An Interview With Maneesha Agrawal
About the Author
Maneesha Agarwal (MVG) is a well-read and widely-traveled writer, who started her writing journey through a few published travelogues. She has also worked as an editor (English Language) with an autonomous government body for three years. MVG always has a penchant for deep thinking, leading her to study Sanskrit to gain insight into the Indian School of thought. This, coupled with her erudite fascination for history and obscure places, has prompted her creativity to carve a fable out of a folklore, which she presents in her first book, From Zero To One.
Interview with Maneesha Agarwal
Q1) ‘From Zero to One’ is a story which itself begins with an end. It begins when actually no one survived except prince Shradhdev. In other words, I can say that it is a story of hope that when nothing remains, there is still a ray of hope that everything can be established again with lot of determination and optimism. From where do you got this extremely amazing idea?
Answer) As I have already acknowledged in my book, I happened to read the legendary Hindi writer Jaishanker Prasad’s immortal work “KAMAYANI”. It was a couple of decades ago, and yet it stayed in my core. The way his protagonist Manu fights his own chasms and dilemmas has always inspired the human being in me, who had to undergo a similar turmoil when I lost my husband – the only world I had. When I thought of writing a book, I knew it had to be Manu – synchronizing my struggles and inspirations into one book.
Q2) Every journey has ups and downs. Many a times we think that we should back out or quit. So while writing about this fascinating fable, were there some moments when you think about quitting? What was the hardest thing you find while writing ‘From zero to one’?
Q3) Love Story in Today’s era is somewhat very different from what you wrote in the book. Looking back at the historical and mythological fables like Akhbar and Jodha, Shiva and Sati , Krishna and Radha and now Manu and Kamayani, do you think Love Stories in the present era is losing it’s charm?
Q4) People say that ‘No good book can sell itself’. ‘From Zero to One’ is just fantastic. What are your strategies to move your book from the publishing house to the reader’s hands?
Answer) I think I count upon the merits of the genre. Besides, I am trying to get more and more reviews from the students, leisure readers and a few editors who can help me judge my work. And I have ensured the book’s presence at the World Book Fair 2017, to be held in January, New Delhi. This is probably going to add to the visibility.
Q5) When the book hits the market, authors got compliments, appreciations as well as some bad reviews too. How do you deal with bad reviews ?
Q6) When i was reading your book, one thing which I find so intriguing was the philosophy about Karmic chakra. I would really love to know that what kind of literature you read? Is there any particular genre you read?
Answer) Yes. I am a real adherent to the Sanskrit literature. I am an admirer of the ancient Indian school of thought. And besides sanskrit as far my reading goes, I love the classic style of writing. It can be ranging from Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dickens, Austen, Ruskin, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare to Tagore, Saratchandra, and Premchand, Prasad and Pant in hindi. I am also very much interested in reading the folklore… regional tales from across the world. For me, reading is a process, not leisure.
Q7) What’s your message to the aspiring writers like us ?
Answer) I have just a couple of suggestions for anyone who wishes to write – one has to be well read, and clear with the thought process while sketching the characters. The incidents spun around should be able to add to the momentum of the story, rather than being a burden on the narrative.
My comments about the Book
I bid my Heartiest Thanks to Maneesha Ma’am and wish her all the best for her book. Personally, I’ve read the book thrice in last 5 months. I find it so intriguing in all aspects. it’s not just a fable, it changes the reader’s thought process about everything around him. If we go into the depth of the story, in Today’s era, i personally feel that it can be taught to the management students, young entrepreneurs and each and every dreamer and innovator. it gives lesson that everything can be created out of nothing.
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Love, Laughter and Peace
Himanshu R Nagpal