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. I still love to pass on a book title or a favorite author to a friend (or a stranger for that matter). I’m particularly drawn to picture books on all themes and genres.
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 on experiences, places, and people less visible in children’s literature. I believe that 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.
Besides writing, I’m passionate about early childhood literacy. I’ve been doing story-time based early learning programs for young children for over a decade now. 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.