Interview Break- Ankita Rathour (Author of Epiphany: Tales of Revelation)

Hello everyone,
Today we have an amazing and smart poetess Ankita Rathour who launched her book, Epiphany: Tales of Revelation, a few days ago. So let’s see how she responds to my questions.

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  1. Tell us about yourself.

I am a lazy nerd who reads and watches crime series in free time and writes poems. I love F.R.I.E.N.D.S. which is my daily dose of sanity. Teaching is my passion and I am associated with Hindustan Times Learning Centers since 2015 as a subject expert in English. I love long conversations over coffee!

  1. What brought you in this writing world?

Dissatisfaction. There are books everywhere nowadays and most of them are bestsellers but hardly any of them are contributing to the social and cultural fabric at large. I intend to do that through my writing. Moreover, I am disheartened to see the rampant commercialization of writing in which poetry has no place. For me, poetry has always been the most powerful and underrated form of literature that needs to be out so that it can inspire more poets to come out of their shells.

  1. What after writing?

I have been a literature student and still am. I have continued and will continue my research interests. Secondly, I am a teacher so I will be dedicated towards the long-term purpose of making this society and India better.

  1. What made you write Epiphany: Tales of Revelation?

An inspiration. An Epiphany.

The book is a story about and of people. As a writer, I strongly believe in the raw and purest forms of emotions that need to come out on paper because they deliver you the liberation that you have been looking for.

I had been writing poems since long and then I decided upon the right time to get it out in print.

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  1. Tell us a name of a fictional character that resembles you and why?

Well! It’s quite impossible to associate yourself with one character and being a literature student yourself you would agree with that. A very dear friend of mine once said: “You have multiple personalities in you.”

I feel I am an amalgamation of many. To narrow it down: I associate myself closely with Elizabeth Benett (Pride and Prejudice), Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and Sindi Oberoi (Foreigner). I think I am witty like Elizabeth, passionate like Heathcliff and detached as Sindi. Many other characters come close to but let’s just end it here.

  1. According to you what is the real meaning of literature?

Literature means to connect, relate and grow. What is the most fascinating part about literature is the way different narratives go on being ‘relatable’ through ages. I think literature is the biggest time travel ever possible. Not everything written is literature. So, we need to be very careful about what we read and write.

  1. Names of authors you follow. And why?

I am fanatic about Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. I ardently love Austen, Bronte sisters, D.H. Lawrence, Toni Morrison, Samuel Beckett, Paolo Coelho, R.K. Narayan and Arun Joshi. I love the works of Hanif Qureshi and Jhumpa Lahiri. The list goes on.

  1. Anything about your upcoming work?

I have recently penned down my first crime story which is to be released soon in the anthology titled ‘Abstract Tales’. I will be working on the short story collection of my detective/sleuth after that. I am ready with another collection of poems too but I am waiting for the right time to get it out.

  1. How can our readers connect with you?

I write experiences which not only become easily relatable but also give you an insight about yourself. The readers will find that reality and individuality in my work.

  1. Any words to newbies?

Please read literature. Pick up classics and start now! Read what you think you shouldn’t be reading. That helps you grow and mature. Please do not run after the tag of ‘bestseller’. Believe in quality rather than quantity and learn to love solitude- that will make you a great writer.

GRAB YOUR COPY OF EPIPHANY: TALES OF REVELATION

Chat Session With Priyanka Lal, Author of The Rose Bush

Hello readers, today we have Priyanka Lal with us. She is the author of The Rose Bush. She is a teacher in Bangalore by profession but her passion has given her a different identity, that’s an author and an avid reader. So, now let’s see what Priyanka Lal has prepared for this interview…

1.Tell us something about yourself.

First and foremost, thank you for this opportunity and introducing me to your readers. I will try to answer all your questions honestly, as I find them really interesting.

