All Aboard!

 

 

all aboardI  met Kiran Manral 2 decades ago. I was a fresher, a newbie straight from college who had been selected to work for Femina – back then, India’s top-selling women’s magazine. She was with the Times of India group as well. A simple young girl who always had a smile on her face. Almost always in a rush, but never too rushed to not say hello to those who crossed her path. Her long necklaces and her bright lipstick seemed to be her style statement.  We share nothing more than office space (the corridors or canteen) where we would chat briefly every now and then. I knew she had a baby. I knew she was quitting. I wondered…

And then, life took me through my owns twists and turns. I quit Femina and my country of origin. Marriage and love brought me to Switzerland. I moved into financial journalism, online writing, and then, the print world beckoned again. I was selected as the Chief Editor of Switzerland’s only English print news tabloid.  Soon, momhood came my way and I chose child over career. I went in for part-time writing jobs and editorial positions as 100% work was not my chosen option – not with 2 kids in tow! Then, I began my own communications company. But my heart was in words. I was fed up of editing – which I now call a sort of glamorized school teacher’s job. I wanted to write. To be read. To make a difference. But that’s another story… More than anything else, I  felt the need to connect with someone else who had made similar decisions of quitting a full-time job and not regretting it. I began googling acquaintances, teachers including Jerry Pinto. And then, I found Kiran Manral. She had moved from being a journalist to mom to blogger and was now a published author!  Thanks to Facebook, twitter and wordpress – I connected with her.

And I now introduce today’s Kiran and her new book “All Aboard!”. It fall under the genre: Chick lit/romance and has been published by Penguin Random House

I haven’t read it yet! But I will. For now: here’s a synopsis about her third book in Kiran’s words:

“When Rhea Khanna is dumped just days before her marriage, by her boyfriend of four years, the only thing she wants to do is to get out of the city to clear her head.  The opportunity presents itself immediately when her aunt, a retired school headmistress, invites her to accompany her on a Mediterranean cruise.

As Rhea struggles to cope with her grief of being dumped at the altar, she finds herself getting attracted to the seemingly unavailable Kamal Shahani—the infuriatingly attractive ex-student of her aunt and a hot-shot entrepreneur.  To add to the confusion, Sonia, Kamal’s very attractive ex-girlfriend boards the ship in a bid to win him back.

Will Rhea heal her broken heart, or will she end up even more shattered than she was when she got on this cruise? Read, to find out.”

And what more did I find about Kiran?

She’s no longer just one of the many journos on the TOI list where I first met her. She’s added and embellished her resume in more than one ways! She is now:

  • One of the leading bloggers in India, her blogs were listed in Labnol’s list of India’s top blogs, and her parenting blog was ranked among the top five parenting blogs in India by Blogadda. She was also a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues.
  • She was listed among the 10 non-celebrity ‘social media stars’ on twitter by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the 30 most interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter in 2013. Fashion 101.in named her as amongst the most stylish authors in India. Womensweb.in listed her as one of the 20 women authors from India to be followed on twitter.
  • Post the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long-term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She was part of core founding team behind Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month (http://www.csaawarenessmonth.com) and Violence Against Women Awareness Month (http://www.vawawareness.wordpress.com), two very well received social media awareness initiative.
  • Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012 and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart in May 2014. She has three books due for release in 2015, the first of these being All Aboard! from Penguin Random House.
  • She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi, an Author Mentor at sheroes.in and a columnist at iDiva.com. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.

That’s it from my Info desk now!

Cheers – and keep reading!