I was born in Mumbai (Bombay). This city by the sea, with all its energy and spirit was my home for 25 years. I worked in the Middle East (Bahrain, Dubai and Oman)  for a couple of years before immigrating to Canada in 1997.

It was a huge step, like crossing a threshold. I was willingly trading a lifetime of familiarity for the unfamiliar. I was quite apprehensive, but now this place is home! I love the seasons here, especially fall. I’m still not a fan of winter but it’s starting to get bearable.

My first job was as an Account Executive in an IT consulting firm where I discovered SOAP was a Simple Object Access Protocol

and not something you washed your face with. Oracle was not a character out of the Matrix, but a database. If I wanted to be successful, I had not only to learn the technical jargon but the Canadian way of life. It was an interesting but steep learning curve. I climbed the corporate ladder in leaps and bounds, getting better at what I did with each passing year, but searching, always searching, for that “spark” that would make me passionate about going to work day after day.

I love to read; it’s my panacea. Books to me are as essential as the air I breathe, sometimes even more so!

I started writing in January 2004. After four years, twenty drafts and countless rejections, “The Third Eye” was ready for publication. And the best part of writing my first book? I had found that “spark” which only gets brighter, day after day.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere! From real life situations, conversations I eavesdrop on, unusual faces and emotions that resonate with me. All these ideas gather in my mind. They mix, mingle, multiply and a story germinates.

What made you write The Third Eye?

 When my father passed away in 2003, I was devastated. It was the first time I had experienced death at such close quarters. I missed him and wanted to capture all the memories of our life back in India.

About the same time I immersed myself in books as a means of escape. I love fantasy/adventure stories and read Tolkein, Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis and of course Harry Potter, extensively. All these stories had a European setting with local folklore and mythology.

I thought to myself, why not a story with Indian Mythology? It was just as fascinating and if woven through a fast-paced plot, would make for very interesting reading. And so was born the idea of writing The Third Eye; a fantasy-adventure based in India with a generous dollop of its rich culture and mythology to spice it up.

What did you read as a child?

Anything and everything that caught my fancy! I got into trouble with my school librarian often, because we were allowed to borrow only three books at a time and somehow, I managed to borrow many more. It was hard work!

I always veered toward the fantastic and magical. Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles afforded me many hours of imaginative speculation

 

I love the Canadian Library System because I can borrow up to fifty items on my card and if I use my son’s card; a hundred. What bliss!

As a child I loved to read:

  • Eleanor Farjeon: The Little Bookroom
  • C.S. Lewis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
  • Gerald Durrell: My family and Other Animals.
  • Roald Dahl : Charlie and the Chocolate factory, James and the Giant Peach.
  • Shakespeare: Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Merchant of Venice.
  • Enid Blyton : The Magic Faraway Tree series and the Famous Five series.
  • Amar Chitra Katha (Indian Comics)

Here are some of my past and current favourites:

Children and YA Novels:

  • Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials Trilogy, Clockwork
  • J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter Series, Books 1-4.
  • Katherine Paterson: Bridge to Terabithia
  • Kenneth Oppel: Silverwing Series, Airborn Trilogy
  • Sarah Ellis: Odd Man Out
  • Tim Wynne-Jones: The Maestro,  The Book of Changes
  • Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Gregor the Overlander
  • John Green: Looking for Alaska

Adult Novels:

  • J.R.R. Tolkein: Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Rohinton Mistry: A Fine Balance and Tales from Firozeshah Baug
  • Shyam Selvadurai: Swimming in the Monsoon Sea
  • Vikram Seth: An Equal Music
  • Ian McEwan: Saturday
  • Anita Rau Badami – Can You Hear the Nightbird Call
  • Graham Greene: The End of the Affair

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books on Writing:

  •  The Elements of Style: Strunk and White
  • Natalie Goldberg: Writing down the Bones
  • Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird
  • John Warner: Fondling your Muse
  • John Gardner: The Art of Fiction