Author Focus - Vartika Upadhyay

1.What motivates you to write?
I feel like writing helps me heal and understand myself much much better. It gives me a different and better perspective on the people and things around me. It's the only time that I feel more like myself.

2. How did you feel after publishing your books?
Initially I was really nervous. One day, I randomly got up &  I decided I wanted to get a book of poetry published. I had doubts about what I was really doing but once I got the book, I knew I did the right thing. Plus the support from my friends and people I know made me really happy.

3. What are some of your favorite novels and authors?
Being someone who writes, I actually don't read a lot of novels. 

4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel?
Autumn is a beautiful season. I initially wanted to name the book Récit, which means stories in French but I felt it didn't really tell what I wanted to from the poems. I wanted something that would say that even after fall, you should let things go and wait because something beautiful for you is waiting. And I feel the season tells us the same.

 5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beach side or the hills? 
All these poems are written at the exact setting what the poems talk about. Some on the terrace at the time of sunset, some in a café waiting and some while travelling. So there's nothing specific but terrace is definitely my favorite place to write out of all of them.

6. What inspired you to write the books(in general)? Any tales to tell…
I guess it's because of people that were there in my life but aren't anymore? I started writing because of them. So I'd say important life lessons.

7. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?
I actually developed a greater sense of understanding of my own self: what I am actually capable of and how I feel about certain things. I feel like it helps me know myself better.

8. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
I would say I let myself feel things instead of letting other stuff distract me. that helped me I guess. also, letting myself tell my own story without the fear of others judging me for it helped me too.

9. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers? 
Just go for it. You won't know what you're really capable of until you are out of your comfort zone. write so that others can feel what you've written instead of just reading. and all the best!

10. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I actually can't think of anything. 

11. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
I haven't really thought about it. But I'm pretty sure I'll start working on another one very soon.

12.What other profession excites you the most?
I'm currently a Radiography student and I'm glad to be a part of the healthcare industry.

13.Do you write the story at a stretch or you take your time to complete it? If you take a longer time, wouldn’t you be forgetting the story? How do you tackle it?
These poems were selected out of the many poems written in the span of around 1½ years. I always carry my phone around and my notepad is filled with poems because sometimes I get really amazing lines and I'm always scared of forgetting them. 

14.Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?
Self publishing because I was very impatient to get the book published. And I personally felt self publishing would be a better idea.

15.How is the response so far for the book?
The response in amazing. I actually did not expect such positive feedback. Thankful for such supportive readers.

Vartika Upadhyay has published her first book - autumn:book of poems which is available on Amazon,

Book Review - Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond

Title - Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond
Author - Ashraf Karayath
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Rupa Publications India

Ramayana is one of the two epics which is considered sacred among the Hindus. It has been interpreted in so many ways from time to time. Though it is revered by Hindus, the book offers worldly knowledge which is applicable to all, across the globe. 

Since I have said that there are hundreds of editions about Ramayana in various languages, you might ask as to what makes this book special? The answer is this - this book highlights only two characters in particular - Janaka and Ashtavakra.

I would say this book has brought out a different dimension of approach to the Epic. While most of the earlier releases has always concentrated in the entire story, this book discusses in detail as to what had happened in the Kingdom of Mithila prior to Lord Ram marrying Goddess Sita. I found this approach unique and refreshing. I also felt that this book is no lesser than the previous interpretations and in fact made this even more interesting and appealing.

While King Janaka was plagued with lot of issues including the hindrance of Tataka and her son Subahu apart from neighboring King's secret plans to invade the Kingdom and capture it, the delay of marriage of his beloved daughter Sita makes him more sad. On top of this, when there was an accusation among his trusted aides, he was left with no choice as to who is loyal - his trusted army leader or his own brother who made a grave mistake costing 200 lives earlier.

While he was in such a chaos and utter confusion, he gets an unusual visitor. He is none other than Ashtavakra.

Who is Ashtavakra?
What was his purpose of visit to Mithila?
Did he solve the impending crisis that was looming over Mithila?
Did King Janaka able to come out of his confused mindset?

Read this book which would keep you captivated till the end and opens up a different dimension to the Epic, which I am sure, would be appreciated by you.

I would rather call it that this book is the "Interpretation that perfectly corresponds to 21st Century" and would hold good for few more decades, if not more.

This book is available on Amazon in both Paperback and eBook formats.

Book Review - autumn: book of poems

Title - autumn:book of poems
Author - Vartika Upadhyay
Genre - Poems
Book Cover - Gayathri Shenoy
Publisher - Kindle
ASIN - B08C6C7R43

This is an excellent attempt by a young poetess Vartika. I have read few books in this genre but I must admit that this collection of poems stand apart compared to others. I liked the approach which was adapted by her which is unique.

