Vijay N. Shankar

Studied at Delhi Public School and St Stephens college. Worked on edit desk at The Indian Express and The Statesman. Founded SUN tabloid magazine as Editor. Have written two poetry books and ten other books on Sikhism, short story collection, Storm In Kashmir novel and Shadow Boxing With The Gods. Also, Sunday mag editor at National Herald and Editorial Consultant for German News. Port and author, book lover and especially interested in Spiritualism of New Age and Indian and Zen Buddhist philosophy.


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

That I oppose bigotry and religious cultural chauvinism and believe in philosophy of the Vedic Hindu period. That I am especially interested in Kashmir current affairs as well as Kashmiri culture and poetry etc. That I have a great interest in cooking and photography.

What’s your greatest fear?

That someday I will not be able, physically and mentally, to write my books and poetry.

What is your greatest achievement?

That I have almost completed an English book of readings from the Bhagwad Gita in Verse in nearly 200 stanzas.

Which living person do you most admire?

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev,

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Siddhartha in the novel by Herman Hesse.

Who are your favorite authors?

Hemingway. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Leo Tolstoy. Joseph Campbell Jean Paul Sartre. John Steinbeck

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

The Old Man And The Sea, Dr. Zhivago, War And Peace, Grapes of Wrath, Anna Karenina, The Prophet, A Tale of Two Cities, The Principal Upanishads.

Is there a book you love to reread?

War And Peace.

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Dr Zhivago. War And Peace. Lawrence of Arabia. Shane. Zorba The Greek.

One Superpower you wish you had?

To disappear at will.

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

Epitaph: He believed nothing except what was true to him. He valued the words of all who had true ideas. Reading and writing was bliss to him. Bio Last Line: The journey of thought was eternal to him and the only immortality.

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?

Childhood near the sea near Bombay; Adolescence in Kashmir; Adult life in Australia and Silver Years in a cottage in Shimla overlooking forest and mountains.

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

To be able to play the piano.

Which book you wish you had written ?

A Tale of Two Cities

When and where do you write ?

In my study at home in mornings till lunch.

Silence or music?


One phrase that you use most often?

Live life to the fullest.

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

Write only with ink fountain pens

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

If a passage you have written does not feel nice to you then scrape it even if you felt at first it was great and when writing something, if you feel the thought energy fading then leave it aside for days or weeks and come back to it when the words and sentences for that work start coming to you wherever you are.

Vijay N Shankar is a New Delhi-based writer who has spent his adult life working as a journalist. He has been a war correspondent, an investigative reporter for national newspapers such as Indian Express and The Statesman, a magazine editor, and scripted films on Indian culture and philosophy for the Ministry of External Affairs, and television. Post-retirement, Shankar has functioned as a full-time writer. He has authored two books of poetry: Rusted Laughter and The Other Time. His works of fiction include a collection of short stories: The Music Man; and a novel: Storm in Kashmir. His non-fiction works feature the well-received coffee-table editions: The Golden Temple, The Guru Granth Sahib and Anandpur Sahib. This trilogy on the Sikh religion was the outcome of his belief that the Sikh gurus gave all of us a new philosophy by cohering life with spiritualism. Based on his own experiences with dialysis, his book, There is Life After Dialysis (2013), filled glaring lacunae on the subject. Shadow Boxing With The Gods was work-in-progress for nearly five years, during which period Shankar also wrote, Gandhians In Blue Jeans – a book for young people, and created graphic adaptations of Jim Corbett’s The Man Eaters of Kumaon and Hermann Hesse’s Noble Prize-winning work, Siddhartha. Vijay Shankar can be reached at

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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.