Kalyani Chitta

an academician by pursuit, a banker by profession, a writer by passion


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

that I wrote a ‘novel’ when I was 14, I am obsessed with numbers, I can be really unreliable at times…!

What’s your greatest fear?

that one day I will have nothing to do in life

What is your greatest achievement?

negotiating 24 years of life with near blindness

High point of your life?

The moment when I held a copy of my book ‘At University…’ in my hand and felt the satisfaction of having realised a 14-year old dream of being a published writer

Low point of your life

The day I was awarded my doctorate in Economics since I felt like I had been swimming across an entire ocean only to reach an island where I realized there was nothing at all

Which living person do you most admire?

Manish Khare-a friend, philosopher and guide

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Edmond Dante, the protagonist of the novel ‘The Count of Monte Christo’

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Long John Silver, Treasure Island

Who are your favorite authors?

George Orwell, O’Henry, John Keats

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Animal Farm (George Orwell), If God was a banker (Ravi Subramanyam), Confessions of an Economic Hitman (John Perkins) , Airborne to Chairborne (M. P. Anil Kumar), King Lear (Shakespeare)

Is there a book you love to reread?

A short story titled Cop and the Anthem by O’ Henry , Stephen Leacock’s works ‘My Financial Career’, ‘With the Photographer’

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Step Mom, A Wednesday, Chillar Party, A Beautiful Mind , Koshish

One Superpower you wish you had?

To become invisible at will (it would be of greatest utility when I am in office I reckon….!)

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

In order to be able to dream big in life and be able to realize your dreams you need vision, not sight ….

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

I would be happy to spend all my life in Pune

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

I wish I could draw since my current reputation with this art form is that I cannot draw a straight line even with a scale

Which book you wish you had written ?

Can’t think of a book but I wish I could have written the following lines of Dorothy Parker “If I should labour through daylight and dark Consecrate, valorous, serious, true, Then on the world I may blazon my mark And what if I don’t and what if I do?’

When and where do you write ?

Anywhere, anytime whenever a compelling thought arises in my mind . For instance, I wrote the title poem of my book At University... while waiting for a friend at a bus-stop in the campus of the University of Pune

Silence or music?

Mostly music

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

Not anymore but early on in my career as a writer I used a particular ink-pen to copy my poems from rough pages to the poem notebook

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

I somehow always have an urge to read something random before an examination

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Dont ever ‘decide’ to write; your best work will always come to you naturally and effortlessly

Kalyani Chitta is an academician by profession, presently associated with the Department of Economics, University of Pune as a visiting faculty for the M.A. programme in Economics and as a research associate, pursuing the PhD programme in the area of International Economics At University is her debut work as far as publication is concerned though writing has been her passion since childhood. Kalyani was diagnosed with a visual disorder at the age of nine that causes progressive loss of vision. However, this physical challenge is not reflected anywhere in the way she conducts her life, whether it's about her academics, her professional career or her attitude towards life. Her academic career is marked by brilliance and she has a number of mention-worthy achievements to her credit - the award of a National Merit Certificate by the Government of India for her outstanding performance at the HSC examination, qualification of the UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) in her very first attempt, research paper presentations at various national and international conferences - to name a few. On the professional front, she has been associated with various prestigious educational institutions in Pune as a teaching associate and is now steadily growing in stature as a researcher. She has also completed three years of training in Hindustani classical music. But Kalyani's greatest achievement is perhaps the attitude with which she has handled the nineteen years of her life with retinitis pigmentosa. Challenges never intimidate her; rather, they motivate her. Failures seldom dishearten her and the only regret she has is that she would have loved to drive a car, which she is presently unable to. In order to be able to dream (and dream big, preferably) and strive towards realizing your dream, you need vision, not sight- is a statement she has inscribed on the walls of her room and a thought she has put into practice through her exemplary grit and determination. I could write a book on Kalyani, but for the moment, all I wish to say is that Kalyani for me is 'Courage Personified'

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Debashis Biswas

With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Walid Jalal

Walid has 7 years experience in online listing & marketing Working in SEO firm & Publishing sector. He worked in a Restaurant as a Manager in Sharjah for two years. He loves cricket & cooking.

Jayati Sarkar

Jayati has been into literature studies and has pursued her Mphil in Australian Aboriginal Poetry from the University of Calcutta. She is an avid reader and her love for books has brought her to the field of Publishing. For years she has explored the other side of the book as a reader and now she works with Leadstart as the Senior Executive in the Editorial Department. Her work profile includes working closely with Authors, managing the projects from end to end and also working with national and international publishers for management of Secondary Rights.