I was born in a small town of Jharkhand, completed my studies from Sacred Heart, Ranchi. I am an entertainment addict, I enjoy movies, English sitcoms, reading as well as gossip. As a profession, I enjoy teaching but am into full time writing now which is my passion. I love corners and that’s where I was found huddled with books all the time ever since I can remember. There was a time when I ate, breathed and slept novels, reading 3-4 novels in a day. Now my time gets occupied by a You Tube loving four-year-old and a software engineer husband, with whom I live in Bangalore.

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2. What is writing for you?

Writing is something that I cherish. I can’t think of myself without writing, working on my characters and their behaviors. It helps me express myself freely, create images then see them come to life in my mind and then in front of my eyes, via paper. I can live with my fabricated characters forever. Writing is an outlet, a therapy. Everything that my life so far has given me, the way it has shaped me comes out in my writing. It keeps me focused, sane and gives me a zest to experience and enjoy more of life. It is my past, present and future. I live so many lives because I constantly think what one or the other character would do, their reactions to situations I put them in. They always keep my life interesting, there is never a monotony, no time to get bored.

3. Did you always want to be a writer?

I have never thought of writing as a job, or my means of living. Though there is nothing wrong if I do get paid for it. I always knew, I will be writing one day. I had not decided about the time, or planned it but I was always sure the world will see and hold novels written by Priyanka Lal.

4. Who is your biggest influence?

I have spent most of my life with a novel. So all the influence has come from them definitely. On the way, when I met people even they rubbed off. I started reading mysteries first and then progressed to other fictions, genres. In what I write I observe, I try to maintain an air of suspense, so I think the strongest influence is of the mystery novels I started my reading journey with. I hear authors saying, they are not comfortable with writing something or the other. I never feel that inhibition. I think that is because I have read so many different books, so they have made me very comfortable with what and how I write. I try to write what I would want to read, that goes for the language I use as well. I don’t enjoy too simple language nor too complicated. With my work, I try to achieve that balance.

5. Tell us about your previous books and experience with them.

The Rose Bush is my first novel to have been published. I have faced the uphill battle that goes with trying to get a book published, so there is not much I could add to the grievances of a debut novelist. I had started writing a couple of books before I started this, and they are still work in progress which I hope to finish in the next year.

6. Anything about “The Rose Bush”?

The Rose Bush is a romance-drama. Readers say, it is written in a style markedly different from the other books available presently in the market. It is a journey on which the reader embarks along with the protagonist. It hooks the reader. It is a comprehensive story of a girl and her life, the men in her life be it her father, a boyfriend, a relation or a husband. The story has twists, turns and leaps. When one reads it they will find it real. As real as you and me. It’s a story of a girl, her aspirations, her dreams, her nightmares, struggles, her wins and losses. It comes full circle and embraces you. You find yourself in Kadambari’s story.

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The book has so far only received praises, I know that sounds boastful, but that’s the truth. The novel is available on amazon.in

http://www.amazon.in/Rose-Bush-Priyanka-Lal/dp/8192963454/ref=sr_1_1?

7. What is Literature for you? Meaning and importance.

I particularly like this question of yours, Anuj.

Most of the writers I have come across (I come across many these days!) have forgotten the word, ‘Literature’ or assign minimum importance to it.

Personally, I think Literature is a treasure of mankind. It belongs to all and will survive the test of time. It is not limited by boundaries. The best of writings I have enjoyed have come from all over the world.

I believe, it must be safeguarded, and not be played with in the name of ‘it sells so I can write crap’. I have been advised, by some selling authors, the quality will never help you earn, lower the price and the language finesse, that will make you a popular author. Somehow I can’t bring myself to do that. How many of these low price authors do I read? Let me answer it for you, I didn’t even know the names of most of the ‘selling’, ‘popular’ authors until some time ago. A good quality book, in language and content, for me is my prized possession and that’s how I see the books that I read and enjoy.

Quote from The Rose Bush, I love.

My contribution to the world at large are the following words. “Everyone should have their heart broken. It hurts you, suffocates you and nearly kills you. The flip side is the intense pain only makes you a stronger person.”

