Book: 2020: A Guru in Disguise
Biographical Info: Born and brought up in Delhi, Ranjeet Kaur is an avid reader and a passionate writer who strongly believes that learning is a never ending phenomena. She completed her Masters in English Literature and Masters in Education, enjoyed every aspect of language teaching, but realized that writing was her real forte. A close association with a renowned yoga expert grew into friendship and she motivated her to embark upon a new path of book writing. The journey began with the translation of a book ‘Yoga for Kids’ from Hindi to English language and continued with the book ‘For Moms-to-be’. A co-author in various anthologies of English - ‘The Spark Within Us’, Autumn Diary, Lockdown Blues etc. Received a certificate of appreciation from Times NIE for giving education a new dimension. A participant of ‘ Forever Star India Awards’ in the category of ‘Book Writing’ and third Prize winner for her contributions in the book ‘Tea Time Stories’.
"The silence and stillness of the lockdown also spoke volumes about the lessons that the mankind has to learn in this
period of doom and gloom." - Ranjeet Kaur
Interviewer: First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the release of your book – '2020: A Guru in Disguise'! How do you feel about it? Tell us something about your book?
Ranjeet Kaur: Thank you so much. It is indeed a feeling beyond words. The moment I got to see the paperback of my first book, I could see myself with a pageant smile. The best thing about compiling an anthology is that you make many more other people smile. My co-authors are equally ecstatic and their smiles keep me on cloud nine. ‘2020: A Guru in Disguise’ is not just an anthology, but a paperback of my dreams. Despite the agony and anxiety that the year 2020 had in store, there were many learnings in its core. The silence and stillness of the lockdown also spoke volumes about the lessons that mankind has to learn for blissful survival. A few co-authors, in their respective stories, have shed light on how they learnt to see 2020 in a positive light. They utilized it for their good, strengthened their relations by spending quality time with their family members, honed their technological skills and fulfilled their dreams which were otherwise not possible with their daily chores. For this book, I am thankful to Ms. Heena Shaikh Mulla and Mr. Rachit Yadav from the Publishing house who facilitated the backend work with their expertise.
Interviewer: ‘2020: A Guru In Disguise’ is an anthology featuring ten passionate writers, who have contributed beautiful poems and short stories. What inspired you to compile this anthology?
Ranjeet Kaur: As an educator, one gets ample opportunities to write scripts, articles, speeches and poetry. I worked on a short play that was titled '2020: A Guru in Disguise'. It was executed on virtual mode. I worked on its script and the final product was appreciated by all. The script was written keeping the content within the boundaries of the school culture and atmosphere. The title inspired me to broaden the theme and collate the viewpoints of people from different walks of life. Had it been just my book, I would have shared just my opinions and experiences on the theme. The readers must be served a platter full of variety. So, I shared the idea with many friends and colleagues and their enthusiasm motivated me to compile this anthology.
Interviewer: Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover. And, what is the significance of the title?
Ranjeet Kaur: I am delighted to have got the chance to share the deep thought behind the book cover. “Footprints in the sand’ is a popular religious poem and it is about a person who gets to see two pairs of footprints in the sand. According to the poem, one belonged to the Almighty and another to him. The year 2020 taught us so much that figuratively it may be regarded as a Guru (A Teacher). The book cover depicts that we must follow the footprints of our Gurus as their teachings may change the course of our lives.
Interviewer: What is your current goal in writing career?
Ranjeet Kaur: The book world is very vast and I am just a cog in the wheel at present. Simultaneously, I worked on a beautiful anthology named ‘Musafir’ wherein twenty passionate writers from different walks of life have chronicled their interesting travel tales in and around the world. In other words, I would say that they have unpacked their extra bags of memories which they carried while returning from their respective destinations. Each story has a different genre and a few writers have even shown a different perspective for the word ‘journey’.
Interviewer: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Ranjeet Kaur: Any interesting piece of writing is a delectable recipe that has many essential ingredients. Good vocabulary, literary devices, out of the box thoughts and figurative language together make a good piece of writing. There is no denying that the presence of any strong emotion garnishes it and enhances its taste. Basically, one needs an idea and then the idea can be developed using creativity and imagination.
Interviewer: What is your favourite genre to read, and why?
Ranjeet Kaur: I am fond of reading biographies, auto-biographies, poetry, humour and memoir. Reading biographies and auto-biographies inspire you as they often throw light on the struggle stories of famous people and how they fought against all the odds. These days, I am reading ‘Unfinished’ by Priyanka Chopra which is a memoir. It’s as good as the author.
Interviewer: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Who is the author you most admire?
Ranjeet Kaur: As a student of English literature, I was fond of reading poems by William Wordsworth, William Blake and Alfred Lord Tennyson. I find immense pleasure in reading the masterpieces of these poets. They are big names in English Literature and their works are inimitable. They do inspire me as they possess the power of creating pleasurable poetic pieces from simple ideas.
Interviewer: Please let the readers know about your projects for the future? Are you working on any book?
Ranjeet Kaur: With '2020: A Guru in Disguise', I worked on two projects. One book is titled ‘Pot Pourri’ and the other is ‘The Poetry Café’. Pot Pourri is a beautiful collection of poetry in English language and each poetic piece is supported with sketches. The poetry café has its own significance for me as it is my first solo project. It encapsulates poetry based on experiences, observations and anecdotes of everyday life.
Interviewer: Any message for readers regarding the book?
Ranjeet Kaur: '2020: A Guru in Disguise' is an interesting mix of stories. Each page that you turn may make you change your face expressions and mood. A team work of eleven writers who gave their best shot in writing. Please read with pleasure, it’s no less than a treasure, to be loved beyond measure.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you about you. I wish you best of luck for the future!
Ranjeet Kaur: Thanks a lot for your good wishes. My heartfelt thanks to you for providing me with a platform where I could talk about my first and the upcoming anthologies and books.
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