Bangalore based Abhijit Bhaduri is the Chief Learning Officer for the Wipro Group and earlier led HR teams at Microsoft, PepsiCo, Colgate and Tata Steel. He is on the Advisory Board of Wharton’s prestigious program for Chief Learning Officers run by the University of Pennsylvania. He has published three books with Harper Collins: ‘Mediocre But Arrogant’, ‘Married But Available’ and ‘Do not hire the best’. A man of many interests, Abhijit has illustrated several books and is an amateur cartoonist. He loves theatre and has acted in plays staged in India, Kuala Lumpur and US. He hosted a popular radio show about classic Hindi movies and film music and has written columns for newspapers and journals.
Ajoy Bose, a prolific journalist and author began his career in Patriot newspaper and went on to become Delhi correspondent of Sunday magazine. He also started the Delhi edition of The Sunday Observer and was India correspondent of The Guardian. He has also authored For Reasons of State: Delhi under Emergency and The Shah Commission. In 2008, he wrote Behenji – a political biography of Mayawati.
Sr. Special Correspondent/Anchor with TV Today. Author – Tales from Shining and Sinking India. In search of the next big story.
Akash Banerjee reports on politics and conflict related issues from diverse locations across the Indian subcontinent. As a news anchor he is also a familiar face on TV.
Educated at La Martiniere Boys’ College and St. Stephens College, he has worked with organisations like Times Now, Headlines Today and Radio Mirchi. You can track him on twitter @akashbanerjee or view his photo blog on Flickr.
Akash Kapur is the author of India Becoming: A Journey Through a Changing Landscape. His articles and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Economist, Granta, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Outlook, among other publications.
He used to write a fortnightly ‘Letter from India’ column for the International Herald Tribune and the online edition of The New York Times.
Akash lives with his wife and two children in Auroville, where he also grew up. His work can be found at www.akashkapur.com.
Akbar Mirza Khaleeli
Akbar Mirza Khaleeli is a former diplomat and has served in Iraq (1960- 62),Sri Lanka (1962-65), France (1967-70), as Charge d’Affaires to Jordan (1970-73), as Ambassador to Iran (1980-84), Italy (1986-90) and High Commissioner to Australia (1991-94).
Born in Bangalore in 1936 and having had his schooling at the Bishop Cottons Boys’ School and later Doveton Corrie Boys’ High School, Madras/Chennai, he got a BA(Honours) Economics degree from Loyola College, Madras and Bachelor of Law from Madras Law College in 1959. He has special interest in Persian poetry, literature, painting and history. He was also a tennis champion, and a keen athlete. He hails from the illustrious family of the former Dewan of Mysore State Sir Mirza Ismail, whose grandson he is.
Amandeep Sandhu was born in Rourkela. He has lived in Orissa, Uttrakhand, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. He has a Masters in English Literature from the University of Hyderabad and is currently settled in New Delhi.
He has worked as a farm-hand, woolen-garment seller, shop assistant, tuition master, teacher, journalist with The Economic Times, technical writer with Novell Inc, Oracle Corporation, and now Cadence Design Systems.
Literature, for him, is an understanding of the essential human struggle to become complete. He writes to understand himself and his world, and to sleep peacefully.
Sepia Leaves is his first work of fiction.
Amish Tripathi is a Mumbai-based author. Tripathi’s debut work The Immortals of Meluha after being rejected from several publishers went on to becoming a surprise bestseller that too landing the top seller charts within a week of its release. The Immortals of Meluha, which also is the first in the Shiva Trilogy is a fictional biography of Lord Shiva.
Tripathi holds a weighty management degree from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta. He has worked in the financial service industry for about 14 years before turning to writing as a career. Amish was interested in being a historian, and he chose a career in finance because he thought he couldn’t afford the former.
Annie Chandy is director, Unisun Publications. A first rank holder at the BA, MA and MPhil University Examinations, she taught for 22 years at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. Responsible for setting up the Communicative English Programme in College, she has presented several papers.
