Raksha Bharadia, the author of Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul, in conversation with Chesta Wadhwani.
So what's Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul like?
It's inspiring.. they are stories that aim to change lives for good--there are stories of regret, stories of moving beyond, stories of survival.
How did you go about collecting stories?
(Laughs) That's been a task.. each and every life has many stories, but stories have to have a life. Blogs have been a great way to get great writers together.
Your book has already released. What kind of response have you received from readers?
The responses have been highly positive; I think people have related to the stories. Westland Publishers are already in the process of coming with the second print of the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul.
Is there a marked difference in the style of writing between the east and west?
Although there are certain emotions which are universal, Indian concerns are primarily familycentric, be it immediate family or the extended one. Our society has a stronger social support system, unlike the west. Issues like poverty and peer pressure ail us.
The Indian edition has a set of such themes addressed with the Indian flavour in it.
The book has bylines of Anupam Kher, Narayan Murthy, Shiamak Davar, Johnny Lever, Sathya Saran, Rahul Roy, Tanuja Chandra, Sanjeev Kapoor and MK Gandhi's grandson, Arun Gandhi.. what about the other everyday heroes?
Yes, there are 10 celebrity stories. The rest of the 91 stories are written by every day heroes. The big names have been included for the common reader to associate with.
For instance, a successful chef like Sanjeev Kapoor doubted his own credibility at the age of nine. Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul tells how everything is achievable.
What are the other servings like?
Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul will have its second and third servings in June-July, after which titles like Chicken Soup for the Indian Teenager's Soul, Mother's Soul, Father's Soul, Lover's Soul, Diabetic soul, Entrepreneurs' soul, Sports Lover's soul and even Gay Soul will be brought out.
How has the experience been so far?
All I can say is, I have understood the wholeness of life. After reading so many true life stories, I have realised how life is too big to let go of for small issues.