First Chapter Reveal: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee

Book Details:
Title: Seeking Redemption
Authors: Madhu Vajpayee
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Language: English
Pages: 176
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 199 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads
Follow Author on Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

The Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It’s her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste-based politics. Her path is crossed by two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are going to change her life forever. If it is Aman Sharma who can challenge her ideals, defy her resolves and make her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay Bharti’s sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It’s also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

First Chapter:

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Read the review here

A Conversation With Meera, Aman and Abhay

Have you ever imagined reading the interview of the leading characters from a book? If you haven’t then get ready to meet and greet, Meera, Aman, and Abhay the lead characters of the book Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee.

BLW: Meera can you tell us a little about yourself?

Meera: I am an ordinary girl trying to make a place for myself in this big mad world. Although I lose a lot in the process but somewhere in this, I have found myself.

BLW: Aman can you tell us a little about yourself?

Aman: I don’t know how exactly I can describe myself. But in short, I am a little shy person who wants to keep to himself. Perhaps becasue of my past, I have gone into a shell and afraid of opening up to the world.

BLW: Abhay can you tell us a little about yourself?

Abhay: I am a very regular guy who believes in hard work and making one’s own destiny. My humble background has ensured that I remain grounded whatsoever the situation may be.

BLW: Is this the author’s real life story?

Meera: Not exactly but I did feel that author was trying to find herself in my character. In my pain, in my dilemmas, in my loss and in my triumph against my own demons.

Aman: I would concur with Meera that story is not hers as far as specific events and incidents are concerned but I felt the choices she made, the conviction, the beliefs are definitely hers.

Abhay: Story might not be hers in entirety but her reflection is everywhere. The story had some messages and I believe her plots and characters conveyed were designed to convey what she wanted to.

BLW: Coming back to our interview, we read that this book is against Reservation, what’s your take on this?

Aman: Caste based reservation is a double edged sword that is now unfortunately doing more damage than any good to Indian system. Although orginally it was really needed to neutralize the ill effects of decades of tradition of untouchability and caste based discrimination but now it’s outliving its utility. As rightly put by Jacques Santer, “A quota is always something artificial that can only last for a certain period of time”. And as any expired item that is harmful for use, it’s damaging the health of the country in terms of education and job opportunities for the common people, particularly the youth.

Abhay: Caste based discrimination is one of the most inhuman act that had been practiced in the country till recent history. Coincidently, poverty was almost a synonym with the disadvantaged. Any policy that discourages such act was the need of the hour to stop such reprehensible practices. Furthermore, policies like caste based reservation was needed for a defined period of time to not only nullify but also to compensate for the injustice done in the past. However, any privilege that aims to help people to raise their standards and improve the quality of life eventually produce freeloaders, for people tend to take things for granted leading to complacency. Therefore it’s best to have time limited implementation of these policies so that it should not be self-defeating in the long run

Meera: If reservation at all is given, it should be provided on economic criteria or geographically disadvantaged population. Poverty is never associated with any caste. It doesn’t discriminate. Anyone who doesn’t have enough financial means to study should be provided aid or given advantage of the reservation. Importantly, it should be limited to education and not extended to job sectors

BLW: Meera’s best friend are Priya and Kiran. Are these names real?

Meera: No, these names are not real but yes author seemed to be imagining some of her good friends while writing about them!

BLW: Author has first launched this book in 2013 as an eBook. What’s the difference between First Edition and This Edition?

Aman: Because of author’s inexperience with publishing industry and the way it functions, she had launched it as ebook in little hurried manner without concentarting on promotional and marketing aspects which are the pre-requisitse for e-book sale.Encouraged by good response from reader but not having proper promotion last time, she decided to go ahead with this edition. Besides envisaging better publicity and availibility of books in bookstore, this book has been edited with little modification in story line and also with the eyes on details.

BLW: Meera, you told us that you are a doctor in this book and aspires to do Masters, Seeking Redemption, have you accomplished your dream?

Meera: Yes, I have accomplished my dream but not in India but USA. As story finishes, I am flying out to USA for achieving my dreams of doing masters.

BLW: Aman, you seem to be a mysterious guy with a troubled past. Is this your nature?

