Chitra Lele is a young multiple world record holding author who is conferred with the title of ‘A Versatile Writer’ by the India Book of Records for penning the maximum number of books on various genres including business management, poetry, personal transformation in a span of 18 months. Chitra’s publications include academic and reference books, research papers, poetry anthologies and scholarly articles. Her books have become popular and are well received by book readers across the globe. ‘English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth’ is her latest attempt.
We, at Spectralhues got in touch with the author. Here are some excerpts from an interview Chitra Lele gave to Susmita Bose.
Ans: Thank you very much! My latest academic book, English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth, is doing well, both in terms of responses from readers around the world and literary records. This book is not a mere academic book, but it has personal touch to it as I have written it in a lively and stimulating manner. And since it is written in an easy-to-understand format, it offers something for each of my readers to learn from. The appreciation and responses that I have received are a testimony to the fact that my book is opening up a whole new way of seeing and interpreting the world through the English language.
Q. You have been a prolific writer. You have written so many books in short span of time that includes various genres. How do you motivate yourself as a writer?
Ans: Slowly and steadily, as I developed a deep reading habit, I became exposed to a wide range of genres. And this in turn, gave me the confidence to write on a wide variety of subjects. Initially, I contributed essays, poems and articles to my college and university magazines, then as I received appreciation from my peers and elders, I gained confidence to try my hand at various other mediums—magazines, newspapers, online blogs and portals, radio poetry reading sessions, international journals and anthologies. With all these contributions, I started to develop an innate desire of becoming an author. This innate desire combined with my habit of registering ideas and learnings from various settings gave me the momentum to develop my views, theories and approaches into books.
Q. How would you describe the varied experiences of writing in so many genres—business management, reference, non-fiction, and poetry?
Ans: My parents always tell me, “Chitra, in order to produce quality-driven books, you need to read quality-driven books.” And I have constantly followed this golden rule. Thanks to our vast home library and my parents’ undaunted encouragement that helped me to develop interest in varied subjects at a very young age. Right from an early age, I have had exposure to a diverse range of books, right from civics to language studies and from computer science to economics, which helped me to develop a diverse perspective towards all aspects of life. This inspiring environment sort of became a permanent learning classroom for me that enriched me both as an author and as a person.
Q. You have set one unique record of receiving most recommendation from leaders around the world. Tell us briefly about the experience and responses…
Ans: I have received 70+ Letters of Commendation from world leaders and peace organizations, right from the Hon. President of India, Pratibha Patil to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for my peace-making efforts and my book on personal transformation, The 6 Spheres of Life. This feat has been registered by the Limca Book of Records and India Book of Records. These letters are a never-ending source of inspiration for me, which give me the impetus to scale newer of heights of success; these gracious words of appreciation and encouragement from various prime ministers, presidents, mayors, governors and heads of states are incomparable to any materialistic gains.
Ans: At such a young age, I have been able to write academic and reference books on a variety of subjects, right from business management to computer science. And more than the genres, it is the unique approach that I have adopted for each and every book—a youngster’s take on life and its aspects—is something that makes my books not only academic in flavor but also have a personal touch to them. And this personal touch is something that appeals to readers across all professions, ages and cultures. Bringing wisdom and change in others, and that too through a youngster’s take on life, is something that all of my readers find appealing.
Q. How the records happen?
Ans: To be frank, I never wrote books to set records. Some things just happen along the way and world records were one of them. But I am glad my efforts in the fields of education, peace and literature have got recognition from prestigious record books like Limca Book and India Book. I will always continue to write with a purpose and for a good cause, and such appreciation will definitely help me to do better and remain focused on my goals.
Q. How was the feeling when you came to know that you have made history?
Ans: My efforts in the fields of education, peace and literature have got recognition from prestigious record books like Limca Book and India Book. This recognition, in a way, fuels my passion to do more and to write more without losing focus on the Quality aspect. Being a part of history is one of the most surreal feelings. It makes me immensely happy that these records and my books not only give me the sense of (permanent) identity, but I know my books, articles, poems and other literary creations are going to be there to enrich the lives of many even after I am gone.
Q. Will you ever think of compromising your writing quality to a set record by writing more books?
Ans: No! Never! I always write for a purpose—to bridge the gaps in knowledge and to help my readers in more ways than one. The literary records that I have set just happened along the way. In fact, these records are a constant reminder to me that I have a responsibility towards my readers and myself. And I will always take this responsibility very seriously. Each of my books is not just academic in nature; each book has a purpose to it. My books are based on a combination of aspects and principles from various disciplines. For example, in my latest book on the importance of the English language in today’s world of globalization, English Language: The Gateway of Global Growth, I have blended hard-core knowledge with motivating real-life experiences related to different people and cultures that I have had on my journey across the world while working on this book. So there is a universal appeal in this book for all, right from teachers and students of English to anyone interested in joining the global growth wave.
