Hollywood ending for our Kavita

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 September, 2002, 12:00am

For years, Hong Kong's best-loved fashion journalist laboured in vain over her first novel. And for years, she would say its failure was exceeded only by that of her love life.

What a difference the right man makes. This week, Kavita Daswani's book - For Matrimonial Purposes - was the object of a frenzied bidding war, with Penguin Putnam picking up the United States rights for what Kavita's agent described as a 'significant sum'. (In bidding-speak significant is between 'good' and 'major'.) The auction for film rights is next month and Miramax and Warner Bros are preparing to slug it out.

The 55,000-word tome is the story of an Indian woman's search for love in the ultra-bitchy fashion worlds of New York and Bombay. It is funny, honest and moving. 'And it's more than a little autobiographical,' admitted Kavita (below), 37, who trained at the South China Morning Post and still contributes features and fashion stories.

So how did she pull it off? 'Meeting the right man was always going to be the key,' said Kavita. 'And it was.'

The man, Nissim Raymond, is also a writer. Their first child, son Jahan, was born a few months ago. 'Everything suddenly came together,' said Kavita. 'I got married, got pregnant, finished the book and then my son was born.'

And why are all these publishing houses fighting over her story? 'The people I've spoken to say they love the ending,' she said. 'It's a very, very happy ending.'

And no one deserved it more.