A learner, thinker, writer, artist (arts and crafts), and a growing mother, Annapurna Krishjeev is a teacher by profession.
She did her schooling at Gems High School and Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar in Hyderabad. For pursuing her higher studies, she chose the colleges Sarojini Naidu Vanitha Maha Vidyalaya, Koti Women’s College, and Osmania University. She holds Ph.D. in Political Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad.
She writes articles and poems quite often on various topics on Quora and Youth Ki Awaaz. Politics, Education, Development, and Justice are her topics of interest. She runs two spaces on Quora: Political Science India and Stories for kids.
‘Oh! We Brutes: The Kingdom of Animals is her second book. Her first book is a political fiction titled ‘Rats, Cats and Indian Politics’ self-published in 2014.
Her following quotes depict her views on teaching and education:
“The more I teach, the more I learn. The more I want to teach, the more I have to learn.”
“Education is a process of imbibing a culture that inspires us to come together as human beings and resolve the issues faced by humanity”.– Annapurna Krishjeev
When she is not spending her time on her academic pursuits or in learning and growing with her kid, she loves to indulge in her other creative interests.
Art is one of her passions that she loves to dabble in her free time. Unknown to many, she is a good artist, who is equally adept at drawing and painting. She is also quite fond of art and crafts and shares her creations on her social media handles.
You can check out her work on Instagram or simply look out for images on Google for Annapurna Krishjeev. Her family, teachers, and friends are her biggest source of strength.
We at bookGeeks got a lucky chance to have a tete-e-tete with the talented author. Here is what she has to say about her latest book Oh! We Brutes: The Kingdom of Animals, her writing, and her academic pursuits, and about life in general.
|Tell us about yourself. Who is Annapurna in real life? What are her likes and dislikes?|
|She is a 43-year-old woman, who believes in living on her own terms. She doesn’t believe in sacrifices and compromises. She believes in understanding and sharing.
She is a learner, thinker, writer, artist, and a growing mother. She holds a Doctorate in Political Science from Osmania University and is a teacher by profession.
I like reading, writing, doing arts and crafts, watching cricket, and cooking. What do I dislike? It is corruption. I firmly believe that it is only corruption that is eating the resources of our country.
Without corruption, India and the world would be devoid of all problems. For me, corruption is not only about taking money for doing something but also about not doing something in spite of having the ability to do it. In my view, if I am good at teaching and I don’t teach, that too is corruption.
|What inspired you to write Oh! We Brutes: The Kingdom of Animals? Who are your target readers?|
|The journey of this book started in 2012 with a few dialogues between Chingu and the monster bear that I narrated to my son, Krishi, who was approaching his first birthday. My son, who could hardly speak tried to repeat the words “Oh! We Brutes”.
I cherished that moment so much that I decided to write a book with the same title and present it to him, by the time he could read it by himself.
Initially, I started working on it, but as time passed, I became busy with my research work for my Ph.D. In 2016, when I submitted my thesis to the University, I revealed my dream of ‘gifting a book’ to my son.
A few months later, on my birthday, the little boy of five years then, took his father to a stationery shop and bought me a notebook to pen down all the stories I would like to include in this book.
From that day, whenever, I told him any story, he would ask me if it was a part of ‘Oh! We Brutes’ and if I said ‘yes’, he would run for the book and a pen or a pencil and force me to write it down, before I would forget it. Indeed, it was his continuous interest in this book that kept me going.
My target readers are children aged between 6 and 12.
My book aims to make future citizens, that is, the children, responsible towards the environment. The book will inspire the children to think, understand, and act towards the protection of the environment.
|Which part of the book was the most difficult to pen?|
|Integrating facts into the story without spoiling the interest of the reader was the most difficult part. As a teacher by profession, I am obliged to teach as often as possible. I would like to teach something through my stories too. Though it is a fiction story, I tried to be as close to reality as possible, while writing this book.|
|What does Annapurna do when she is not writing? Tell us about your other interests apart from writing.|
|I do a lot of drawing and painting in my free time.
Depending on the availability of time, I go for plain drawings, or water colours, acrylic, and oil painting. I do some crafts too. I like cooking for my family. I cook simple homely food.
|Are you a reader yourself? If yes, who are your favourite authors?|
|Due to time constraints and academic compulsions, I get to read very less of what I want to read. I like reading books by Jane Austin and Ruskin Bond. However, it is George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which inspires me in my writing.|
|How long did the entire process, from idea conception to the publishing of the book, take?|
|Nine years. The journey of this book started in 2012 with a few dialogues between Chingu and the monster bear.
I completed this book in 2018 and since then, I have been sending it to some traditional publishers. Some did not reply while some rejected publishing it.
Therefore, I chose Notion Press to self-publish my book and got it published in October 2021.
|What are some of the challenges you faced as a debut author?|
|This is my second book. I self-published a political fiction titled, ‘Rats, Cats and Indian Politics’ in 2014.
Publishing a book through traditional publishing houses seems impossible. The present book ‘Oh! We Brutes’ was rejected twice by Rupa Publications. Traditional publishing houses do not give the due chances to the debut authors.
|Who are your biggest critic and your biggest supporter?|
|My son is my biggest critic and my biggest supporter too. This book is the result of his constant support and encouragement. His perspective of the book was very important for me to understand if the children would like my book.|
|One quote that never fails to inspire you.|
|Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
I believe in this quote and strive my best as a teacher to teach the value of education to not only my students but to anyone possible.
|Your favourite bookish quote or a favourite quote about writing.|
|Nothing really! But I believe that I should write because I have that ability and skill and I should not waste it. Further, writing is a great way of expressing our ideas and thoughts. Writings have preserved, inspired, and also changed the history of mankind. Without writing, mankind is no greater than animals.|
|Your role model in real life.|
|Mahatma Gandhi is my role model. But I admit that it is very difficult to practice and follow his ideals in real life. I try my best to adopt his principles as far as possible in my day-to-day life.|
|Any new writing projects that you are currently working on?|
|I am now looking into writing some academic projects. My favourite topics are politics, education, development, and justice. I am also planning for part II of ‘Oh! We Brutes’.|
Annapurna Krishjeev loves to interact with her readers and can be reached at the below listed social media handles.