I am I. V. Rama Raju, aged 50, working as a Sr. Manager at Dangote Industries to earn my living in the Republic of Congo. I am from a village called Pippara in West Godavari, A.P, India. I expressed my feelings in my book A Spark From The Sky which was inspired by J. Krishna Murti’s teachings which still play a vital part of my inner bearings. I have been in Africa (west coast to East Ethiopia) for the last 20 years. I, after half my life, recently discovered my love for reading literary fiction which has, I realise now as my luck, prevented my fall in the voids of my surrounding android-sands. My favourite creative writer, poet and painter – multi-faceted – is the Late Sri Sanjeeva Dev, who himself recognised my feelings and decorated my poems with his valuable appraisal.

I am married. My family with an 11-year-old son lives in Hyderabad. Yes, I am crazy for Indian dishes, especially south Indian breakfast but I am crazier with a constant thought about my little son’s pot bubbling with imported pieces of pizzas. I wish some new fiction may bring forth all our ancestor’s Avakaya (Andhra mango pickle) aroma that will spring from within our next-gen wells that will drive away those Anakondas back home to the Amazon forest, their original land, be it Indian, African or American. As respective aboriginals, they may their own toils and soils.


Three things people don’t know about you?

Why people, even my better-half knows ‘not’ what grows inside my boiling pot!

What’s your greatest fear?

If all people become IITians, who will attend other class-jobs. So, something differs in some one. If all five fingers are alike, can we imagine how to hold our life? So, any machine only with a soft, a bearing, and a gear of different sizes, be ever moved – Lord Krishna with his single once drawn ‘Line’ (Geetha) – no more comments about his four-caste system. But one has to, despite our light speed gadgets – growth follow only as his parallel line.

What is your greatest achievement?

A best 03 years’ service period. As I worked with Saudis freely on their Arabic land, more respected and valued than our own or Pakistani Muslim colleagues, that is still not received either in my country of all relations or other continent – full of dark-dollars.

High point of your life?

On the way to ascend it

Low point of your life

What else! My hard earned, while being innocuously lost to my known ghost-the very so called relatives – not a stray thief or those hidden extremist, but those near my fist.

Which living person do you most admire?

Arundhati Roy – not as a writer, but as a fighter

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Kemal Bey – The museum of innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Who are your favorite authors?

Jhumpa Lahiri, V.S. Naipaul and Franz Kafka (still not fished reading the rest)

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Commentaries on living, Smruti Bimbalu(Telugu), Unaccustomed Earth, The white castle and The Metamorphosis.

Is there a book you love to reread?

The white castle

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Missamma(Telugu 1955) Chalo Delhi and Telugu comedy movies

One Superpower you wish you had?

I wish him/her/it to let me live as I am to

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

An Indian ghost once loved his African hostess and basked that dark land with his lost Kohinoor’s shiny rays, that would not have been hidden under any mines, just glowed, would glow to let next-beings grow.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

All my childhood to sunset-hood would have been spent only at my native village, which I had missed for the sake of my evil existence.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

To prune further my language, be it my mother tongue or those foreigners.

Which book you wish you had written ?

Still in amorphous stage, but creative and innovative.

When and where do you write ?

When my barrel is full at duty free place.

Silence or music?

80% silence and 20% music

One phrase that you use most often?

Truth was, is, will ever be a taste of unknown (PURI’ GOD?) drops’ moving wheel, never be at our grasp, on our own at all lapses, its new beauty may we feel!

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

Maybe ritual, as a human, everybody by his/her very living, is a writer. Be it illiterate or literate with their marvellous eyes, ears and all other senses, that is why Google was, is ,will be in ever gargle with its new mercuric bubble, and we, all – no mass, no class – only a group engross till that Jesus wakes up from his cross!

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

12 years a day, 07 days a week and 28 years service still on.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Read, read, and read of those tears of yesteryears.

I. V. Rama Raju is a chemistry graduate from Andhra University. He is from Pippara village in Andhra Pradesh. Presently he works in a factory in Saudi Arabia to earn his living. He has also spent twelve years in West Africa. Raju is influenced by J Krishna Murti's teachings. He can be contacted at ivyramaraju@gmail.com

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Debashis Biswas

With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Walid Jalal

Walid has 7 years experience in online listing & marketing Working in SEO firm & Publishing sector. He worked in a Restaurant as a Manager in Sharjah for two years. He loves cricket & cooking.

Jayati Sarkar

Jayati has been into literature studies and has pursued her Mphil in Australian Aboriginal Poetry from the University of Calcutta. She is an avid reader and her love for books has brought her to the field of Publishing. For years she has explored the other side of the book as a reader and now she works with Leadstart as the Senior Executive in the Editorial Department. Her work profile includes working closely with Authors, managing the projects from end to end and also working with national and international publishers for management of Secondary Rights.

