Tag Archives: Interviews

Opening The Casement Of A Person’s Soul Through His Narratives : Shubha Vilas

Shubha Vilas, a TEDx speaker, storyteller, lifestyle coach, and the bestselling author who after completing the patent law and engineering degree, finally chose the path of the spiritual seeker. He preferred to bequeath the mainstream society to live in a life of ambition where he majorly concentrates on extensive studies and interpretation of Vedic scriptures.

Shubha Vilas believes in a simple lifestyle and his passion is to inculcate in children and their education which ultimately builds character. He has also created ‘Value Education’ modules that can be consolidated by schools and colleges into their present syllabus. He wants to develop knowledge that will accommodate to shape the human characters of his audience. His unprecedented capability to behold things from a pragmatic prospect which is implemented with ecclesiastical vision executes scriptures beneficial and essential to everyone’s life. 

In 2013, he started writing a series of books on Ramayana and then started writing a 6 volume series title ‘Ramayana-The Game of Life’ which entailed comprehensive research from the original works of literature like Ramcharitamanas, Kamba Ramayana, and Valmiki Ramayana. Books like ‘Open-Eyed Meditations’, ‘The Chronicles of Hanuman’, ‘Magic of Friendships’, ‘Open-Eyed Meditations’, ‘Mystical Takes For A Magical Life’ are some of his national bestselling books.

How do you explain Mythology? Or according to you what is the definition of Mythology?

In my understanding ‘Mythology’ is a wrong word, in fact, ‘Mythology’ is a misnomer, because what we have with us is history. The word ‘Mythology’ comes from the word ‘Myth’ which means fiction. And if we see the pictures of ancient India like- ‘Ramayan’ and ‘Mahabharat’ are called as ‘Itihas’ which means history. And when you term history as Mythology or when you translate the word ‘Itihas’ to mythology, it doesn’t do justice to the substance of the text.

The history that we have plays a pivotal role in shaping our society and the future. So in my understanding, the ‘Mythology’ word should be completely removed and we should actually start using or preferring the word ‘Itihas’ or words like ‘Epics’ more.

Do you think the current generation is misrepresenting the concept of Mythology or the Indian Culture because with time things have been changed a lot?

Usually, the general masses of people are ignorant and innocent, so it’s about how the intellectuals view narrations. So if the intellectuals are trying to shift the narrations in a wrong way then naturally the entire generation will get affected with a wrong understanding except the new narration is put on. And it is important to be balanced where, if say 100 people are misconstruing the narrative, we need to have at least 100 people trying to keep the narrative as pure and authentic as possible.

So I don’t feel that the style has to be in the old style as it is not appealing anymore but the content cannot be deviated and changed or even exaggerated just because people don’t desire the content. People should try to keep the content the same but people can change the way to depredate the understanding in the context of time but people don’t have the right to completely change it.

So if you want to change the narrative how do you want to showcase it to the current generation so that they can take interest and shouldn’t be misunderstood?

So there are two ways – one in which the style of story is presented. So people can make ‘Mahabharat’ or ‘Ramayana’ as exciting as Harry Potter if it is written well. Because the story by itself has a lot of excitement in them but if people have a tedious narrative with no style and no anecdote in it, it won’t work.  That’s what I am doing in my books, if you study my book – ‘Ramayan: The Game Of Life’ series, I am trying to completely change the way of style of narrative. Though I am sticking as much as the authenticity of the original text the style is what I am working on the most.

So I feel the youth are excited to read something which is exciting and beautifully written but at the same time, you try to bring the lesson that you can draw parallel drawn to your own life that makes it even more appealing.

Shubha Vilas

Writing Mythology books must have challenged you a lot, what are the biggest challenges you have faced while writing?

One of the biggest challenges is getting authentic commentaries on it. So what happens, many Acharyas who commented on these epics or on the original texts, those commentaries are very useful and have a very powerful way of understanding of the epics. And those commentaries are not easily available in general. So whether in Sanskrit or in Tamil or Telugu or Kannada or in any language are probably doesn’t have that access to. So my biggest challenge is to get access to those commentaries and try to find the right sources.

How do you get ideas for your books and what is your way of researching?

