My Story

Author portrait by Kiran Ambwani

Once upon a time… under the stars, in a small town at the very centre of India, my grandmother – commanding and articulate - regaled me with tales. Gods, goddesses, demons, kings and commoners came to life in blazing technicolour.

I remember the lightening streaked skies of my childhood, reverberating thunder, sleeping outdoors on stifling summer nights. The giddy excitement of writing my own stories, getting published in my primary school magazine, storytelling with neighbours and classmates. Reading. Reading. Reading.

Fast forward to the 1980s: I was back in Bombay, the city of my birth, a journalist chasing deadlines and by-lines. It is the city that I knew then, the tough, tantalising, slum-speckled City of Gold — that was later renamed Mumbai — that I write about in Bombay Wali and other stories (Guernica Editions, 2013).

The earliest stories in Bombay Wali were actually written a decade later, in Toronto, while I was doing a Masters. (I got a small grant from the Writers' Reserve Program, Ontario Arts Council, in 1996.)

In Canada, I worked in communications for non-profit organizations. Here is some of my non-fiction writing. Through my two-year stint in international development, in Tanzania, grew a novel.

Where does my story end? In Montreal, where I live with my partner, Marc-Antoine, my stuffed toy family and my hat collection. But then, stories are cyclical; they have no end.