SV31-Becoming Your Devotee – Krishna Conscious Activities for Kids with Gourangi Gandharvika
Gourangi Gandharvika is a second generation devotee from Mayapur who has created the most amazing activity book for children.
In this episode we cover:
- what inspired her to create the book
- what it was like growing up in Mayapur
- how a team of young devotees helped her create the book
- the challenges she faced publishing the book
- how she managed her time to achieve her goals
- her thoughts on how to inspire kids in Krishna consciousness and how she applied it to her book
- and more…
You can find the book Becoming My Devotee at the links below:
|Transcription: Podcast Intro||SelectShow>|
Hare Krishna, this is Krsnendu dasa again, with another episode of Successful Vaishnavas. This is episode 31. And today we’re interviewing a wonderful young lady who has produced a fantastic book for children. Basically, if you have children and you ever think that you’d like to engage them in some activities, but you’re not sure what to do… you definitely need to get her book.[00:00:24] It’s a fantastic resource. Very professionally done. Just like you might imagine for school is going to get some textbooks for their, their district or whatever it would be that kind of quality. And it’s all Krishna conscious and very attractive for children. So I highly recommend you get her book. We will talk a bit more about that in a moment. [00:00:44]In the interview, we talk about her book. What inspired her to do it, how she went about the process of creating that book. And we also have a look at her entrepreneurial journey because really she’s a Krishna conscious entrepreneur. Perhaps he can call her a Krishnapreneur. She set a goal of something for serving Krishna and Krishna’s devotees. [00:01:05] And with determination and perseverance, she achieved it. So it’s a wonderful story hearing about how she did all of that. And it might give us inspiration to also try something challenging and see how far we can get with it as well. And other thing that I’d like to announce is I’m holding a class called transforming classes and to Krishna conscious experiences. [00:01:30] And the inspiration behind this is when I was running the profitable preaching challenge a few months back. One of the concepts that I taught there was the idea of providing people with transformative experiences. Not just the simple lecture, but trying to give people like inexperience, because that experience is what touches the heart and helps people to become their IDs. [00:01:56] It’s also something which allows you to charge more. You can think of a retreat or something like that, that when people have an amazing experience, they’re willing to pay money to have that. So it’s a very good strategy for developing income. Well preaching at the same time. So I taught this concept of transformative experiences, but I didn’t go into a lot of detail with it. [00:02:21] Then shortly afterwards, I was promoting a program called experience product masterclass, which is basically a course that helps you to develop. And online course using principles of experience and engagement, you know, creating a course that will be really inspiring for people that people really like to be involved in. [00:02:46] And therefore it becomes more profitable because people are more successful. They refer their friends inside. So I was promoting this program, the experience product masterclass by Marisa Murgatroyd and she had a list of 10 different points about how to, as you would say, experience a fi your course. So when I was looking at that list, I was thinking, yeah, we can apply these principles to our Krishna conscious preaching. [00:03:14] And also the teaching that we do for devotees and our movement. So then I thought let’s hold a class, taking these principles and expanding on them with some of my ideas and sharing it with devotees so that we can have it in a very accessible form and any divided that wants to run programs for preaching or educating. [00:03:36] devotees can use this as a resource. To help make it more effective and you know, as well as Marisa’s course. I’ve also been working with Nrsimha Kavaca prabhu, developing an online course for the Deity Worship Ministry. I’ve been working with Prana Prabhu at Bhakti Learning and giving him ideas on how to game-ify how to introduce some social learning aspects into the program that he is promoting over there. [00:04:07] Again, it’s children’s Activities online and it’s very engaging program. And I’ve also been consulting with the BBT, MCI, the marketing and communications department of the BBT, basically Vaisesika Prabhu’s team. And I’ve been sharing with them a lot of these ideas, similar to what Marisa was teaching in her course, but also some other things that I’ve picked up through my years of teaching and online teaching and so on. [00:04:35] So, if you’re interested to check it out, you can go to successfulvaishnavas.com/ experience, and it will forward you to the registration page for that particular training. [00:04:47] Now, it’s very short notice that I’m actually putting this out. I’m going to be doing it tomorrow at the time of recording this. So there’s a good chance that you’ll hear this after the live event, but I’m sure that you’ll find that the recording of it will be just as useful if you have plans to, as I say, preach or educate devotees in any way. [00:05:10] So with that said, let’s move on to our interview with and find out about this amazing book that she’s created and find out about the process that she went through to develop it.
