Monday, July 25, 2016

Penning life first hand

Kuldip Dhiman

It is difficult enough to write a book on one subject, but Bangalore-based polyhistor Mridula
Sharma writes with ease and authority on ayurveda, alternative medicine, self-publishing, vegetarian diet, and psychology.
Wow! No Side Effects!, her first book is primarily about simple traditional ayurvedic cures, although she talks about yoga, homoeopathy, and other alternative medicines as well. How did she manage to write on remedies when she is not a trained doctor?
“There is no greater ‘trainer’ than life. I wrote what I experienced, and I got it from my mother who was an encyclopaedia of herbal remedies. She taught me how small alterations can bring about great changes in personal health. Many who benefitted from her remedies requested her to pen knowledge in a book. She couldn’t do that, and I took to the task.” 
  Mridula says her book is different from several others published on ayurveda and alternative medicines, as it comprises simple, yet efficacious remedies. “The most common feedback that I receive from my readers is that the book is so interesting that they cannot put it down. They feel that I am talking to them through my words. Personal touch is very important in healing.”
The book has separate chapters on what to eat, how to breathe, remove toxins from the body, combat ageing and handle stress. There is also a chapter on dealing with obesity in a natural way.
Mridula had to self-publish the book. Most publishers ignore new authors and novel ideas. Self-publishing is a viable idea, especially with great advances made in printing technology. Without any publicity or promotional tours, the first edition of the book was sold out within 10 months. Of late, she has been approached by publishers to have it translated into Malayalam, Hindi and Spanish. 
 “Soon after the launch of my first book, I received a call from Kolkata. A girl wanted to know about the process of self-publishing the book. Her aunt had a book ready, but did not know how to publish it. I gave her a lot of tips.” After a few days, the editor of Femina South, late Madhuri Velegar, interviewed her, and she also asked her about self-publishing. “I realised that the subject hasn’t been written about and I might as well write a book on self-publishing. Thus was born Write Your Book and Self-publish. In this, I have dealt with topics such as how to get the ISBN number, copyright, essentials for making a book, and how to market it. It also deals with the pros and cons of going to a publisher and how to seek a publisher, etc.” 
Raising a Vegetarian Champion, her third book, is a complete guide for parents who wish to see their children as sports champions. “It advices on how to start shaping children from the very beginning, how to chart their progress, and make them international champions.”
 Though the title says ‘vegetarian’, it is only the recipes that are vegetarian, the rest, as the subtitle says is about giving that extra edge to all potential sports champions. “This book came about as I have raised four champions. My daughters were swimmers and my son is a tennis player.”
Talking about her next book, Mridula says, “We all have our genies within us. All of us have immense potential in us, but from childhood, we are told ‘you can’t do it’.”
She adds, “It is this that prevents us from aiming for the stars. We All Have our Genie is about power of thought and how we can lead a life desired by us.”
Mridula Sharma is one author who practises what she preaches. Although she is in her sixties, she is full of life and has a balanced outlook.

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