By AK Dale
PUNE, India – There were plenty of days working as full-time television producer in India.
In the end, Manjiri Prabhu decided to quit all of that to become an author dedicated to the craft of penning thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense tales.
While also caring for street dogs in Pune, India.
“Bipin, my office colleague and I have been married for sixteen years and we have a dog called Tuggy,” Prabhu said. “She is my official kid and there are many unofficial ones – dogs – in my Colony.”
Prabhu has a Ph.D. in Communication and an MA in French while publishing her books in English. All told, these and other accomplishment added up to a future as a writer.
“I grew up with one certainty in my mind – that I wanted to be a writer,” Prabhu said. “As a child I devoured Enid Blyton books and knew that I wanted to create the same magic in the hearts of readers, as she had created in mine. I used to write for hours, in longhand, unaware of the world around me, or food or play. It was just me and my ‘novel’. I’ve been writing since age seven.”
She knew this was the direction Prabhu wanted to go in and committed herself to the art after leaving her former profession.
“I quit my full-time job so that I could concentrate on my writing, but paradoxically, my biggest obstacle now is the amount of undisciplined free time I have on hands,” she said. “You have to be strict with yourself and be your own boss, if you want to avoid other temptations and concentrate on your writing. But since my decision to quit my job and pursue writing was an emotional one and I had the full support of my husband and family, I have decided to plod on.”
Plodding on may not actually be a part of the woman’s repertoire. Prabhu has had plenty of support to keep her on her toes and springing forward.
“My eldest sister Leena has encouraged me to write since childhood,” Prabhu said. “Even now she reads all my manuscripts and advises me on the quality of my writing. I trust her judgment explicitly. And after marriage, my husband too has become an indispensable leaning support in my life.”
That support has given the writer confidence and it shows when speaking about her first works as her trip down a successful path begins.
“I really haven’t done that much work yet and I believe that I’ve put in my best in every novel I have written,” she said. “I am very proud of my novels The Cosmic Clues and The Astral alibi for several reasons. They have a unique format – several cases solved within a novel with the research-based use of Indian Vedic Astrology. They present the modern Indian scenario which includes the lifestyle and culture of the people. This forms a part of the plots and takes the story, emotions forward as well as helps the characters grow in maturity. Of course, they are special, because I’ve worked tremendously hard for them.”
One piece Prabhu could find herself working on could be off in the near future.
“I would love to write a book like Gone With the Wind,” she admitted. “It is one of my favorite novels and a book which has taught me a lot about characterizations.”
Her first work was published in 1994 and since then she worked on plenty of TV works and short films. She directed 200 short films for children’s television and many films such as travelogues, dramas, and social messaging for online sites.
Now she writes and takes care of the dogs out on the streets.
“I am also an active animal lover and take care of the street dogs in my area,” Prabhu said. “I get them sterilized, vaccinated and feed them regularly. Whenever possible I try to help get pups adopted.”
Sounds like a life far from going to the dogs and Prabhu could find herself one day reaping the benefits of all her efforts.
“I’d like a vast readership that adores my novels and having the luxury of traveling the world so that I can include as many varied locations and people in my novels as possible,” she said.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on MANJIRI PRABHU
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