Straight from Passions

Aastha Atray is the winner of Mills and Boon India Passions II. Her story of 2000 words titled ‘The Poor Rich Girl and the Man with a Menacing Grin’, made her the winner of Passions II contest. Her novel, ‘His Monsoon Bride’ is out in stores now and has Indian models on the cover. Her book revolves around Amrita Piramal, a rich heiress who finds happiness working in a public interest magazine and helping out people. The soft spoken yet independent girl is a natural Indian curvaceous beauty. Her life goes on uneventful till she meets Mehtab, a handsome millionaire with a ruthless and stern exterior and needs a wife to convince that his playboy days are over and that he’s finally settled down to business. With her family bankrupt, Amrita is forced to accept Mehtab’s shocking proposal. The book takes the reader through their journey of discovering love, with the fake marriage beginning to feel too real.

Aastha took inspiration from her own love story which is very fairytale-like. She met her husband, Kishore Bannan, an audio engineer in Mumbai when she was 23 and was not looking for a relationship. Kishore was not “her type”. But after she moved back to Delhi, they started talking on phone all the time and got married within the next six months. Even today, she says it puts a smile on her face when she sees her husband. She is a romantic at heart and she is glad she can now bring romance in other people’s life through words.

Aastha was always aware of the fact that she would end up living her life playing with words. Words were always her companion and she could very easily express herself with them. When she was young, she used to write short stories and novels about her life with her friends. Her stories became more relationship and love centric by the time she grew up.

“I read about Milan Vohra winning the contest last year and decided to give it a shot," says Atray, adding that she took just over an hour to write the story. When she was working with a newspaper, she got a chance to write about the first Indian Mills and Boon author, Milan Vohra and this year, she decided to take a chance at it. To convert a 2000 word story into 35,000 words was a challenge and Aastha enjoyed it. “I followed my editor’s instructions and made sure that the language, setting and characters were Indian,” says Aastha. Her story is not set in a luxurious or exotic place but is very simple and real. The title is ‘His Monsoon Bride’ since she began writing the book during the monsoon. She is looking forward to write another book probably in the Nocturnal genre soon.

She did it. You can live your dream too. Send in your entries for Passions to  or visit our website

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