In my previous book on collaborative team management, Organizational Democracy: Collaborative Team Culture: Key to Corporate Growth, I have blended the principles of management and spirituality in a lively and stimulating manner, so this aspect makes the book universal both in tone and application in all settings—social, personal and professional. In other words, though most of my books are academic in nature, but because of their personal touch factor, there is something in them for each one of my readers to imbibe.
Q. Coming back to your latest creation, tell us your thought behind this particular book?
Ans: Languages open a vista for learners. The more languages one knows the better are the chances for progress. English provides a chance to develop in any field of one’s choice. It helps one to grow. It does not confine a citizen to his or her own nation. It opens the possibilities to be global in a real sense and it is a shockproof cover against the shockwaves of globalization. We have much to share with each other and having a common language is the first step along that road to engaging in commerce and scientific research and to sharing knowledge and friendship. This is where English steps in, and my book, English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth, reflects this very philosophy. It deals with the global aspects of English like educational equity, cross-cultural sensitivity, seamless cohesion, etc., in an engaging and stimulating manner.
Q. What is your opinion about the standard of Indian speaking or writing in English?
Ans: On the one hand, it is true that countries like India in which English is spoken extensively as a second language will play a major role in the development of global English, and on the other hand, sadly speaking the quality of English is not a par with the global standards. The reason is that Indians somehow are still holding onto regional biases and irrational sentimental urges, due to which they are not open to new trends and patterns of the English language. In fact, English is one such language that creates a bias-free environment, where cultural values can be exchanged, studied, developed and imbibed on a global level. One can achieve mastery of the English language without losing the connection with one’s local ethos and without eroding the base of one’s mother tongue skills. Once people realize this dual-advantage, they will be self-motivated to hone their English language skills.
Q. Author, management consultant, peace ambassador—what else you want to explore in your life?
Ans: Apart from progressing in my computer management field, I want to contribute to the society; I want mark many more beginnings and set and achieve many more milestones in the fields of literature, education and peace-making. To encourage youngsters of my age to join the bandwagon of peace-making and social transformation is one of my biggest aims. I have started my work in this field through my books, seminars and my association with peace organizations like the Peace Writers Organization (USA) and the World Peace Organization (USA). I am only at the first step of my journey and have a long way to go!
Q. What kind of support you are getting?
Ans: My books have been launched both in the national and international markets. The overwhelming response from college and university students and professors, corporate training professionals, housewives, business professionals and readers from all ages and cultures has assured me that they liked my books as they could relate to them and also found the insights, theories and approach doable in all spheres of their lives.
Two other strong sources of support are my parents—my mother for her literary flair and frank feedback of my work and my father for his constant sharing of insights and experiences.
Q. Tell us little bit about you. What interests you other than writing?
Ans: I am a young management consultant, record-setting author, poet and peace ambassador, all rolled into one. At the end of the day, I am a youngster trying to leave a positive indelible mark in the footprints of time through my books, work and peace efforts.
Interaction and Observation are two key elements that trigger my thought processes. These two elements have taken me places, US, UK, etc., and for writing research-oriented academic books, I have to meet and interact with a lot of experts on all points of the world compass, to learn about the latest trends and patterns in the field. So travelling is definitely something I like doing a lot. Apart from traveling, I love playing sports like Badminton and also enjoy writing poetry in various forms—free verse, haiku, sonnet, etc.
Q. Tell us something about your future plans? What is the subject of your next book?
Ans: As far as writing goes, I want to continue transforming my ideas and approaches into useful books in order to add value to others’ lives.
My next book is in on Call Centers; it has a comprehensive focus as it not only deals with the Indian call center landscape but also tackles the International scenarios and trends of call centers. It is again unique in tone as I have developed a novel theory on Call Center Customer Experience Excellence, which is the cornerstone of call center management. This theory is a unique combination of management principles and human factors, which makes it universal in tone and application, in all settings—personal, social and professional.
Q. Any message to our readers…
Ans: My readers’ feedback and fan mails is something that keeps me going. I take this opportunity to thank all my readers. I have received a lot of mails from young people of my age saying that they feel inspired to do something positive after reading my books. I take both the positive comments and critical comments with an open heart and mind. Positive appreciation makes me feel good, but critical comments make me feel good and a better writer too. Positive feedback reinforces my confidence and incorporating critical comments reinforces the confidence that my readers have in me. So, dear readers, keep the feedback flowing!
A BIG thanks to Susmita and the Spectralhues team for giving me an opportunity to share information about my books, world records, thoughts and achievements.
While conversing with Chitra Lele, we realize that there is no secret to success. Dedication, hard work and honesty have made Chitra to achieve success in life. Spectralhues is wishing her all the best for her future endeavors.
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