Can you tell us something about yourself?
Before turning full-time author, I worked for a global finance company at Mumbai for seven years, then at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for three years. Prior to that, I worked for an Indian finance company for twelve years at Mumbai. In short, I’d worked for finance companies in different roles and capacities for twenty-two years.
My current passion lies in education; I’ve devoted myself to democratize mathematics i.e., making it more accessible to everyone.
I have done physics honours with gold medal from Patna University and masters in financial management from Mumbai University.
I like reading books and news especially about changes in financial and education worlds and love watching Hollywood movies and listening to music.
What is this book all about?
My book “How to teach mathematics from class 1 to 5” is written as per Indian curriculum and covers-as is obvious from the title- five years of mathematics in one slim volume. This book is the easiest because it starts with the most basic idea that there are nine numbers-1 to 9, uses simple yet modern language, and has plenty of images including diagrams of key ideas.
UNESCO’s SDG4 goals and National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 place enormous importance on universal numeracy. My book promotes it vigorously and is suitable for students, out-of-school adults, parents, and teachers.
How is your book different from others?
My book is different from others in three crucial aspects:
First, no other book consolidates five years of learning in one slim volume. Furthermore, it connects topics -forward and backward- through plenty of cross references. The aim is two folds: first, when readers appreciate utility of each lesson, they won’t forget them easily; second, by imagining new connections, they themselves become creative.
Second, my book is not fragmented and is clutter free; interested readers will find it immensely useful because it goes directly to the heart of the subject.
Finally, it is a very practical book. I teach my daughter using this book; she understands readily, can relate to various topics, and is generally doing well. Online education has pitiable result; other parents must also work with their children urgently. My book will help them too.
Where do you get information from for your book?
While writing this book, I read through Class 1 to 12 mathematics to understand the contexts and dependencies of school education. Topics selection and their sequencing were based on these dependencies. The book not only covered all topics of Indian curriculum, but some additional topics also which were totally essential for their future reading.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?
For everyday work, adults nearly always used only primary mathematics. In this number-laden world, mastering primary mathematics is the key to happiness. This was most surprising.
What is your work schedule when writing a book?
Writing is a 9 to 5 job for me; it is just like any other job such as maids, cooks, drivers, security guards. The rules for success are also same— be regular, on time, don’t call in sick, and be moderately enthusiastic about your work.
What is your writing process?
Neither do I take notes nor do I write from beginning to end. When ideas come to mind, I write them. What I write help me read and what I read help me write. Only at the very end, I put my writing in sequence. Though, most of the time, while writing, I am unwriting i.e., deleting written material; I dislike superfluity.
What do you think makes a good story?
I look at good stories from utilitarian perspective: it has to be useful for readers; good stories ought to have something to tell, be connected and precise, so that readers read through and get something out of it.
How did this story occur to you?
This is a story which took a lifetime in making. In finance, it is common to see people struggling with primary mathematics. People don’t check bills; not even in nearest hundreds. Later on, while teaching my daughter, I found textbooks verbose and temporizing. I doubted if she ever learnt anything. Other parents also couldn’t relate to prescribed books and wanted something, anything integrated. My book will help them.
What advice do you have for authors?
Writing book is a human undertaking. Your book—like any other work— won’t be spotless; it will be just OK. Leave the door open for future improvement.