The book is divided into 3 parts namely:

1. kouyou
2. rudeneja
3. psithurism

I am not going to tell you as to what these above words mean and from which language each of these words were sourced from since you need to find it by buying this book yourself. 

I felt like being on the runway because the poems make you feel like one since they begin in a slow pace and the intensity grows as you move further. There was also one more unique thing in this book. Vartika deployed various pictures to go on in a particular kind of theme for each part. I initially thought that these illustrations were done by her but later realized that they were sourced from Pinterest. Nevertheless, these added great value to the poems.

The poems are based on Love, Friendship, Heartbreak, Healing and lot of other mixed emotions. I would like to highlight few lines from couple of poems here to evoke your interest.

"When some novels
and the woven words
have great impact on us
but at the same time
there's a real story
behind every fiction"

"At the end of the line
I think about
How many people
would have even noticed all these like me
How many people
would have penned down anything like I did
How many people
would have admired the little things like I did?"

These lines moved me the most and I personally felt poems 24,25,34 and 35 were really good. Poem 35 had a unique way of referring to few by beginning the paragraph with the word "Looking".

I did not mention the title of each poem here because there wasn't one.

The lines from the poem "At the end of the line" which I had mentioned above gave me a feel of reading William Wordsworth's "Daffodils" as I felt it was in the same context but framed in the own words and unique style of Vartika. 

This book is certainly worth its price - be it the eBook or Paperback and would serve as a perfect gifting stuff to your loved ones, if they like reading.

This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats.

Book Review - Once There Was Me : The Extraordinary Life Of An Unknown Indian

Title - Once There Was Me : The Extraordinary Life Of An Unknown Indian
Author - Bobby Sachdeva
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Pan Macmillan India
ISBN - 978-9389109559

This is the book about the extraordinary account of an unknown Indian. Though this book is a semi-autobiography, most of the incidents were taken from the real life account of the author. He has changed the names of the characters to protect their identity and privacy. I did not read the synopsis and the blurb. I would suggest you to do the same. There is a reason behind it. You would understand once you finish reading the book.

However, the case that was put forth in this book by the author would make each and everyone to think twice about the presence of GOD! To all who do not know much about the author, please be informed that he is probably the first in the country who is looking to file a PIL(Public Interest Litigation) on couple of things which I found it unique. Though I am urged to mention the details here, I leave it to the readers because you need to buy the book to find out more as to what these PIL's are all about and what has forced him to think on these lines.

What I noticed while I was reading the book was the author did not take any stance favoring or against any political party or religion. He was certainly against the God men who in the name of The Almighty was enriching themselves at the cost of unsuspecting public by playing with their religion and beliefs.

This 400 odd page book is definitely a worthy read because it would help you in getting to know the reality and most importantly, it would also serve as a strong motivational factor for those who have failed in their life. Why I say is because author's family migrated from Pakistan to India during the migration which happened in 1947 and though they got good amount of land here in India in exchange of their lands in Pakistan, most of them were taken away by local militants and some of them were lost due to various circumstances including the loss in the business. He also witnessed the 1984 Sikh Riots first hand which had forced his family to flee to Delhi. The brutality of the incidents which happened during those days were recorded in a way which couldn't have been done better than this. His ambition to go to US and what happened there was another story of its own accord.

The struggle with the local militants couldn't have been explained better. The loss faced by the family on various occasion like boiler accident, fire accident in the factory apart from being cheated by the customers and the partner would make you feel real sad and those who had witnessed a similar kind of situation in their life would surely shed tears.

The book also has the flavor of family bonding and relationships, treachery, Love, First Kiss, School and College Life etc which would make you feel more connected with the characters in the book. It would be real apt to say that the author was no less than the King Bruce who achieved success despite failing initially after being inspired by a spider. Here the scenario is bit different wherein Bobby wanted to achieve financial freedom and how he achieved it is what that makes this book, a real special one.

This book is available on Amazon and on all leading stores, online and offline.
Growth Hack - How to Grow Instagram Followers Organically?

Growth Hack - How to Grow Instagram Followers Organically?

1. Research Your Audience

Content should be at the forefront of your strategy, but not every content can gain the traction you desire. Therefore, your content should respond to the demands and interests of the audience that you want to attract. This is where research comes in.
The accounts that currently follow and engage with you are a good point of departure. Take a look at the contents they like, their active time, and the accounts they follow. Then, take a look at accounts with high followers and engagements. These can be accounts that you aspire to be, your competitors, or influencers. Instagram profile analytics can give you a hand in finding the top posts, locations, hashtags, and other metrics that will guide you to gain more engagements and followers.

