How Lockdown, Dr. Shalini Verma, and Books33 created 15 Authors and a book: Un-Lockdown Memories

Delhi, [India]: A famous line from the film ‘Forrest Gump’ aptly defines the situation we recently dealt with. It goes like this: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”. With the advent of 2020, while we expected the best out of our lives and career, we ended up having a pandemic locking down the whole world. It was something completely unprecedented, as the world stood still and everyone was forced to stay indoors. We all have our lockdown experiences, bitter and sweet. For some, it was finally some family time after ages, while for others it gave more time to develop a hobby or learn a language or instrument.

Indeed, the lockdown made a huge impact on everyone, for it is something that nobody had ever imagined or experienced. Many of us took to diary writing and started jotting down thoughts and wonderment, framing stories and adding to the motion picture in our heads. Books33, a progressive publishing house co-founded by Prof (Dr) Shalini Verma ‘LIFOHOLIC’, gave young as well as seasoned authors a lucrative opportunity to get their lockdown stories published in a book through a contest. Out of more than 100 enthusiastic participants who entered the contest, 15 best authors were chosen after a tough selection process, since every single entry was impressive.

Books33 turned the dream of many to become authors into a reality on March 20th, 2021. A collection of these 15 stories was launched in the form of a book, “Un-Lockdown Memories: 15 Short Stories” in the presence of Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, Prof (Dr.) Shalini Verma ‘LIFOHOLIC’, Ms. Sunita Mishra, eminent Keynote Speakers – Dr. Susmita Paul, Katie Bagli, Dr. Monica Khanna & Storytellers – Ramendra Kumar and Justin Rabindra and the 15 authors whose stories found a place in the book, “Un-Lockdown Memories: 15 Short Stories”.

Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian Management Thinker, Author, and founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Prof (Dr.) Shalini Verma ‘LIFOHOLIC’ is the Co-founder of Books33 & SamvaadShaala, a leading Body Language Expert in the country, and a Communication Professor at many premier institutes of the country. She is also a proud author of 73 brilliant books across disciplines. Ms. Sunita Mishra, the Editor of the book, is a journalist who has worked with several leading media groups, including the Indian Express, Business Standard, Hindustan Times, and Network 18, over the past decade and a half. She is an MA in Sanskrit from the Delhi University and holds PG Diploma in Print Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal.

Chief Guest of the event, Dr. Pillai, said: “I am impressed by the way these 15 short stories have been written and precisely edited. This particular book inspires us to look at life positively and helps us enhance our outlook. It is a beneficial read for the whole family, not just for individuals alone.”

The Un-Lockdown: 15 Short Stories came into existence through a story writing contest organised by Books33. People sent their COVID stories in 124 entries. Out of these, 50 were initially shortlisted by seasoned media professionals working with national dailies. After the final round of screening, 15 best stories made their way into this book, which is a bouquet of shared experiences.

This book is a collection of memories from the lockdown – from hardships, inspirations, grief, and joy, to sympathy, empathy, challenges, and victory. What makes this book interesting is that these stories are not a creative work of one person but a diverse set of people – from school children as young as eight or nine years old, to professional storytellers, and other simple people you see going about their life and business in your normal life. The book is available on major e-commerce portals and is catching the imagination of readers. Order your copy today!

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