Let us welcome a vibrant author from Srishti Publishers, Disha. She has authored the book – My Beloved’s MBA Plans.
of IIM Calcutta and Delhi College of Engineering and have been working in e-commerce industry for the last one year. Apart from this, I lead the Delhi Chapter on “Pick-a-Fight”, a social portal for making this world a better place.
BNI: Cool, you seem to be wearing so many hats. So, What all you have written / published till date as an author?
Disha: I have been writing poetry since childhood. My debut book “My Beloved’s MBA Plans” is a collection of real life short stories. It got published last August and has been getting great reviews from readers.
BNI: Please share, what actually inspired you to write this book? Disha: I went in for my MBA, it took me almost two years to take that decision. That, when I was single, had no financial/family obligations per say. So, when I went there and met people who had come there to fulfil their career ambitions, sacrificing a lot on the personal and professional fronts; I was humbled. A couple who had just got married, a girl who had just got divorced, a couple who lived separately in two countries, dilemmas of a career woman and her maternal responsibilities; each of these stories were unique and special in its own way. These stories had the power to inspire many others to follow their heart’s calling and not defer important decisions in their lives just because the usual societal conventions demanded that. That’s when I knew that these are stories to be told, read and followed and that’s when “My Beloved’s MBA Plans” was conceptualized.
BNI: The title is an interesting bait. How did you come up with the title?
Disha: Through my title, I wished to convey that there is no age to dream and go to study. The love and trust of one’s parents, spouse and kids is the most important criterion for one’s true success. Hence the words “Beloved’s” and “MBA Plans”.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Disha: On first thoughts, the title suggests that the book may have a niche audience; i.e. people who wish to pursue their higher studies. But NO!
The book is all about unconventional decisions in life. There is no age, no demography for one to think unconventionally and make bold choices. The book has a mass appeal for anyone who dares to dream and is looking at a source of inspiration. Right from college going students to my friends’ mom-in-laws, everyone has read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
BNI: Who is your favourite and least favourite character? What makes them so?
Disha: The book has a true story about a girl called Vidhi who got pregnant while she went to do her MBA from ISB. Thanks to her husband’s selfless love and care, she was able to not just do her studies but bring a child into this world. Her story is available on my blog as well http://dishachhabra.com/my-beloveds-mba-plans-the-book/sample-chapters/
The story of this couple moved me and made me believe in the power of love. That’s what makes it truly special.
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character(s). What does he/she do that is so special?
Disha: The book is a collection of 16 short stories of real life couples. Each character is very close to my heart as all these people are people I personally knew, met and interacted with.
BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your releasing the book?
Disha: The easiest thing was to convince people to be a part of my research process. Everyone understood the need for such a book and agreed to be a part of my interviews. The hardest was ensuring the right distribution for the book. Even till date, I hear from people that the book is not available in the stores near their house, which is quite disheartening.
BNI: Share some interesting story about the book writing/cover development.
Disha: Well, you will be surprised if I tell you that the book was written over a time frame of just four months; despite a hectic study schedule. When some of my friends on campus would be busy completing assignments and some other busy partying, I would make myself a cup of tea, lock myself in my hostel room and write. People would think I was studying hard when I would be busy writing.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
Disha: Often we find people in their late twenties, thirties faced with the dilemmas of balancing personal lives and career ambitions. Whether it is about a simple decision of switching a job to things like moving to a different city or think of a higher education; everything gets convoluted by things happening on the personal front. For the singles out there, while they are looking at job sites and MBA forums, their parents are looking at matrimonial sites. For those who are married, it’s a question of their kid’s school, their wives’ job, home loans and so on and so forth. Our dreams sometimes get buried under the shadow of all the personal responsibilities, societal pressure.
Through my book, I wish to give the message that our personal and professional lives can and should be balanced well for true happiness. My Beloved’s MBA Plans is a collection of sixteen short stories of people who take unconventional decisions in their lives and sail through with the help of their loved ones. We often talk of love in context of a young generation who like to have fun together. My book throws light on the mature side of love, how it demands selfless devotion and becoming one with your partner in his/her dreams, and career aspirations as well. It talks of selfless giving, trust and understanding between couples and standing for spouse’s dreams.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Disha: The response has been heartening, overwhelming and humbling. The book has been well received by people of all age groups. From my friends to their parents, from students to corporate professionals, everyone has loved the book. Several leading newspapers, magazines and eminent personalities have given the book great reviews and recommended it to any and every reader. The motivating part is that everyone is already asking when my next one is coming out. I think the underlying theme of balancing career and personal dreams has struck well with the readers. I am thankful to all the readers who trusted a first time author and picked up their copies.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
Disha: Ayn Rand is my favorite author. She writes straight from heart. Her characters are free from all the shackles of the world. Robin Sharma’s writing motivates me when I am low. Nicholas Sparks makes me dream and believe in selfless love.
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
Disha: The hardest thing is to maintain the rigor and discipline. Often one begins writing with a lot of energy, but a lot of writers do not finish what they start writing; often due to lack of discipline in writing.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Disha: I wish to be known as a writer with a purpose; someone whose writing helps one take his/her life in a more positive way. My next book, set for an October release is also written with a social objective, creating awareness about “disability”.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
Disha: The toughest criticism came from a stranger when she gave me a rating of 2/5 on one of the leading portals, simply trashing my work and not being specific on what she did not like. Fortunately, that was one and the only feedback which was so negative. Nearly 95% of my readers are lenient to me and appreciate my style of writing. The best compliment came from none other than Dr. Shashi Tharoor who congratulated me for writing such an unconventional book.
BNI: What will be your one favourite tip to get through the writer’s block?
Disha: Know your objective of writing clearly. Are you writing for money or is there a larger objective to your writing?
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
Disha: Book series have done wonders for Amish Tripathi. But they would not work for every book. Frankly, I have not given much thought to it, though a lot of people have indeed approached me to write a sequel to it.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
Disha: Write not for money but for the love of readers. Every review that I get is a great way to begin my day with. It’s a great achievement to write something which is immortal and will be your identity long after you are gone.
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Disha: For a first time author, it’s tough to face rejections from big publishing houses. Thankfully, for me, Srishti has been very forthcoming as a publishing house. They ensured my publishing experience was seamless.
BNI: How about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
“I still remember that day. For every woman it’s one of the most special moments of her life when she knows she is carrying a life in her womb. I was happy too. But there were many other thoughts running in my head. I had paid a heavy price to be here – from the incredibly high fees to the fact that I had left my job. There were Gaurav’s sacrifices too. My mind was flooded with thoughts. I wondered whether I should drop out of ISB or continue. Whether I should have an abortion. So lost was I in all these thoughts that I did not even tell Gaurav about it till the time he came home.“
Gaurav tells us, “When Vidhi broke the news to me, I forgot about ISB for a few minutes and hugged her. I was going to become a dad. I was overjoyed. But when I saw the tension on Vidhi’s face, reality struck me. Within a fraction of second, I went blank and sat on the ground. What followed was an hour-long silence between us. We did not know whether we should be happy or sad. An executive education at ISB was an opportunity of a lifetime for Vidhi. But this moment was equally important.”
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
Disha: Printed hard cover
Dear Disha, thanks for sharing your views with us. We wish you best of luck for your future projects. God Bless!