She has served as a resource person for institutions like the Media Centre, St John’s Medical College Observation Team, the Bangalore University, Kathalok, FOCET and ELT. An educational activist, she headed a team involved in content creation and the editing of English Readers for Macmillan.
Annie Zaidi is the author of Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, an essay collection short-listed for the Vodafone Crossword book awards, and the co-author of The Bad Boy’s Guide to the Good Indian Girl. Her work has appeared in anthologies including Mumbai Noir; Women Changing India; India Shining, India Changing; and literary journals including Pratilipi, and Desilit. Her first Hindi play ‘Jaal’ opened in 2012 as part of Writers Bloc, in Mumbai. Her latest book is Love Stories # 1-14, a collection of short stories forthcoming from HarperCollins.
Aroon Raman runs a research and innovation company out of Bangalore. He divides his spare time between trekking, supporting NGOs, travel and writing.
His debut novel, The Shadow Throne, broke new ground in Indian thriller fiction and went on to become a national bestseller. His second book, The Treasure of Kafur, is a tale of high adventure set in Mughal India and is due for release by Pan Macmillan in December 2013.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
Ashwini Nachappa is an accomplished Indian athlete and gained fame around the start of the 1980s, when she outran P.T. Usha on two separate occasions. She has since been referred to as India’s FloJo and in 1990 she received the prestigious Arjuna award. She has also acted in Tollywood films, as well as being noted as a social worker and educationist.
She has also built a school. Aswini Nachappa represented India in three South Asian Federation Games in 1984 (hosted in Nepal – won 2 silver medals), in 1986 (hosted in Bangladesh – won 2 silver medals and in 1988 (hosted in Pakistan – won 3 gold medals), her participation in two Asian Games, one held in 1986 in South Korea (she stood 6th in long jump) and another held in 1990 in Beijing, China (she won silver medal in 4 x 100 m relay). She also represented India in two World Championships, one in 1987 in Rome (she was the member of the 4 x 400 m relay) and another in 1991 in Tokyo (she was the member of the 4 x 400 m relay)
Syeda Khushtara Banu, more popularly known as Banu Mushtaq, is a well-known Kannada writer and a leading social activist from Karnakata.
She has won numerous awards for her literary works and social activism, including the International Women’s Award for Radio and Television (1999), the Karnataka Women Writers Association’s Gudibandde Poornima Best Poetess Award (1999), the Karnataka Government’s Rajyotsava award for literature (2002), the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award (2004), and the Akhil Bharatiya Jain Women’s Mahastambhshekha Award (2004).
The Kannada film Haseena based on a story of a Muslim woman written by her and directed by the well-known Girish Kasaravalli, won numerous national awards and was screened in several international film festivals. Banu Mushtaq lives in Hassan, Karnataka, where she works as an advocate and still remains involved in various social movements.
Baraguru Ramachandrappa is a Kannada writer, film director and screenplay writer. He was conferred the Pampa Prashasti by the state government in 2011 and got best storywriter award for the film Ondu Oorina Kathe.
His notable works include Suntaragali, Ondu Urina Kathegalu, Kannadabimana, Kappu Nelada, Kempukayi, Marakutika, Rajakarani, Sutra, Kantessa Kavya. He has bagged many international, national and state awards for his Kannada films.
Benjamin Law is a Brisbane-based writer and journalist. His essays have been anthologised in The Best Australian Essays, and he is a frequent contributor to frankie, Good Weekend, The Monthly and Qweekend. He has been published in over 50 magazines, websites and journals in Australia and worldwide, and his debut book The Family Law was shortlisted for Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards. His second book is Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East. He holds a doctorate in creative writing and cultural studies from the Queensland University of Technology, and is a frequent guest on Australian radio and TV.
Bhawana Somaaya commenced her career in the late 70s as Chief Reporter with Free Press Journal’s film weekly titled Cinema Journal then moved to Super as Special Correspondent.
In 1981 she joined Movie magazine as Assistant Editor and in 85 was promoted as Joint Editor. In 2000 became Editor Chief of Screen, a film weekly of The Indian Express Group. In 2012 was appointed as the Editor Chief of Block Buster.
