Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra launches ‘Swapped’ by Neeha Gupta, published by Leadstart.
Mumbai, 12th December 2019
Soha Ali Khan, Evelyn Sharma, Pooja Chopra and Tanaaz Irani share videos titled “whom would you swap your life with” which were played at the launch.
17-year-old Neeha Gupta’s Swapped was launched at Title Waves Bandra yesterday. Published by Leadstart, the book is a gripping tale of teenage dilemmas and friendship.
The book was launched via a panel discussion between award-winning filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and author Neeha Gupta and moderated by film critic and senior journalist Aakanksha Naval-Shetye.
The discussion veered towards friendship, teenage ambition and the quest for personal growth.
“Friends are those who get you into trouble,” joked Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who added gravitas to the book launch. He also added, “ youngsters must be allowed to discover what they’re meant to become, over time.”
Aakanksha Naval-Shetye deftly guided the discussion towards Rakesyh Mehra’s own reading habits- to which he said, “I read 15 pages here and there. I like to explore parts of various books, unlike my wife and daughter who are voracious readers.”
Neeha Gupta shared, “ I would like to explore Swapped as a web series.”
The event also saw the launch of a song ‘It’s a big world out there’, which is part of the book “Swapped” sung by Neeha Gupta and Sidharth Bhambure, also a student of standard 12th, Neeha’s classmate and a budding musician who has already uploaded albums on Spotify, iTunes etc;
Actor Maninee De Mishra and designer Archana Kochhar were present for the book launch.
Reserved, resilient Rachel and free-spirited fashionista Harleen are two regular high-school girls, who lead completely contrasting lives. Their lives chug along like those of most; nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary. Then one wild night, on a rocky beach, destiny intervenes. They discover that their innermost desire is to live each other’s lives. Family and close friends notwithstanding, they take a leap of faith and commit to a crazy scheme. Will their secret be revealed? Or will fate be in cahoots with their plan?
About the Author:
The versatile author, Neeha Gupta, is a valedictorian in her tenth grade. She has had a keen interest in writing since a very young age. Her first book “Different” was received by the Hon. President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. Neeha, who is also a TedEd Speaker, has gained praise for her writing skills through which she inspires youngsters to not harbour negative thoughts and encourages them to think positively about their future.
Leadstart is one of the leading publishers in India. The company’s portfolio covers a wide range of genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Children, Business, Management, Finance, World Affairs, Politics, History, Self-Help & Empowerment, Health & Fitness, Spirituality & Religion, Philosophy, Cookery, Reference, Biography, Travel, Poetry, Activities, Hobbies, Crafts & Sports etc. Leadstart has offices in India and the US and operates around the world in association with global partners. Several Leadstart authors have won major literary prizes such as the Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi Award, Vodafone Crossword Awards, various State literary awards and the Jnanpith Award, as well as regularly being longlisted for other awards including the Man Asian Literary Prize.
Testimonials for Swapped
Two books at the age of 17 is commendable and by writing for her own age and peers, Neeha Gupta has contributed her bit to sparking the reading habit; Good young adult fiction can be a foundation for more evolved reading choices later in life. ‘Swapped’ is a simple engaging story for all ages, as it taps into the universal themes of friendship, love, relationships, parent-child conflict and self-discovery.”
Meghna Pant, Author and Journalist
Swapped is a delightful example of new-age writing. The visual narrative style almost seems like you are watching a Netflix series. The conflicts showcased in the story grip you right from the word go. At every stage, one gets tempted to experience the thrill and risks experienced by Rachel and Harleen. When a reader is constantly compelled to enter into the shoes of the fictional characters, one can safely assume that a writer is born.
Ashish Jaiswal, Oxford scholar, bestselling author.
Swapped by Neeha Gupta conveys not only the voice of a young author, but also the promise of a potential future literary career. Writing for her age-group, Neeha encapsulates in a charming story, with its own little twists and turns, the preoccupations, dreams, anxieties, and ideas of India’s youngest generation. Bristling with energy, enthusiasm, and not a little mischief, Swapped will appeal to Neeha’s contemporaries as well as those readers a little older, who with a chuckle will remember their own time as young students, filled with all its defining misadventures.
Manu Pillai, award-winning author.
FOREWORD FOR SWAPPED
Rama Devi, Dy Speaker of The Lok Sabha
I am delighted to know that Neeha Gupta has shown a keenly interest in writing from a young age. Her writing is well-intentioned as it inspires youngsters to not harbour negative thoughts and think positively about their future. It is this leadership quality and spirit of service that has made her write two books with simple stories but deeply positive messages. I am confident that her books will benefit the youngsters of today. I wish that Neeha achieves her dreams in future.