2. Interact with Instagram Profiles that Share Similar Brand Personalities

Chances are, you are not the only account on Instagram that adopts a certain style in speaking and posting, or targeting a certain market. These other accounts can be your competitors, but some of them can also be your partners. Do not be afraid of reposting artists that embody your brand and mentioning them for credits. Like and post clever comments on celebrities that post content you think your followers would also like. This small effort is a good way to get discovered by people who would like your content as they like these other accounts’ content that is similar to yours.

3. Use a Variety of Hashtags

Hashtags are an important element of discovery. The more impressions you receive from hashtags, the better your hashtags are at reaching new people. You can take advantage of Instagram hashtag analytics to analyze the performance of hashtags you want to choose and optimize your hashtag usage. However, do not stumble with common hashtag mistakes that raise your impressions without gaining followers or engagement. A mix of different hashtags can help you reach more audiences, especially those who are searching for content like yours.

4. Select Best Time to Post on Instagram

To amplify the impact of your content creation efforts, you should strategically select the best posting times to maximize reach and engagement. However, there is no one size fits all answer to that conundrum since it is usually industry-specific. The best way to find out the best posting time for you is a combination of analyzing your own, your competitors, and your industry’s activities. To do this, utilize Instagram profile analytics to find and cross-reference the best times to post and the best time for engagement. This way, you can have an edge over knowing when to capture the most attention from the audience you are targeting.

5. Collaborate

The easiest way to gain traction on your Instagram is by collaborating with other Instagrammers with larger audiences. This could be influencers, celebrities, experts, or other brands that do not directly compete against you. The method most often explored is by way of endorsements or social media campaigns, but this is not the only way. You can also collaborate by experimenting on other Instagram features, such as creating Instagram Live talk shows or co-creating content that focuses more on entertaining and educating the followers rather than promoting your Instagram Business.
NOTE: As I am a part of "Born On Instagram", I will also be coming up with my own post sometime by next month wherein I would be combining the experience and learning points of my 3 months training session with Instagram.
Article Credit : By Bradian Muliadi on Analisa.io


Author — Nataraj Sasid
Genre — Language, Linguistics & Writing
Publisher — Book Media
ASIN — B08C7KN587

Self-publishing is becoming a big industry in India and everywhere. It’s easy to publish and sell books via online retail stores. But most of the people ambitious to write books all their life want to know the hacks that can make them a successful earning author. Hardly books come that highlight the plight of struggling authors, in absolute sense books guiding about publishing and marketing are rare, and that published some years back need revised editions because online platforms are more diverse and versatile than we think.

Publishing a book on Amazon sponsored Kindle last year must have been different from now. I mean to say that authors out selling their books on their own need to keep abreast of all, and there is a need to refer timely helpful books from time and again.

This is my first book where I learnt about self-publishing and other strategies. By all means, it’s a must have for anyone starting out in self-publishing industry.

In the book, the author attempted to answer all questions that possibly fill new writers mind. This book is a great book for authors, it’s helpful, straightforward, and always have a little tinge of motivation. This newest book is going to be one of the most valuable ones for authors. Nataraj laid out relevant and straight pointers regarding marketing and publishing packages and other tales.

Anyone planning to publish books in nearby future can definitely refer this book as a handy guide. I think by reading this book it would be hard not to be successful if you have a good product and you follow the advice given here. Great book, great advice!

This book is available on Amazon.

Sembaruthi - only on ZEE5

This 3-month lock down has not affected me in anyway. Reason is simple. I had subscribed to ZEE5. You may ask what is special in it? First and foremost, this platform gives some of the most engaging contents across various genre and languages. I had spoken about few originals in Hindi in the past and now I am going to talk about my favorite serial – “Sembaruthi”.

Why this?

Firstly, it features some of the best actors in the industry including my favorite actor Ms. Priya Raman. She is portraying the role of a strict mother Akilandeshwari. The way she conducts herself as this character would make you feel that if there was a person in this name, it would be her. As a doting mother, she was always protective of her Son. When you have so much of wealth, you certainly wouldn’t want your offshoot to marry a person who doesn’t have any background.

                                                           Image Credit : ZEE5.com

The story is a perfect culmination of love, affection, family sentiments coupled with treachery and backstabbing which would keep you on the corner of the seats. The other two characters that perfectly compliment Priya Raman are Kartik Raj and Shabana Shajahan. While Kartik (portraying the role as Adithya) is the son of Akilandeshwari, Shabana who dons the role of Parvathi comes to their palatial house as a domestic help and through her selfless acts and innocence gets into the good books of all including Adithya who eventually marries her.

The plot is full of twists and turns which also takes you on the journey of beautiful love that blossoms between Kartik and Parvathi. They face turmoil from all the directions. How they face each and every one of them and emerge as a doting couple has made this tele-serial interesting so far.