Aman: I am a little introvert person by nature but definitely not nysterious. 🙂 However my past has followed me and perhaps it has shaped the way I have become. Sometimes being a mysterious person helps you to deal with your trauma.

BLW: Abhay, you are an IAS by profession and a good person by heart. If this is your nature, what made you think that Meera slept with Aman? Will this single thought tampers your character to the readers?

Abhay: I doubt if my being a good person by heart has anything to do with the thought. This thought can cross anyone’s mind if you know that girl you are interested in, is perhaps already dating other man. I don’t think that a normal human emotions can tamper my character to the reader. Even it’s a fiction, you want to have characters with normal, even at times conflicting emotions to be able to identify with them.

BLW: Meera, whom do you feel attractive and romantic, Aman or Abhay?

Meera: What I am going to say may surprise you but Aman is definitely more attractive and perhaps romantic in his own mysterious ways. But it was understated style of Abhay’s elegance which swept me away in the end.

BLW: The book was released on October 16, is there a special reason behind it?

Aman: Yes, that was the day when I met Meera for the last time.

Meera: Yes, that was the day when I learnt to let go of my past and find myself in the process.

Abhay: Yes, that was the day when Meera perhaps took the first step in the journey towards me.

Thanks for your time Meera, Aman and Abhay. Hope you bring home laurels for the author. And to my dear readers, we’ve something more for you. On December 11, 2015, we will be publishing the first chapter of the book as a PDF, exclusively for our readers!

Book Review: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee

This book is a nice decent read!

The Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It’s her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste-based politics. Her path is crossed by two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are going to change her life forever. If it is Aman Sharma who can challenge her ideals, defy her resolves and make her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay Bharti’s sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It’s also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Excerpt:

All of them busy cheering their friends and exchanging pleasantries. Optimism was at its peak. She always loved the energy and undying spirit. An announcement was going on for today‟s final dress rehearsal program. Students were advised to segregate according to the degree they were receiving. She proceeded to join the MBBS batch with her friends Priya and Kiran Mala.

MBBS graduates were asked to stand alphabetically. Meera was taking her position when she sensed from the corner of her eye that someone was intensely watching her. Before she knew it, a tall and handsome man, with a whitish complexion, sharp chiseled features and deep dark brown eyes, wearing jeans and sky blue t-shirt was approaching her.

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” He asked her. Meera was perturbed by this sudden intrusion.

“Hi! I am Aman … Dr Aman Sharma, MD Medicine. And I guess you are….” he trailed off.

“I am Meera Mishra. I‟ve just finished my MBBS.” Meera finished the sentence.

“I would like to meet you sometime.” Aman said. There were no preliminary talks, not much introduction, it was simply a command. She, still unable to get a grip over the situation, replied, “I will see.” He then vanished in the crowd as quickly as he had appeared.Her eyes tried to follow him in the auditorium while rehearsal was going on. Aman Sharma had a demeanor, which reflected a kind of aloofness. His face had an arrogant look about it and there was an aura of aristocratic upbringing.

About The Author:

Dr. Madhu Vajpayee,- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires. When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

The Review:

When a country’s political system starts taking a toll on the lives of innocent people. So much, as to nearly threaten all aspirations, opportunities, rights and even peace from their lives. Their only mistake is being a part of that vicious cycle. But then, from a league of common people only, there are revolutionaries too. Who courage to rebel and fight against the system. Has sacrifice been that easy? Yes. Only when your dream and sacrifice are entwined together, adding will and perseverance to it.

Simran’s Desk…

Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee is a deliberately written book in context to social issue which still persists strongly in the roots of contemporary society and that is – a combination of politics and increase in the number of reservation quota for backward class.

