Interview with Ishaan Lalit

 There are two kinds of people in this world. One who follows the crowd and the other who make a separate  path from themselves. Our young talent belongs to the second class of people.

Ishaan Lalit is  a pilot who has been born and brought up in Faridabad. He has traveled to various countries and loves learning about various cultures. He has been writing ever since he was a young boy.

He could have chosen the tested and successful theme of Love Story, but he promised his readers to give something different without compromising with the quality. So he came up with his first novel “Bracelet”  which was about people who lead normal lives on the surface, but also have a secret double life. They belong to sects called Tantriks and Artharakshaks. Both these sects are on a quest to find a mysterious bracelet which has the supernatural powers. The story moves back and forth between the dream world and the real one. The pace is breathless and exciting, right up to the finish.

His first book was appreciated for its distinct and articulate topic and this wasn’t the end. Now, Ishaan Lalit is up with his 2nd novel, “Hexagon”   which is a Science fiction thriller. It  is titled after an ancient six sided device which can transport you to six dimensions. All having their own form of Earth but there is a war brewing on the other side or sides and the main protagonist is stuck in the war.

(1) You are a multifaceted and creative writer who is a gemologist, a pilot and an adventurer. How do you manage all this??

Let’s just say I like variety in life. Ha ha. No actually I have dedicated myself to writing full time.

( 2) You are a better pilot or a better writer?

That one made me laugh! You really can’t compare the both. Piloting the aircraft is a very busy business. You can’t let up for a minute and in stark contrast, in writing you have to be calm and patient. You have to let all your ideas flow through for the next line.

(3) If we talk about Hexagon which is your second novel after the critically acclaimed, “The Bracelet”. How would you describe it to someone who has not read your previous novel?

Get ready for a fast paced rollercoaster ride of Action, Comedy and a hint of Romance.

(4) Let’s talk about the main character of your novel, “Rahul Oberoi”. How it came into existence??

There was a time in my life when Rahul was the only name which I heard in my head. Rahul was a gentleman in wife’s professional circle who she had a difficult relationship with. After all the nagging Rahul stuck in my head and Oberoi came from the hotel operators. I feel oberoi has royal feel to it.

(5) Well you are a young writer in your late twenties. When most of your fellow writers go for Love Stories, you choose a completely different genre i.e. Science Fiction thriller which is not only a difficult genre but also an unusual one for someone of your age?

Come on, we have comic con in Delhi now. You really can’t say sci-fi belongs to an older generation. Everybody likes Batman, Iron Man and Star Wars. I love sci-fi and I decided to do a sci-fi with Indian characters and an Indian background

(6) Few days back I read a status of a young writer, “Love sells but it doesn’t mean you only sell love”. Your take on this?

Smart status! I kind of agree with it. I am not a very big fan of love stories because at the end of a love story it all boils down to two options whether you get the girl or you don’t and that doesn’t really interest me. Why can’t we have three girls and out of which one can be an alien from the planet Uruga. She might even take the main lead back with her.

(7) How do you usually find your ideas?

I don’t know. They just come to me. There is no science behind it. I just get them anytime and it becomes irritating because I have to write them down just then and it doesn’t work when you are at a social meeting or sleeping.

(8) Your Mother Ritu Lalit is an established writer. So how does it helps you?? Do you discuss each other’s work?

My mom and I do read each other’s work and put a few pointers here and there, but we are two very different individual with very different styles of writing. So it is not a lot of help but it sure is good having her than not having her.

(9) It is a coincidence that even her Novel “Hilawi” is going to released in July. Comments

Yes actually it is. Hexagon was supposed to launch in March originally but got delayed and is launching now.

(10) The book is going to be released by Mahaveer Publications who are known for releasing a book with which a common person can relate to. According to the recent comments that the book cover page has got, it is said to have one of the best cover pages ever published by Mahaveer Publication.

Yeah I read that comment and loved it. Hexagon’s cover concept was originally designed by my wife with a lot of inputs by me but then the cover artist gave it another theme but we worked hard at it with collaboration with Mahaveer’s artist and reached a common ground. I am glad everybody likes it.

(11) Is it inspired from any Hollywood Flick??

Ha Ha Ha. No it is not. It is purely original.

(12) You are an avid Traveler. You love exploring new places. Please share some of your experience.

I have had a lot of experiences but the most significant of them would be a recent one. I was in Dubai and was visiting this nice restaurant in a 5 star hotel. I ordered for a Sheesha, one with the most exotic name. When the waiter delivered the sheesha, he came and blabbered on in Arabic for 5 minutes. After which I looked at him blankly and said “Dude I have no idea what you just said.” He looked at me and replied “Then pronounce the Sheesha’s name like a tourist, sir.”