|Transcription: Main Interview||SelectShow>|
00:05:25] Krsnendu: [00:05:25] Hare Krishna, this is Krsnendu dasa from Successful Vaisnavas here.[00:05:28] And I’m really excited today because we’ve got an interview with a young, devotee second-generation devotee who has taken some initiative to create something really special. So, you’ll get to find out a bit more about what it is that she’s done in a moment. but basically, So , you’re living in Mayapur, but you’re originally from Argentina, right? [00:05:52] Your family’s from Argentina. [00:05:55] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:05:55] Oh, my, my father’s from Argentina and my mother’s from Columbia, but yeah, [00:06:01] Krsnendu: [00:06:01] So South American origin, but you spent most of your time in Mayapur, right? [00:06:07] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:06:07] Yeah. I came here when I was seven and I’ve been here ever since. So I consider myself from Mayapur. [00:06:14] Krsnendu: [00:06:14] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. That’s a very good nationality. I think in fact, I heard that PrabhupÄda wanted to make Mayapur a separate country. He wanted Mayapur to declare independence from India then it would become its own spiritual spiritual country kind of like the Vatican. [00:06:31] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:06:31] That would be awesome! [00:06:32] Krsnendu: [00:06:32] It would be cool. Right. so yeah, we. I must have seen you in your little girl when I was in Mayapur many years back, but, just recently I came to the ILS, ISKCON Leadership Sanga. I came with Prana Prabhu and we were there promoting the Bhakti Learning online educational activities, program. [00:06:54] And right next to us was the, the, ISKCON congregational development ministry. And that’s when I first met you. Barangay right. And you had the, your book there. That [00:07:03] Oh, yeah. Becoming your Devonte. [00:07:05] Yeah. Yeah. So, when I saw that book, I thought, wow, that is amazing. Like the quality of it is incredible. And I just thought, wow, I’ve got to interview and find out more about how you produce this book and you know, your inspiration behind it and, and all those kinds of things. [00:07:21] So you’ve told us that your family’s from South America, but you’ve grown up in myPort. Tell us a little bit more about your background. And especially in the sense of how it led you to creating this book, like, did you go to school in Mayapur? And how was that? [00:07:35] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:07:35] Oh, yes. Well, I’m 23 years old and I graduated from the Sri Mayapur International School when I was 17. And then, I always wanted to be a teacher since I was very small. I would make my brothers sit down with all my toys and pretend that I was a teacher. So now I’m studying bachelor and primary education. [00:08:01] Yeah, it was always my dream to create a Krishna conscious curriculum for children to engage them, increase the consciousness. Because even though I was growing up in Mayapur, which is the world headquarters of ISKCON, I still found that there was a need for engagement for children and youth, because I seen, I feel like Scott, do we have a lot of outreach programs? [00:08:27] We do lots of food for life high now, book distribution, but sometimes we kind of tend to forget the devote is that already in the movement? [00:08:37] Krsnendu: [00:08:37] Yeah. [00:08:37] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:08:37] And thinking that, Oh their kids already born, I’ve devoted these but so, Oh, it’s fine. But actually just because we’re born devoting, it doesn’t mean that we’ve made the choice to be a devote. So I always found that it’s very important to water water. I see the bus seat so that we can, and it will help us to make that choice that we want to be a devoted. [00:09:04] Krsnendu: [00:09:04] Yeah, that’s an interesting point. Like for you, what was it like for you growing up? And I’m sure you would’ve seen some of your friends, maybe your experience may have been different from some of your friends, but what was it like for you? Did you find that, everyone thought that you already knew everything and maybe you didn’t or what was your kind of experience? [00:09:22] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:09:22] no, I mean, well, my experience and memories of yeah. Being born at the voting has been actually amazing. But I, but I know that it’s not like that for everyone. So I think it really depends on your parents, like what you’re doing at home and like the friends that you have. Cause just because I live in the dorm, it doesn’t mean like you just leave your kids there and they’ll grow up. [00:09:52] Krishna. They’re conscious. I think it also depends on what they do, who they, who are their friends. And I mean, I remember just, my parents would always tell me stories and everyday would sing songs or yeah, I watched it the DDS. So I, I think the most important is to give children like positive members of Krishna consciousness. [00:10:16] It’s not like now you have to chat you around with a punishment. If you don’t listen sit down and chat you around. Then chanting becomes like a consequence, something that you don’t want to do. So I think it’s important to just create those fun experiences. [00:10:34] Krsnendu: [00:10:34] Yeah, no, that’s really nice. Tell us a bit more. So like, I mean, one of the things you were talking about is that you felt that there needed to be more resources for children and devote is within the movement already. Did you find when you were growing up that you wished that there was more materials for you as a child growing up. [00:10:53] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:10:53] Yeah, definitely. I mean, the word different initiatives. I, in my work, I put engaged in youth or I do remember doing lots of dramas, but I still felt like there should have been more. Yeah, I definitely, I wish there was more. So, I mean, I love my floor and I appreciate everything that the votings have done. [00:11:18] Like when we lend money, GE has created so many wonderful resources, like the festival books. And so, yeah, I’m happy that now finally, like more resources that are coming out, like study guide. [00:11:34] Krsnendu: [00:11:34] Yeah. [00:11:35] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:11:35] yeah. Yeah. When I was small, I, I just thought I have to. I for the next generation, I want to create more for them. [00:11:44] So that’s kind of my inspiration. [00:11:46] Krsnendu: [00:11:46] Right. So, so let’s talk more about the book in itself. How did you kind of get the inspiration to create the book that you created. [00:11:56] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:11:56] Well, okay. I, after graduation from school, I joined the congregational ministry and my is all in his death. Swaby. He wanted us to open a