Ashwini Jadhav

Ashwini has about a decade’s experience in design. She is a Master of Commercial Art, who has worked in the publishing and advertising sectors as a visualiser & designer. She was judged as the third best in the state, when she finished her foundation course in applied art. She is a practicing calligrapher in Modi Lipi (a script in the Marathi language) and is a Rangoli artist who has won several accolades in those domains. During the popular Ganesh Chaturthi festival, several idols of Ganesha in varying sizes get made, one the most important finishing touches to the idol is that of painting the eyes, which Ashwini has practiced to perfection and does it for hundreds of idols every year. In addition to the above, she is also a trained classical dancer, a national level Kabaddi player and loves cooking.

Ananya Subramanian

Graduation in journalism and love for books, led Ananya to take up a career in publishing. With her experience in the field, she has come to believe more and more in the power of stories and the people who tell them. She is a vegan and an animal-lover; and loves to dance, tend to her pet plants and often find solace in solo travelling.

T. Vijay Kumar

Vijay has over a decade’s experience in supply chain management working in India and the Middle East. He heads the production, supply chain and receivables management for Leadstart. Prior to his current role at Leadstart, Vijay worked in inventory management for five years, in Abu Dhabi.

Iftikar Shaikh

Iftikar has a decade & half years of experience across publishing and the banking sectors in the finance domain. He enjoys working on numbers and loves uncovering stories that the numbers tell. A fitness enthusiast, he loves trekking and travelling.

Maneesha Arun

Maneesha has an experience of over two decades in the content industry spanning over publishing, media and secondary rights business domains. She has a deep interest in psychology.

Mahendra Rawat

With more than a decade’s experience in book sales and distribution, Mahendra comes from a family immersed in the book trade. He worked with several book distributors and publishers before his current assignment with Leadstart.


With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Rajesh Krishnan

Rajesh comes with over 3 decades of experience spread over various business domains. He oversees Leadstart’s business development & sales across southern & western India, Sri Lanka and Middle-East. His hobbies include dancing, trekking and travelling

Pooja Dutt

Pooja has over a decade’s experience in operations, sales and people management in various business domains. She loves to interact with authors and helps them meet their publishing goals. She is fond of travelling & cooking.

Bhavika Bharambe

After completing her MBA in marketing, Bhavika has focused on roles that helped her to become an experienced marketing professional today. She has worked for brands from various industries; Educational, Tourism, Retail, Entertainment, Airlines, Banking and more. She loves to spend her time by reading books and listening to music.

Naina Solanki

Naina leads the project management and author support functions at Leadstart Publishing. She is fond of being abreast of the latest developments in technology and is a keen learner of the six sigma methodology. She loves reading and travelling.

Preeti Chib

Preeti has a decade’s experience in brand and communication management with most influential and innovative media companies. She is passionate about building brands by translating consumer insights into product innovations and campaigns. She is a compulsive reader and considers a day gone without some bit of reading a day wasted. She loves reading stories to her children every night. A lover of visual art, to delve a bit deeper into the same, she took up formal training for design as well.

Malini Nair

Malini is passionate about Literature and Business Management. After her MBA (Marketing) from St. Xavier’s, she took up roles that involved sales, marketing, costing, MIS etc. in multiple sectors like Banking, Insurance, E-broking, and even the Steel industry. Eventually, her passion for languages and books compelled her to re-route her career to literature. This led to a career break and a Masters Degree in English Literature; post which she took up a role at Wordit CDE & Leadstart, enabling her to work towards both her passions.

Chandralekha Maitra

With two decades of experience as a book publishing professional, Chandralekha began her career as a features writer and columnist, working with publications across India, before moving into book publishing full time, with India Book House. She received her training in editorial title management from Book House, London. Over the years she has worked with some of the finest publishing houses in India and overseas, and across genres and markets. She has also worked with Osian’s-Connoisseurs of Art, India’s first auction house, gaining in-depth exposure to research and publishing in the fine arts-antiquities-cultural heritage genres. Additionally she has had a parallel, specialist career in Human Resources, working at Group HR, Tata Group, among others. She continues to write, train and mentor in this domain as her publishing commitments allow.

Raj Supe

Aka Kinkar Vishwashreyananda, Raj Supe is a poet, storyteller and novelist, as well as a seeker and devotee of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. An MBA by education, his career spanned advertising, research and creative consulting, before devoting his time to literature and spirituality. His works include Three No Trumps (novel), Sagarika Anusagarika [Echoes of Nine Rivers] (poetry), Pilgrim of the Sky (spiritual memoir), and translations of religious texts such as Cloudburst of A Thousand Suns and Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. He has also worked on film scripts with Ram Gopal Verma and Ashutosh Gowariker, and on plays with Makarand Deshpande.

Dr. Rabindra Kumar Nanda

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Stanford University, Dr Nanda is also a National Science Talent Search Scholar. He holds five Patents and is a published author of 50 national and 52 international research papers.

Swarup Nanda

Swarup has over a decade and half’s experience in multiple business domains related to content. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, he has worked with a couple of MNCs in the media space. His passion for literature and books is his motivation for building Leadstart.