The story revolves around Meera Mishra, a charismatic, intelligent, diligent and courageous doctor, who earns her M.B.B.S degree despite all the odds that her family face in terms of financial condition. Her mother constantly probe her to get married in a well-to do family whereas, her father be there to support her during all her ups and downs. He believes in Meera’s capability and encourages her to apply for post-graduation. Aman Sharma, who is pursuing MD in medicine from the same college admire Meera’s beauty and falls in love with her. He starts contacting her and seek ways to meet but Meera being goal oriented ignore him. Though he is arrogant and demanding but gradually, she starts liking and accepts the way he is. Unfortunately, Meera being hard working and intelligent fails to qualify the post-graduation medical entrance exam whereas, her best friends Priya and Kiran Mala who are comparatively less deserving candidates clear the entrance with the help of reservation quota. Meera is surprised and bewildered thinking what destiny holds for her in future and suddenly, her father gets terribly hit by an attack which paralyzes one side of his body. He is the sole earning member in the family. Meera’s younger brother, Raghav is an average student who aspires to study engineering. He doesn’t qualify entrance for a government engineering college but his mother pesters to get him admitted to a private college instead, that are expensive. In parallel to this, the government and the officials such as Prof. Rajaram, Samir Saxena, Rajesh Kumar and Rahul supports increase in number of reservation quota for their own benefits and agenda of winning votes whereas, on the other side, Aman, his father, Dr. Sanjeev and Dr. Abhay Bharti are against it, as they believe the gap between lower and upper castes has been filled and there is no more need of privilege. Meera, even after scoring well in her M.B.B.S doesn’t get to work in her own college which she should have had got it by default. That’s when she realize, the vicious cycle of politics and the system that runs blindly solely for its own benefits.

Will Meera be able to get a job and continue her studies or would be married off to someone? Will her parents would agree Aman- Meera relationship? Will she be able to arrange funds for family and expense for her brother’s higher education? Will Abhay Bharti and other rebellions get justice or will the vicious cycle would get stronger? Read the book to find it out.

What I liked?

The author has well defined all the characters in the story. She has nicely narrated the story and has put almost every aspect of the situation (reality) very wisely. The story goes on more like a debate which I found interesting. The ending is quite justified and has not been hurried.

What I disliked?

Repetition of dialogues and grammatical/spelling errors were a bit irritating. Other than that, I felt the story lacked surprise element and it was a slow read.

Why should one read this book?

Are you too against the reservation system? Have you too been deprived of opportunities because of the ongoing reservation system? If yes, then it’s a book you can relate yourself and realize how deeply it’s affecting so many dreams and lives.

******

Sarav’s Desk…

First of all, a very big congratulation to Madhu Vajypayee for addressing a social issue that’s in the roots of our society – reservation and the politics involved in it. Keep writing and good luck for your future.

How often we read a book on social issues these days? The answer would be a single digit I guess. This book, Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee, is one of its kinds – a mixture of reservation, privatisation of medical colleges, ugly politics, and the people in power deciding the fate of everything. Just like how it happens in reality. I appreciate Madhu for attempting to write in this genre.

This book had a promising plot, which later got mixed up with too many subplots that diluted the concentration of the book. The first few chapters drew me into the story, made me travel with the characters, only to read a diluted plot. For example, when Meera said YES to Aman, I expected to read a few romantic chapters, but what I offered was a complete let down. When the author wrote about anti-reservation movements, what lacked were the details, the complete setup, and facts to believe it. To be true, I was bit disappointed reading the final few chapters.

The story had its own twists and turns, keeping me hooked till the end, but there was no surprise element. Still, this was a good decent read. I took three hours to complete reading the book and one hour to write this review. If you are against reservation, then read this book to know the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, which the author penned wonderfully.

What I liked?

Only a few people know where to tell and where to show, I believe Madhu has done a decent job in this area. Her impeccable narration is what kept me hooked till the end. The plot and the characters are wonderfully plotted. The quick turn of events, the so-called good-luck factor, are well used in this book. Overall, this is a different decent read!

What I disliked?

Love and romance… the book lacked love and romance in those candid conversations between Meera and Aman, overuse of the words “Reservation” and “Caste”, lack of details or the setup of the subplots, repetition of the dialogues and grammatical errors.

Why should one read this book?

If you are against reservation, then read this book to know the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, which the author wonderfully penned. If you are victim of these ugly politics, for sure you will relate and applaud the author for plotting a decent read!

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Seeking Redemption
Authors: Madhu Vajpayee
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Language: English
Pages: 176
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 199 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads
Follow Author on Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Stars…

Simran, the talented reviewer of our team, gave this book a three-star rating. While Vidhya and I, gave this book a four-star rating, to applaud the author’s brave attempt to write about a social issue that’s in the roots of our society. Keep writing, Madhu!

