Rajendra Kher, a graduate of Pune University, has been writing for over two decades. He has published ten books in Marathi, all of which have been received with critical acclaim. Some of his bestselling novels have been translated into other languages and he has been honoured with five literary awards. Rajendra has worked as an Assistant Director in the film industry, on documentaries, and as a Programme Director for TV. He has also produced and directed the short experimental film, Charlie Chaplin in India. He has had extensive experience with writing scripts and screenplays and has contributed numerous articles and short stories to newspapers and magazines.
In an era when literature is much about reciting ‘below-average-love-stories’, we have authors who are enlightening readers with a tinge of knowledge. The best selling author who took courage to write in an unusual genre; we have Mr Rajendra Kher on the board today. Let’s see what he has in his pockets for his readers…
I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.
I was born in Pune, Maharashtra, India on 3rd of January 1961. I did my graduation from Pune University. My father Mr B. D. Kher, was also a prolific Marathi writer. He has written over a hundred books and is the recipient of many national and international awards. I am also known to Marathi world as a best-selling author.
I have been writing books (in Marathi) since the past 25 years. So far I have 10 published works to my credit. My books have received tremendous response from the readers and critics alike. Some of my novels and non-fictions are translated into other languages such as English, Hindi & Gujarati and some of are the bestsellers in respective languages. I am also the recipient of 5 prestigious awards.
Three of my novels are published in English. One of them is a novel on the philosophy of Bhagavad-Gita titled ‘The Song of Salvation’ published by Zumaya Publications, USA. The second, ‘The Silent Reformer’ (printed paperback), a novel based on the life and times of revered PandurangShastriAthavale, founder of SwadhyayPariwar with millions of followers worldwide, is the English version of my original novel in Marathi. This English version is in its 4thedition while the original Marathi novel ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’ is in its 30th edition.
- ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’: a 600-Page Biographical novel on the life of Rev. PandurangShastriAtavale – 30th reprint, sold almost 50,000 copies in Marathi.
- ‘Kaya BaniChandan’ (Gujarati Translation of ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’):18th reprint, 20,000 copies sold as on today.
- ‘Geetambari’: a 324-Page Unique novel on Bhagavad-Gita – 6th reprint in Marathi. Sold over6,000 copies
- ‘Dhananjay’: 648-Page Novel on the life of Arjuna. 7th reprint, sold7,000 copies.
- ‘DevanchyaRaajyaat’: (Leadstart published this book in English entitled: EMPIRE OF THE GODS) 200-Page non- fiction. Were Gods astronauts? 6th reprinting, 5,000 copies sold in Marathi.
- ‘Digvijay’: 648-Page novel on the rise & fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. 6th reprinting, 7,000 copies sold so far, published by a big Marathi publishing house – Mehta Publishing House.
- ‘Bindusarovar’: Supernatural Thriller, 2nd edition in Marathi, over 2,000 copies sold.
- ‘Dainandin Bhagavad-Gita’: 3rd edition, Geeta for Daily Reading, 4,000 copies.
- ‘Udayan’: (English version will be out by Leadstart.), the 3rd epic from ancient India. A beautiful story of King Udayan and PrincessVasavdatta. The 1st edition sold out. 2nd, under reprinting.
- BinduSarovar: English translation of ‘Bindusarovar’, published recently.
- ‘Deha Ban GayeeChandan’: Hindi translation of ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’ 3rd
- ‘Dhananjay’: English translation of ‘Dhananjay (Marathi) coming soon…
- ‘Life After Life; Lifting the Veil on Death’: Will be out soon by Leadstart.
- ‘Udayan; The forgottonPandava’: will be out soon from Leadstart.
- ‘HollywoodcheVinodveer’(Comedians of Hollywood): Brief biography of 10 great comedians from Hollywood in Black-comedy era. (3rdreprint).
I worked in Indian film industry for 10 years as a Chief Assistant Director, with PrakashMehra Productions, Cinema Vision (of SidhaarthKak), Cine men etc…And thereafter I worked as a Programme Director for 2 years, for a TV channel.
