Well, here’s my story…
Madras. I still like to call it Madras. It is Chennai now. The bustling metropolis in southern India was my only home until I moved to the U.S at the turn of the millennium. A master’s degree in electrical engineering, a coast-coast move, and a brief corporate stint later, I decided I wanted to write for children. Most of all, motherhood that happened somewhere in between transformed me and my dreams.
Quite ironically, I started out writing for adults – I blogged on multicultural children’s literature sharing resources and reviewing books. Then, in 2010, the first book I co-authored for children was published in India. I went on to publish three more books, mostly narrative non-fiction.
Meanwhile, I realized that my own children raised across two cultures didn’t see themselves or their experiences in the books they read. A few years ago, I felt compelled to tell our stories – to share the joys and struggles of immigrant life and the exploration of identity across labels. I believe my life across two continents, the East and West, puts me at a vantage point to tell these stories. I’m almost always tempted to write about experiences, places, and people less visible in children’s literature because these stories have the power to take children into newer spaces and into unseen lives. And I hope that they leave them more empathetic and inspired to celebrate our diverse world.
I continue to fantasize about a world with no borders, often over steamy cups of chai that help me stay warm in foggy Northern California.