Bound’s first books podcast features guests like Manu Pillai, Lisa Ray and more

Why Bound:

Bound, founded by Tara Khandelwal, is one of India’s first literary companies that provides essential skill building for creatives of any kind. We create immersive retreats, host workshops, and create courses with 1:1 coaching. Part of our mission is to recruit India’s literary leaders to teach creative writing and to give tomorrow’s authors the tools to earn extra income and strengthen their craft through quality and affordable education.

In the past, Bound’s mentors have included authors like Chandrahas Chaudhury, Prayaag Akbar, Ratika Kapur, Amitabha Bagchi, Aditi Rao, Tashan Mehta, Pragya Bhagat and Rheea Mukherjee.

Our work has helped us build a community of over 6000+ writers, 2000+ influencers, journalists, and subscribers on social media. Beyond a passion for editing, we focus on growing organic, reliable relationships with each client, enabling them to grow independent and flourish. Our clientele has been published by Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette, Zubaan, Rupa and more. Media coverage from The Hindu, Conde Nast Traveller,, Mid-Day, Mint Lounge has helped us in our journey.

Through our work, we have gained a unique perspective on what aspiring writers’ want in their editors and coaches, what kinds of collaboration and guidance they look for, what kinds of stories they want to write and what they think of the publishing eco-system, self-publishing, social media and online magazines.

We’ve always tried to build and maintain a strong community of writers. Through ‘Books and Beyond with Bound’, we aim to take this one step further – to bring readers and aspiring writers closer to published authors and their works.

We get to know each writer’s creative process, their writing routine, the inspiration behind their books and what makes them tick through our brand new podcast.

We’ve had a lot of fun speaking to some of our favourite authors and now we want you to partake in the fun too! We can’t wait to share their stories with you. There are not many avenues in India where information about the literary world is easily accessible and that’s why Bound wanted to bring this podcast to you that is both fun and educational!

‘Books and Beyond with Bound’ probes deep into the lives and psyches of writers like never before. These writers are from different backgrounds and write in diverse genres. We’ve recorded with Manu Pillai, Lisa Ray, Rajat Ubhaykar, Tashan Mehta, Jane Borges, Abhijit Kini, Avni Doshi, Arshia Sattar, Deepanjana Pal, Suhit Kelkar, Vivek Tejuja, and Amrita Mahale! And this is just the first season. We are planning many more conversations with brilliant minds.


Just saying that this podcast was amazing or fantastic would be an understatement. Was totally bowled over by the candidness of Manu, the way he brought his books alive, his personal beliefs and the relentless passion with which he pursues writing. Also liked the questions posed which allowed the speaker to enumerate more. Great going Bound. I am looking forward to hearing more in the series.

 Rachna Sharma, Listener

About our first three guests:

  • Manu S. Pillai is the author of the Sahitya Akademi award-winning The Ivory ThroneRebel Sultansand The Courtesan, the Mahatma & the Italian Brahmin. Formerly Chief of Staff to Dr. Shashi Tharoor MP, he has worked with the House of Lords and the BBC and writes a weekly column for Mint Lounge. He is an alumnus of Fergusson College, Pune, and is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at King’s College, London.
  • Lisa Ray has had a long and serendipitous career in the entertainment arts spanning multiple countries and films including the Oscar-nominated Water. When diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, she shared her experiences in a blog called ‘The Yellow Diaries’ which led to her memoir ‘Close to the Bone’. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s Bazaar India. She recently signed a deal with her publisher Harper Collins, to write three more books. Lisa recently announced the birth of her twin daughters via surrogacy, in order to normalise fertility options for others. She divides her time between Mumbai, Singapore and the world.
  • Rajat Ubhaykar trained as an electrical engineer at IIT Kanpur, and went on to study journalism at the Asian College of Journalism after a stint in management consulting. A recipient of the PoleStar Award in 2016 for his reportage, his work has appeared in publications such as Mint, Outlook Business, Roads & Kingdoms, and Madras Courier. He lives in Mumbai, and spends his spare time reviewing books, collecting trivia, and exploring India’s archaeological sites. Truck de India is his first book.

Books and Beyond with Bound

We ask questions no one does and illicit responses that will make you see these accomplished Indian writers in a different light. Anyone interested in honest, heartfelt conversations about publishing, editing, writing and creativity at large, this podcast is for you.

-How do you make history accessible and interesting to the masses?

-How do you go on an extraordinary journey and then write about it?

-How do you go wild with your imagination and write sci-fi?

-How do you work on your manuscript for years and make sure it’s your best?

-How do you be resilient even in the face of rejection?

-How do you ensure that you keep your creative juices flowing and not let negativity get the best of you?

These are only some of the questions we address on the podcast.

We talk about family, hobbies, money, inspiration and aspirations. We discuss the realities of publishing and every step of the process that led them to where they are today. We ask them about their favourite books, their childhood memories and what they think of art, music, history, travel, movies and everything else they’re passionate about. We believe in the little things that make up a person.

Our podcast hosts are Tara Khandelwal and Michelle D’costa. Both are writers and editors. They bring their love for books and knowledge of the industry to these conversations and make them unique.

A graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia Publishing Course, Tara currently works with Asia’s largest literary agency, Writers’ Side. She has worked with Penguin, BloombergQuint, SheThePeople.TV and more.

A Mangalorean born and raised in Bahrain, Michelle edits an ezine called Kaani. Her poetry and prose have been published in over 40 literary journals like Eclectica, Litro UK, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Coldnoon and more.

Highlights from first three episodes:

  • Manu Pillai

“I discovered that in the 1880s, I had a great great grandmother who was a divorcee and twice married. Kerala still has India’s highest divorce rate, because culturally, there isn’t that much of a taboo attached to breaking up a marriage and moving on since there are historical links.”

“I’ve even been sent a defamation notice, but I don’t buckle under that sort of pressure.”

  • Lisa Ray

“I was sort of the victim of labeling, I think as a lot of young women are in the entertainment industry. I think that it’s an industry that is really infamous for stereotyping and typecasting in particular women and in particular, the era when I started in the 90s, where I think I referred to there were only basically two stereotypes that a woman could fall into either you were the virginal heroine, or you were the vamp right? That was it.”

“I’m a questing soul. I’m definitely a writer. I think you know if today if you had to ask me, what’s your bio what’s your CV, I’m very reluctant to share because I do feel that it always kind of restricts us and labels us right but I would say writer first and foremost, writing’s been my whole damn life.”

  • Rajat Ubhaykar

“My typical day would begin around after breakfast and I would go on the highway trying to find someone who was ready to take me, a truck driver trusting a complete stranger to just accompany him. That was how my day began. Once I was in the truck, I will just be in the moment and it’s like once you’re in the dark. That’s where the real fun begins.”

“The heart of traveling lies in unlearning, in demolishing all your preconceived notions about a place. Otherwise, it’s just tourism unless you are unlearning something about the place, it’s often there’s no sightseeing.”