"With grit and determination, second chances in life become a palpable reality" - Kavita Bhatnagar


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dr. Kavita Bhatnagar, an Indian Revenue Service officer, belongs to Ajmer. She holds a doctorate in Political Economy and has worked for over two decades in various positions in the department and has represented the country both at the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization. An avid observer of life and her interest in reading and writing led her to pen Second Chance.


INTERVIEW


Q. What inspired you to write your book - Second Chance?


The inspiration for Second Chance came from my observations about the struggles that a divorcee undergoes in our society. The right of a woman to make her choices and her decisions in the personal sphere is very important but more often than not, a woman faces difficulty in exercising these options. My perspectives on abuse in the marriage, the world of internet match-making, and our societal pressures in dealing with divorce and remarriage formed the basis of Second Chance.



Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?


Second Chance is first and foremost a breezy, delightful read; yet it leaves a strong message. Some takeaways from the book are as below –

• For women to have the courage and not accept abuse in any form.

• Divorce is not the end of the world. It can be a new beginning.

• Economic independence for women is important.

• The ability to make her choices & decisions is vital for today’s women.

Family support is needed, more so in the Indian context, to tide over rough phases.

• Internet dating has its landmines. Precautions are essential.

• With grit and determination, second chances in life become a palpable reality.



Q. What is the significance of the title?


The title captures the theme of the book in totality. The book revolves around the question that will the protagonist Ragini get a second chance in life. Ragini is also determined to get a second chance for love and companionship. To quote from the book, “Something inside her kept telling her she deserved a second chance – for love, for togetherness, for happiness.” Hence, the title conveys hope and positivism.

Q. If you had to describe Ragini in three words, what would those three words be?


Courageous, Passionate, and Perseverant.


Q. What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

Time management was a key challenge as I am in a full-time job besides being a mother to two teenagers!! Since I wrote it over a period of four years, the flow should not be affected was another of my concern. Basically, the plot was simple and at times the length of the book was an issue. Besides, there are many characters in the book so giving a distinct flavour to each of them was also challenging.



Q. How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?


The book’s ideal reader is the urban youth who understands modern relationships. More specifically women readers will be able to relate to the book as all the key characters of the book are females embodying different perspectives.


Q. What was your dream job when you were younger?


I always wanted to join civil services but I did dream of being a journalist in case I didn’t make it to the civil services. The creative aspect of journalism excited me and I thought it would be glamorous to be a TV news anchor. Our English teacher would push us for modulation in our diction during debate competitions and I would visualize using all those tips as a news anchor!


P.S. – I am still young


Q. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?


Yes, writing is like meditation to me. I lose myself in it and it revives me. It’s sadhana. Also, the creative process that writing entails goes a long way in self-validation. It is not just an expression of my thoughts and feelings but a medium to reach out and connect to people. So this twin tool of self-actualization and a connection with the outer world is what gives writing a spiritual character.


Q. What is your beverage of choice while writing?


A hot cup of tea! Many times, the thought process has been rejuvenated with a hot cuppa. For me, it removes the writer’s block, eases fatigue, and also provides the impetus for new ideas. The only condition is it should be perfectly made – less sugar, less milk, and the relaxing aroma of tea leaves. ☺



Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?


SALISMANIA.com is doing a wonderful job for the readers and is poised to grow as a digital platform for book lovers. Their professional approach and well-crafted modules are what an author needs to connect with the reader. So, it offers convergence for both readers and authors and is all set for a brighter future.


ABOUT THE BOOK


She was only 26, pretty, intelligent, earning well, and – divorced. Ragini had been on cloud nine once her marriage was fixed and certain that she was going to get all the love she had dreamed of – her marriage would be perfect and she would really live happily ever after. But soon the marriage turned abusive and Ragini walked out of the bitter, hurtful existence – shaken, but determined to create a new life for herself. This is the story of Ragini’s quest for love and companionship. Her efforts make her interact with different suitors and take her on a roller-coaster emotional ride. Ragini’s travails to marry again show myriad hues where deceit and pretence come face-to-face with hope and aspiration. Will life give her a second chance?


