Kiran Manral is an Indian writer, blogger, media consultant and the founder of India Helps, a volunteer network which works with disaster victims. She has also worked with several publishing houses as a features writer and journalist.
A self-professed school gate mom, she lives in Mumbai with her family. She has written books like Reluctant Detective, Once Upon a Crush, All Aboard and Karmic Kids.
Her books are available on Amazon
I first visited Calcutta as part of a school trip which took us on further to the beautiful Darjeeling. We stopped for a day in the city, and specifically Howrah railway station. An entire bogie of the train which comprised us students and teachers from two different schools who were part of the trip spent the night at the station. Calcutta hit me like one of those waves you don’t see coming, are incapable of defending yourself against and end up getting swept away unresistingly.
It was perhaps, the start of my infatuation with Calcutta. So far, my equation with Calcutta had remained that of the onlooker who saw the city through the gaze of the cinema that was set in it, the stories I read based in it. This though, was different. This was the city, live, pulsating, and irresistible.
I visited it next, as a guest of dear blogging friends who had become a sisterhood. I stayed at one’s lovely home, was taken around the city by them all, hosted for a lavish Bengali home cooked meal at another’s and this was when, I realised, as John Green famously said, that I had fallen in love with Calcutta, “like you fall asleep, slowly at first and then all at once.”