Hello and welcome to my website!
I love writing for children, and have been writing since I was seven. I began my publishing “career” at the age of seven and a half with a story about a dame (blame Enid Blyton for that) who hated plants. I went on to mice who turned into fairies and pixies who never drove or gave away their cars.
A little older now, I have two collections of short stories, two middle-grade novels, three picture books, two series of books on trains, plus stories and essays here and there. Many more are in the pipeline and will be available very soon.
I also conduct reading and writing workshops for children and, much to my surprise, for adults too.
As if being the new kids isn't enough, Padma and Kannagi Shankar quickly find that New Dawn High School isn't exactly a regular school. But it's more strange than bad, and the sisters start to enjoy themselves and make new friends — until a few unpleasant encounters make them confused and anxious about both school and family. With their parents far away, the girls are forced to look for solutions on their own. But will that be enough?
A boy is excited at the prospect of finding treasure in an old house; a girl meets a strange creature with a magical gift; a retired teachers reminisces about the students whose lives she touched; and a colour-blind child triumphs in art class ...
Vandana, Afreen and Tara stumble upon Rasphora, a magnificent land behind a waterfall. The prophecy of the land says that it is in grave danger, and the girls must leave their old lives behind if they want to save it. But they are just children - can they really fulfil the prophecy?
A young girl sat straight-backed on the edge of her chair, chewing a yellow pencil. She wiped her table clean with her palm, and with reverence, took out five clean sheets of papers. With a smile of joy, she began to write.
What will happen if Sunita presses her belly button? Or if she pulls her ears? A story about the power of imagination which also introduces children to different parts of the body.
Published in Let’s Play! The Puffin Book of Sports Stories.
Fancied Orchid School is already 33 for no loss in the three overs before lunch. Can Model School successfully unleash its secret weapon, Anshuman the chess nerd, and win the match? Neeru decides to start playing hockey like her mother to deal with her loss, and discovers there’s no therapy like getting some dirt on her spotless whites ...
Scholastic Virtual Visits
Virtual book fairs and online author interactions? Yes, please!
July and August are packed with school visits! With the lockdown, schools are closed and travel is impossible. For me, this means that I can spend a morning with a school in Hyderabad, an afternoon with a school in Delhi and an evening with a school in Chennai. I am still exploring all the wonderful possibilities of virtual interactions, but I have enjoyed each one so far. With readings from my book, activities and questions, each session leaves me longing for more.
Explore a Few Books
Dragonflies, Jigsaws and Seashells
Tanaya stood on tiptoe, trying to peer into the school library. She could just about see the librarian, Mr Kaushik Natraj, sitting at his desk and scribbling furiously in a notebook.
‘What?’ asked Tanishq, who was too short to look for himself. He was bouncing with impatience. ‘What can you see? What can you see?’ He held a pretend walkie-talkie and spoke into it, ‘Detective Tanishq to Detective Tanaya. Calling Detective Tanaya.’
Sisters at New Dawn
“Concentrate,” said Ella Mayer, bouncing as she spoke. “Concentrate on the colours of the rainbow.”
“What rainbow?” I asked, finally.
I had decided to try Pot of Gold, since Thatha remembered it so vividly from Appa’s school days. The teacher, Ella Mayer, looked old enough to have taught Appa herself. She stopped bouncing. “Sorry?”
“I don’t see a rainbow,” I said loudly. “If this is some sort of replay of The Emperor’s New Clothes, I—”
The Prophecy of Rasphora
‘Wow …’ breathed Afreen, clasping Tara’s hand. ‘Did you see that? Was it really, really real?’
‘What?’ asked Tara, eagerly, her hand on Miss’s neck to prevent the dog from rushing away into the bushes. ‘What – what – what?’
Afreen’s eyes darted from Vandana’s face to Tara’s. ‘A little man.’
Straight from the Blog
When I was at school, Friendship Day was associated with all kinds of secrecy. We would hide writing boards under our desks, and make friendship bands while pretending to listen to the teacher. Friendship bands would get confiscated, much to our indignation. They came under the category of ‘ornaments’, which were prohibited. Some girls made […]
I haven’t read or studied much about South Africa, though I do remember studying about apartheid and Nelson Mandela in school. Yet, when we’re children, it’s easy to think of things as ‘long ago’. Even a year is a long time in a child’s life. Reading When Morning Comes, I realised with quite a shock […]
What an unexpected book! I’ve been meaning to read Flyaway Boy for a while, but technological problems came in the way. I bought a Kindle edition only to learn that the ebook is not compatible with my Kindle, which meant that I had to read it on my laptop. Sitting at my laptop and reading […]
I met author Wai Chim at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in 2017. I didn’t just meet her, we were part of the same panel, called Writing About Us. She came for my book launch, a poorly attended event because I knew very few people there in Singapore, and the launch was tucked away […]
The story of how I got my hands on The Misfits is a tale in itself. I ordered it during the Zubaan Women’s Day sale, and it was dispatched about a week later. With the lockdown and then Nisarga, it never came. There was no way to track it and quite honestly, I didn’t try […]