Once upon a time…

…there was a young girl who loved reading. At any given point in time you could bet your last rupee that she could be found with her nose in a book. Buried three inches deep. Take her to a toy store and she would screw said nose up and request her parents buy her a book instead. By the time she was eleven she would scoff at the local lending library because she had more books in her collection than they would have. Her mother would be tearing her hair out in despair over the space in space crunched Mumbai to stock these books.

And yes, this girl loved to write. Writing was something that came naturally to her. Words flowed from her pen. When she hit junior college her uncle bought her typewriter and she taught herself to type. And she typed out poems and short stories and was most pleased with herself when any of the ones she sent out got published.

Then she grew up and got into journalism. And soon her writing got relegated to assignments, and seeing her byline in print didnt give her any thrill because she was seeing it often enough. She quit because she wanted to try for a baby. And she needed to go in for ART. And she had her baby. For six years her life went onto the back burner as she played slave lackey to the demanding tyke who thought it his birthright to expect her to fetch and carry. Which she did, of course, ungrudgingly.

Until March of this year, when she sat down to take stock of her life. Nothing accomplished. Nothing done. She put her head down onto the desk and almost wept. She had morphed into a boring suburban housewife. That was not what she wanted to be remembered for when she died. She wanted to have her name on a spine that could be cracked, and with pleasure. She wanted to have a book to her name. At least one. Then, she decided, she would die happy. Till October, she promised herself (and Parul Sharma, the author of Bringing Up Vasu: The First Year and the too be released By The Water Cooler, and also dear friend and constant prodder to get writing. And Priyanka Chaturvedi. And Sue. And….). I will do this by October this year.

So she sat at the computer and wrote. Wrote a long tortured saga about two sisters who were as disparate as chalk and cheese and had a terrible secret between the two of them. She sent it out. It came right back at her.

Then, for a lark, she began writing something loosely modelled on herself and her life. She wrote around three chapters and mailed it out with a brief one line synopsis of the rest of the chapters. She struck gold. The editor she had mailed it to, liked it and wanted to see the rest. She didnt have the rest. She hadnt written it yet. But she was one never to say no. Two weeks, she told the editor. Will have it to you in two weeks.

So for two weeks, Monday to Friday, she sat and wrote for a couple of hours everyday between her regular assignments, and child pick up and drop and by the end of two weeks she had a book she mailed out.

The editor liked it. The contract was signed. And the book is now in the capable hands of the editor at Westland Publishing. And will be out eventually. Will take time I’m told. A long time. I’m in no hurry. I can wait. I waited this long to write it.

For all those readers of this blog and Karmickids.blogspot.com who told me to write a book, this is for you. And yes, this is for the mother who never stopped asking me when I planned to sit down and write a book, even when I was trussed up like a chicken in the delivery room for my C-Sec.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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58 Responses to Once upon a time…

  1. Jyo says:

    Congrats!!! I am so happy for you!!

    This is my first comment on your blog. Have been an ardent reader of both your blogs from a long time!

    You rock!


  2. Aarti says:

    Wooo.. am intrigued, glued and curious to read more!!:)


  3. Shruti says:

    wow!! πŸ™‚ congrats on the book


  4. runa says:

    It sounded like the story of one of my most favourite characters from fiction… Jo March πŸ™‚
    Congratulations and all the best!


  5. Smitha says:

    Whoa! Awesome. Congrats. Can’t wait to get my hands on it! What’s it called? Surely you can tell us that much?


  6. R's Mom says:

    Oh My God..you serious!!! sahi sahi…I am waiting and waiting and waiting so so eagerly..are you doing a book reading or something..wowow!!! I am super excited…congrats :):) and two weeks to write a book…you must be really a genius!


  7. poornima says:

    Wooh Kiran! Way to go. I am ready to wait for the book because it is so going to be worth it. When it is out, I am going to the bookshop, pick it up and tell everyone that I know Kiran through her blog! Congratulations and best wishes.


  8. Phoenixritu says:

    Would love to read it Kiran. Congrats


  9. Ruchira says:

    congratulations ! waiting to read it !


  10. Many congratulations πŸ˜€


  11. Jayashree says:

    CONGRATULATIONS πŸ™‚ Am REALLY REALLY happy for u and I knew this would happen πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to grab the copy.


  12. *releases the held breath*.. congrats kiran!!


  13. Parul says:

    *Joins Itchy in releasing held breath*
    Congratulations and well done!
    Though I am a little hurt that all my prodding of the last few years has not found a mention in the post. Oh well, perhaps That Other Girl will mention me when she finally sits down and writes out her book and gets published.


  14. Deepti says:

    Congratulations!! First time commenter, but have been reading your blogs for over two years now…looking forward to the book.