I spent a lot of time meditating and my research has a combination of two things- one is a lot of ‘reading’ which is usually the original texts, commentaries from different Acharyas as well as modern writers who have much knowledge about it. Reading and knowledge acquiring thing is the first thing I do.

And the second is the ‘thinking’ part where I try to meditate and contemplate on how to make things relevant. So both things go hand in hand as a part of my research program.

Shubha Vilas recently announced his latest book for children which is a wonderful retelling of Valmiki great epic ‘Ramayana’.

In recent times there has been a huge outrage over the portrayal of Hinduism in the movies/web series on the OTT platform. Do you think this criticism or demand to ban certain craft is justified? What is your personal thought about it?  

All of us have our own Right to Speech, so if I want to criticize someone and if somebody else says that we should not criticize certain work then in that case I am talking about my right of speech which will be different from what others say.

And talking about these web series or movies which show the history in a modern formation, well a few years back there was a journalist in France who made a little funny type of cartoon on Prophet Muhammad and people outrage the whole craft. So there with this people were offended and that lead to such an outrage so imagine here if people will portray one of our god in modern attire, misrepresenting it completely then it is obvious that the Hindu sentiments will be hurt and people here will get offended.

Even let’s keep aside the god, in today’s time of a celebrity is made fun of it then the fans of that particular celebrity gets hurt so badly that they start trolling others. And human sentiments are termed as to be very strong and in that case, you cannot say that they are right or wrong. And nobody can’t dictate that you shouldn’t have those feelings. If some people are feeling hurt or criticizing certain work which they don’t like then that is completely justified.

So in that case, we should act in a certain way that the other feelings are not hurt or offended. Why do we need to create content for money which is based on hurting somebody else feeling!

Shubha Vilas recently announced his latest book for children which is a wonderful retelling of Valmiki great epic ‘Ramayana’.

Do you think teaching on ancient traditions helps to understand the modern generation or the millenniums? What do you expect from the readers/audience will take away from your books?

I strongly believe that we need to have very high regard for our history. And with time I have been more convinced while researching and reading that the ancient pictures have a lot more to the world. The only problem is that you are not packaged well, so right now I am working on the packaging. If you look at western authors like John Maxwell, John MacArthur they are all pestered with their backgrounds. And most of their writings which are very successful in their non-fiction books are all based on the Bible. And if one Bible can give so much to the world and thousands of books can be produced based on just one text, here we have hundreds of texts but none of them has been explored properly. So in that case I want to make every picture that we have relevant, applicable, and transformational.

After completing your engineering why do you opt for this path of the spiritual seeker?

I did my engineering, then Law and now I am doing my PDH and MA in psychology… so I love knowledge. Where knowledge is available in whatever form I try to accept everything and learn from it. I don’t consider myself as educated but as a learner. There is a difference between education and learning. There are a lot of people who are educated but unfortunately, they don’t acquire knowledge.  So personally I feel that the quest for knowledge is more important than the degrees in education that you acquire.

Books by Shubha Vilas

What is your next book? Or what about future plans?  

I have a lot of amazing books coming up but due to the pandemic things have been a little slowed down. There are at least five to six books in the pipeline which may be coming in the next one or two years. And right now I am just completing my sixth volume of the “Ramayan’ series. And post ‘Ramayan’ series I will be working on the ‘Mahabharat’ series which will be completely different from the previous work.

I am writing a lot of children’s books as well and recently we have just launched the illustration of the Ramayan.

"Masks Are Going To Be Biggest Fashion Trend For The Next Couple Of Years"- Mr Ravi Gupta, Creative Director, Gargee Designers

“Masks Are Going To Be Biggest Fashion Trend For The Next Couple Of Years”- Mr Ravi Gupta, Creative Director, Gargee Designers

An elegant and exquisite designing wear is characterized by refined tailoring and premium craftsmanship. When every piece of the fabric gets meticulously designed and is supremely stitched, clothing experience becomes divine. Ravi Gupta, a true pioneer of Luxury menswear, believes in the same ideology.

Interview Times had a great conversation with Mr Ravi Gupta who chatted about his experience in the designing field and how Gargee Designers have shaped the Luxury menswear designing so far-

"Masks Are Going To Be Biggest Fashion Trend For The Next Couple Of Years"- Mr Ravi Gupta, Creative Director, Gargee Designers
“Masks Are Going To Be Biggest Fashion Trend For The Next Couple Of Years”- Mr Ravi Gupta, Creative Director, Gargee Designers

What made Mr Ravi Gupta inclined into the arena of Men’s Garment?