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8. What are your other interests besides writing?

Reading is my interest, hobby and now I have made it my leisure work. I give feedback / review novels on my blog. I have two blogs, one is dedicated to books reviews and impressions and the other I write about issues that interests me. It could be anything, election result to a talked about murder or environment issues. I believe in ‘Conservation of resources’ and try to practice them, I don’t preach about it much. I am not a very avid blogger though. I prefer working on my novels.

Editing is something I enjoy a lot. I do freelance editing for PhD scholars and have edited a couple of manuscripts for other authors, some of which have seen the light of day, while others are in progress.

9. Are you planning to come up with more books?

Definitely.

All my readers have appreciated my book, but they have also said that they found my book very lengthy. So by the end of this year I plan to come up with a collection of short stories.

I am currently working on four novels, which I hope to get published in the next couple of years.

I know my readers are eagerly waiting for my next work and I am working to the best of my abilities to come up with something that will form a relation with them like The Rose Bush did.

10. How can our readers connect with you?

First and foremost, via my novel of course. That’s where they will start to get to know me.

On various social media platforms.  They can follow me on Facebook, twitter @priyankalal21, Google+, Instagram.

My two blogs;

https://flavourednotions.wordpress.com/

http://plandwordplay.blogspot.in/

Interview Session With Paromita Goswami

Hello readers, Today in the interview session we have Mrs Paromita Gosawami with us.
Read her answers to know more about here…

1. Tell us, Who is Paromita Goswami?

A mother, a wife, a sister, a friend and an animal lover.

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2. What writing means to you?

Writing is my life, my breathe. It makes me who I am. It’s the window to my world.

3. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes I always dreamt of being a writer. It is in my genes you can say. More of a story teller. I love picking up my subject from day to day life, then observe it closely while at the back of my mind I am weaving a beautiful story about it waiting to be told.

4. Discuss your biggest influence here.

My father is my biggest influence. It is only because of him that I started writing. He was a brilliant writer himself penning down all his awesome experiences of life. Maybe someday I will publish his work too.

5. What else you do beside writing?

I am also having a book reading club by the name of, Raipur Little Minds Book Reading Club. The objective of the club is to grow interest in reading books. I am happy that today not just the kids but the adults are also part of my club. Apart from physical meetups we are also engaging people online. We have also announced HOLI CONTEST which is open online contest. The details are mentioned in the end.

6. What about your book, Shamsuddin’s Grave?

My book Shamsuddin Grave is an offbeat social drama based on the theme of Indo- Bangladesh partition. It is a very touching story and has won many hearts.

7. Why did you create “Book Promoting Community”?

Now that’s a very good question! Book Promoting Community is a facebook group. It is created to help promote each other’s work without any inhibitions. Anybody related to the world of books can join the community. We have members who are authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, beta readers, reviewers, book bloggers and many more. We are growing very fast as a group. Even aspiring authors and writers can join the community provided they have promo material related to books only. Now a very important fact about the group. We work on sharing basis. There is a guideline that you have to follow failure of which your post is disapproved and deleted. The community also hosts a monthly market, MANDI, where the prospect meets the clients. It is hosted on the 1st Wednesday of every month.

8. Would you like to share your best poetry with us here?

I am not a poetry person but since its World Poetry Day going on I will share one of my

https://rollingstonepictureproduction.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/a-short-poem-the-week/

9. Tell us about your upcoming work.

I am very busy these days with so many assignments in hand. Summer is round the corner and reading club needs more activities to keep the little kids engaged. As I said we have online members too hence the work is more. April I am taking AtoZblogging Challenge. Which means I have to write blogs with a theme everyday in the month of April. I am doing a Very Very Short Story of a 5 year old girl –

GROW UP MESSY. Below is the detail of my blog so that you can join me.

My next book is a collection of short stories THE JUNGLE SERIES genre paranormal coming up shortly. It is about the forests in Chhattisgarh which is also the home of various tribals who practice different rituals. Watch out for it in my author page mentioned below.