All these while Akilandeshwari wasn’t aware of the love, let alone marriage. Since the marriage has taken place and that too without the knowledge of her who has kept everything in her hands by controlling the family members including finance, it would be really interesting to watch as to how the story would unfold.

There would be lot of scenarios which includes:

1.       How would the interaction go between Akilandeshwari and Parvathi?

2.       Will she accept her as her daughter-in-law?

3.       Will the married life of Kartik and Parvathi be smooth and safe?

4.       Would there be any other twist in the story?

5.       Would they face any trouble from their close relatives?

There are so many other originals which you can watch by visiting ZEE5 and last but not the least, by subscribing to ZEE5 OTT platform, a user can stream the contents on 5 screens simultaneously. This means there is no quarrel among the family members whatsoever since each one can stream their own content as per their wish and preference.

What are you waiting for?

Book Review - The Art and Science of Real Wealth : Earn Real Wealth

Title - The Art and Science of Real Wealth : Earn Real Wealth
Author - Dhyan Appachu Bollachettira
Genre - Business & Economics
Publisher - Amazon Kindle

If you have read the previous book of the author, you would be able to connect well with the contents in this book as well. I was fortunate to read his first book “Arya Dharma” and before I could get over with the wisdom that the book is trying to spread all over, here comes the next one which is of a different genre but is very much connected with the first book. Hence if you are looking to read this book, which I would highly recommend, I would also suggest you to read his first book as well.

Having said that, I would also like to highlight that this book has some excerpts from Arya Dharma. There are only very few in the world who would accept their failure/defeat. Author Dhyan Appachu is one such soul. He has failed on few occasions which saw his fortunes dwindle but that did not stop him from going towards his ultimate destiny. I wouldn’t say that he has reached but he would surely be there sooner or later.

The book is way better than lot of self help books out there because it gives you a clear-cut idea about practical approach and the one that is coupled with Arya Dharma. How many of you have heard about Nikolai Kondratiev? He was one of the under-rated economists but in the opinion of the author, his theories were most suited in the long term and for this world in general.

He lost a staggering US$590,000 in 2006 in Options. Though he was successful in few instances, he lost out at crucial stages. In one of the bad days, he made a gain of US$15,000 though in reality it would have been more than 10 times, had he waited for one more day. Similarly, if had to invest in MRF back in 1990 as per the advice of his friend, that investment, which he did elsewhere, would have been worth INR590 Crores today.

Losing money is something which we all would want to forget, especially when the amount involved in huge, irrespective of how we lost it. Author lost his investments in Rasoya Proteins since he invested all in one stock instead of spreading over the risk in other companies which he identified that includes Morepen Labs, Confidence Petroleum, Mawana Sugars and Ludlow Jute. The INR 80 Lakhs which he invested this way in 2018 would have been INR 5 Crores by June 2020. He also openly admits of being addicted to Zyprexa and Risperidone but he could able to get rid of it by late 2018.

He removed the myth that exists in the larger society that Stock Markets are the only financial markets but in reality, it is only 15-20% whereas there are other less manipulated markets like Commodities Markets, Bonds, Currencies which offers immense opportunities. He also warns us of be aware about the bubble burst which may happen soon in India sending the value of the land prices to 1/10th of what it is today.

My mother use to tell me one thing “Only put money that you can afford to lose”. I found the same statement in this book which made me feel really happy and even more connected. Author strongly advocates this “Never go for All or Nothing because most of the times you will end up with Nothing”.

Do you know about Jesse Livermore?

He made USD100,000,000 during the crash of 2019 which is valued at INR 9,100 crores in 2017 value. Read about the 23 rules that found its way in the book. How the scrupulous stock traders make money out of unsuspecting investors is given in this book. This should work as a caution for all of you out there who is planning to venture into investing. It is not to scare you but to make you aware of the existing situation that would enable you armed with knowledge which you could acquire only when you invest some good amount of time studying the markets. He also recommends Webull app which is providing valuable information for FREE when it comes to spotting a trend change in the stock follow the money flow. Some of the fallen multi-millionaires like Martha Stewart, Rajat Gupta also finds their mention in this book.

His comparison of stock markets between USA and India is the highlight. I will not mention it here since you need to find it yourself in the book. He recommends investing in power sector.

Why Power Sector?

Out of all types of power generation, why Hydro Power?

Why you should be averse in investing in Solar and Wind Energy?

Why is the power sector known as “Widows and Orphans”?

Read the book to find out all the answers.

What is Fish Love and True Love?

The mention “Past performance is no guarantee of future results” is like a nail in the coffin since it holds very much true to the present-day situation where even biggies like Lehmann Brothers have gone bust. I liked this line in particular “Anyone who says that they have achieved things easily without much effort has not tasted true success at all”.

A perfect read, is all I can say!!

This book is available on Amazon.