Books, Life & Motherhood; ItemTalks with Kiran Manral


Team ItemMom decided to chat up with various ItemMoms in this section. To get the ball rolling on ItemTalks we thought who better to start our journey with than Superwoman Kiran Manral.



She worked as a journalist with The Times of India and The Asian Age. Kiran was among the top bloggers in India, before she moved on to writing fiction. Her earlier novels include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush and All Aboard. She has also recently authored a book on parenting titled Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You.  Her forthcoming book, The Face at the Window, is due to be released at the end of Feb 16. She lives in Mumbai with her family and struggles with a serious Nutella addiction. She currently works in qualitative market research.

We chatted up and asked her a series of questions and this is what she had to say about them…


Q. Whom did you read the most when you were growing up?

Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and of course the classics; I read a lot of Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple as well. I think the best thing that happened to me was that I was an indiscriminate reader, and read anything and everything that came to my hands. I had a pile of Amar Chitra Kathas that was taller than me at one point of time.

Q. Do you have a go-to gook? Name please

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome; I must have read it gazillion times by now and probably know it by heart

Q. All your books can be divided into different genres.  How do you choose which genre to venture into next?

I don’t think I choose the genre, the genre chooses me. I just write the book making the most noise in my head at that particular moment.

Q. What can the readers expect from your latest venture?

My most recent book, Karmic Kids : The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You is a wildly funny account of the raising of my son, from year one to year ten. It is based on my very popular blog, Karmic Kids, which was among the top parenting blogs in India, which I shut down when he turned ten. It is humourous, poignant, emotional, practical and never preachy. I also have other moms and experts weighing in on various topics within the book.

My next book, The Face At The Window, which is being released at the end of this month is a darker, grimmer tale about a retired school teacher living at the foothills of the Himalayas, who is trying to wind up the skeins of her life, while waiting to die. She is also, scarily, being haunted by a very vicious entity.

Q.Amongst all the contemporary Indian English authors, whom have you read and who is your favorite?

So many wonderful authors, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is definitely one of my favourites, as are Rupa Gulab, Annie Zaidi and Shinie Antony,( I was just recently introduced to her writing and fell completely in love with). I also love Mahesh Rao’s writing.

Q. It is one of the most debatable topics that can a woman have it all? Like being a winner in professional, personal and social world at the same time? What do you believe in?

I would say why we want to have it all. Neither men nor women can have it all, so no point in killing ourselves trying. I am naturally very laidback so I would say be judicious of what you prioritize–and give your all to what you do. Having it all might be utopian, but giving something your all can be very emotionally satisfying and give you purpose, whether it is your work, your home, your children. And having said that, I think women multi task naturally, we can do much more if we put our minds to it.

Q. Any words of wisdom for our mothers who may struggle to find a balance between personal (child, husband, in laws, parents, and relatives) and her own (professional and social) world

Just prioritize and learn to say no. Do what is important to YOU. Don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first. Of course, don’t shirk responsibilities but spreading yourself too thin trying to please everyone will only make you the most resentful person ever. When you do what is important to you, you will be happy. And that is the most important gift you could give yourself.

Q. You have done it all…a Parent, Spouse, Journalist, Blogger, Mentor, Author, Advisor… so what’s next?

All? No, there’s lots more to come. Grandparent. Retired Person. etc.

You can find her books here -

Connect with her @kiranmanral on twitter.



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