9. How can our readers connect with you?

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Author-Paromita

Twitter : https://twitter.com/authorparomita

Blog : https://rollingstonepictureproduction.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/atozchallenge-theme-

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Reading Club :

https://raipurlittlemindsbookreadingclub.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/information-holi-

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24923650-shamsuddin-s-grave

Words From Kashmir- Interview Session With Perveiz Ali

Hello everyone, This is Anuj Kumar, your host here.

So today’s day is very special as we have a young guy with us. He belongs to a mortal heaven, which is Kashmir.I welcome Mr Perveiz Ali, from the world famous Saffron Town of Kashmir, Pampore. A multi talented man is a poet from heart but he also loves to write stories.

“How can one dream of a progress without love to a struggle.”
– Perveiz Ali

 

So let us start our exclusive interview with Perveiz Ahmed, from Kashmir.

1: Tell us something about yourself?

Born in the eighties in Pampore, the world famous Saffron Town of Kashmir. By qualification I am a naturalist, by profession an administrator and a teacher and by passion I am a writer. In simple terms, I am a Human with humane feelings against the drawing of blood, intimidation and oppression. I grew up in a middle class family mostly associated with agriculture, where reading and writing is regarded as an important asset.

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2: What is writing for you?

Writing is my passion, a dream I follow tirelessly day and night. I use it to paint the white canvas of my life with appealing, enthralling and optimistic artistry using wordplay pertaining to different facets of life. It is a way to introduce my inner being to the world.  The world knows me through my actions, but my writing puts my inner self on display. It gives readers a deeper look into my soul.

Writing is a medium to express one’s stand on the different issues one is interested in. It is a platform to foster the seeds of world peace and universal brotherhood. It serves to awaken the consciousness of future generations, planting the seeds of hope and a sense of Coexistence, which can help us bring back the lost glory of humanity.

Writing is a tool, to steer momentum towards the much needed positivity and welfare of the world. This is accomplished by nudging the minds of people, to think about the place they are living in, with an approach towards humanism.

3: Did you always wanted to be a writer?

To be frank, this one is very difficult to answer as one can’t say with certainty in black and white what ones wish is to be in life in early age. Different trends comewith a surface, especially in developing societies which in turn lure the young and enthusiastic generation for different portfolios. To be a doctor or engineer at one stage or teacher and civil servant atanother stage is a common wave in such society. Being the part of such society I was not an exception.

But from my school days, my inner self always prompted me either to appreciate the happenings going on around me or to raise my hands in reservation to the acts/thoughts not good for the world in general and my homeland, Kashmir in particular. It is this inner cry, which I used to share, with extra care to my daily diary. Whether you call it my aim to be a writer from the very beginning or an inclination towards being a writer, it is up to you. Let me clear, from my childhood days a kind of fascination for newspapers, magazines and books of general nature has taken a pivotal role in my life. Reading books ranging from religious to irreligious broadens the vision besides welcoming with an opportunity to choose a stand based on logic and rationale. Whether I liked to send my writing stuff for publication or not, but the darling friendship with paper and pen is not new at all but as old as my life of conscience is.

4: Who is your biggest influence?

Prior to your question, let me share something which I value most as it fashioned my writing skill a lot. Once I came in the writing filed, I think I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to meet Carl Pontiak (Jamaica), a poet, critic and editor and Brigitte Poirson (France), poetess and university professor. Both of them infused the skill of verse weaving in way that I can’t explain in words.

There is not any single personality who influenced me most but fairly a large number, among which I would like to mention a few ; William Shakespeare, Rumi, Mark twain, TS Eliot, Walt Whiteman, Sean Heaney, Elf Shafak

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5: Being a Kashmiri we would like to hear something about Kashmir from you?

Kashmir, my homeland… My passion, From an aesthetic point of view, Kashmir needs no explanation. Its tagline “Kashmir – A paradise on earth”… is enough to describe this wondrous piece of land on this planet of wonders.

