Novel: Once Upon A Crush by Kiran Manral deals with love & lust of everyday kind

Out on April 15th, Once Upon A Crush is the second novel after ‘The Reluctant Detective’ by Kiran Manral. Kiran is an author, blogger, journalist, media consultant, speaker and a social activist. Her stories have been published at Conde Nast Traveller, Tehlka Blog and with many other renowned publications. She has dabbled with modeling for brands like Dove, Parle-G, Tangerine – Colors of Life, etc. She was voted as a ‘social media star’ on twitter by the TOI. IBN Live named her as among the 30 interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter for 2013. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.

Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral

She is also the founder of India Helps, a volunteer network which works with disaster victims, and is part of the core team that has worked on Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month April 2011/12 and Violence Against Women Awareness Month October 2011/12.

Mumbaigloss was completely thrilled to feature a multifaceted and talented woman liker her who is also a mum to 10 year old Krish. She rather likes to introduce herself as a school-gate mom who was a journalist once but now a blogger and a writer. Kiran, 42, has come out with another interesting chic-lit called Once Upon A Crush, which is a rom-com and a fun read. She brings out the anxiety of the growing breed of young Indian women who are hitting 30s and are yet to marry; the social stigma of marrying late, the parental intrusion while choosing a partner, the constant pressure of striving for a career which might give a fat pay cheque but is not fulfilling enough. We decided to ask her more about her latest novel.

Once Upon A Crush, Kiran Manral

MG: Kiran, thank you for being a part of Mumbaigloss. Can you tell us why should our readers buy this book? Is it based on true life events? Who is the inspiration behind the main characters?

KM: The story of Once Upon A Crush is quite simple. It is about a girl Rayna De, almost hitting 30, feeling the pressure from her parents to ‘settle down’. Not having found the perfect man, she is ‘seeing’ prospective suitable partners. She has a completely inappropriate crush on a man in her office, and tries hard not to make a fool of herself. It isn’t based on true life events in my life for sure, but a lot of chats I’ve had with friends. The inspiration behind the characters were the many late twenties women I’ve spoken to, who are single in the city and can’t seem to find the right person to settle down with.

Kiran Manral, Konkona Sen, Dove event

Kiran Manral (extreme left) with Konkona Sen at the Dove event

MG: How is it different from the various chic-lits available in the market?

KM: The tone of the novel is terse. It is irreverent, it is fun, and yet it is very emotional because it deals with a certain stage in the life of the protagonist where nothing seems to be going right for her and she’s questioning everything about herself. It is not all rose-tinted like other stories

MG: Your book involves office romance. And in present day scenario, it is very common to develop crushes on someone which may develop into a full-fledged relationship. What is your advice to both parties, in case they are committed or married?

KM: I’ve heard of this strangest new phrase “work spouse” wherein folks who are married or committed, have folks in the office they are so close to that they almost consider them spouses. I haven’t been working full time for over ten years now, but I would like to state that it is very easy to develop an emotional or romantic attachment with someone in the workplace, given one is spending long hours together with them, and is probably getting from them the attention one perceives one isn’t getting from a spouse. In such a situation, it might be good to step back a bit, examine why there is a gap in your committed relationship to allow a third person to enter between the two of you. And an office relationship can get very messy, it is best to stay away. (reproduced from Preeti Shenoy’s blog)

Tisca Chopra, Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral with Tisca Chopra at the launch of her first book


MG: What is your take on crush and lust? Is there a difference? How do you differentiate between the two? Is it different from being in love?

KM: Ah, you might not lust after a crush. A crush makes you feel all gooey and warm within you, there is a flutter in your heart and goose bumps when you touch each other accidently. It is the magical era when everything seems rosy! When in lust, you might not care if you don’t see the person the next day.

And love, that’s a different level altogether. It is when you know a person’s good, bad and ugly and still you want to be with that person forever and ever and ever. That is my definition of love.

Pooja Bedi, Akashdeep Sehgal, Pooja Bedi

Akashdeep Sehgal and Pooja Bedi with Kiran Manral

Well said Kiran! I am not sure how many of us would agree to this definition of love but we are certainly game for a new entertaining chic-lit from you. What say ladies? Go pre-order it at Flipkart, Crossword, Landmark, infibeam, etc.

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India,,, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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