FORMAT: Paperback


PUBLISHER: Sterling Publishers


LANGUAGE: English


GENRE: Romance


BUY NOW: Amazon

DID YOU KNOW?


SALISMANIA.com is now ranked in the Top 30 Indian Book Review Blogs and Websites on the Web in 2020 by Feedspot. Feedspot has a team of over 25 experts whose goal is to discover and rank popular Blogs, Podcasts, and Youtube channels in several niche categories.


FOOTBALLER OF THE WEEK - Lionel Messi


Lionel Andrés Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record six Ballon d'Or awards and a record six European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copas del Rey. He scored goals in 16 consecutive UEFA Champions League season. A prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals in La Liga (445), and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (183), a La Liga and European league season (21) and the Copa América (12). He has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.


Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi relocated to Spain to join Barcelona at age 13, for whom he made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. He established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, and in his first uninterrupted season in 2008–09 he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football; that year, aged 22, Messi won his first Ballon d'Or. Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning four consecutive Ballon d'Or, making him the first player to win the award four times and in a row. During the 2011–12 season, he set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer. The following two seasons, Messi finished second for the Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo (his perceived career rival), before regaining his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga and leading Barcelona to a historic second treble, after which he was awarded a fifth Ballon d'Or in 2015.

Messi assumed the captaincy of Barcelona in 2018, and in 2019 he secured a record sixth Ballon d'Or. An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. At the youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with his compatriot Diego Maradona, who described Messi as his successor. After his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup during the 2006 edition and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament.

As the squad's captain from August 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals: the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for which he won the Golden Ball, and the 2015 and 2016 Copas América. After announcing his international retirement in 2016, he reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and a third-place finish at the 2019 Copa América.

One of the most famous athletes in the world, Messi has been sponsored by sportswear company Adidas since 2006 and has established himself as their leading brand endorser. According to France Football, he was the world's highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between 2009 and 2014 and was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2019. Messi was among Time's 100 most influential people in the world in 2011 and 2012. In February 2020, he was awarded the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, thus becoming the first-ever footballer and also the first-ever team sport athlete to win the award. Later that year, Messi became the second footballer (and second team-sport athlete) to surpass $1 billion in career earnings.



FESTIVAL OF THE WEEK - Navaratri


Navaratri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights (and ten days) and is celebrated every year in the autumn. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian cultural sphere. Theoretically, there are four seasonal Navaratri. However, in practice, it is the post-monsoon autumn festival called Sharada Navaratri that is the most observed in the honor of the divine feminine Devi (Durga). The festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. In the eastern and northeastern states of India, the Durga Puja is synonymous with Navaratri, wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma. In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with "Rama Lila" and Dussehra that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana. In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama or Saraswati is celebrated. In all cases, the common theme is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a regionally famous epic or legends such as the Ramayana or the Devi Mahatmya. Celebrations include worshipping nine goddesses in nine days, stage decorations, recital of the legend, enacting of the story, and chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism. The nine days are also a major crop season cultural event, such as competitive design and staging of pandals, a family visit to these pandals, and the public celebration of classical and folk dances of Hindu culture. Hindu devotees celebrate Navratri by fasting. But, fasting is not the correct way to please Maa Durga during Navratri or Shradha Navratri. Holy Bhagavad Gita has also denied fasting. It is clearly mentioned in Holy Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 6 Shlok 16 that this Yog Sadhna is not successful for those who sleep too much or don't sleep, nor for those who eat too much or don't eat,i.e., fasting. That's the reason we did not get the true fruits of Worship. On the final day, called the Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as a river and ocean or alternatively the statue symbolizing the evil is burnt with fireworks marking evil's destruction. The festival also starts the preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays, Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami or Dussehra or Dashain.


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