Today’s author is an adventure junkie. From the thrill rides at amusement parks to trekking at the Valley of Flowers, she enjoys it all. She maintains that the sunrise is best appreciated from a cliff. She prefers sunrise to sunset as she believes ‘sunrise embodies the potential of a new day’. She is a nature lover, no wonder her favorite color is green. She loves the color so much that she once gave a branch of Gulmohar leaves to her teacher instead of flowers.
Presenting the trend-breaker and a trendsetter… Nupur Maskara…
Nupur Maskara is short and likes writing short stuff that packs a punch. Expectedly, she began her career in advertising and is now in content writing. Her friends have branded her frequent blonde moments as Nupurisms.
Q. What inspired you to retell the epic ‘Gita’?
A. Arjuna’s cold feet on the battlefield is something anyone can identify with. The Gita is a great philosophical self-help book. I was getting lost in commentaries on the original text. I wanted to read the original, but Sanskrit intimidated me. When I found a verse translation, I grabbed it. It struck me that it would be interesting to capture Arjuna’s perspective on Krishna’s Gyan. I decided to try my hand at it. Poetry is great for expressing emotion, so I wrote poems in Arjuna’s voice.
Q. What are your views on ‘karma and reincarnation’?
A. Karma yoga is one of the paths Krishna recommends, the others being Gyan yoga and bhakti yoga. Our bodies are the site of action, so it’s important we use them for good deeds. We can break the cycle of birth and death by not being attached to material items and practicing yoga, thinking of Brahman.
Q. What’s the biggest misconception about the Bhagavad Gita you’d like to clear up for our readers?
A. That it’s a religious text. It’s not- it’s a summary of the Upanishads and a world-famous philosophical work.
Q. How will you convince an atheist or agnostic to read your book or ‘Gita’?
A. The Gita is a self-help book with a philosophy and they should read it with that perspective. It does not endorse a traditional view of God as a deity, idolatry or ritualism. We are all connected, even with inanimate things. Being part of a greater whole gives meaning to our life and purpose, making us more tolerant of our fellow human beings.
Q. Do you follow the teachings of ‘Gita’? How has it changed your life?
A. Non-attachment is the main takeaway of the Gita. I do follow it- whenever I find myself getting upset if I don’t get my way- I try to remember to take a step back and remind myself not to be attached to material things, people, anything. This immediately calms me down and helps me do a better job. I also focus on karma- doing my work, regardless of the fruit- this has helped me do well at work.
Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing this book?
A. I have translated the first chapter verse by verse and didn’t have time to do the remaining seventeen similarly. That’s my next project. Self-editing is a challenge- my father was my biggest critic, pointing out parts that seemed stilted and suggesting how to improve them.
Q. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best compliment?
A. Someone said my poems are too personal. This helped me to rework them so that they would resonate better with readers. The best compliment has been that a reader said I have captured the flavor of the Gita in today’s language.
Q. How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
A. Read great writers, take a walk, gaze at nature, do something new- basically get material for writing. Once I make up my mind to write, especially if there’s a deadline to prod me, something emerges. Having an idea which I want to flesh out makes it easier. Then when I sit down to write later, I’m not blank- the thinking’s already done.
Q. Describe your process for research while writing.
A. For non-fiction, I read the first ten results on Google, make notes, add my view. For fiction, if I’m working on a character, I observe people with a similar temperament or recall those whom I’ve met previously who have traits I can draw on for my character. Share some valuable tips for publishing and marketing your e-book.
I’ve designed my ebook twice – Canva images can’t be downloaded, so I redid it for Kindle. Kindle Create is easy to use, but if you want to print your book later, keep that in mind while selecting images. Color images get expensive for offset printing or photocopying.
Your network is your best support for marketing- they will forward your book’s link and encourage you to keep going. I’m also planning to bring out a print edition, as many people have asked me for one.
Book blurb content-
The Bhagavad Gita is a unique text. Short but power packed, it is part philosophy, part self-help, and part poetry. Translations can be tantalizingly enigmatic, and commentaries can suck the life out of its verses.
This book has explanations where needed and presents Arjuna’s reaction to Krishna’s teachings, in poetry. Arjuna gets little airtime in the Gita. As Everyman, he voices our dilemmas about being human and trying to follow the path of the Gita.
Book-related important Links
@nuttynupurs, do comment and let us know how this interview experience was for you. And do read, share and comment on your fellow author’s interviews as well. Here’s wishing you all the best for the eBook and all your future endeavors. Wishing you lots of success!!
Do read Sonia’s exciting review on Anshu’s blog today, while on Ashwini’s blog you can read Rashmi’s interview. This interview is a part of a series of interviews conducted jointly by @anshuwrites, @ashwini and Yours Truly. Do you read my previous interviews with Paresh, Maheshwaran, Sitharaam, Kathakali, Mahak, Natasha, Lavanya, Jayanthi & Sayan , Tina & Meghana .