Her involvement with Hindi Cinema has not always been as a commentator. Critical of the unrealistic, stereotypical costumes of the Hindi film heroine, she had taken up a challenge from Shabana Azmi and turned designer. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards and has contributed columns to various publications like The Observer, The Afternoon, Janmabhoomi, Pravasi & The Hindu.
Bhawana Somaaya has been on the Advisory Panel of CBFC. She has to her credit nine books in a span of 10 years which include Amitabh Bachchan – The Legend, Salaam Bollywood, Take 25 – Star Insights & Attitudes, The Story so far, Cinema – Images & Issues, Hema Malini – Authorized Biography, Fragmented Frames, Krishna – The God who lived as Man (translation), Bachchanalia, Amitabh Laxicon, Mother Maiden Mistress.
She is currently the creative consultant to Enlighten Films and their website Dear Cinema, a guest lecturer at MET college and serving her second term on the Advisory Panel of Central Board of Film Certification. Somaaya does a weekly film review and a Sunday show on 92.7 Big Fm. She has two books in the pipeline.
Biman Nath is the author of two novels Nothing is Blue: 2009: HarperCollins India; The Tattooed Fakir: 2012: PanMacmillan India), and a few popular science books in English and Bengali. His first novel was shortlisted for the Vodafone-Crossword fiction award 2009. He was born in Assam, and currently lives in Bangalore, where he works as an astrophysicist at an institute.
Bolwar Mahamad Kunhi
A postgraduate with gold medal in Kannada literature, he has penned eight collections of short stories, a novel, two stage plays and six children’s books. He has also edited a number of literary works in Kannada. Mr. Bolwar is credited with having first introduced the Muslim ethos and culture into creative Kannada prose.
A Fellow of the Karnataka Sahitya Akademy, he has been conferred with several awards at the national and state levels including awards from the National Academy of Letters, Bharathiya Sahitya Samsthana, Katha, Aryabhatta, Parashurama, Taulavashree, Shivarama Karantha Balavana etc. He has also won National and State awards for his contributions to Kannada Films.
He is the author of Papu Gandhi Bapu Aada Kathe which won the Kendriya Sahitya Akademy Award and of Thattu Chappale Putta Magu, with well-known Kannada songs for children.
Boria Majumdar, a Rhodes scholar, is the author of a number of best-selling works on Indian sport, like Twenty-Two Yards to Freedom: A Social History of Indian Cricket, Olympics: The India Story (with Nalin Mehta) and Sellotape Legacy – Delhi and the Commonwealth Games (with Nalin Mehta). His new book is Cooking on the Run: An Average Indian Man’s Encounters with Food.
Chandrahas Choudhury is a novelist and literary critic based in Delhi. He is the author of the novel Arzee the Dwarf (HarperCollins, 2009), published in German and Spanish in 2012 under the title The Little King of Bombay. He is also the editor of India: A Traveller’s Literary Companion, and reviews books for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He writes a literary weblog at middlestage.blogspot.com.
Chetan Bhagat is the author of six blockbuster novels – Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of my life (2008), 2States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011) and What Young India Wants (2012).
His books have remained bestsellers since their release, and have been adapted into major Bollywood films. The New York Times called him the ‘the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history.’ Time magazine named him in the “100 Most Influential People in the world” and Fast Company, USA listed him as one of the world’s “100 most creative people in business.”
Chetan writes columns for leading English and Hindi newspapers, focusing on youth and national development issues. He is also a motivational speaker. He quit his international investment banking career in 2009, to devote his entire time to writing and make change happen in the country. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Anusha, an ex-classmate from IIMA and his twin boys Shyam and Ishaan.
Danish Sheikh graduated from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, following which he pursued a master’s degree at the University of Michigan Law School on a Michigan Grotius Fellowship. He works at the Alternative Law Forum conducting research and advocacy relating to Gender and Sexuality law and Free Speech. He is also collaborating on an anthologized novel titled Invisible Libraries due for publication by Yoda Press later this year.