Talk to any common Kashmiri about the Kashmir, their question is the same “When is it all going to end?”

This soil has witnessed the death of a hundred thousand Kashmiri, at the hands of security forces amid thousands of disappearances. The leaders of India and Pakistan are well aware of the ground situation and realities in Kashmir, but they are not educating their people about the atrocities.

The present scenario is such, that if the government takes even an insignificant step towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue, the opposition will be ever ready to blow it out of proportion.  A common Kashmiri challenges the sincerity of India in resolving the issue. They resort to the same age old tactics of indulging in talks followed by talks and then by more talks just to keep it in cold storage.

Moreover, miscalculating and misrepresenting the situation has become common agenda.  Poll results are compared with people’s trust in India, stone pellets are associated with LeT and ISI and general protests with Pakistan.

Whatever the reason is, be it either India or Pakistan, or any other agency working in Kashmir, kashmiris have suffered a lot irrespective of religion.

We have seen the massacres, custodial killings and daily bloodbaths. This has to end. We may spend millions even billions for aesthetic and developmental projects but for whom? Who truly benefits? All at the cost of deprived humanity?… Sorry big No!!!

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6: Would you like to share the best poetry with us.

For poet, poetry is simply poetry not best or worst. Here I would like to share a few but for reading my inner being you have to wait a bit more.

Love’s Garden

Here is a garden in a lush land,

Nestled in a green mountain gap,

Picturesquely beautiful and sweet,

A natural resort of health and calm

Where sweet mountain air fills the blood,

 

A combination of aromatic breezes,

Glittering waters and green forestry,

Colorful flowers of vibrant colors.

The virgin roses open their petals

To keep the fragrance of love alive

 

Here wounds of worries are healed,

Caressed gently by Mother Nature

Spring and summer set a natural theme.

Winter ushers out with a frantic scream.

One can walk here as if in a dream.

 

Happiness floods the emotions subtly.

Bringing smiles and radiant glows,

Red maple leaves on strong trees

Sing songs, dancing in the wind.

Listen closely to a sweet concerto!

 

Such peaceful commune with nature,

Soothing moments to gratefully cherish

Under blue skies and among butterflies,

Sharing with birds and woodland creatures:

A paradise unsoiled by hate, love supreme.

 

Ruminations

Human beings…..

In a race to change

The very definition of humanity,

Only to get baptized in insanity.

 

Politicians…

Rhapsody of Parliaments and Governments,

To bring a system of popularity

Full of hate and inequality.

 

Bureaucrats….

Mobilize the art of duality,

Impress the subordinates with cruelty,

Pave a way for ambiguity.

 

Media…..

Refine the art of deception,

Brainwashing the public view,

Discourage insightful review.

 

Intellectuals….

Racing the horses of wishes

Full of illogical ideals,

Manipulate us, as they steal the treasure.

 

Teachers…

Busy projecting arcane results,

Doubtful about own native cultures,

Relishing the limelight, like vultures.

 

Administrators…..

Passionate to be remembered,

Print their names on streets and buildings,

Boards and Committees their starlings.

 

Social workers….

Administer the theoretical concepts,

Bridge the recognised social rifts,

Actually dedicated to subjugation and wanton theft.

7: Tell us something about your upcoming work?

Two poetry collections are in processing. One about my homeland, Kashmir in which my utmost attempt is to continue the project of Kashmiri landmark Poet Agha Shahid Ali “To let know the world the pain and misery Kashmir is suffering from long.” Secondly, I would simply love to foster this one called “Love and Nature.” This has a diverse theme aiming to foster the ground for universal brotherhood.

8:Any message for young and budding writers?

To the future writers who follow this path? I would seek to tell them to always write about their passion for whatever they truly love and have interest in.

Embrace the differences in us humans and write about it with tolerance and understanding of the need for peace and love.