children’s services department. So, so yeah, I took that as my service and I started also at that same time holding like weekly children programs in my house with, it was like different age groups from eight to 12 girls and boys. [00:12:29] I mean there different phases different groups would come. And that’s when I started to think, what would I have loved to learn growing up and how I would have liked to learn it. So that’s when I started writing down ideas. Yes. And I started to implement it. And yeah, I guess this book is a compilation and elaboration of all those ideas. [00:12:52] Krsnendu: [00:12:52] So, if I can get some of the idea, it sounds like you tested out some of the activities with a group that you already were working with. Was it fair to say. [00:13:02] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:13:02] Oh, yes. Yeah. That’s how I came with the age group of eight to 13. [00:13:07] Krsnendu: [00:13:07] Right. Right. And actually now it’s probably a good time for those that haven’t come across your book. Could you just give a quick summary what your book is about? Like you’ve mentioned the age group it’s for undivided children from eight to 13, and what’s the purpose behind the book. [00:13:24] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:13:24] Okay, well, there’s eight chapters and each talking about a specific push of conscious themes, like, T lock. Why do we put on T lag or appearance of. I mean, Lord Chapin in learning to Nanda, following a car, to see the ninth processes. So there’s eight different topics. And in each theme, each chapter, there’s the lesson, which is more of the theoretical aspects of story. [00:13:51] Then discussion questions, exercises, and a wide range of activities to reinforce that topic like arts and crafts, writing, dramas, cooking recipes. [00:14:03] Krsnendu: [00:14:03] Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s really quite, and I noticed that at some pot, how many pots are you expecting to create? [00:14:14] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:14:14] Well, what actually happened was that it was actually supposed to be one book, but then I realized that it was getting way too big. So that’s like split into two parts. And even this, the first part is quite big. So. Yeah, maybe it could have been even for part, because I have comparing it to how Sheila said that we could paint continuously printing back to God, his magazines, and never run out of things to think about Krishna. [00:14:44] So I guess I put that analogy, that example to life. [00:14:50] Krsnendu: [00:14:50] So it’s, it’s endless. You just keep, Hey knows how many parts they’ll be. [00:14:55] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:14:55] Oh for now. We’ll there’ll be a part too. I don’t know if I’m yeah. [00:15:02] Krsnendu: [00:15:02] Go from there. Well, one thing about it, as I mentioned earlier on was like the quality of it as amazing. Like it’s, it’s printed fully in color. It’s like really strong, paper it’s printed on it’s almost like card, or you could say, what was the process that you went through when you created that book? [00:15:19] Like from the time that you had the idea I can, I’ve got all these activities. I’d like to put it in the book. How do you go from that? Like a lot of people have an idea. It’d be cool to make a book and most people, they die with that book in them still but somehow or other, you’re able to take that idea and actually produce this incredibly high quality book. [00:15:39] So what were some of the steps that you went through to, to do that? Cause I think it would be helpful. There may be other devotes that have book ideas and it might be useful for them to hear what are the steps that you kind of go through to do something like that? [00:15:54]Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:15:54] I started working on this book like three years ago. And it started off with me just doing a lot of research and looking out, looking out for what’s out there in his squad. Like I said about festival books and other material I wrote on my pogies and like different disabilities, the high cushion of Sunday school curriculum from Alachua. [00:16:20] And then I also did a lot of research. Like outside of this gun. So every time I’d walk into a library, I’d always go to the children’s section and I wanted to see how do people present. Yeah. How do they present the material to the kids? How do they make it visually appealing and fun? So I did a lot in a lot of research. [00:16:44] And then I guess you could say, I need to do this deadline, but, I do have a lot of talented friends. So I started with Krishnan and Deni, a friend. She did all the illustrations for the drawing for, I mean, for the book. So I didn’t, so we started like two years before the book actually got published. And so as I was, [00:17:15] Krsnendu: [00:17:15] process, right? You’re definitely to produce something of the quality that you’ve produced. It doesn’t just happen overnight for sure. [00:17:25] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:17:25] It was actually really nice to have like a meditation. Yeah. I guess this book was like, I became book conscious. [00:17:34]I mean, yeah. And Oh, I did do all the design and layout through Upwork. It’s this platform online platform where there’s like three lancers. So I did all the design work from there and also colored in the illustration. [00:17:52] Krsnendu: [00:17:52] so I’m just curious about how you did that. So your friend basically created the illustrations for the book and you CA you know, you had all the texts and you know, what all the different activities were and so on. What was the process of, communicating to the designer? They did the layout, how you wanted it to go. [00:18:10] Did you kind of sketch it out or did you just send them a draft and say, can you make it look a bit better? Or how did that work? [00:18:19] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:18:19] Yeah, it was an actually the first designer I’ve found. So first what I did was, as I said, I was looking, I took a lot of pictures and did a lot of research of designs that I liked. And so I, I sent that to the designer, along with my notes, like, Oh, maybe this table could, I mean, this activity, could you do it like with this pencil? [00:18:46] Or this type of paper or this design. And could you put for the actual one chapter? Oh, can you put for cleanliness, a pillar in the backdrop, like a silhouette? So it was really, really detailed. So I actually thought about pretty much every page. And [00:19:06] Krsnendu: [00:19:06] Wow. How many pages, how many pages altogether are there? Just to give people a sense of how much work was there? [00:19:12] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:19:12] 250 pages, [00:19:16] Krsnendu: [00:19:16] And every page is like intricate. [00:19:20] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:19:20] Yeah. I