A Conversation With Raj Singh

Raj Singh – Facebook | Twitter

Breakup Before Love – Flipkart | Amazon

BLW: Let’s welcome the new and sensational Indian author Raj Singh to Book Lover’s World. Raj Singh born in Gaya, Bihar, is fond of reading and writing. He graduated in Spanish Language from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. He is also a graduate in Tourism Studies. In his first book, Anna Hazare “Adhoorji jeet ke nayak”, he has the life of Anna Hazare and his movements for the Jan Lokpal Bill. And now he is back with his first fiction “Breakup Before Love”.

Raj Singh: Thank you BLW for the warm welcome.

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your first fiction “Breakup Before Love”. Tell us a little about yourself.

Raj Singh: I did my schooling in my home town, Gaya. Later, I moved to Hyderabad and completed my graduation in Spanish language. Writing poems and blogs have always been important activities during my leisure time; in fact, it helped me a lot in my journey to become a writer. Currently, I’m working with Amazon India as a Spanish language resource.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Breakup Before Love, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing on the most trending genre? How long did it take to write this book?

Raj Singh: Basically, it’s a story of Ritu and Anoop. Anoop loves Ritu but never dares to propose her and when he decides to propose her, he got to know that she loves Samuel, one of her classmates. But, soon Ritu breaks up with Samuel and come back to Anoop life, who still has hope that one day he will propose her about his love. But all of sudden, one day something happens which changes their life. They become complete strangers for each other. They completes their studies and left the university forever. After three years, Anoop accidently sees her in a market in Kolkata. But he is confused whether she will recognize him or not. But will Ritu come back into his life again? Will she forgive him? And, will their life start over again? To know all these, one must read this book.

As far as idea of writing a romantic fiction is concerned, I have read many books of this genre but I witnessed that there are many stories which are being repeated, adding few masala and still people like them. And since during my college days, I witnessed love-shuv and breakup stories therefore I picked up one from those ones. As I’m a working person I don’t usually write everyday so It took around one and half year to write this book.

BLW: reakup Before Love runs on a realistic line with well-developed characters. We would like to know the homework you did to write this book.

Raj Singh: Breakup Before Love is inspired from a real story of a student I met during my college days but most of the characters and incidents are fictional. So, to give this book a proper shape and make a realistic story that anybody can relate to his/her life, I had to work a lot – from developing the idea of characters to the flow of the story, till end.

BLW: Anoop and Ritu, the protagonists of the story are the most loved character among the readers. Is it a character from your real life or just a piece of imagination?

Raj Singh: Both characters (Anoop and Ritu) are inspired from real life but the way the story ends in this book, is my imagination.

BLW: What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Raj Singh: As of now, what I have learnt is, don’t be in hurry as one cannot become a writer overnight. It takes time so it’s very important for a writer to be patient. Let the publishers do their jobs. Don’t follow up again and again, else they might get annoyed and reject your manuscript.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Raj Singh: Love and breakup.

BLW: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Raj Singh: Yes, I learnt few things which are very important for a writer while writing a book. First, I had to understand what young readers want to read and how the response are. Then, how to get connected with people who want to read because a large number of people still don’t want to read. They prefer to watch movie rather than holding a book.

BLW: Breakup Before Love is a romantic – fictional love story and your first book is inspired by Anna Hazare. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future or toggle between all?

Raj Singh: To be honest, I don’t want to be a chick lit author and therefore, I want to write books in different genres. My first book, Anna Hazare –Adhoori jeet ke nayak is a biography, Breakup before love is a romantic fictional love story and my next book, I’m working upon, is on social issues.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Raj Singh: Night is best time for me to write. And, I can write anywhere and I don’t get distracted until I am done with. Sometimes if something very important pops up in my mind and I don’t have pen and paper, I note it down in my mobile so that I can’t forget what was playing inside my mind.

BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Raj Singh: Like others, I just wanted to complete my studies and get a job in Government sector. But, when I was a child and I read stories of Munsi Premchand and other writers and I kept wondering how they would have written such a long stories and how they would have got it published. I was really very curious to know all these things but never planned to be a writer. Yes, I had started writing poems when I was in seventh standard, however, becoming a writer was not my dream.

BLW: What are your inspirations in life?

Raj Singh: Life is a precious gift and it is full of miracles. I have seen many people whose lives were not as we see now. But they are successful now, why? Because they struggled and fought against all the odds. People like them are my inspirations. They are my role models.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Raj Singh: Yes! Premchand, Dharamveer Bharti, Paulo Coelho, Khalid Hosseini and Gabriel García Márquez are my favourite authors and their works (books) have influenced me a lot.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Raj Singh: Right now my full focus is on my latest book but I have already started working on my next book which is based on social issues.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Raj Singh: I don’t have any secret skill. People know me what I am.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books. What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Raj Singh: There are many books I really enjoyed reading and want to read those books again and again. Like – Godan, The blind watchmaker, The alchemist, Gunahon ka devta and One hundred years of solitude.

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Raj Singh: To be very honest, I’m not a well-known writer who can give any suggestion or advice to other but I would like to share what I have learnt in my writing career. Never ever give up. Sometimes many obstacles would come in your way but you have to have belief in yourself then only you can reach your destiny. If you ever get frustrated, take a sabbatical, visit some places and then, again, sit with a pen and papers.

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Raj Singh: My book is available in all leading offline and online book stores, please read and let me know how it is. I hope it won’t disappoint you.