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9: How can our readers connect with you?

https://m.facebook.com/Perveiz-Ali-440450106086796/

http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.poemhunter.com%2Fperveiz-ali%2F&h=zAQHsh9L4&s=1

http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.poetrypoem.com%2Fmypoems3358&h=yAQFxLww3&s=1

email:  justperveiz007@gmail.com

 

 

Amazing Time With Dr. Santosh Bakaya

It is an immense pleasure to interview Dr. Santosh Bakaya, A Reuel International Award winner. So without wasting even a second let’s start asking Dr. Santosh some questions here. But before that read a quote by Dr. Santosh Bakaya.

It is love and love alone that moves this wide, wonderful, whacky world. had there been no love and just hatred, the world would have hurtled down an abyss long back.
– Dr. Santosh Bakaya

1. Tell us something about yourself.

.At the very outset let me thank you for this opportunity , and let me also emphasise that as a teacher, I have always appreciated the  creative spark and dynamism in the youth . So Anuj, hats off to you for your enterprising work.

Well, I am an ordinary person, but always on the lookout for the extraordinary in life. My family tells me that I am always on a high , I laugh easily, I cry easily , a lone tear  in a person’s eye can trigger  a deluge of tears in me . In all my dealings, it has always been the heart that has had the last word, while the head always takes the back seat. Although , I have a doctorate in Political theory , literature has always been my first love.

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2. What is writing for you?

Writing is a passion for me.It is my lifeline.  Writing is catharsis. It is therapeutic for me, almost a magic wand which can lift my sagging spirits. It is as important for me as eating. But I can live without eating, not without writing. I have to write every day, come what may. If I do not, I feel something is not right.  If something tickles my fancy , I have to write about it , if I do not put my thoughts on paper , it will keep rankling in my brain , until I have given vent to it .

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3. Did you always want to be a writer?

No, I never wanted to be a writer, but one day something happened in school, which put this seed in my mind. In class tenth, I had written an essay on Charles’ Dickens, and one of my teachers in St. Angela Sophia School Jaipur, Sr Theodora,  liked it so much, that she told the entire assembly, ‘This naughty brat Santosh has the makings of a writer. Don’t be surprised if you find your friend as a novelist one day.” So, this self- fulfilling prophecy prodded me on into writing more than ten books – essays, novels, a collection of poems. My three mystery novels for young adults were quite popular.

4. Who is your biggest influence?

My father, Dr K. N Bakaya, a very eminent professor of English in Rajasthan University was indeed a great influence on me. He flung away the same essay that Sr. Theodora had praised, with the remark, “what a mediocre essay, it has no style, is this the way one writes? You cannot become a writer, without first reading a lot. Once you read, read and read, only then will you be in a position to write. I remember, he gave me Willkie Collins ‘book, ‘The woman in White’ to read, “finish it in a week, and we will discuss it” he said. So it became a ritual.  From that day, I started reading every book that I could lay my hands on, and every weekend, I would have an enlightening discussion with dad, in which all the siblings would chip in .   Our house was a bibliophile’s paradise, and I reveled in this paradise, gorging on bits and pieces of litearture , enriching myself along the way.

5. Tell us something about your Ballad of Bapu.

One of the  students in my MPhil class, always used to crinkle his nose at the mention of Gandhi , and when I told him to first read properly and only then criticize him , he remarked , “Madam , I am a poet ,  I want you to write a ‘mahakavya’ on him , then I will read” . Ballad of Bapu was my answer to him.

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6. Would you like to share your best poetry with us here?

My best is yet to come, for i am learning every day , but I am sharing a few stanzas from my long poem SHE [SHE stands for my imagination.]

SHE:

Ah she comes, she comes, a song she hums

Rising above the cacophony of war drums

How she loves to change dresses and masks

This fashionista deftly performing myriad tasks.

 

. She is the arrow plummeting through the forest.

Hugging many an explosive secret to her breast

The swish of the wind galloping through the trees

Misty and mesmerizingly magical, at times a tease.