mean, we came up with a template for the activities. Like for example, every chapter has an exercise in arts and crafts, like different types of activities, but for the lesson themselves, I, with the text and theory, I wanted to be unique. So that’s the one. Yeah. For that, for the lesson, we had to come up with like a specific design for every page. [00:19:44] Krsnendu: [00:19:44] Right. Okay. So you had a template for the main type of activities, but each chapter has its own unique design as well [00:19:53] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:19:53] Yeah for the lesson. [00:19:54] Krsnendu: [00:19:54] Yeah. Nice. And you said that you, you had more than one designer. Did you find the first one wasn’t up to the standard that you wanted or they kind of created some things that you liked, but then you went to another designer. [00:20:08] How did that work? [00:20:10] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:20:10] Well, how upwards. works is basically that you put up like a job proposal on the website and then you get different people applying for your job. It was very, very hard for me to decide because I, yeah, I couldn’t make up my mind [00:20:29] Krsnendu: [00:20:29] Cause it’s hard to know, right? Yeah. In advance. It’s like, they’ll show you examples of work they’ve done before, but you never really know what your one will turn out like, right. [00:20:38] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:20:38] Yeah. And then some would say, Oh, I haven’t designed a kid’s book, but I’ve designed other types of books, it’s the same thing. And yeah, I was just really nervous and he couldn’t make up my mind. But finally I found one, one designer and I really liked the sample that he gave me. So I hired him. [00:21:00] But you know, it’s not always the first try that it’s right. So it just seemed like the sample was really good, but it was really, it was kind of difficult for us to work together. Like he wasn’t accomplishing deadlines or kind of, yeah, he was too artistic. I want to do his own thing. So kind of, [00:21:22] Krsnendu: [00:21:22] Those Don asked us today. [00:21:26] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:21:26] yeah, seriously. Yeah. So. Yeah, that didn’t work. And it was, it was very hard for me to tell him sorry, it’s not gonna work anymore. He took it well [00:21:41] Krsnendu: [00:21:41] Yeah. Yeah. It’s always hard when you [00:21:44] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:21:44] Oh, but then I, yeah. I mean, yeah, it was pretty cool about it though. I dunno why and Oh, but then I did the next round, I thought, okay. I probably put the price is too low. So I increased the price. I said, yeah, if I want to find better designers, I have to increase the cost. [00:22:11] Krsnendu: [00:22:11] Yeah. And did you, you think that made a good, a different set? You attracted a higher quality of contractor when you did that? [00:22:18] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:22:18] yeah. [00:22:19]Yeah, definitely anything. I mean, I haven’t really been involved in books, so I didn’t know. That’s what I was looking for. How much does it cost? So this whole process was actually a lot of trial and error, [00:22:34] Krsnendu: [00:22:34] Yeah, you must’ve meant so much. [00:22:39] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:22:39] but I think hopefully by Chris’s blessing, the next book will be easier. Cause now I’ve already gone through the whole the process once. [00:22:50] Krsnendu: [00:22:50] Yeah, for sure. Do you think you’ll use the same contractor for the next book? If you, if you can, was it a good experience? [00:22:56] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:22:56] definitely. Yeah, she was great [00:22:59] Krsnendu: [00:22:59] Yeah, that helps a lot. Isn’t it? great. So then just let’s continue with this whole process thing. So after you got the, the person to do the layout and get the bop already, what happens after that? [00:23:09] Okay. [00:23:11] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:23:11] then. Oh, well, before the design and layout, it goes to the editors. So I had to, to devote these here, that I did the editing. And then after the design and layout, it has to go again through editing and proofreading to make sure that no texts is missing or things didn’t move around with the layout. [00:23:35] So, I mean, but I was pretty much at every stage also doing like triple check and. I mean, there’s definitely a lot of things that I learned and that I’m will do again in the next book. [00:23:49] Krsnendu: [00:23:49] Yeah, [00:23:51] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:23:51] Yeah. Like some things were kind of complicated. [00:23:54] Krsnendu: [00:23:54] right. So you’d keep it a little simpler next time. [00:23:59] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:23:59] Well, for starters, I don’t know if I would use dice like Sanskrit diacritics. Because also, also, because I grew up international international society. So I spell a mixture of American spelling and British spelling. [00:24:19] Krsnendu: [00:24:19] Right. Right. So sometimes you put the you in color and sometimes you don’t that kind of thing. [00:24:23] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:24:23] Yeah. So after the design had to go through, I didn’t realize that. So we had to go through it again. So different things like that. I really made a note of it. So that next time I can, yeah. [00:24:39] Krsnendu: [00:24:39] w was there anything else that comes to mind that you that you learned from it that you would do differently? [00:24:45]Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:24:45] I mean, other than, yeah. I would probably give myself more time and not have such strict deadlines on myself, [00:24:56] Krsnendu: [00:24:56] Yeah. [00:24:59] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:24:59] just in the final process also like for the drawings. I didn’t, again, it was challenged here. My friend did all the drawings in pencil. But it would have nine know that it’s easier if you go through, if you go over it with a marker to make the line easier to do the illustrations [00:25:20] Krsnendu: [00:25:20] right. Because I think you were mentioning that you, it was done in pencil and then they had to be colored in, was that done digitally or how did that work? [00:25:27] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:25:27] Yeah. Yeah. It was done digitally. [00:25:30] Krsnendu: [00:25:30] So it was like the black and white outline was uploaded, so to speak. And then the color didn’t online is that the kind of [00:25:37] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:25:37] Yeah. Also through some, like from somebody in Upwork. [00:25:42] Krsnendu: [00:25:42] right. Interesting. [00:25:44] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:25:44] time I think because