My father, Mr Shyam Gupta, has been my biggest motivator. He started Gargee Designers in the ’80s and has been the pillar of our organization. As a child, I have seen the struggles that we went through and witnessed how successfully he emerged victoriously. Therefore, since childhood, I was inclined in the fashion designing industry.

Was it challenging for you in the early days, making an impact in the industry?

To be honest, it was not a very challenging ride for me. First of all, I never thought of success or failure. I wanted to follow my passion, and that’s what I did. Secondly, my father gave me a platform with Gargee, which helped me a lot as well. However, it was a challenge to satisfy the customer’s requirement. Luckily for me, people have liked my new collections every year.

Any one breakthrough point, through which, there was no looking back?

Not one, but there are a few breakthroughs. First, my fashion designing degree helped me a lot in understanding the ethics of good design. Secondly, working with celebrities like Karan Johar and Varun Behl gave me the ideal platform to emerge as a proficient celebrity designer.

Any particular reason for giving your company’s name as Gargee?

My Dad is a very innovative person. Our family’s surname is Garg. So from Garg, Gargee Designers came into existence.

"Masks Are Going To Be Biggest Fashion Trend For The Next Couple Of Years"- Mr Ravi Gupta, Creative Director, Gargee Designers
“Masks Are Going To Be Biggest Fashion Trend For The Next Couple Of Years”- Mr Ravi Gupta, Creative Director, Gargee Designers

How has been your journey with Gargee so far?

The journey has been exceptional so far. Yes, like every business, I have faced some highs and lows, but that’s part and parcel of the experience of a businessman. The most gratifying element is that every time I have launched a collection, people have loved it.

You have tailored for many A- stars Bollywood celebrities. Can you share your experience?

It all started when I got the chance to design for Karan Johar and Varun Behl. Once I designed for them, I got to know the demand and requirements of the celebrity atmosphere.

Almost all the industries have taken a toll throughout the world, because of this pandemic. How severely have Gargee Designers been affected?

Yes, like any other industry, our company, too, have been affected. We are a luxury brand, so people have avoided luxury products due to financial crunches. Also, our wedding collection has been profoundly impacted due to the delays.

How have you come out of it?

We have been a part of many CSR activities. Also, we are producing a mask at a bigger scale to help the people to help people during the pandemic. Apart from that, we are making Delhi Police Uniforms. These things have helped us so far.

Any set-off plans for future for Gargee?

Yes, as per the trends of the current generation, we have decided to go digital. We will soon launch our site, where people can buy our garments online.

Any new trends in Garments, which you think will top the charts in the next few years?

When it comes to fashion, the most significant trend for both men and women in the next couple of years is going to be masks. As per the latest development on the pandemic and vaccine, it’s pretty sure that until 2021 end, we may not find a proper cure. Thereby, there will be high demands for them.

Image Source- Mr Ravi Gupta Picture Wardrobe

Interview by- Sayak Karmakar, Resident Editor, Interview Times

The Future Earth Will Thrive On Digital Arena, Amit Prakash, CEO- Crushaders Tech Solutions

The Future Earth Will Thrive On Digital Arena, Amit Prakash, CEO- Crushaders Tech Solutions

The world is moving towards the arena of global digitalization. In fact, the only king who will thrive and rule our successors will be the internet. 

Interview Times had a great conversation with a Samurai of the digital world, Amit Prakash, an I.T. passes out, and the C.E.O. of Crushaders Tech SolutionsHe spoke about his childhood, his journey with Crushaders, and the future of the digital sphere.

This is how the interview went-

The Future Earth Will Thrive On Digital Arena, Amit Prakash, CEO- Crushaders Tech Solutions
The Future Earth Will Thrive On Digital Arena, Amit Prakash, CEO- Crushaders Tech Solutions

How was the childhood of Amit Prakash?

My childhood was just like any other typical middle-class Odia boy of the ’90s. I was blessed to be raised in a pleasing city of Bhadrak as my father worked there in a private firm, Facor. I studied at Saraswati Sishu Mandir.