Gautam Padmanabhan is the CEO of Westland Ltd., a sub-sidiary of Trent Ltd, a Tata Enterprise. He has more than 25 years experience in all aspects of the business of books. He started out with retail and distribution and today helms one of the fastest growing trade publishing programmes in the country.
Westlands list of bestselling authors include Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Rujuta Diwekar, Rashmi Bansal, Harsha & Anita Bhogle, Devdutt Pattanaik and Shiv Khera.
Greystroke aka Shyam Madhavan Sarada is a self-taught artist, who has been drawing ever since he can remember. He has been a writer, illustrator, cartoonist and art director for several children’s magazines and books. When he isn’t doing all this, he takes photographs and makes films. He is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Harish Bijoor, brand-expert and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, is currently a Brand Domain specialist operating out of Bangalore. He loves quizzing and is an active Business and Marketing Quiz Master. He recently published the book, Marketing Trends – Smart Insights into the world of Indian Business and is currently involved in his second book on core-branding, Brand Irrationals: a fundamental journey into brand-think. He has simultaneously been commissioned to write a book on ‘Customer Service Mechanisms’ at play in contemporary marketing contexts.
I P Khosla
Ambassador IP Khosla was educated at St. Stephens College, Delhi University and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, MA (Economics). He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1960 and served initially in Vienna and Algiers, where he helped to establish the Embassy, and in Myanmar. He has also served as Counsellor (POL) in London. Thereafter he served as India’s Ambassador to Bhutan, High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Ambassador to Afghanistan, and to the Netherlands.
He was Secretary to government in the Ministry of External Affairs, 1989-92. He retired from service in 1996.
He has written extensively on security issues including non-traditional security, as also on other matters relating to India’s external interests, particularly India’s relations with South Asian neighbours, and SAARC. He is currently Member Secretary of the Indian Council for South Asian Cooperation and Editor- in- Chief of South Asian Survey, the biannual journal/publication of the Council.
Jahnavi Barua is a writer based in Bangalore. Her first book, Next Door, a collection of short stories was published by Penguin India in 2008 to wide critical acclaim. Her second book and first novel, Rebirth, was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Award and the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize.
Jaishree Misra has written seven novels published by Penguin and Harper Collins. She has an MA in English Literature from Kerala University and two post-graduate diplomas from the University of London, in Special Education and Broadcast Journalism. She currently divides her time between London, Kerala and Delhi, where she helps at a residential unit for intellectually challenged adults.
Janhavi Lakshminarayanan is an editor and a writer. She loves children and runs MyMitra Children’s Library in Bangalore. Reading children’s books and narrating stories are her favourite hobbies. She teaches children Creative Writing in English and Kannada.
Javed Akhtar’s lineage can be traced back to seven generations of famous Urdu poets, writers and freedom fighters. His father, renowned Urdu poet Jan Nisar Akhtar, mother famous Urdu writer Safia Akhtar and uncle, noted Urdu poet Majaaz were amongst the pioneers of the Progressive Writers Association.
His first collection of Urdu poetry ‘Tarkash’ is in its eleventh edition in Hindi, and seventh edition in Urdu. It has received rave reviews both as a book and as India’s first audio book. Javed Akhtar has written a large number of poems against communalism, social injustice, National Integration and for Women’s Rights.
His books ‘Talking Films’ & amp; ‘Talking Songs’ published by Oxford University Press have been hailed by film critics as the most definitive works on Indian Cinema. He has co-authored super hit hindi films like, ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Trishul’, etc. He has also written successful films like ‘Sagar’, ‘Mr. India’, ‘Betaab’, ‘Arjun’, ‘Lakshya’.
Jayant Kaikini is regarded as one of the most significant of the younger writers in Kannada today. He is a writer of short stories, film scripts and poetry, and is based in Bangalore. His poetry is characterised by subtle imagery, a minute documentation of the seemingly commonplace, a colloquial idiom and a conscientious refusal to engage in any poeticising. He has so far published six anthologies of short stories, four books of poetry, three plays and a collection of essays.
