The Holistic Pine, an independent international monthly journal is creating ripples in India and abroad with its treatment of subject matter and audacity of presentation. The avid reader found one’s haven of reading inside the pages of The Holistic Pine. The pine revolution of reading is an offshoot of Writers’ Kalam, a knowledge-based educational venture initiated by the renowned Indian English author Anu Lal. The venture envisions catering to the rising demands in bridge courses that can help candidates seeking future employment opportunities in equipping themselves better to meet professional challenges.
The second issue of The Holistic Pine came out in December of 2022 and the timing of this issue couldn’t have been better. The new year broke with the stupendously insightful read on the various arenas of education. With J Krishnamurti, philosopher and educator on its cover, the journal carried articles like “Period Education Project”, “God’s of Education”, “Death of Pedagogy”, “School Phobia”, and “9 best Educators”. The second issue also features a line of new-generation courses, which would be immensely helpful for students and parents who wish to make the best of the coming academic year.
With the view of exploring further about The Holistic Pine, The Indian Commentator spoke to the head of the creative team behind it, Ms Ankush Bharti, the Chief Editor of the journal. She is an author, a life coach, a motivational speaker, an NLP practitioner, NLP Trainer, a caricature artist, and a stage performer. She has directed plays and worked as a theatre artist. Her recent books include Letters to Life and Stories from the Soil.
A special word of gratitude to Ankush ma’am for giving us the time and opportunity to interview her. Thank you, ma’am, for taking out precious time from your busy schedule.
1. What are the challenging elements involved in the job of the Chief Editor?
As the Chief Editor, I don't face many challenges because I have a brilliant team. The Holistic Pine has new themes every month and getting topics that add to the epistemology is difficult. Thinking from the perspective of an audience is super difficult at times because firstly, it's a journal and secondly, we have given it the twist of a magazine. All the international and national writers who are a part of it are not just content writers. Managing all the departments simultaneously is an uphill task especially when I get the final draft. Our founder is the backbone of this journal since he gives me creative freedom. To make it readable by everyone I try to include new and relevant topics.
2. How would you look at those who exist in the margins in the world of literature and in general, as the Chief Editor of an independent journal?
Writers who are not mainstream are getting acknowledged by self-publishing platforms. First, the writers used to struggle a lot to get their works published and the market was ruled by big publishers. In the past few years, self-publishing came back as a boon for marginal and unpopular writers, supported by digital technology. It saves them from facing exploitation at the hands of publishers. It’s not easy to make a big name in this writing industry. What could be the bestseller idea is independent of one’s caste, creed, colour or gender. The audience or readers are the gods here. Yes, advertising your works will make them big. So it's not just quality that creates marginal writers and mainstream writers, as they tell us in the media. It's always these market elements that intervene and those who are unable or uninterested in dabbling in this matrix, would certainly go down in the fight to stay afloat and become unpopular and marginal.
3. I read somewhere that you love reading and are an avid reader. Do you have a favourite book? A favourite writer?
Yes, you heard it right. But I am unable to pick just one book or a writer because all of them were important as they all taught me some life lessons.
4. Tell us about your birthplace
I was born in the district of Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh. My house is located in the village of Bara. I have spent a maximum of years in Shimla since my dad was working there. After his retirement, we shifted here to Bara village. It's a beautiful place and the river Beas is just a walking distance of 10 minutes. It is home to natural wildlife and greenery. It gave me another understanding of solitude and the strong social norms in a village. Due to globalisation villages have also become advanced. People here have access to organic farming. There is a natural inclination among the youth to move out to bigger cities but still, they are emotionally connected to their culture.
5. Tell us about your journey as a writer
My journey has been different from others as a writer. My first poem got published in our school magazine when I was in class 4th. I continued writing and it took a beautiful shape since I love to read. My writing became more intense after losing my mother at the age of 11. I started writing a diary in which I would pen down my thoughts and emotional outbursts. Growing up was not easy but writing gave me a haven. I could write fiction also because I was able to add a pinch of my own experiences to it. I write in both Hindi and English. During college, I won many writing competitions.
6. Who inspired you the most in pursuing your journey as a writer?
I had a lecturer in our college who encouraged me towards this field. I had no idea about writing as a profession but writing gives me joy even today.
7. Tell us about your mentor.
My Life was shaped by my mentor whom I met when I was in class 10th. He was not my school teacher but was a highly knowledgeable person. He helped me build confidence and gave me a new perspective on life. I developed my communication skills due to him. He motivated me to ask questions and made my subjects so interesting that I opted for humanities in class 11th. He died in 2009 but I still remember him as a strong human.
8. What is the most important lesson that you’d like to share with the present generation in their career?
I would like to say the sky's the limit for you. So many career options have come up that you can choose from. Don’t neglect your health.
9. What is your message to young writers?
Young writers shouldn't run after being the bestseller as it could drain them. The process of writing, in itself, is a marathon. It needs a consistent approach rather than trying to make it big overnight. Read a lot since it will give an overview of other writers. Writing can be boring if taken professionally. So ask yourself this question: are you a creative writer or do you want to make money out of it? Once this answer is clear, you will be able to do justice to your writing. Don’t be bent down by negative reviews. Keep writing.
10. How can we get our writings published in The Holistic Pine? Please visit our website theholisticpine.com. You can submit your articles at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we find them good enough we will include them in our journal. The articles should be good, grammatically, well-researched, and plagiarism free.