 

She morphs into a rain cloud ready to burst

Rearing to quench a parched throat’s thirst

She dies as the last candle in the shepherd’s shack

And then as the rustle of the leaves is again back.

 

7. What are your other interests besides writing?

I am equally passionate about teaching, and reading, and love to interact with my students. Yes, I have also written and directed many plays, and love to conduct creative writing workshops with my husband.

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8. Tell us about your upcoming work.

I have this uncanny habit of working on different projects in a slap – dash simultaneity, as a result I do not have just one upcoming work, but five.

The first one in a collection of my peace poems, ‘Where are the lilacs?’, which will soon go  to the publishers .The second is a biography of Martin Luther King Jr, which I will be sending to the publishers in a month’s time, the remaining two are novels- one a satire on higher education, and the other a love story .My most ambitious project is Oh Hark! which fetched for me the Reuel International Award for Writing and Literature , 2014 , I am in the process of completing  a sequel to it  and  intend  publishing  both as an illustrated book.

9. How can our readers connect with you?

santoshmagazine@gmail.com

 

 

Dr. Ampat Koshy’s Interview

Today we have Dr Ampat V. Koshy with us. A man who writes poetry on everything, in my view he lives in poetry.

Let’s meet Dr Ampat V. Koshy…

1. Tell us something about yourself.

I often start from this point that I wanted to be a musician but since I am not good at it but at writing I try to make my writing nothing but pure music.

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2. What is writing to you?

Writing is something very precious to me. It’s how I survive, or deal with the world, escape, treat myself, figure things out, show my passions, have fun, express myself, make love, make peace and also try to make a significant contribution to human beings and life. I was born and brought up in a very writing and language and word centred family which prized being good at it as a kind of premium thing to do. There were lot of books and so to be accurate I read more than I wrote for many, many years. I feel this gives my writing an edge.

3. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes but I also wanted to be a cricket player, a musician, a painter, a sculptor, make movies… I guess I wanted to be an artist and sportsman. Not that I did not like science or the humanities but the arts was the biggest draw, I guess. Or maybe it has to do with making the best of one’s opportunities and the lack of them.

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4. Who is your biggest influence?

Well from historical figures, if they may be called so, Jesus and Buddha I think, but from among writers Shakespeare, Dickens, Wilde, and books the Bible and from among people my Dad and Mom. Pretty traditional, when I think of it now.

5. Your name has been printed on many books, how was your journey from your first book to the latest one?

A satisfying one, a crazy one, one filled with working like a mad man and spending sleepless nights. My first book was self published and just a kind of small pamphlet or leaflet of poems done in a local press funded by my mom and dad who were good enough or crazy enough to let me try it out. It was called FIGS. But it was in 2010 that my first book came out and then later there has just been this flood of a total of now ten or eleven more books in the last five years, as author, co-author, editor, compiler, anthologist, co-editor and it has been all hard work, dedication, persistence, sweat, tears, blood, and perseverance as well as endurance. Also endless cups of coffee and insomnia helps.

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6. How is The Significant Anthology doing today?

It is doing well. The editors, writers, publisher, buyers, readers and reviewers have to be thanked along with the sponsors. We changed the face of publication in India and most of the credit goes to Reena Prasad and the contributors in Rejected Stuff like you, Anuj, not to forget the general public which gave it such a warm welcome.