I have experience in writing scripts and screenplays etc and I have written numerous articles and short stories as well, for newspapers and magazines.
I was a cricketer in early age, played in school & college. I was selected for Fast bowling scheme sponsored by State Bank in 1978, with the intention to create fast bowlers for Indian cricket team. I was one of them. Playing on Harmonium is my hobby. I love Hindustani Classical music and Gazals.
Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?
I read the book ‘Chariots of Gods’ by Eric Van Daniken some 15 years ago and found there is a lack of reality at some places. When my cousin also read this book, he once told me that nowadays, he has stopped to visit temples and offerings to God. I asked him the reason. He had answered, ‘I realised that God is nothing but astronaut, extra-terrestrial, visited from the other galaxy. I told him, ‘this is not at all ultimate reality. There is difference between Gods and Supreme-Being…’ We had a good discussion. At that time, I realised that such readers are making themselves a fool. This was the inspiration behind writing this book. Then I read and researched a lot on the subject, read many books published in the west and east and of course, studied Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita etc and wrote this book in Marathi: ‘DevanchyaRajyaat’. Leadstart published the English translation of this book. Readers should fetch the path of reality or the truth behind the living. This book will definitely help them to find the path of their further spiritual journey.
Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?
I love books, not all books of the same author. However, my favourite authors are ENGLISH: Daphne-Du-Maurier, Paulo Coelho, Charles Dickens, Dan Brown, Tolstoy, Khushwant Singh, etc. I greatly love to read the books of PandurangShastriAthavale, his books are an ocean of knowledge and I love to read those often. Also, I love to read great works of MaharshiVyasa, Kalidasa, suchbooksBhasa and moreover, ancient Sanskrit literature such books often which give me peace and of course bundle of knowledge. MARATHI: V. S. Khandekar, ShivajiSawant (Marathi), GUJARATI: Dinkar Joshi, HINDI: Bhagavaticharan Sharma, P rem Chand (Hindi) etc.
What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?
The most challenging thing was not to disrupt spiritual faith of religious people towards God or Supreme Being. The book presents a knowledge that is beyond cast & creed. Also I had to present comparative study of information & knowledge from East-West. That was challenging thing. I could overcome them with available references.
What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?
During my speech, a girl came forward and told me, I was frustrated in my life. But when I read your book, I am comforted and started new, peaceful life. Even if I have to die very moment, I am ready! (There are 100s of letters and mails on my this book and other books; and some of them terminated the idea of suicide.) I received great reviews (by letters/mails)on my other books from every corner of the World.
How was your experience with leadstart publishers?
The book EMPIRE OF THE GODS was published last year. Editor Chandralekha did great work. This was a translation of my Marathi best-selling book: ‘DevanchyaRajyaat’. To maintain essence of original writing was very hard task. Translator did his job. But Chandralekha edited and worded it finely with current English language and phrases. Being established and professional author, I never go for self-publishing. Mr.Swaroop Nanda, CEO of Leadstart honoured me by publishing this book with proper contract.
How you keep yourself motivated to write more?
I strongly believe that literature shows the right path of enlightenment. A Sanskrit saying is ‘SahitayaanenaSahityam.’ It means intension of literature is for betterment of mankind. I follow this saying and try to bring out such literature.
Generally, how much time you dedicated to writing while framing this book?
2 & half years. But I was reading reference booksfor the last 10 years before framing this book.
How has leadstart helped you in growing as an author?
I have already 1 million direct readers! (Copies of my one book sold about 100,000. 10 readers read each copy. This is related only one book. Not calculated for my other best-selling books). I hope, Leadstart will contribute some 5/6 million readers in the future!
What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?
I have no authority to advice. However, I would say one thing… Literature is for the betterment of society and mankind. Write anything, sky is the limit; but it should NOT affect the faith of readers. Just to accelerate the sell please don’t write adversely on any past character or episodes.