Kaikini received the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award for his first poetry collection at the age of nineteen in 1974. He received the same award again in 1982, 1989 and 1996 for his short story collections. He has been awarded the Dinakara Desai award for his poetry, the B. H. Sridhar award for fiction, as well as the Katha National award and Rujuwathu trust fellowship for his creative writing.
John D Balian
Dr. Balian was born to parents of no education and no means in a remote village in Anatolia near Diyarbekir, a historic Armenian city now in Eastern Turkey. He faced unimaginable tragedy that led to the splintering of his family that launched him into a life of destitution and wandering through several Middle Eastern and European countries. Despite cruel twists of fate, he eventually reached the land of opportunity because of his own fighting spirit and survival instincts and the help and kindness of strangers.
He attended Columbia University on a full scholarship and received a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. After a medical residency and fellowship, Dr. Balian worked for the United States Food and Drug Administration prior to moving into the healthcare industry. He currently is a senior executive of a US-based global corporation. Due to his reputation of a transformational leader in his field with numerous accomplishments and innovations, Dr. Balian was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Armenian Center of Columbia University. He is widely published in trade journals.
Gray Wolves and White Doves, a thriller based on actual events is Dr. Balian’s first novel.
K Vaitheeswaran is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Indiaplaza, the world’s largest India centric e-commerce company with operations in Bangalore, Chennai and Austin, Texas.
He is also co-founder of Fabmall, the company that pioneered the Indian e-commerce Industry. Since September 1999, he spent all his time and efforts in not only building Fabmall.com into a position of industry leadership but has also been engaged inevangelizing the cause of E-commerce in India.
In November 2006, the Pitch magazine listed him among the Top 20 people in the Indian Internet industry.
Kanchan Bannerjee, Managing Trustee of Akshara Foundation, Bangalore, works towards improving literacy and numeracy skills of elementary school children. She coordinated UNICEF’s initiatives to develop Readers for grades 1 and 2 in Karnataka (Kannada) and Chattisgarh (Hindi). She enjoys writing for early learners, especially bi-lingual books. She has authored 4 popular bi-lingual books and many story cards for Pratham Books.
Kavery Nambisan graduated from St John’s Medical College, Bangalore, and did her higher surgical training in UK. She has devoted a large part of her working life to practice in rural India.
She is the author of several novels including The Scent of Pepper and The Hills of Angheri. Her most recent novel The Story that Must Not be Told was short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She is married to poet and writer Vijay Nambisan.
Khaleel Ur Rehman
Khaleel Ur Rehman has been associated with Urdu language and literature for the past 30 years. He is a renowned modern Urdu Poet and his poems have been published in various Urdu magazines in India and overseas. He has also translated many poems and essays from English, French, German, Kannada, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi and other languages. He has to his credit nine books. As a member of the Urdu Academy he has played an important role in preparation of Kannada – Urdu Dictionary and Urdu – Kannada Dictionary. He has also written numerous plays and features for All India Radio, Delhi and Bangalore. He is the editor of a quarterly Urdu journal “Adab” and the Urdu weekly “Kaun-O-Makaan”. He has in the past been Secretary, Urdu Theatre Trust and Urdu Drama Trust, both organizations that pioneered the promotion of Urdu drama in Bangalore and elsewhere and staged many plays including Habib Tanveer’s “Agra Bazaar” and Bhishm Sahani’s “Kabira Khada Bazaar Men”.
Kirsty Murray is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. Her nine novels plus numerous works of non-fiction and junior fiction are widely studied in schools in Australia as well as in Germany, the UK and the USA. She has been an Asialink Resident at the University of Madras and a Creative Fellow of the State Library of Victoria. Her most recent novel, The Lilliputians, is based on the true story of a theatrical troupe of Australian children that toured India in 1910.
Lata Mani is a historian and cultural critic who began writing children’s stories at the request of her nephew Gautam. Her first two books for children, The Tamarind Tree and The Spider’s Web were published by Tulika Books in 2009. She has also authored the book Laxma’s Questions, published by Pratham Books.
Mahesh Dattani is a director, actor and writer. He wrote such plays as Final Solutions, Dance Like a Man, Bravely Fought the Queen, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Tara and 30 days in September.