  15. B o o. says:

    Wow wow wow! Cant wait, Kiran! So thrilled for you. *hugs*


  16. tomboy says:

    Congrats Kiran. Waiting for the book


  17. Kiran! I bow before you. If I had a hat I would take it off to you. With all your commitments you still did this. I feel lazy and inspired. Congratulations! I am so proud of you. I love this blog and the honesty you bring to it. Really looking forward to the book.


  18. Nirupama says:


    overjoyed, simply overjoyed with the news! a huge hurrah @ finally having done it and not just done it but aceeeeeeeeeeed it in pure u style tooo! love the idea of reading more of you all the way!

    love u and may alllllll the success of literary world and evry other world be urs to claim!

    well done Kiran Manral for stepping up ur pace on the road to what u were always destined for !



  19. Congratulations πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading the book!


  20. ajay says:

    Many many congratulations! I remember telling you once to write a book. I like your dry, wicked humor and am sure the book would be fantastic. Just let us know when it gets published πŸ™‚


  21. Krithiga says:

    Congrtaualtions! I read you regualrly but rarely comment.

    You give me hope that i’l get to my dreams someday. thanks for being an inspiration.


  22. Neelum says:

    Congratulations !!! You are one of the very few people I know whose book I will pick up and read as soon as it hits the stores !!!
    Seriously….can’t wait !!!
    Wish you all the best !!


  23. sukanya says:


    i am not a regular commenter but i do read your blog frequently. Congratulations on your book-this is awesome. Here’s wishing its a best seller, bringing you not just intellectual satisfaction but also lots of moolah!

    Let us know when it hits the stands!



  24. Eveslungs says:

    yesssssssssssssssssssss … make sure there’s a book launch at Calcutta . YOu’ll be feted royally !


  25. Sands says:

    Congratulations! Truly well deserved, IMHO πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see it in print.


  26. Pallavi says:

    Congratulations!!!!! When is it likely to be published? Have a book-reading session at Crossword, Mumbai please πŸ™‚


  27. Gigi says:

    I’m so glad you are writing something based on yourself. Don’t they always advise you to write what you know? Besides the two sisters with a terrible dark secret theme has been already done in Sisters of my Heart+Vine of Desire sequel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.


  28. JLT says:

    OMG! I’m sooooo happy for you!


  29. Veena says:



  30. Gayatri says:

    congratulations and all the best! looking forward to the book πŸ™‚


  31. onlooker says:

    wow! that does sound great! congratulations!!


  32. sscribbles says:

    wow, that’s such a great news. eagerly, eagerly waiting for your tongue-in-cheek writing. You rock, lady k. congratulations.


  33. Shell says:

    How awesome.. Can’t wait for it

    PS: Delurking fot the first to congratualte you


  34. anna says:

    thats brilliant! congrats kiran!


  35. Sue says:

    *does the happy dance*


  36. S says:

    Many congratulations!!! Really looking forward to the book


  37. Roop Rai says:

    I am ecstatic, kiran! About time!! :))) SOOO happy.


  38. preetischronicle says:

    Congratulations! Enjoy your blogs and would love to read your book.


  39. Kiran Manral says:

    @all: What is the best part about this announcement? That it got so many of you to delurk!!!! Thank you all for all your kind wishes…


  40. Sunita says:

    Yipee!! This is awesome news. Waiting for the release. Congrats to you and best wishes for more books πŸ™‚


  41. shalet says:

    Congratulations. An inspiring post!!


  42. M says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing the book in print!


  43. Congratulations Kiran !!!


  44. kenny says:

    i come here late… wowwwwwwww… super excited and happy…and inspired… and everything like that… yeah!


  45. Poornima says:

    Thats great!!! Congratulations! Will definitely get and read the book when it comes through.


  46. SC says:


    I’m an avid lurker on your blog and am delurking to say congratulations! This is excellent news and I look forward to buying the book when it is out! Your discipline is amazing!

    Spicy Chai


  47. avymom says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to it


  48. HP says:

    It always feels good to see another of the blogger getting a book out of them.


  49. desertmom says:

    Congrats! and may the book be an instant bestseller!


  50. Aarabi says:

    yayy!! super awesome!


  51. angela says:

    Congrats kiran. long time reader – too lazy to leave comments. but i read u and i smile always……
    v happy for u. will buy ur book for sure


  52. rupa says:

    Wow…congrats Kiran..thats awesome…I going to rush to the store when its out….


  53. varsha says:

    Congrats Kiran!!…I was one of the reader who asked you ….and now eagerly waiting for the book…


  54. oooooh! Congratulations!!



  55. Param says:

    That’s amazing..congrats, guess i too need to do something constructive with my life, have been hands on mom for the past 5yrs..i guess its not too late..hey but whats my forte??for now i am just happy reading good blogs:))


  56. rekha says:

    Hey Kiran, Congrats, yes this day was destined to be. Very very happy for you and looking forward to the book. Sorry for being late.

    take care


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