Breakup Before Love – Flipkart | Amazon

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…

Book Review: Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety

This book weave magic with the sword of words.

The Blurb:

“I knew there was nothing poetic about death. I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield.”

Arjun: The idealist in a non- ideal world; the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience. History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.

“My self-esteem originates from me and ends in me. Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own.”

Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit.

“Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue. Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power.”

Krishn: The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for Truth.

The Missile… The Trajectory… The Vision. The trio that makes for the core of Mahabharata. 

This is their saga.

Insightful, visceral and candid

Excerpt:

“Everyone wants to be the best and I don’t mind toiling to ensure my superiority. But the best is always a state of flux, it is a constant endeavor, not a one-time title. I will encounter so many warriors in my lifetime. Each will have his own specialty, finesse and his tutor’s nuances. I have to de-learn, relearn and reinvent myself constantly.

“I am not being self-effacing. I am doing it with a definite purpose. If I get smug, I will stagnate. Why would I do something so cruel to myself?”

I leaned forward,”Let us switch to better topics. The mere mention of Hastinapur makes me gloomy. Duryodhan tried to kill you all so as not to lose Hastinapur. That conflict died without any skirmish and in his favor. Now what is his grief?”

“His grief is that we are still alive.”

“I disagree, Arjun. The feud ended with the division of land. They are in their Hastinapur, we are in our Indraprastha. They are of no consequence anymore.” I gazed from one to another. 

“Your are not merely alive. You are flourishing. Indraprastha does not merely exist. Indraprastha is blindingly prosperous. Inconsequential things have a way of snowballing into vicious problems.” 

Krishn, as always, liked to have the last word.

About The Author:

Dr. Shinde Sweety holds a Doctorate in Medicine, with numerous publications in Indian and International Medical Journals. She is an avid Mahabharata fan and a voracious reader. She loves to day-dream, swim, sketch and learn new languages- currently trying Spanish and Sanskrit. She blogs at “Impractical Dreamer”, where she review books, delves into spirituality and searches for humor in everyday life. She can be contacted at sweetyshinde@hotmail.com

The Review:

For all the Mahabharata lovers- It’s a book that you would cherish getting back to, each time. An enthralling read that will lead you to the wise insights of past, present and future. 

The reader’s heart

I apologize to the author for keeping the review copy for almost six long months. There are so many things I missed out and unfortunately this wonderful book too. Thank you so much Dr. Sweety for being kind and patient with me. Getting back to the review.

Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety, is significantly about three very powerful characters of Mahabharata- Arjun, Krishn and Draupadi. Through this book she has retold the essence of myth and our beliefs attached to it. I appreciate the author for such an excellent and smooth narration. As I started reading, I was moved with the characters right from the very first page. It was beautiful to read from Arjun’s perspective and then Draupadi’s perspective. I especially loved Krishn’s dialogues with light humor and effectiveness; the all time savior. I felt bad for Draupadi for being shared as a common wife among Arjun’s brothers. At the same time I was happy that the love between Arjun and Draupadi didn’t fade but get stronger with each new challenge thrown over. Draupadi, a rare combination of beauty, brain and courage was the most appealing character. For all her life she sacrificed to sacrifice. I was almost in tears reading the reunion part of Draupadi and her sons. There are so many instances in the book that have become close to my heart, I found myself involved and connected it. If someone come and say what’s so hard to tell an old known epic? But wait… this is not just an epic but a work of sheer brilliance. There are some books you read and forget but there are some special books which had kept you hold till the end when you first read them, you feel getting back to them again and again. “Arjun Without a doubt” undoubtedly stands in the latter category.

What I liked?

The author has masterfully worked over the main characters and events with beautiful description. There are many inspiring and awakening quotes in the book. It’s the first time I read a mythological genre and I must say this book has open a way to this particular genre, for me.

* “Don’t underestimate your triumphs. Leave it to the enemy.”

* “Silence too, can be misquoted” 

* “Peace is the first casualty in every ambition.” 

* “I learnt that no matter what names they give you, nothing applies until you wish it to. No insult, no barb yours to bear unless you want it to. Use it, if you want. Make it into a weapon and let it boomerang back to those who uttered it. Just don’t let it overpower your life.”

* “Ask yourself if I’m capable of contradictions, Draupadi.

Some missions succeed only by their spectacular failure. – Krishn”

* “..war doesn’t decide who is right – it just decides who is left.”

What I disliked?

What I disliked in the book was, at a few places I was confused whether the statement was by Draupadi or Arjun. It was a bit irritating to go through the previous lines again but it doesn’t take away the credits for writing a wonderful book.

Why should one read this book?

Whether you are a Mahabharata fan or not, doesn’t matter. I bet you won’t deny in accepting it to be one of the best reads. I won’t say that you “should” read this book. In-spite, I would say, “Must Read It”

******

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Arjun Without A Doubt
Author: Dr. Shinde Sweety
Genre: Mythology/ Epic/ History
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Frog Books
Language: English
Pages: 306
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 195 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on:  Facebook | Goodreads Author Page

Stars…

To this mesmerizing reading ride full of  wisdom and insight with an exceptionally moving narration; I give a four-star rating.

“Arjun Without A Doubt” will stand up to your expectations with an exceptionally moving narration. Main characters of the story appear so real and alive to have you moved along with themselves. This book weave a magic with the sword of words.. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you mesmerized for a long time. Highly recommended for all. A must read. No second thoughts!

This book was given to me by author in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.