He is the first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi award.
Mamta Sagar is a contemporary Kannada poet and playwright living in Bangalore, in Karnataka, India. Mamta has three collections of poems, Hiige Haaleya Maile Haadu (Like this the song), Kaada Navilina Hejje (Footprints of The Wild Peacock), Nadiya Neerina Teva (Dampness of the River) & four plays, an anthology of column writing, MahiLa Vishaya (Women Subjects), A collection of Essays in Kannada and English on Gender Language Literature and Culture and a booklet on Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions to her credit.
The Swing of Desire, English translation of her Kannada play Mayye Bhara Manave Bhara, is included in the anthology, “Staging Resistance: Plays by Women in Translation”, Published by Oxford University Press, New Delhi. She was invited as ‘Poet in Residence’ to Belgrade, Serbia by AUROPOLIS, an Association of Multimedia Artists. Mamta has presented poems at poetry festivals in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Colombia, Cuba, South Africa, Nicaragua, Slovenia, Serbia and Struga, Macedonia. Her poems are translated into many Indian languages including English apart from Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Galician, Maltese, Chinese, Slovenian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Russian etc and are published in those respective languages. She has collaborated/performed poetry with artists N.Pushpamala (India), Jannet and Jennifer(Australia), Marjorie Evasco(Philippines), Que Mai (Vietnam) and musicians Manja Ristic, Igor Stangliczky and Marko Jevtić (Belgrade).
Mamta has conducted theatre and poetry workshops culminating with readings and productions for women, children and people from marginalised communities. Her poems and interviews are showcased in the documentary ‘Cultures of Resistance’ by Lara Lee and in ‘Los Chicos de Mañana’, a film by Spanish director Javier Monero from Spain. Presently she teaches at the Centre for Kannada Studies, Bangalore University, Bangalore.
N Manu Chakravarthy is a critic, film theorist and professor of English at NMKRV College, Bangalore. He writes on music, literature, cinema and politics. His articles include those on Indian cinema, Iranian cinema and major figures of Kannada cinema like Vijay Bhaskar, K.S. Ashwath, Raj Kumar and Ananth Nag.
Re/Viewing Iranian Cinema, Imaging the Oppressed, Of Icons and the Spirit of the Times, The Marginalised as the Invisible, Lensing the Middle Class Spirit are some of his writings on cinema.
Sir Mark Tully, born William Mark Tully is the former Bureau Chief of BBC, New Delhi. He worked for BBC for a period of 30 years before resigning in July 1994. He held the position of Chief of Bureau, BBC, Delhi for 20 years.
He covered all major incidents in South Asia during his tenure, ranging from Indo-Pakistan conflicts, Bhopal gas tragedy, Operation Blue Star (and the subsequent assassination of Indira Gandhi, anti-Sikh riots), Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi to the Demolition of Babri Masjid. Since 1994 he has been working as a freelance journalist and broadcaster based in New Delhi.
Tully’s first book on India Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi’s Last Battle was co-authored with his colleague in BBC Delhi, Satish Jacob; the book dealt with the events leading up to Operation Blue Star, the Indian army’s attack on Sikh extremists in the Golden Temple at Amritsar. His next book Raj to Rajiv: 40 Years of Indian Independence was co-authored with Zareer Masani, and was based on a BBC radio series of the same name. In the US, this book was published under the title India: Forty Years of Independence. Tully’s No Full Stops in India, a collection of journalistic essays, was published in the US as The Defeat of a Congress-man. Tully’s only work of fiction, The Heart of India, was published in 1995. India in Slow Motion was co-authored with Gillian Wright. Tully later wrote India’s Unending Journey and India: The Road Ahead, published in India under the title Non-Stop India. In the area of religion, Tully has authored An Investigation into The Lives of Jesus to accompany the BBC series of the same name and Mother on Mother Teresa.
Tully was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1985 and was awarded the Padma Shree in 1992. He was knighted in the New Year Honours 2002, receiving a KBE, and in 2005 he received the Padma Bhushan.