Seeking Redemption is a decent read! This book is against reservation, highlighting the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, will make you applaud the author for plotting a decent read! A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you hooked till the very end! Highly recommended to all who are against reservation. No second thoughts!

The author has opted for a promotional package and our services. We are glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are from the reviewers heart and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. We have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and we will on FlipKart and Amazon as we felt nothing less than that would be fair.

#25 A Conversation With Madhu Vajpayee

BLW: Let’s welcome the new and sensational Indian author Dr. Madhu Vajpayee to Book Lovers World. The writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world. Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires. When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Her debut novel ‘Seeking Redemption’ published by Half Baked Beans is among the top selling pre-order books on Amazon and Flipkart.

Madhu Vajpayee: Thanks for such generous introduction! It’s great to be here at Book Lovers World. My gratitude for such a warm welcome!!

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the getting published your debut book “Seeking Redemption”. Tell us a little about yourself.

live my passion in those unwritten words

Madhu Vajpayee: Thank you very much! I am a doctor by profession but a writer by passion. Until Seeking Redemption happened I tried to live my passion in those unwritten words that somewhere got lost in hectic schedule of medical profession. But eventually I realized that I need to write those words that were not letting me at peace. They needed to be expressed. For their sake. For my sake. And that’s when I decided to pour my feelings on a large canvass and give those unsaid words life of their own.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Seeking Redemption, 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?

Madhu Vajpayee: Seeking Redemption is a story of every youth of the country who is trying to win a losing battle in backdrop of caste based reservation and corruption prevalent in education and medical sector. It’s their effort to seek redemption from the curse that is eating away the inner fabric of such a beautiful country. However love is the most sublime emotion of life and nothing remain can remain untouched by it. I wanted to bring out the struggle at the professional front that young men and women go through while at the same time dealing with their personal battles in life. Love is such a powerful force that can shape all aspects of our lives. The story is weaved around three main characters, Meera, Aman and Abhay who not only go through myriad of emotional roller coaster ride that is a mix of love, trust, unconditional support and deceit but also their struggle with the prevailing system of the country.
It took me almost a year to write as my busy schedule of medicine left little time to write.

BLW: Seeking Redemption is journey from being a simple, medical graduate to the territories of caste-based politics with well-developed characters. We would like to know the homework you did to write this book.

Madhu Vajpayee: To be honest, I didn’t really need to do any homework. I was living in that very atmosphere, day in and out. The book is fictionalized account of the things that I personally experienced in my life as a doctor from a medical graduate to a fully-fledged medical doctor.

BLW: Meera, the protagonist of the story, is also a medical graduate. Is it a character from your real life or just a piece of imagination?

The story of her journey, specific events of her life,
problems faced by her was not exactly mine,
but her principles, belief and faith are mine.

Madhu Vajpayee: The heroine of my book, Dr Meera was born in those very corridors of hospital where I spent best parts of my life. Although the story of her journey, specific events of her life, problems faced by her was not exactly mine but her principles, belief and faith are mine. I saw myself in her dilemmas, in her pain, in her loss, in her triumph against her own demons. Through this book I also tried to highlight the rampant corruption in medical field and how unfortunately, merit doesn’t always stand a chance in front of mediocrity. Justice eluded her as well as Aman, the man whom she loved, in their struggle for achieving the life they dreamt, the life they deserved. But, ironically while Meera rises in such difficult times, Aman falls. She tries to help him in spite of her own dilemmas but he misunderstands her. And there is Abhay, the other man in her life, a friend but who gives her unconditional support through all the ups and down. Through Meera, I was perhaps trying to tell my inner child that life doesn’t always follow your plans. It follows its own path and pace. And instead of resisting it, we must embrace it.

