Let’s start with the most important question, what is Nirvana in a Corporate Suit?
Nirvana is my attempt to look beyond the profundity that is usually associated with self-help books, and make the idea of searching for one’s happiness thrilling and fun. When I was writing Nirvana, the idea was to make spiritual principles of life more accessible, practically applicable and fun so as to connect with a diverse set of audience, especially the younger, millennial, Internet friendly crowd. Nirvana as an idea and a story is rooted in our popular culture as much as it is rooted in spirituality, and it is this balance that makes Nirvana unique.
When we think of Nirvana, we always tend to imagine Sadhus and mountains and people renouncing the world? How does the corporate suit fit in the narrative?
Nirvana is not just about renouncing the world. I have always considered it a quest to find one’s own personal bliss. I think the idea of Nirvana is profound enough to encompass ideas of bliss and personal happiness that exist both within and beyond our materialistic existence and our corporate suits. If we keep placing spiritual principles like Nirvana on a pedestal that seem unachievable in context of our day to day existence, I think the entire purpose of having those spiritual ideas is lost. It has been my attempt to blend spirituality with our materialistic considerations, and find a middle path that leads straight to our personal happiness.
Isn’t happiness the latest well-being fad? How does Nirvana stand out in a deluge of content to help readers find their happiness?
I don’t think happiness is a competition. It is in fact a good thing that the whole idea of happiness is finally getting the attention it needs so as to propel our general existence in a better, more fulfilling direction. People tend to pick spirituality, pretty much the way they pick their poison, and it always helps to have as many choices as possible. A problem of plenty will at least make them choose something, and the way I look at it, something is always better than nothing. As for how Nirvana stands out, I tried to write a book that I’d want to read—something that was funny and bizarre and magical and deep, while drawing heavily from my own personal experience, both corporate and spiritual.
Do you have a dream, some sort of a goal, now that Nirvana is out?
I don’t believe in setting material goals, although a bestseller tag is always welcome! What I truly want and dream, is for Nirvana to touch as many lives as it can, make as many people smile and laugh as it can, and brighten up as many days, and lives as it can. I started writing because words are all I have, and I want to use them to give people hope, and if possible a chance at happiness. In the world that we live in, that is the only dream that I personally consider worthwhile.
What are your future plans? How soon can your readers expect your next book?
Writing and more writing! One day after the launch, I have had readers come back to me saying they finished the book and are desperate to get their hands on more; they ask me when I plan to release the next book. I am humbled! I couldn’t have had a better validation for the book. But I am not putting pressure on myself, because creativity must flow of its own accord. I am working on the next book already, but I don’t want to commit to any timeline yet.
Chitrangada Mukherjee is the author of the bestselling novel, Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic. She holds a Master’s degree in History and Marketing Management and has worked as a teacher, news reader, soft skills trainer, quiz show hostess and content specialist for a decade. After she found her true calling in creative writing, few years ago, she has turned her energy and drive into making it her full-time occupation.
Apeksha Rao is a homoeopath by profession, and a writer by passion. A polyglot, fluent in six languages by the age of five, she fell in love with words very early in life. She wrote her first story at the age of seven, and her stories and plays won many accolades in school and college. She is also an amateur sitar player. She is a keen observer of human nature, something that is reflected in her stories.
Rajeev is a budding Digital Marketer and a successful book blogger. He hails from the city of Raipur and is currently living in the city of dreams - Mumbai. He started reading at a very young age and his journey as a book reviewer and blogger began in early 2018. He is a sucker for signed books and has more than 3K books in his library.
Rajeev was awarded with "Swami Vivekananda Award - 2019" at Amity University, Kolkata, and best reviewer award at Pune and Konark Literature Festivals for his contribution to the literary world.
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