Published: 25th March 2020
Check out Swapped, the second book by this Mumbai 17-year-old
Neeha Gupta, a Class XII student is out with her second book, titled Swapped. Her first book was out two years back
Procrastination always getting the better of you — stopping you from doing what you've always wanted to do? Then, you should probably sit down and have a word with Neeha Gupta for some inspiration. At 17, this XII grader from Mumbai is already the author of two books, a TEDx talk speaker and is even an accomplished table tennis player, having participated at the state level. She donated the sale proceeds of her first book to the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation and, she informs us, the sale proceeds of her second and latest book Swapped will go to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
"I have never known what procrastination is. I always have things on my plate. I am fairly productive," Neeha tells us. We did not have our doubts. The two books were released in a span of two years. Neeha's first book Different is about an alien from a galaxy far away from ours who tried to cope with the conditions on Earth, which she tells us was metaphoric of not fitting in. This author admits that the book was the result of wanting to tick off 'write a book' from her bucket list.
Swapped, on the other hand, talks about two girls — one introvert and one extrovert — and their desire to live each others' lives, "Swapped is the story of two girls, Rachel and Harleen, who are confused about what they want to do with their lives and society's perception of them. I relate to them because I went through something similar when I was applying to colleges a few months ago and wasn't exactly sure about what I wanted to do or become." Haven't we all been there!
Even though Neeha tells us that she is studious and goal-oriented, much like Rachel, a side of her even relates to Harleen. "A writer can only write what they know about. I've spread myself across both the girls. For instance, in Different, the protagonist is more like me. Here, Rachel and I are quite similar. But on the other hand, though I am not a fashionista like Harleen, both of us aspire to be entrepreneurs," she explains.
We've told you already that Neeha is no procrastinator. However, like all other writers out there, she also fell victim to writer's block due to the lack of inspiration. She tells us more about it, "I started writing Swapped before my XI grade classes began. I write 10,000 words and then, there was a long pause. I was burdened with assignments and stopped writing for six months." She adds, "But after that, I had gone for a service trip with my school to teach children in a village in Gujarat and that gave me a lot of inspiration. Upon returning, I wrote 40,000 words in just 10 days."
An avid reader, this 17-year-old admits not having a favourite genre. "I read everything from fiction to self-help. Right now, my favourite book is Robin Sharma's Megaliving," she says. Looking ahead, Neeha has her XII grade Board exams ahead of her. "After that, I'll be starting college this year. But on the side, I'll also be working towards getting Swapped made into a web series," she says with a air of confidence we can only admire.