my friend, and then DME, she did a lot. I mean, her artwork is amazing. So I feel like the digital artists could have done a better job. So now I know that I can expect more [00:26:00] Krsnendu: [00:26:00] Right. So you mean like when she did it in pencil, it had a bit more of the artisticness to it. And when it was kind of digitalized, it became, it lost a bit of the subtlety of it or something like that. [00:26:13] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:26:13] Yeah. So like the lines. Yeah, it wasn’t, I don’t know if I would do digitally, like colored them again or to have them colored to keep that that like sketch look not super. Computerized. [00:26:32] Krsnendu: [00:26:32] Alright. So you might like get it done fully in Keller before you digitize it, rather than adding the color after something like that. [00:26:39] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:26:39] Yeah, I think so. It depends how much the art. [00:26:42]Krsnendu: [00:26:42] Yeah. That’s interesting thing. Yeah. So, so now we’ve got to the stage where, you’ve had it laid out. You’ve had it checked and proofread and you’ve gone through it a few hundred times. Check that. Everything’s right. And then what about the, so what’s the next stage there? When, in terms of actually printing it. I’m guessing [00:27:07] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:27:07] yeah. After the editing and proofreading and then, Oh yeah. And then the final stage. My editor said you should provide answers for the exercise. So I had to do that last minute as well. [00:27:23] Krsnendu: [00:27:23] that’s helpful. Yeah. [00:27:26] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:27:26] So yeah, next time I’ll hopefully know, I mean, we’ll know more what to do. so after all of that, then we contacted our publisher, like yeah, the published the printing company in Calcutta. We had two options like coconut or new Delhi, and then they gave us all the requirements. So that had to go back to the designer. Like the drive has to be this quality, the font. I didn’t even understand how like [00:27:57] Krsnendu: [00:27:57] Right, right. Like the resolution of, yeah, the resolution of the images and the exact size of the paper pages and all that kind of stuff. Right. [00:28:06] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:28:06] Yeah. So. And then after that I go, it kept going back and forth, back and forth the cover. So then I actually, the day I came back to my four, I think like three days later, I went to Calcutta with my father to the printing company and we stay there six hours. So they first print out a sample copy of the book and then we have to check. [00:28:33] Yeah, we review it and then they printed it. They printed it like three times because yeah. You know, something always kind of goes wrong yeah. And then finally nipping on a child to see it started putting the book. [00:28:49] Krsnendu: [00:28:49] A Latina is messy. I’m just imagining you sitting in that printing place. And you know, it just brings to mind the memory of proper doing the same thing with his bargain, with tar in Delhi, can just imagine what he would have gone through. You know, they didn’t even have the technology that we have and you know, how much he had to go through to make it happen. [00:29:12] Imagine for profile, it’s just mind boggling. [00:29:16] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:29:16] I know when I think of how much of a profit did I just say one, one kid’s book. Like he published over 50 books and he was managing, it’s gone traveling. Opening temples. It’s just for me, it, like, I can’t even believe how much should a prophet did just 12 years. It’s so amazing. [00:29:38] Krsnendu: [00:29:38] Yeah, it’s incredible. So then you finally got the book printed and it was this just before the ILS came around by 1900 traders. I’m trying to remember the dates, how everything kind of ties together. [00:29:49] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:29:49] Oh yeah, we can try to see. so I think it was exactly. Two weeks before I left. So yeah, we started this whole process, like from, I had finished the content from editing, designing all of that till the printing was like three months, November, December, no, over three months. So this is the last stage that I’m talking about for next, like next project. [00:30:18] I would start earlier because I really wanted to. For the book to be printed by ILS. And I told my and it will be there. So I was really stressing out and I, in the end I told Krishna I’ve done everything I could, I, I can’t do it any I can’t make it faster. So then I, I told him I was like cushion. [00:30:46] If you want this book to be published by ILS, I don’t know. You have to help them. And it arrived the day before ILS. [00:30:55] Krsnendu: [00:30:55] Wow. So even if I started the actual printing, but even then you still have to wait for two weeks for it to arrive in my paper. [00:31:06] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:31:06] Yeah, because it takes, yeah, it takes like 10. I don’t remember if it was two weeks, but it takes the out around that much time to print everything, then bind it packages and yeah. Comms from Calcutta all the way to Mayapur. A truck. [00:31:24]Krsnendu: [00:31:24] It made it amazing. Krishna is messy. Absolutely. [00:31:28] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:31:28] Yeah. It actually came on the day of his appearance today. So. [00:31:37] Krsnendu: [00:31:37] Wow. [00:31:38] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:31:38] And that’s the day that she’ll prop that started 50 years ago back to Godhead. So I was, [00:31:45] Krsnendu: [00:31:45] Wow. That’s amazing. [00:31:51] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:31:51] Yeah, it sounds busy. Yeah. I was happy. [00:31:55] Krsnendu: [00:31:55] That’s awesome. So another thing I wanted to ask about without going into, numbers and everything, but to do a project like this, obviously you had to pay different people to do things. How did the funding of it work? Like I think I saw you did some crowdsourcing, like a jump what’s it called? [00:32:13] Jump start a campaign or something like that. [00:32:15] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:32:15] Oh, [00:32:15] Krsnendu: [00:32:15] How did the funding for this project work and that kind of thing? [00:32:21]Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:32:21] well, another lesson to learn is that big time when you sort of started the crowdfunding, like before like three months before the reason I didn’t want to start it too early. Cause it was my first book and I was worried that it would be Jake cause like that it wouldn’t happen. And well actually prior to this project, The congregational ministry. [00:32:51] We have some scriptors, which is yeah. A monthly donors. So with that, and also my groomer, he supports them congregational