chitra lele

Chitra Lele is a young record setting author who has books published on topics ranging from poetry to management consulting. She is also a peace ambassador for World Peace Organisation. We talked to the prolific author who juggles so many roles with ease.


Q) You seem to write about various topics ranging from corporate culture to self-help books to poetry. How do these varying topics interest you?

A) My parents always tell me, “Chitra, in order to produce quality-driven books, you need to read quality-driven books.” And I have constantly followed this golden rule. Thanks to our huge home library and my parents’ encouragement that helped me to develop interest in varied subjects at a very young age. Right from an early age, I have had exposure to a diverse range of books, right from civics to language studies and from computer science to economics, which helped me to develop a diverse perspective towards all dimensions of life. This inspiring environment sort of became a permanent learning classroom for me that enriched me both as an author and as a person. And this background helped me to transform my insights and theories into academic-driven books and many of these books have entered prestigious record books like India Book and Limca Book of Records.

chitra lele

Q) In reference to your book English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth, do you see any regional language with the capacity to go global?

A) Given the current trends and patterns, I don’t think there is any one strong contender for this position, but it is worth noting that countries like India in which English is spoken extensively as a second language will play a major role in the development of global English. For example, Indian words are included in every new edition of major dictionaries like Oxford. With the expansion of cyberspace, a concoction of English and Hindi words, Hinglish, is definitely becoming popular, especially with Generation Y. As far as ‘Indian English’ (a group of English dialects spoken primarily in the Indian subcontinent) is concerned, it is highly influenced by its American counterpart, but it is also surely taking big leaps in its own way. In times to come, as India gains economic momentum, Indian English will also make its impact felt beyond the Indian borders. My record-setting book, English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth has an entire section dealing with the answers to this question as well as many more language dynamics as far as India is concerned.


Q) Indian society as such places huge importance on academic and financial success. Since you are an excellent management consultant but also write poetry, according to you how does an artist, whose homework is ceaselessly staring at the sky, fit in this?

A) There are two important drivers that help me to strike a balance between the academic and financial success aspect and the artistic side of my personality—Interaction and Observation. These two aspects help me to grow academically, professionally and also as a poet and author. I have this deep habit of interacting with people across all ages, cultures and professions, and also registering new experiential learnings from various settings like social, educational and corporate. This process of learning, un-learning and re-learning helps me to grow in all spheres progressively.

Q) What should we know about the American poet Richard Watson Gilder? Why is he is a subject of interest rather than his famous contemporaries like Eliot, Frost or Cummings?

A)  Each of these iconic poets is a great gem in the literary world and have been researched and discussed in academic circles extensively for their style, impact and contribution. Richard Watson Gilder for giving the world a holistic view of life through his poetry as he was a poet, soldier, editor, founder of several organizations and much more, T.S. Eliot for his pioneering poetry and noteworthy contribution to the field of literary criticism, Robert Frost for showing real people with real emotions, and E.E. Cummings for his distinctive personal style of producing non-traditional poetry by adapting linguistic rules to express his views.  Each one is known for a distinct writing style and for covering distinct themes; hence really can’t isolate any one name as a personality of super-dominance.

Q) In such a hectic pace of life, how do you manage your writing discipline? What advice or tips can you give to young authors who just write when inspired and whose parents insist that they get a "real" job first?

A)  My fields of management, peace promotion and writing all are intertwined, and all these fields are very close to my heart and my life’s purpose revolves around them, and that’s what keeps me going! So all these fields define me as a person and they complete the equation of my life. They are a part of my DNA...day in and day out...I just go with the flow. I am a young record-setting author, peace ambassador and management consultant, all rolled into one. At any given point in time, I am either a management consultant churning out new ideas for my next book project or an author trying to figure out how will my new theories or approaches apply to my management field or any other domain. My management profession is a hub of ideas for my books, and at the same time, my books help me to validate my theories and approaches in the practical settings of the corporate world. Apart from these fields, I am also a peace poet and peace ambassador associated with organizations like the World Peace Organization (USA) and Peace Writers Organization (USA).

Well I am too young and only a few books old to give advice to my fellow writers. But I would definitely like to share a few learnings with them in order to make their literary journey a less bumpy: Believe in your own power of writing, make up your mind on what you want to derive out of your literary works, whether name, money, share a story, etc., and start with what interests you and let it evolve. As long as you believe that your literary creations are of good quality and have a purpose to serve then they will find a place in your parents’ hearts, and the readers’ as well. If you have the flair for writing–let the world know it!

Q) You have said somewhere that you believe that human issues should be resolved by poetry and not by politics. Could you tell us more about this?

A)  Yes in my interview with the Asian American Poetry Journal (USA), I had mentioned this philosophy of mine. I believe if each of us spares even 15-20 minutes daily towards promoting peace and harmony, or tackling any other human issue and that through the online world so that we can reach out to more helping hands—one can support online campaigns, or write inspirational articles to motivate others, or start up a forum where people can share and resolve community issues—we definitely can move many more steps closer to the utopian goal of ‘Vasudeva-kutumbakam.’ I am doing my bit for social transformation and peace-making, both issues are very close to my heart. And now by combining the traditional way of sharing peace poems through my association with peace organisations like the World Peace Organization (USA) and Peace Writers Organization (USA) with the global reach of online-driven campaigns adds a new dimension to my cause of promoting peace through poetry—I can reach out to more peace promoters and also participate in various worldwide peace poetry projects apart from other peace-related campaigns.

Q) What are you currently working on? Any plans to delve into fiction?

A)  I want to continue transforming my ideas and approaches into useful books in order to add value to others’ lives. There are several projects in the pipeline, including books on military studies and call centers.

Yes, fiction along with other genres is in on the cards.

Q) And the last but not least important question; who are your favourite writers? Any Indian writers?

A) I am prolific reader of reference and academic books, including books on management studies, personal transformation, philosophy, etc. I have had the opportunity to read books by national and international best-selling authors, business experts and management gurus like Philip Kotler, Azim Jamal, Raj Bhowmik, Bob Danzig, Marshall Goldsmith, Jack Zigon, Lance Secretan and many more. And many of these experts have also written Forewords and Testimonials for my own books like Organizational Democracy: Collaborative Team Culture: Key to Corporate Growth , The 6 Spheres of Life: Unlocking the Door to Success and Happiness, and English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth. Receiving praise and blessings from such experts is big achievement for a young author like me.