Congratulations! On your book, The Shadow of Darkness. I hope you won’t mind answering a few questions for my book blog and the lovely readers who are awaiting your book.
Not at all! I am glad to answer your questions and hope (the) readers enjoy reading them.
Q. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
When it comes to gifting ideas for adults, it’s hard to pick books because you don’t know their reading preferences and also the fact whether they like reading makes books a challenging choice. But if I know the receiver likes to read, I’d certainly pick one of my favorites.
With kids, there is a palette of colorful choices. Age of the receiver is also a must to take into account. The book gift should be such that the kid can sit down and read immediately, and that he should not have to wait for another or two years.
I used to run a book club for kids in India named as Pick’A Book Club (For Kids) where we would do many activities after book reading sessions. I’d also plan competitions and questionnaire where I’d gift away books as gifts. Children loved them!
A few of my favorite books are:
- Shivani and Premchand: They are my favorite Hindi authors and are perfect to gift someone you love.
- Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – I recently finished this. The book is based on true incidents and is largely about the magnitude of racism in US. I learned many things about the issue and also got a new eye for it.
- Books by Paulo Coelho: He is my favorite. His writing is very relatable, and inspirational, of course.
Q. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Last five years have been very radical for me. Some big changes have happened and they have led me to being grateful everyday for living a life where I can dream and work on them.
The biggest shift I have felt is, that life is beautiful. Even if it looks deceiving at times, it still is beautiful. Challenges and tough phases will always be there but one should never stop breathing and fighting hard to survive through them.
Q. In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
Wow! That’s a cool question but let’s paraphrase it. Let’s find out things that I have become better at saying Yes to, shall we?
- Positive attitude, 2. Fewer friends, 3. Being grateful everyday, 4. Working harder, 5. Writing more often, 6. Reading more books, 7. Staying optimistic, 8. Staying strong, 9. Being better at Guitar, and 10. Giving good interviews.
So there! You have 10 nods from my side.
And when you ask about the approaches I used, I’ll say what else option did I have?
Q. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)
As usual and per norms, I try to find my lost focus and if I can’t, I do other things to distract myself. Thankfully, I have my guitar, blog and books, enough companions for a lifetime to spend time with. Basically, I wait for the phase to be over.
I believe that every difficult phase takes you down so that you can discover the hidden strength at its core. Not everyone can do it but those who can, they certainly emerge out.
Q. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
Every dark phase has its limits and its strength in equal measures. The kind of tough phases I have seen, I could very well have collapsed and probably died but with the help of my family, I am still surviving and in fact, trying to make a meaningful life out of it.
Hey! Is it not exactly the theme of my book – The Shadow of Darkness? That with love and hope, anything is possible? My book has all the core ingredients that I have found in the wonderful journey called Life.
Favorite failure? Hmm. Failures are the best teachers and best teachers can be the strictest ones so I don’t think I have any preference for a particular teacher. I take them all in as lessons and experiences but not as failure. Remember, an experience is not a failure until you call it so.
When Maya fought two criminals one night and saved herself and her five year old daughter, Sejal, she thought the worst was over. But was it really? Or, there could be something worse than the worst? The childhood trauma that little Sejal did not deserve resulted in nightmares, trust issues and bizarre habits. Even after thirteen long years, the night continues to haunt and debilitate her senses with its magnificence, and as if it wasn’t enough, an encounter with the remains of past slips her deep into a treacherous darkness.
Sejal has a loving family, a comfortable life yet disappointment is the only thing now echoing inside her. Will its shadow ever leave her side? Then we see a shining light in the dark brooding sky – Kartik. Is he the answer to her quest of peace? Will Sejal be able to find love, strong enough to fight all odds and bring her out from the darkness? Will the light of hope win over its foes?
The Shadow of Darkness holds answer to every question.
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