Interview with Profbatra

How & Why did u end writing on a subject like 'beef'?
I am as far away from meat & eggs, chicken or fish as North Pole is from South Pole. I am a converted vegetarian. A decade or so earlier, I was very fond of & addicted to red meat. That was courtesy after my marriage. However this book is not at all about my personal eating habits or a sermon on the supposed superiority of plant food over animal meat. I was provoked to write this book when an important Indian state like Maharashtra banned the eating of beef & made it a criminal offense. Criminalizing eating habits meant unfettered power to very junior officers of police to come any time raiding your kitchen & have a peep into your refrigerator or cooked meals if it contained beef. The whole exercise appeared non sense to me. This was the primary reason to find out the truth of beef ban in India.
How do you approach cover design?
This was a very sensitive issue for me. I mulled over my ideas. My original idea was to have a cover how the innocent 'cow' is looked upon by Indians & westerners so differently. In India, cow is always reverred & is always shown in the company of Lord Krishna, the second most reverred God in India after Lord Rama. Initially I had thought of cow with Lord Krishna in a part image with second image of cow meat as a part of 'beef burger' of USA. However, my friends & well wishers suggested me to think of something more innocuous & less controversial, otherwise my e'book would have attracted the mad crowds & led to it being banned along with ban of beef. I therefore went in for a simple calf that represented to me the anguished cry of innocent dumb cattle against humans.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
There are scores of books that are my favorite. These vary from one end to another. Books that have changed the course of human history have been of much interest to me. On a literary side, Oscar Wilde entire works have been my very favorite with his control on tongue in cheek humor, repartee, sarcasm & tingy one liners. On the scientific side, Charles Darwin's 'The Origin of Species' was my favorite. I have been fond of my own country's leaders Jawaharlal Nehur's 'Discovery of India' & 'Glimpses of World History'. Similary Karl Marx's 'Das Kapital', Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' can be put into my favorite category. There are so many more that I may sound boring if I begin adding up all the books that were or are my favorite. George Orwel's "The Animal Farm', '1984' & Alvin Tofler's 'The Furture Shock' can be added to my long list.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Being new to the game of marketing my own e'book BEEF BAN IN INDIA, I am focusing on sending e'mailers to a very large list that includes people from all sections of society, professors, lawyers, politicians, members of parliament etc. For me it is a wait & watch as results have yet to come. Today is just 13th day of publication of my book (June 03, 2015), I find from the graphs on this site that over 140 have viewed my page & about 16 have downloaded the free 20% sample content of my book. I feel satisfied even while paid downloads are yet to begin.
Describe your desk
I am a thinker in the bed as I am single & mostly work from my bed. We in India are rather lazy. I get lots of creative ideas & then work on them at the times when I sit on my PC. Per se I do not work on a desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the city of New Delhi & was fortunate enough to go to very reputed American Gujarati School of Delhi, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya. I was further fortunate to get an excellent English teacher in my school days. My father was a publisher & published over 50 titles in English on Sex, Astrology, Business English etcetera. Kama Sutra In English was published by my father late Sonu Ram Batra of Capital Book Company of Connaught Place. We were forbidden to read sex books in our young days, but I would take out time to go thru some pages hurriedly when none was watching. All this influenced me a lot. Even today, my colleagues rate my command on English quite high even while it is my hobby. I am in love with English language.
When did you first start writing?
I have been a cradle writer. Belonging to a publishing family, & my father had a good command on English, Urdu, Persian, my early writing was in very young school days. Later, I kept improving by writing for school & college magazines. One can say, writing is in my blood.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Ban of Beef is as puzzling to me as it would be to any right thinking person. How can one criminalize an eating habit of a person. Obviously, the intentions are dubious in this case. However, what horrified me was the prevalence of double standards of Hindus who in one breath would say they treat the cow as very sacred, but would not hesitate to sell the non milk yielding cow to the nearest butcher of the village. I realized Indian society is full of double talk & double standards. This book therefore is more about the hypocracy of Indians in General & of Hindus in particular. Beef is only incidental to the story of the book. How do we manage our own double standards is of prime concern to me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I have yet to watch that. For sure, my self esteem has definitely gone up by the ease with which I was able publish digitally my first book. I hope this book gets noticed & I am able to find an appropriate publisher for the print version of this book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is like travelling within of me. There is a spiritual joy that long after I am gone, my written word would remain for someone who cares.
What do your fans mean to you?
I do not have a very large fan following. Whatever & whoever they are, I feel overwhelmed that I am liked by my fans. I know they like me for my thoughts & ideas, not the physical me.
What are you working on next?
I am now working on the fiction genre of the aftermath of a nuke war between India & Pak. I am equally enjoying this & hope to complete my book THE DAY AFTER, an imaginary war scenario of the next day when India & Pak nuke each other in the month of June 2016. I hope I should be able to publish that book too by end of June, 2015.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oscar Wilde remains the top, apart from many dozens that I have already described earlier in my favorite books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Humans are different from animals that they work, on a daily basis. At 65, I need to work for as long as I can.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a thinker. I am thinking of different things all the time when I observe human behavior & try to make sense out of what they do & why they do. This gets reflected in my writings.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Smash word gives me such a wide variety of e'books that I do not need to look at some other source.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That was way back over 50 years earlier, when I was in School & did some fiction story of a dishonest business man & a naive innocent boy who gets duped by that scoundrel.
What is your writing process?
I write on my pc, save daily in my gmail account, & then club it all together to give it a final editing shot. In between, I always carry a register & a pen with me to jot down any idea or point that comes to my mind, that needs to be done later more elaborate.
Published 2015-06-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 115,370. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » World leaders, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » World leaders
Is Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the position of President of United States of America a clear & present danger to the world peace & stability? This book intends to give an insight into his past, his present & the probable global future under his Presidency of U.S.A. that affects us all. This is my humble effort to enlighten the world on the clear & present danger to the world peace & stability.
THE BEEF BAN IN INDIA-Conflicting Perspectives
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 78,590. Language: American English. Published: May 19, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Current affairs
Beef Ban in India-Conflicting perspectives aims to support the freedom to choose one’s own path to material or spiritual happiness. This book is a journey to explore my own double standards & that of others, specially Hindus, BJP government in India, & to find ways to solve the issue of criminalizing of eating habits. A self discovery of our eating habits. Happy cow reading in the cow world.