Indian by origin and having grown up in Japan, I now live in England with my family. My upbringing has been that of a global citizen. And after having children, I am keen for my children to be global citizens while also to be proud of their own culture and heritage.
As a mother of two young children and a British Indian, I'm forever exploring ways to impart cultural knowledge to them. Also, adding variety to their bookshelf is something I actively work on.
My mission is for children not just to read well, but to be well read. Realising that this can be easily achieved if children can relate to the characters in a book, Dev and Ollie were created - Dev, a cheeky, curious and sometimes clumsy boy and Ollie his magical bedtime cuddly owl.
What sparked their conception was an Indian cultural festival experience in England. Festivals evoke the best of any culture! Colour, noise, excitement, family, laughter - all are perfect ingredients for children's stories with a universal appeal.
During my time in India from 1995 to 1999 for my undergraduate degree in computer science, I traveled extensively within India. That's when I experienced an array of amazing festivals.
Many more Dev and Ollie books will be released soon, not just about festivals in India, but unique festivals around the world that haven't been discovered on an international level...festivals that children will love to read about! In fact, some of these festivals are now included in my bucket (Tomatina Festival in Spain and Snow & Ice Festival in China)!
Since the launch of the book series in March 2015, I've been invited to numerous schools and libraries and was honoured with the Asian Women of Achievement award in May 2016. Most recently, I was honoured to be invited by Her Majesty The Queen for a reception hosted at Buckingham Palace to mark the official start to the UK-India Year of Culture 2017!