BLW: Starting from self-published book to traditional publishing, what were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Madhu Vajpayee: This is really interesting question. I really dwell upon it a lot. Believe me, the whole process of publication of a fiction work was an eye opener to me. I found to my utter surprise that it was much easier to be published in medical journals and books as a medical doctor. I worked in the field of HIV/AIDS care and management and I have lot of publications in prestigious national and international journals. However it was much easier to get published there in comparison to publication of fiction books. You have no idea what’s going to click with publishers here. It’s completely uncharted territory where nothing is defined. You just need to keep going with passion and determination in your heart without thinking of any consequences. To survive, you have to let go of failure, learn from it and move forward with enhanced determination. In the end, it’s all about the passion. You do it because you love it irrespective of success or failure.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Madhu Vajpayee: Any crisis in life is also an opportunity to know an indestructible part of you hitherto unknown to you. Incidentally a professional crisis in my life that almost changed the course of my life including my relocation to a foreign land forced me pen down the things that was until now remain buried in life’s ongoing drama. For me, this was one such opportunities. Instead of losing myself in confusion and dilemma, I tried to channelize my energy into something that I always loved but never got enough time to pursue. And the book Seeking Redemption happened.

BLW: Did relocating to Australia helped you write this book?

Madhu Vajpayee: In a sense, yes! I am not working full time now and able to devote lot of time to writing. Although the first draft was written while I was still in India but further modifications, editing and polishing was only done later after my relocation here.

BLW: What was your biggest learning from writing this book?

Madhu Vajpayee: You have to believe in yourself. World can’t do that for you. You have to believe when there is nothing left to believe and keep going. Failure can only be temporary setback but eventually, if you believe in yourself, it can become a stepping stone in your journey. Every day is a new learning experience and we should be ready to learn for coal needs to be polished to become a diamond.

BLW: Seeking Redemption is a romantic – fictional love story. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future?

Madhu Vajpayee: As I said previously, love is essence of our lives. Nothing can remain untouched by it. I am not sure if I would stick to this particular genre for I like to experiment with different styles but love would certainly remain one of the main ingredient of my stories.

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?

Madhu Vajpayee: No particular time. Whenever my creative instincts push me to play with words and create some magic in the process, I spontaneously start scribbling. When not writing, most of the time, story is going on in my head and I am busy creating and recreating the scenes and dialogues. My favourite place is my study that is located in the upper floor of my home. From here, I get the most beautiful view of picturesque Melbourne that helps me to relax and write.

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

Madhu Vajpayee: Always, wanted to be a doctor. I always wanted to serve people who are going through difficult times.

BLW: What are your inspirations in life?

Madhu Vajpayee: My elder brother, Vipin who suffered from cerebral palsy and unfortunately who is no more in this world. From him, I learnt how to never to give up in life. He inspired me to give your best whatever may be your limitations. He inspired me to laugh in adversities, spring back after defeats and maintain equanimity in success and failure.

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

Madhu Vajpayee: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini, Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Exodus by Leon Uris, Fault in our stars by John Green to name few of them.

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

Madhu Vajpayee: Thanks for letting me share my dreams! I have already completed ‘I Owe You One’ that’s again a romantic-fictional story where I have tried to focus on Hindu-Muslim harmony as well as the divide in the country. Finger-Crossed, it’s under consideration for publication. The next that I am currently writing is pure romantic story where nothing except love is felt, lived, suffered and eventually conquered. I am really enjoying writing it. To my surprise, most out of all three until now.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Madhu Vajpayee: Nothing special, I am a very regular person who enjoys dressing up, showing up and accepting whatever life offers. One little secret though, learning to cook after moving to Australia as I never got the opportunity to do that in India.

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.

Madhu Vajpayee: 1. Love Story by Erich Segal
2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
4. Fountainhead by Ayn Rend
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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

Madhu Vajpayee: Never give up. We are bigger than anything that can happen to us. Write because you love it. Not because you want to become author like everybody else. To get opportunity to be a published author will just be a coincidence and perhaps also your good fortune!

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Madhu Vajpayee: I owe my father for inculcating the habit of reading from my early childhood. I consider it as best possible gift to any child. So all the book lovers in this world, you are so fortunate to be able to enjoy reading for nothing can match the magic of written words that not only transcend us to an amazing world, stimulates our thought processes but also challenges our ideas and beliefs like nothing else.

Thank you so much for your time, Madhu. It’s our pleasure to chat with you… It’s our 25th author interview. We’re super excited! And to the readers stay back for more. We’re going to interview the lead characters of the book Seeking Redemption, Meera, Aman and Abhay in a short while. We hope you will like reading the response. Stay Tuned!