ministry and my father who, the general manager. So that’s how we have been funding all our projects. Then my said that. The CDM, the ministry, we should start crowdfunding for our projects because some people do want to help. So we started, so this was the first time that we’ve tried out crowd funding, but it was a, it was a bit late, so [00:33:29] Krsnendu: [00:33:29] Right. [00:33:31] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:33:31] yeah. [00:33:32] Krsnendu: [00:33:32] So did you get some supporters that gave something for the project through that crowd funding? [00:33:37] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:33:37] Yeah. We’ve got a few supporters. [00:33:40] Krsnendu: [00:33:40] Is it something that you’d try again? Like you said that you might try it again, but more in advance, do you think it’s worth [00:33:45] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:33:45] Yeah. Well, yeah, definitely not also that we have our the ministry’s name more out there, like with the children. [00:33:54] Krsnendu: [00:33:54] And also you have a proven track record. Now that you’ve said, Hey, look, we’ve produced this book already. You know, look at it, we’ve done it. We we’re not just, talking about some dream. We’ve proven that we can do it. So people are probably more likely to support it when they know that it’s likely to be successful. [00:34:12] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:34:12] Yeah, I would definitely try to get, I would just start. Yeah, like two months before. [00:34:23] Krsnendu: [00:34:23] Yeah, that’s great. yeah, it’s just like everything in this world, it takes like, I think proper talks about money and manpower to make anything happen. Right. So it sounds like you had an incredible experience because he had to involve so many different people doing different elements of the whole project from the printers to the artists, to the editors, the, and the different contractors and things like that. [00:34:46] So amazing experience. And then also having to deal with the funding aspect of it as well. It’s all amazing experiences, which I guess, If anyone’s looking to do a project, they’re going to have to learn to develop those skills. So have you got any advice for anyone? You know, whether it’s they have a project that’s specifically printing a book or, or any other kinds of projects that may not necessarily be about, but something, that takes that kind of organization and it takes that kind of coordination. [00:35:18] Do you have any advice for other devices that have that kind of thing in mind? [00:35:24] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:35:24] Yeah, I would say like restarted research, research, look up different ideas, how you want to present. Like just for designing work or how you want to write it, the clear idea concept that you have for your designer. That’s how it will come out otherwise or, yeah, also for like all the lessons. I did a lot of research. [00:35:53] I was reading a lot I’m sure the prophets books and different devoted knees. So I would say that’s. Like really important. And also, I know this sounds a bit cliche coming from a Devonte, but I actually truly believe it that if you really have this desire and you try every day to work a little bit towards your goal and really pray, then anything that you want to do, everything is possible. [00:36:26] And Krishna and consciousness, I’m not a writer. I actually don’t like to write sounds funny. I don’t like to write, but because I really wanted to, I mean, I do believe that I will have some creativity, so I wanted to put those ideas on paper. And because I had that inspiration from my spiritual master and every day I would pray for this to come out. [00:36:59] I successfully and hopefully help children in their cushion of consciousness. Then I feel like your spiritual master and Sheila proper empowers you. If you want to contribute to it’s God and you want to clean to the prop and the devoting I, you will happen. [00:37:18] Krsnendu: [00:37:18] Yeah, I really liked it and it just makes me, it makes me, I’m curious to ask you another question because I mean, I know for myself, I’ve got ideas. I, I could do this, I could do that. But you mentioned something just as you’re talking, kind of went by under the radar a little bit about doing something every day. [00:37:38] So what’s your, What’s your kind of, how do you organize yourself to get these things done? Like, is it something that every day you put aside half an hour or every one day a week, you, you put time into it or you just spend like a couple of weeks doing a full marathon to make things happen. [00:37:53] Like, what was your sort of time management like to make this project happen? [00:38:00]Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:38:00] well, I am kind of an organized, I love to organize and to plan. Yeah. So I have like this journal, so I, I have like the goal and then I break it down, like monthly, weekly, the daily tasks. So that’s how I get a lot done. But of course, like over the it took me three years, but I wouldn’t say that I was working on it. [00:38:34] I think every day for three years. So it was kind of like monthly or few weeks, like marathon. And then I needed like a break because it could get really intense. So it was kind of like up and down, up and down. But when I would get into the marathon, yeah, I would have, I would write down all the tasks. [00:38:56] Okay. Chapter one, I need to think of, I need to come up with this, this, this, and the next step. [00:39:02] Krsnendu: [00:39:02] It’s really interesting that you say that because, there’s some people that have written books, they say that, life is not a marathon. It’s a series of sprints. So, was it kind of like your experience? Like, I mean, at the end of the day, your whole project is like a marathon, but from what it sounds like, it sounds like that you had certain periods that you really got into it, and then you needed to have a little break for a while to kind of just recharge or something. [00:39:26] And then you got back into it again, was that the kind of rhythm that you had. [00:39:31] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:39:31] Yeah. Only in the final, like the six months or six months before the actual printing of the book, that was like a full on sprint. But yeah, for the three years before that, I definitely did have like breaks. [00:39:50] Krsnendu: [00:39:50] Yeah, it’s interesting. And as you mentioned, like you planned it out. Okay. So this is the goal for the year and the month and the week and the day. And things like that naturally things will be different that you plan to achieve this amount or to do something and then something will come along. [00:40:04] That makes you change the plans as you go. Right. [00:40:08] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:40:08] Yeah, definitely. That’s my problem. I’m