(13) Your advice to young writers?

Keep writing and don’t get bogged down with rejections.

Interview with Ritu Lalit

People usually associate two terms with  a Movie or a Writer – Critic’s Favorite and Popular.  Chetan Bhegat whom every young writer considers his idol is not at all Critic’s Darling. Ritu Lalit is one such person who has won the hearts of readers from all over the world and has been recognized simultaneously by all the top Critics.

Ritu Lalit is a post graduate in English Literature from Delhi University. Her short stories have been published by CBSE and other publications. She is also an avid blogger and posts frequently at http://www.phoenixritu.com which has got an international following.

She is also an established poetess. Some of her famous works are, “Ode to my once slim waist”) and “lament of the heavy lover”.

In her very successful first book,” A Bowlful of Butterflies”  she took a  delicate issue of a girl who falls for her younger cousin but she is not ashamed of the fact. It dealt with many complex modern day relationships.

Ritu Lalit, who in her day job is a corporate worker in senior management has penned another gripping tale, this time a fantasy thriller called “HILAWI” which will be available on 5thJuly,2012. It is based on the powerful event of Samundra Manthan. It explores the possibility that Myths are actually based on real events, and are not just Fairy Tales.

(1)   A Blogger, writer, corporate worker and a supermom. You are an inspiration to all the modern women.

I thank you for thinking so.  I think I am just a human being, first and foremost with flaws like everyone else. Yes women in our society have been suppressed and have been expected to play a subservient role, that of a dependant.  I, because of my personal life, have had to be the provider, and so it changed me.  If women can take inspiration from my life, I would be honored.

(2)  Women always play a central role in your novels. Even in your Blog you have discussed the role of Women as per the Vedas. Is it intentional?

I am a woman and find it easier to relate to women, so women play a central role in all my work.  Besides this, to me a woman is the most interesting of my set of characters.  I find myself thinking –so how will she react to this event, and what must she be thinking and experiencing.  I am trying to change this a bit in my future works, but still women play main leads in my books.

(3)  Tell us something about your upcoming novel, “Hilawi”?

Hilawi is supposed to be a powerful and magical object that is churned out of the sea by Gods and Demons during the samudra manthan.  A young fourteen year old slave girl inadvertently takes it when she tries to flee the place. The object stays in her family, and is revered, feared and even coveted leading to bloodshed and violence.

 (4) Please Continue….

My central characters are all young girls.  The slave girl is a central character, and so is her decendant who becomes the owner and protector of Hilawi.  For more details you will have to read the book.

(5)  Which parts of researching The Bhagvad Purana, the Mahabharata and Vishnu Puran were the most personally interesting to you? Were there any facts, symbols, or themes that you would have liked to include, but they just didn’t make into the story?

They are such fascinating books, all of them.  Reading them brought back the stories my grandmother told us.  What I like most is that they tell tales which seem more natural than our modern day beliefs.  Our Gods are powerful, but they have their own agendas.  They do not exist to grant us boons .. which seems so much more believable than our current day beliefs.  Consider this, if you were all powerful and had magical superpowers, would you be concerned with the welfare of a puny human?  I should think not.  You would have more lofty concerns.  And yes, I wanted to bring Krishna’s flute and sudershan chakra, the trishul of Shiva etc into the story … but perhaps that will come in some other book.

(6)  Samundra Manthan was a fascinating story about Gods and Demons forming an unusual alliance to churn magical objects. How do you relate above event in present day context using Hilawi as a powerful object?

Oh it’s a grand scene; I wish someone could have filmed it, when it happened, (if it happened at all!)  Imagine choppy waters with surf, a mountain on the back of a gigantic turtle being used as a pivot; huge warriors using a serpent as a rope to churn the ocean, fire, thunder etc …

Yes the scene is epic – I have used this scene as the first chapter of my book.  It just sets the tone for the rest of the book.

(7)   Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details that would enliven your page.

I wrote my first novel in longhand in a register when I was a teenager.  It was a thinly veiled narration of my extended family.  My father was shocked and he told me if I wanted to have any family at all, I would not show it to anyone else.  He said, “Beta first live your life, and after that write.”  Thanks to him, I still have family members who love me and talk to me 😛  And yes, I have a lifetime of experiences that have added depth to my writing.

My first job was that of a model.  I kept it a secret, because in my family it would have been a scandal.  I did that for pocket money and sadly they did find out and I got into huge trouble.

I completed my graduation, post graduation and MBA after my first son was born.  In fact for many years we did our homework together on the dining table while our dinner cooked (burnt?) on the stove.