Maya Chandra holds a Masters degree in Communication from Emerson College, Boston.
Her eponymous production house is acclaimed for their versatility, innovation and expertise in understanding and communicating messages through powerful film making techniques. Her team comprises of experienced professionals, some of whom are graduates of prestigious films schools in India.
Maya Chandra also teaches video film making and conducts workshops for graduate and post-graduate students.
‘Dr.Rajkumar – Our Annavaru. An Analysis of a phenomenon’ is her first documentary which combines her passion for creative communications with a love for exploring the intrigues of the world we live in.
Minal Hajratwala’s latest book is Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment, published by The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. She is a writing coach, author of the award-winning Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents, and editor of Out! Stories from the New Queer India. She graduated from Stanford University, was a fellow at Columbia University, and was a 2011 Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar.
Nadia Budde was born 1967 in Berlin. She was a merchandising designer before studying at the Art Academy Berlin-Weissensee and at the Royal College of Graphic Art in London. Her first picture book “Eins zwei drei Tier” (“One, Two, Three, Bee”) was awarded the German Youth Literature Prize and numerous other awards. Many of her other picture books received major awards. Nadia Budde lives with her family in Berlin.
Writer-diplomat Pavan K. Varma is a graduate in History from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1976. He has been Press Secretary to the President of India, the Spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, Joint Secretary for Africa, High Commissioner for India in Cyprus and Director of the Nehru Centre in London.
A writer of depth and insight, he has written over a dozen books including the highly successful Krishna: The Playful Divine on India’s most popular deity, the critically applauded biography of the Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, Ghalib: The Man, The Times, and the Havelis of Old Delhi. His first book on a contemporary subject was the path breaking The Great Indian Middle Class, followed by the astoundingly successful Being Indian: The Truth About Why the 21st Century Will Be India’s (Viking/Penguin 2004). It was soon published by William Heinemann, in the United Kingdom, as Being Indian: Inside the Real India in March 2005. The Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese translations of this book were very well received. Being Indian has also had a successful run in its Hindi edition; a Bangla translation is due soon.
His latest work is a witty adaptation of Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra. This volume, Kama Sutra: The Art of Making Love to a Woman, was published early in 2007 by Roli Books and has been translated into French and German. He is also researching for a forthcoming book on the pivotal issues of culture and identity. He was conferred an honorary doctoral degree for his contribution to the fields of diplomacy, literature, culture and aesthetics by the University of Indianapolis in 2005. A widely admired public speaker, Pavan K. Varma is currently the Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi.
Prakash Belawadi is a journalist and a theatre person from Bangalore, India. He is a co-founder of Centre of Film and Drama which is set to launch Suchitra School of Cinema and Dramatic Arts at the Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy campus in Bangalore.
He directed the national-award winning feature film Stumble, documentary films and Kannada TV serials Garva and Illiruvudu Summane. He has acted in and directed plays in Kannada and English.
He has worked for leading English dailies like Indian Express, The Asian Age and the weekly magazine Sunday.
Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar has bagged the Karnataka State Film Award for best actor in ‘Milana’ in 2008 and the Karnataka State Film Award for best actor in ‘Prithvi’ in 2010.
The youngest son of Kannada superstar Dr Rajkumar, he has appeared in 12 films as a child artiste. He won the National Film Award for best child artiste in ‘Bettada Hoovu’ – 1986. He made his debut as leading actor in ‘Appu’, a big hit.
Actor Ramya has acted mostly in Kannada films but also in Tamil and Telugu movies. After her debut in Kannada film ‘Abhi’ in 2003, she is today called the ‘Golden Girl of Kannada Cinema’ and ‘Sandalwood Queen’ for her successful film career.
An online poll by The Times of India voted Ramya the best female actor for the film ‘Sanju Weds Geetha’.