Ashwini Jadhav

Ashwini has about a decade’s experience in design. She is a Master of Commercial Art, who has worked in the publishing and advertising sectors as a visualiser & designer. She was judged as the third best in the state, when she finished her foundation course in applied art. She is a practicing calligrapher in Modi Lipi (a script in the Marathi language) and is a Rangoli artist who has won several accolades in those domains. During the popular Ganesh Chaturthi festival, several idols of Ganesha in varying sizes get made, one the most important finishing touches to the idol is that of painting the eyes, which Ashwini has practiced to perfection and does it for hundreds of idols every year. In addition to the above, she is also a trained classical dancer, a national level Kabaddi player and loves cooking.

Ananya Subramanian

Graduation in journalism and love for books, led Ananya to take up a career in publishing. With her experience in the field, she has come to believe more and more in the power of stories and the people who tell them. She is a vegan and an animal-lover; and loves to dance, tend to her pet plants and often find solace in solo travelling.

T. Vijay Kumar

Vijay has over a decade’s experience in supply chain management working in India and the Middle East. He heads the production, supply chain and receivables management for Leadstart. Prior to his current role at Leadstart, Vijay worked in inventory management for five years, in Abu Dhabi.

Iftikar Shaikh

Iftikar has a decade & half years of experience across publishing and the banking sectors in the finance domain. He enjoys working on numbers and loves uncovering stories that the numbers tell. A fitness enthusiast, he loves trekking and travelling.

Maneesha Arun

Maneesha has an experience of over two decades in the content industry spanning over publishing, media and secondary rights business domains. She has a deep interest in psychology.

Mahendra Rawat

With more than a decade’s experience in book sales and distribution, Mahendra comes from a family immersed in the book trade. He worked with several book distributors and publishers before his current assignment with Leadstart.


With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Rajesh Krishnan

Rajesh comes with over 3 decades of experience spread over various business domains. He oversees Leadstart’s business development & sales across southern & western India, Sri Lanka and Middle-East. His hobbies include dancing, trekking and travelling

Pooja Dutt

Pooja has over a decade’s experience in operations, sales and people management in various business domains. She loves to interact with authors and helps them meet their publishing goals. She is fond of travelling & cooking.

Bhavika Bharambe

After completing her MBA in marketing, Bhavika has focused on roles that helped her to become an experienced marketing professional today. She has worked for brands from various industries; Educational, Tourism, Retail, Entertainment, Airlines, Banking and more. She loves to spend her time by reading books and listening to music.

Naina Solanki

Naina leads the project management and author support functions at Leadstart Publishing. She is fond of being abreast of the latest developments in technology and is a keen learner of the six sigma methodology. She loves reading and travelling.

Preeti Chib

Preeti has a decade’s experience in brand and communication management with most influential and innovative media companies. She is passionate about building brands by translating consumer insights into product innovations and campaigns. She is a compulsive reader and considers a day gone without some bit of reading a day wasted. She loves reading stories to her children every night. A lover of visual art, to delve a bit deeper into the same, she took up formal training for design as well.

Malini Nair

Malini is passionate about Literature and Business Management. After her MBA (Marketing) from St. Xavier’s, she took up roles that involved sales, marketing, costing, MIS etc. in multiple sectors like Banking, Insurance, E-broking, and even the Steel industry. Eventually, her passion for languages and books compelled her to re-route her career to literature. This led to a career break and a Masters Degree in English Literature; post which she took up a role at Wordit CDE & Leadstart, enabling her to work towards both her passions.

Chandralekha Maitra

With two decades of experience as a book publishing professional, Chandralekha began her career as a features writer and columnist, working with publications across India, before moving into book publishing full time, with India Book House. She received her training in editorial title management from Book House, London. Over the years she has worked with some of the finest publishing houses in India and overseas, and across genres and markets. She has also worked with Osian’s-Connoisseurs of Art, India’s first auction house, gaining in-depth exposure to research and publishing in the fine arts-antiquities-cultural heritage genres. Additionally she has had a parallel, specialist career in Human Resources, working at Group HR, Tata Group, among others. She continues to write, train and mentor in this domain as her publishing commitments allow.

Raj Supe

Aka Kinkar Vishwashreyananda, Raj Supe is a poet, storyteller and novelist, as well as a seeker and devotee of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. An MBA by education, his career spanned advertising, research and creative consulting, before devoting his time to literature and spirituality. His works include Three No Trumps (novel), Sagarika Anusagarika [Echoes of Nine Rivers] (poetry), Pilgrim of the Sky (spiritual memoir), and translations of religious texts such as Cloudburst of A Thousand Suns and Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. He has also worked on film scripts with Ram Gopal Verma and Ashutosh Gowariker, and on plays with Makarand Deshpande.

Dr. Rabindra Kumar Nanda

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Stanford University, Dr Nanda is also a National Science Talent Search Scholar. He holds five Patents and is a published author of 50 national and 52 international research papers.

Swarup Nanda

Swarup has over a decade and half’s experience in multiple business domains related to content. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, he has worked with a couple of MNCs in the media space. His passion for literature and books is his motivation for building Leadstart.