept writer Mr. Jatin Khandelwal.

To end, all we can say is ‘good luck’ to the super talented ‘storyteller’ – Jatin Khandelwal.

Buy Short, Not So Sweet From Amazon For Just Rs.150

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