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Manjula Padmanabhan

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					Manjula Padmanabhan playwright journalist and a children book author



Manjula Padmanabhan has worked as a playwright, journalist and a children’s book author. She was

born in 1953 and went to a boarding school. She was born in Delhi and grew up in Sweden, Pakistan and

Thailand. After passing out university, she began to further her interests in writing in the publishing and

media industry. At the moment she lives in Delhi.



She has written Kleptomania which is a short-story collection. She is the creator of the iconic Suki, a

character for a comic strip that has been turned into a comic series for the Sunday Observer. She has

worked as a cartoonist for leading newspaper, The Pioneer. She has also writer plays such as Lights Out!,

Hidden Fires, The Artist’s Model, Harvest and Sextet. She has written books such as Escape, Getting

There, Hot Death, Cold Soup and Kleptomania.



Manjula Padmanabhan’s most famous play is Harvest. It focuses on body organ-selling in India. It is a

futuristic play that throws light on the desperation and the survival of a man and his family to sell organs

via an agency to someone in the first world for a paltry amount of money. In the process, Om’s (the man

who has been selling organs from India) life is turned upside-down and monitored by the agency. The

agency is obsessive with controlling the health of Om’s family which includes his mother, wife and he;

while the recipient from the first world watches them on a video-conferencing mode and treats them

like human dross. The play is heart-wrenching and Padmanabhan won the Onassis Prize in 1997 after it

was declared the Best New International Play. Govind Nihalani is working on a project to film this play.



Manjula Padmanabhan’s latest book is Getting There; it is a partial-autobiography. She has described it

as loosely based on her life between 1977 and 1978. Her short-story collection, Kleptomania is based
on extremely versatile and has a host of speculative fiction themes ranging from mystery to science. It

also centers on a post-apocalyptic world which is bleak, as-a-matter-of-fact and wry. It has stories of

love deceptions, rude awakenings and sexual realization. Further these stories are timeless in their

themes and universal in their appeal. Padmanabhan’s humor is stark and real and makes a reader step

out of a reverie. Escape is a harsh sketch of a dystopian world that reveals the life of the only girl in the

world where the rest of the women folk have been wiped out.



Manjula Padmanabhan’s favorite authors are RR Tolkien, Edgar Rice-Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac

Asimov, Phillip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein and Kurt Vonnegut.

				
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