going to climbing goals and everything, but sometimes I set bit unrealistic goals because I I’m quite hard on myself. So I think I wouldn’t do this much in a week and it’s sometimes it’s not possible. [00:40:28] Krsnendu: [00:40:28] Yeah, there’s another saying, it goes something along the lines and there’s different versions of it, but one version and it’s like people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but they underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years. And you can also say it like for a month, for, for a year that people overestimate what they can achieve in like a week, but underestimate what they can do in a year or whatever. [00:40:49]we always think we can do more, But if you don’t have those goals in your, you don’t make progress towards it. So as you go [00:40:58] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:40:58] Yeah, definitely. [00:40:59] Krsnendu: [00:40:59] more accurate in your estimation, what you can do. [00:41:02] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:41:02] And it did take a lot of reevaluation. I, okay. You know, these are the goals for this month. and yeah. How to change it up or adjust it. So actually realistic and achievable. [00:41:17] Krsnendu: [00:41:17] Yeah, it’s interesting. We had this similar experience working with prana pro both for the back, the learning. it’s like the goal was to launch it more or less at the beginning of 2020, kind of like new year’s day sort of thing. And then it’s like, As the time was going. It’s like, well, I don’t think we’re going to make it. [00:41:34] We have to readjust, readjust. And then it was finally like, okay, I Alyssa’s coming. We have to have it ready by the end. So, there was, yeah, as you say, it can be a bit of a sprint at the end to get things there, but, But those deadlines do help sometimes just to make it happen. Otherwise things can keep on going and keep on going. [00:41:54]so yeah, just going I’m really, I hope it doesn’t end the way that I’m getting right into this, but like, w first of all, we are doing other things at that time, like you’re working on the book. Was that your a hundred percent focus or did you have other things like your studies and things that you’re doing at the same time? [00:42:10] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:42:10] Yeah, I, I do. I am still studying. And so that’s another reason why it took so long. So I’m studying university and also I have my sad enough. And yeah, I’m also the type of person that likes to do many things, but I want to go to this festival and also be part of this new program and be part of this service and that service. [00:42:40] So that’s also what slowed me down [00:42:46] Krsnendu: [00:42:46] Yeah, no, it’s just interesting to know how you combine that together. And so in general, did you like have a certain amount of time each day that you tried to work on the book or you just kind of did it when you got the chance? How did the organize that. [00:42:59]Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:42:59] I’ve been in, have I tried everything? Sometimes I had, okay. I went to work in this month, this many hours today or something, but usually it was just, yeah, pretty much. I really enjoyed working on, on the book. So it was pretty much at one point I went out going through my like marathon I’m on sprints and it’d be studying the books, studying books, studying book, [00:43:26] Krsnendu: [00:43:26] Yeah. A lot of times, that’s all it is. It’s getting, just getting started. And then once you get into it, you, you can get quite absorbed in it, right. It can become really interesting. The hard part is often just sitting down and getting started from my experience. You may be more organized and discipline than maybe. [00:43:45] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:43:45] no, I mean, I had one friend cause I like more coming up with ideas. So the activities, those like that aspect was really fun for me before for the lessons. I, I wrote down like everything that I wanted to, but I didn’t feel a hundred percent satisfied with how it came across. Cause so I did have a friend called Gopi and she’s really good at writing. [00:44:12] So we did go through my lesson and a drama script that we were working together to refine. [00:44:20] Krsnendu: [00:44:20] Yeah, they can really help kind of having someone to [00:44:22] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:44:22] yeah. Really, really helped. [00:44:26] Krsnendu: [00:44:26] What would you say the advantages of working with you? [00:44:29] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:44:30] well, I really she’s really creative in her writing and I’m have always been just straight to the point with my writing. [00:44:39] Krsnendu: [00:44:39] Right. Right, [00:44:40] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:44:40] I feel like with her, it really came, like the story came more alive [00:44:46] Krsnendu: [00:44:46] right. Nice. [00:44:48] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:44:48] yeah. [00:44:49] Krsnendu: [00:44:49] So you complemented each other’s kind of the straight that you had different strengths and when you combine that together, it made the overall. [00:44:57] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:44:57] Yeah. Like she was, we were actually classmates in school. So I wanted this book to be like with, from the youth. So everybody that worked on the book except like one, just one app, like the designing and the editing, everything was from yeah, the youth, like my friends, they really help. [00:45:18]Krsnendu: [00:45:18] Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks for getting into that because it’s I wanted to find out about the step by step process that you did to publish the spot, but I found it really interesting what your work process was like in terms of how you organize yourself and how you sit the goals and, and how you worked with other people to help to make things happen and make it better. [00:45:39] I found it really interesting. so yeah, maybe I’ll just ask now, is there anything that. I may not have asked it, I should have asked or anything else that you’d like to add about this whole process or about trying to achieve projects like this. So anything else that you’d like to add? [00:45:59] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:45:59] I mean, just the last thing I want to say is that if you, I mean, like whoever wants to do anything. You know, as a contribution or any projects that never think that you’re too ambitious. Oh, your dreams are too wild because whatever you want to do, she’ll pass that. And the vice fellows will help you and you can do it. [00:46:22] Krsnendu: [00:46:22] Awesome. Yeah, that’s a really great, ultimate conclusion, I think. so what are the next steps for you? Is that part two, the next major project, or if you got some other things going on