Manjula Padmanabhan

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Manjula Padmanabhan (born 1953) is a playwright, journalist, comic strip artist, and children's book author.

Early life[edit]

Born in Delhi to a diplomat family in 1953, she went to boarding school in her teenage years. After college, her determination to make her own way in life led to works in publishing and media-related fields.

Career & Works[edit]

She won the Greek Onassis Award for her play Harvest. An award-winning film Deham was made by Govind Nihalani based on the play.

She has written one more powerful play, Lights Out! (1984), Hidden Fires is a series of monologues. The Artist's Model (1995) and Sextet are her other works.(1996).[1]

She has also authored a collection of short stories, called Kleptomania. Her most recent book, published in 2008, is Escape.[1]

Apart from writing newspaper columns she created comic strips. She created Suki, an Indian comic character, which was serialized as a strip in the Sunday Observer.[2] Before 1997 (the year her play Harvest was staged) she was better known as cartoonist and had a daily cartoon strip in The Pioneer newspaper.

As playwright[edit]

  • 1984 - "Lights Out"
  • 2003. Harvest. London: Aurora Metro Press.

As Author and Illustrator[edit]

  • 2013. Three Virgins and Other Stories New Delhi, India: Zubaan Books.
  • 2015. Island of Lost Girls. Hachette.
  • 2011. I am different! Can you find me? Watertown, Mass: Charlesbridge Pub.
  • 2008. Escape. Hachette.
  • 2005. Unprincess! New Delhi: Puffin Books.
  • 1986. A Visit to the City Market New Delhi: National Book Trust
  • 2003. Mouse Attack

As Illustrator[edit]

  • Baig, Tara Ali, and Manjula Padmanabhan. 1979. Indrani and the enchanted jungle. New Delhi: Thomson Press (India) Ltd.
  • Maithily Jagannathan and Manjula Padmanabhan. 1984. Droopy dragon. New Delhi: Thomson Press.

Comic Strips[edit]

  • 2005. Double talk. New Delhi: Penguin Books.


  1. ^ a b Matthan, Ayesha (3 January 2009). "Is it the great escape?". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  2. ^ Moddie, Mandira (28 August 2005). "Antics of Suki". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 August 2009.