Raghuvir Mukherji

I am a traveller. Aren’t we all?

Books

Sun Sign

Sagittarius

Three things people don’t know about you?

I’m great with kids, History is one of my hobbies, I often cry at the movies. Luckily it’s dark, so no one can see.

What is your greatest achievement?

Well, that would have to be - convincing the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India that I am worthy of being a member!

High point of your life?

When my baby was born. It has been eleven years now, and it is a gift that keeps giving.

Low point of your life

When my wife handed me the baby, looked at me with a vexed expression and said, “the baby is finally here, darling. But who’s going to clean the poo ?”

Which living person do you most admire?

Arvind Kejriwal. He’s a regular, middle class guy, but unlike the rest of us who keep complaining that the systems suck, he left a secure, coveted government job to jump into the rough tumble of Indian politics. Ink pots, slaps, slippers, lawsuits… he’s seen it all coming at him in missile form, ‘taken it like a man’ (excuse the gender insensitive expression) and stuck to his guns. Yes, he is given to making extreme statements, but I admire his pluck.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

That would have to be Sherlock Holmes. Logical, yet delightfully eccentric.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Given some of the people we elect, we don’t have to go looking for fictional villains!

Who are your favorite authors?

I’d have to talk about my favourite books here. In fiction, I liked quite a few of Erich Segal’s books – Class, Doctors and Love Story, which I had read in my late teens and early twenties. I also love Oscar Wilde and Guy de Maupassant’s short stories. Jeffrey Archer is also a good author and a master of the short story format. In the non-fiction variety, I greatly enjoyed reading some of William Dalrymple’s books. Sunil Khilnani’s Incarnations – India in 50 Lives and Dr. Viktor Frankl’s harrowing ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ based on his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp are other favourites. In poetry, my favourites are Tagore and Lord Tennyson.

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

A Few Good Men, Tamasha, City of Angels, Padosan, Gandhi

One Superpower you wish you had?

To read people’s minds. Oooo… that would be fun. Flying would be a close second.

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

Between the dates, his life was the dash - From wailing baby to a handful of ash. He lived it well, through crest and trough, and to all who needed it, he gave his love.

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?

As an amateur historian, I often wonder what it would be like to live in various eras of history. To witness the incredible event of Alexander’s mighty Army crossing continents to attack India 326 years Before Christ, and his conversation with the vanquished but noble Porus; to hear Kautilya’s advice to the young and dashing Chandragupta Maurya; to witness the grand spectacle of a Roman circus; to be present among the Navratnas of Akbar’s syncretic imperial court; to see the Taj Mahal getting built and live in the grandeur of Shahjehanabad; to be there at the Pennsylvania State House when the Declaration of Independence was read out in 1776, starting with the immortal words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; to listen to Abe Lincoln’s rousing Gettysburg Address that marked the final victory over institutionalized slavery in America; to hear Mahatma Gandhi give the call for “Quit India” at August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai; to sing “Kadam, kadam badhaye ja” with the soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauj as they marched from Rangoon to Manipur; to hear Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘A Tryst with Destiny’ speech on the midnight of August 14th 1947 first hand, and then stand among the throngs to witness the tri-colour go up on the Red Fort on the rain-swept morning that followed it; to be part of the exuberant multitudes that followed Martin Luther King Jr to the Washington monument and hear him thunder “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal ! ". Then I remember, that there would be no mobile phones, no air conditioning, no Chinese takeaway and no double cheese burst pizza in most of those eras. So I am happy again to be in the here and now!

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

I have always wanted to play the guitar. I also want to learn Sanskrit, French and Urdu.

Which book you wish you had written ?

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. It is an elemental story of human ambition.

When and where do you write ?

On my laptop

Silence or music?

Silence

One phrase that you use most often?

“Essentially…”

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

No

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Writers need to learn the language in which they wish to write. And to learn, they need to read. One can’t aspire to write and then write grammatically incorrect stuff. It completely puts the reader off. I’ll take some licence and put in one more line: don’t get dissuaded by the naysayers. Remember, a lot of publishers rejected JK Rowling too. I’d like to hear what they are telling their business managers now!

Born in Kolkata, and brought up in various towns and cities across the length and breadth of India, Raghuvir Mukherji did his B.Com (Honours) from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and went on to become a Chartered Accountant and Certified Financial Risk Manager (from the Global Association of Risk Professionals). He has worked in various companies, across Software, Banking and Capital Markets. This is his first book.

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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.

RAJESH KRISHNAN

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.