right now? [00:46:37]Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:46:37] I do have very ambitious dreams for the , but for now, yeah, I’ve just started working on part two few days ago. [00:46:50] Krsnendu: [00:46:50] Cool. [00:46:51] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:46:51] And after doing this project for like so many years, After this was all over, I felt kind of empty. Like, what am I doing? I was trying to find out what will be my next project. So I started working on part two and also we’re trying to create lesson plans for part one to help teachers or parents, [00:47:17] Krsnendu: [00:47:17] Right. That’s cool. So that they can make and use it like a textbook. And then they’ve got a guide that helps them to use it as part of the lessons. [00:47:25] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:47:25] Yeah. So that’s what we tried to do, like with our team [00:47:29] Krsnendu: [00:47:29] Yeah, that’s a great idea. That’s the same thing with, or Mila has created those, Linda read books and she created, a whole collection of lesson guides that goes with each book as well. So it’s not just like the book that you just read it, but she created a whole lot of activities to go with it. [00:47:46] And I think that really helps the teachers a lot and Sunday school or whatever it is that the program was. That’s a great idea. yeah, so part two, it’s naturally the next thing that you’re working on, but it sounds like you’ve also got some other things happening in there. what is it? [00:48:04] The children’s services department. So that’s great to hear. I look forward to seeing your next exciting project. You know, you’re still very young and I’m seeing what you’ve produced now. That’s looking at a very bright future. [00:48:21] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:48:21] Thank you. Please give your blessings. [00:48:24] Krsnendu: [00:48:24] Well, [00:48:25] my basins are there. There may be quite small. My pregnancy may not be matched, but I definitely send you all of my good wishes and hope everything works out really well. Now, now, before we go really important thing. As, how can, the vote is get your book. Like when we were at the ILS, we were able to get a few copies and I get some to the school here in Oakland and we have one at home, which my daughter’s like, I want to do everything. [00:48:51] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:48:51] Ah, yay. [00:48:53] Krsnendu: [00:48:53] My wife was like, she says to my daughter, can you just book Mike a few pages and we’ll photocopy those pages and you can do the activities, you know? And then you come back later and the whole what do they post it? Notes thing was finished. It had posted notes on practically every page. And we were like, Oh, okay, here we go. [00:49:12] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:49:12] Yay. I’m glad you’re liking it. [00:49:15] Krsnendu: [00:49:15] yeah. And I really liked some of the points in it. In fact just there’s a few, I have a few kind of like pet topics. And one of them is like to only Precita not to eat at restaurants and not to eat Comey, food and stuff like that. And so I was really happy to see that in your book, you touched on that point because you know, sometimes some of the standards yeah. [00:49:38] They slip a little bit, so it’s good to have that reinforcement from a young age. [00:49:43] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:49:43] Yeah. I wanted to make sure that the book had. I mean, like she loved proper standards, but at the same time, not super scary that people [00:49:51] Krsnendu: [00:49:51] Yeah, [00:49:52] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:49:52] freaked out. [00:49:53] Krsnendu: [00:49:53] yeah, no, it wasn’t, it wasn’t coming across in a way that was like, I dunno, super strict or something like that, but it was just nice to know that the standard has been represented there. That’s cool. So yeah. How, how can the buddies get the book? it looks like no, one’s going to Mayapur right now. [00:50:11] So that’s not really an option at this particular point. Is there any way of ordering the books or anything like that? Or do we just have to wait until this lockdowns over? [00:50:21] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:50:21] Sadly, that’s the problem. I mean, we have our website, which is ISKCON children.com and we that’s where we’re taking all our orders, but because of the lot styles. We can’t ship any books outside of India at the moment, but you can still order the book. And as soon as you know, lockdown is over, we can send the books. [00:50:49] Krsnendu: [00:50:49] Yeah. So all the books are based in, are they in that you shipped from there? [00:50:54] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:50:54] Yeah. we’re actually also sending like bulk to America, but since this lockdown, everything has been on hold sadly. [00:51:03] Krsnendu: [00:51:03] Right. Oh, we’ll just have to stay chain, wants to lock downs over. We’ll have to send her a reminder to everybody. you know, they, they will be able to get the box. And of course, so I, of course, when someone goes to my par, they’re also be able to get the books there. [00:51:21] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:51:21] Yeah. We’re trying to send books in bulk to Europe, America, different countries. So that it’s cheaper than buying an individual, just one book. [00:51:35] Krsnendu: [00:51:35] Yeah, it makes sense. [00:51:36] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:51:36] So we’re in the process of doing all of that and then this whole lockdown happened. So [00:51:41]Krsnendu: [00:51:41] It’s something to look forward to. what’s the lockdowns over to get back into that. [00:51:47] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:51:47] yeah. [00:51:48] Krsnendu: [00:51:48] Yeah. Nice. Well, it’s been wonderful talking with you and, yeah, I really appreciate you taking the time. And once again, congratulations on producing such a work of art that’s such value to the debate is, and our movement, had said that there’s one leader that I really liked that I saw. [00:52:06] I think it was, I started last year. We’re pride. Pride was saying. That we don’t need to go and preach outside. We want to boil the milk and we want to focus on, he was speaking to and devoted that you are correct, that we should put our focus on the devotions we already have and the children that is more [00:52:21] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:52:21] Yeah, [00:52:22] Krsnendu: [00:52:22] So that’s what you’re doing. And, you’ve created a wonderful resource to support that. And I really appreciate that and look forward to, seeing Pat too or whatever, as the next thing that you come out with. So, thanks again for your time. Hi, [00:52:39] Gourangi Gandharvika: [00:52:39] Thank you so much. [00:52:40] Krsnendu: [00:52:40] Hare Krishna