(8)  There are always a sort of positive vibes associated with you and that depicts in your characters and your Blog. How do you keep yourself motivated?

It is not in my nature to be serious.  Of course bad things happen, but then I remind myself that we are all born with a transit visa … life is impermanent.  So why get sad and desperate?  In a few decades we will be dead, so laugh it off.  You know something, it works!

(9)  You write poems too with a flavor of Humor involved in it.

Yes I do.  I write them for fun.  My own favourite is  “An Ode to my once Slim Waist” and “Lament of a Heavy Lover”.  I had a group of friends and we used to talk to each other in verse, pull each other’s leg and generally have fun.  These poems are a result of those interactions.

(10)  What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?  What are your favorite books and why?

This is always asked to me, but I find it hard to name one favourite book.  Currently I have just finished reading the third book of Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook.  He writes gritty and realistic books quite like R R Martin’s Game of Thrones.

(11)What’s a typical day like for you?

Wake up, exercise, eat breakfast, rush to office, work, come back.  Chill a bit and then write.  If my boss is out of station, I write at work too.  I know I should not, but writing is so addictive.

(12)  You are quite famous among Bloggers due to your honesty. Even in A Bowlful of Butterflies which dealt about a young girl attracted to her young cousin you simply narrated the story without passing any judgement?

Hey, Life is too short for pretences.  If I am not honest in my work, not real, I will not make a connection with the reader.  To me writing is a serious occupation; it is my craft, the thing I was born to do.  And my goal is to be honest with my audience. They are going to spend money, buy my book and read.  I owe it to them.

(13) Any message for your readers?

Keep reading.  It is the best thing to do.  We are human beings, and our supremacy over animals is that we have written history that makes us learn more from the experiences of our ancestors.  This is what works in our favour.  So keep reading.  And I would like to add, do buy my books and read them.

Interview with Nikhil Chandwani

Description :                   

Indian Literature is witnessing a change and we can see lot of young writers coming up with innovative ideas. Even publishers are encouraging them by giving them opportunities to make it to big league along with some of the established names.

Nikhil Chandwani is one of the guys with whom young readers can relate to. An alumni of VIT, one of best private college of India believes in living life to full. He is with us presenting his debut novel –

 I Wrote Your Name in the Sky And yours And Yours Too

This book is about a flirt. It’s a dairy of a flirt. A flirt who was an introvert. A flirt who didn’t knew what flirting means. A flirt who started with a broken heart and broke many hearts. Check out this awe-inspiring teenage journey. Check out why cheats exist. Check out why people break hearts. It’s full of confusion, lust, romance and love in the universe of teenagers

Love stories has become a favorite topic among the first time writers. What different are you going to offer to your readers?

My story is not at all a love story! It’s way different from it! It’s a comedy humorous story about a horny teen narrating his past.Many writers are writing love stories! Yes because personal experience is the easiest thing to pen down..Even I penned down a personal story..But not an ideal love story but a practical story of a flirt.

You yourself is a very young guy just 18. Your views about Teenage Love and Psychology of a Flirt??

Teen love?? okay
Physical attraction and emotional dependence.. Both has its positives and negatives!

Psychology?? He lives for moments..he creates moments of lust romance and emotions!

 How and when did you get started as a writer?

There are big writers who writes about there engineering life! But every engineer’s life has a past! I have penned down a past of a typical engineering flirt.

I wrote poems for magazines, newspapers and various online websites. I started to write when I was 10!

 Did you ever get any rejections?

Rejections? I never had high hopes when I wrote. I became a writer because I was passionate about it! Regarding the publisher, I used much of my poetic lines and combined it with interlinked short stories of a teen followed by lessons for introverts and poetry!

I knew this concept was one of a kind and new….

 How you hit upon the title of the book?

It was spontaneous! I thought of using a title “a diary of a flirt” but used this huge one officially

Well as your novel has just been released last week what Kind of response are you getting?

It’s really great! Getting positive reviews and the best response includes respect from everyone around me!

How did mentors influence your life? Any special person whose work you look upon?

Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s work and always supportive parents influenced me

 What’s one core message you received from your mentors?

Blessing from Dr. shashi Tharoor over an email and lessons of how to keep legs on the ground while u touch the sky from parents 

 How long did it take you to write it? Wasn’t it difficult to write a novel along with studies?

Took 3 months to write! Skipped touching alcohol and checking out girls for a while…so had a lot of time left to write

 What advice can you give budding young writers?

Dream big! Sky is not the limit! People have walked on mars and Moon too! If they could then why not you? Gear up and fulfil your dreams!

Can you sum up your book in 4 words?

Erection is never satisfied!