7. Why did you create “Rejected Stuff,” a Facebook group even when you have the capability of not getting rejected?

Well, actually I have not faced much rejection except regarding controversial political or sexual content but I see lots of writers struggling to get a start and wanted to encourage them that they could get better and move up and out and away from being people who get rejection slips. I too still get them, it is never that I only get accepted, Many have found the group a home and moved on to better things but some also then act big which is amusing as they have not reached anywhere near where I have, but the group goes on relentlessly due to the Reuel Prize and our publications and also as other new writers come in to replace the ones who move up or on and get encouraged in their turn.  We have with us great writers like Michele Baron, Santosh Bakaya, another Reuel Prize winner of Oh, Hark!fame, Joanna Sarah Koshy and in the anthology we had Don Yorty (America), Daniella Zurfluh (earlier Voicu), Aprilia Zank (Germany), Iulia Gherghei (Romania), Kinga Fabo (Hungary), Donall Dempsey (Ireland), Michael Dickel (America/Israel), Anca Mihaela (Romania), Volodymir Bilyk  (Ukraine), Elizabeth Marino (Chicago), Lisa Falk Ellis (America), Joyce Yarrow (the Bronx), Marshall G Kent Jr (America), Ruma Chakravarti (Bengali)  and Maurice Man God Higgs(America) to name just fourteen powerful writers who lift the anthology up easily to being one of the most significant things to happen in 2015. This is not including Reena Prasad and Michele Baron themselves.

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Reena Prasad

8. Would you like to share your best poetry with us here?

I wish you would read IGNITING KEY which has twenty poems of mine in it that are surely ones I consider among my best.

It also has poems by Bina  Biswas and Pramila Khadun’s Reuel Prize winning ones in it

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9. What are your other interests besides writing?

Teaching is great, so is listening to music and walking. I love spending time alone and also with nature and encouraging people, helping, appreciating fine things and am interested in studying women and relationships from the point of view of being inspired by them as muses.

10. Tell us about your upcoming work.

My upcoming projects are a short story anthology which will include mainly Rejected stuff  Nanowrimoers, and this year’s prize-winning novella by Sunila Kamal called Eternal Links to be edited by me and Michele Baron mainly, a collection of my own short stories and a collection of my own poems.

11. How can our readers connect with you?

At terrestrian@gmail.com.

The links to my books are:

http://www.amazon.com/Wrighteings-Media-Ampat-V-Koshy/dp/3844397310 (as main co-author)

http://www.amazon.com/Treatise-Poetry-Beginners-Dr-Koshy-ebook/dp/B009DB8ZGI (as author)

http://www.cyberwit.net/publications/442  (as co-editor)

http://www.amazon.com/Becketts-English-Poetry-Transcending-Resistance/dp/817273722X (as author)

http://www.flipkart.com/art-poetry-self-styled-verbal-weaving-2013-60-pp-english/p/itmdr8dqgnn2uvnv?pid=9788172737900  (A reprint of Treatise – second version)

http://www.flipkart.com/wake-up-india-essays-our-times-english/p/itmey399ndz9dyfd (as co-author)

http://www.amazon.in/Dattanis-Plays-Dr-Bina-Biswas/dp/9382647074 (as co-editor and contributor)

http://www.amazon.in/Significant-Anthology-Michele-Baron/dp/9382759093/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456312817&sr=1-1&keywords=the+significant+anthology (as main editor and contributor)

http://www.amazon.in/Umbilical-Chords-Anthology-Parents-Remembered/dp/9383755172/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456312886&sr=1-1&keywords=umbilical+chords+koshy+av (as editor and contributor)

http://www.amazon.in/Igniting-Key-Poems-Pramila-Khadun/dp/9352072677/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456312966&sr=1-1&keywords=igniting+key+koshy (co-author)

http://providence-foundation.org/content/pdf-angel-meredith-ampat-v-koshy-fine-soul-resuscitation-free (co-author)

http://www.blurb.com/b/3964838-2-phases-50-poems (co-author)

DEVIL’S KITCHEN

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Dawn of devil,
Goodness on grill.
Pending breakfast bill,
Restaurant on red clouded hill.

What somberness these dishes hold,
Some delicious dishes unsold.
Fragrance coming out very old,
Rotten human flesh in the plate gold.

Cooked on dark fire,
Instruments are snatched, not on hire.
Invisible but dangerous flame,
Is so effective, one human can’t inhale.

Kitchen so well set,
nitrogen gas for blood wet.
Silent cooking happens here,
This far has reached devil’s dare.

 

(c) Anuj Kumar
The Squire: Page-A-Day-Poetry