Therefore, I was quite religious and spiritual from my early childhood days. While mornings were devoted to the schools, my evenings were booked for the cricket matches; I enjoyed myself with my friends. In school, I loved to participate in all extra-circular activities. I was a leader in Scouts, loved swimming, and was a part of all the cultural activities of my school by default.

When did the spark of the entrepreneurship blossom into your mind?

To be very honest, my passion for being an entrepreneur was triggered by a sense of fear. In the year 2008, in my second year of engineering, the world’s economy collapsed due to recession. Many of my seniors who worked in reputed firms like T.C.S., Wipro, Tech Mahindra lost their jobs. Therefore, I thought, why not start something of my own, after having a few years of exposure in the I.T. sector.

Also, at that point in time, Odisha was devoid of any significant I.T. sector. So, even if I had a chance to start my organization in Mumbai or Pune, I decided to return to my homeland. I wanted the I.T. sector to bloom in Odisha as well. Also, I desired to give employment to the local people of Odisha to boost our state economy.

The Future Earth Will Thrive On Digital Arena, Amit Prakash, CEO- Crushaders Tech Solutions
The Future Earth Will Thrive On Digital Arena, Amit Prakash, CEO- Crushaders Tech Solutions

How difficult was it to leave a full-time job and venture into a start-up?

Initially, it was tough. I was posted at Nepal Kathmandu and was having a salary package of nearly seven lakhs per annum. Also, I received excellent incentives, as well. However, by 2013 I had made up my mind to leave my job and start my own company. I am fortunate enough, as my parents were fully supportive.

At that time, my family lived in a 2bhk flat at Bhubaneshwar. As it was the initial days, I turned one of my rooms into an office. I got a partner as well, Bidhan, who, till date, is like a supportive pillar to me. By the end of 2013- my partner and I at my house started Crushaders Tech Solutions with two laptops, and by January 22, 2014, we got officially registered.

Amit Prakash and Team
Amit Prakash and Team

How has been the journey with Crushaders Tech Solutions so far?

Oh!!! it has been a fabulous journey. Since two partners, now I am proud enough to give employment to 40 young and dynamic Odia’s. Now we have our office at Patia, Bhubaneshwar, and manage numerous clients. Today, Crushaders Tech Solutions has over 60 clients, with a majority of them in the U.K., U.S.A., and Cannada. 

Every company goes through highs and lows; it is expected that Crushaders Tech Solutions has also been through them. Can you describe one of the incidents where your company went through extreme lows and how you managed to cope with it?

Yes, I want to tell you one particular incident. It was 2016 when suddenly, 4 of our main clients decided to part ways within a few days. It was shocking and disturbing, as well. From each client, we used to get a revenue of $500 to $600 per year.

We had to struggle a lot for the next two months. My partner Bidhan and I slept for only three to four hours a day, even at weekends, during that period. Also, my entire team worked for 11 to 12 hours a day. However, after two months, the situation was normalized as we got some excellent new clients. 

How much impact has CO-VID has on your business?

As I said earlier, most of my clients are based abroad, a maximum of them being in the e-commerce sector. We handle their digital aspect entirely. Therefore, during this pandemic, we became fully aware that they are suffering from substantial financial loss. So, from moral ethics, we didn’t charge a single penny from them. Hence our revenue has gone down by 20 percent in the last few months.

However, during this Pandemic recession, the only thriving sector is the digital sphere. How do you think the digital arena will perform in the next ten years or so?

In simple layman terms- the future of the economy will thrive on digital platforms. 

Through the medium of Interview Times, I would request all businessmen- whether a street vendor or a grocery shop owner to least have a Google Business Account and Google Maps. Install business WhatsApp for your customers. All these features are free and will help to thrive in your business in the future. Also, if you want to invest a bit- built up your website.

Amit Prakash and his teammate at USA
Amit Prakash and his teammate at USA

Any set-off plans for the future?

Yes, just before the pandemic stuck, I wnt to U.S. A and registered an office in Arizona. So, once the virus is in control- we have plans to expand our zone in the U.S.A.

Any piece of advice for young entrepreneurs?

My only advice is just to be prepared for any worst situation, and you will succeed in life.

Image Source- Amit Prakash Photography Wardrobe

Interview by Sayak Karmakar, Resident Editor- Interview Times