Roopa Pai loves Bangalore, history, movies, crime fiction, Rafael Nadal, science, ginger chai, random trivia, yoga, and writing for kids, not necessarily in that order. She takes children on history and nature walks, is the author of the fantasy-adventure series Taranauts, and is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Sampurna Chattarji is a poet, novelist and translator. Her nine books include three poetry collections, Absent Muses (Poetrywala, 2010), The Fried Frog (Scholastic, 2009) and Sight May Strike You Blind (Sahitya Akademi, 2007, reprint 2008), and two novels, Rupture (2009) and Land of the Well (2012), both from HarperCollins.
Sanjeev Sanyal is an Indian economist, environmentalist and urban theorist. He is Deutsche Bank’s Global Strategist and was named “Young Global Leader 2010″ by the World Economic Forum at Davos. He is also the author of the best selling book The Indian Renaissance: India’s Rise after a Thousand Years of Decline (published by Penguin and World Scientific).
Shaista Yusuf is an eminent Urdu poet and prose writer. She has contributed to many magazines in India and overseas and translated various articles and poems from different languages into Urdu. Her works includ Gule Khudro and Sooni Parchayiyan, both collections of poems, and a biography Yaad-e-Raftagan – Mehmood Ayaz. She is a recepient of the Karnataka Urdu Academy award in 2010 for the book ‘Gule Khudro’.
Novelist and short story writer Shashi Deshpande began her career with short stories and has by now authored nine short story collections, eleven novels and four books for children. Three of her novels have received awards, including the Sahitya Akademi award for That Long Silence. Her latest novels are Small Remedies, Moving On, In The Country of Deceit, Ships That Pass and If I Die Today. A new novel is to come out next year.
Many of her short stories and novels have been translated into a number of Indian as well as many European languages. She has translated two plays by her father, Adya Rangacharya, (Shriranga), as well as his memoirs, from Kannada into English, and a novel by Gauri Deshpande from Marathi into English.
Apart from fiction, she has written a number of articles on various subjects – literature, language, Indian writing in English, feminism and women’s writing – which have now been put together in the collection, Writing from the Margin.
Shashi Deshpande has written the script for a Hindi feature film, ‘Drishti’, which was directed by Govind Nihalani. She was on the Advisory Board (for English) of the Sahitya Akademi for five years and the Chairperson of the Jury for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, 2000. She has been invited to participate in various literary conferences and festivals, as well as to lecture in Universities, both in India and abroad. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008. She lives in Bangalore with her husband, Dr D.H. Deshpande. They have two sons.
Shefalee Vasudev, the author of Powder Room: The Untold Story of Indian Fashion, has been a journalist for the last twenty years, writing on popular culture, social trends, gender and fashion. She was the founding editor of Marie Claire India and currently works with The Indian Express as Associate Editor.
Shehan’s debut novel, The Painter, was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 2000, but was never published.
His second novel, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, uses cricket as a device to write about Sri Lankan society. The book was critically hailed winning many awards, namely the regional prize for Asia of the Commonwealth Book, the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, Gratiaen Prize. Published to great acclaim in India and the UK, the book was one of the Waterstones 11 selected by British bookseller Waterstones as one of the top debuts of 2011 and was also shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Novel Prize.
Shehan has played bass with Sri Lankan bands Independent Square and Powercut Circus. An advertising copywriter by trade, he also writes features for the Guardian, Newsweek, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Wisden, The Cricketer and the Economic Times.
Author of ‘When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied’, ‘Barefoot and Pregnant’ and the children’s book, ‘Goddy Tales’. She has put together the anthologies, ‘Why We Don’t Talk’ and ‘Kerala, Kerala, Quite Contrary’. Contributor to several anthologies, a regular columnist and a recipient of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s Asia Region prize in 2002 for ‘A Dog’s Death’.
Shoba writes about food, travel, fashion, art and culture for many publications, including Condenast Traveler (US edition), The National, Financial Times, Destinasian, Gourmet, Time, Silkroad, and others. She has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Town & Country, British Airways Highlife, Cathay Pacific’s Discovery, Singapore Airlines’ Silverkris, Knowledge@Wharton, Departures, Food & Wine, Saveur, Newsweek, Beliefnet and House Beautiful, among others.
She currently write a weekly column for Mint Lounge, an Indian business daily which is affiliated with the WSJ and is frequently featured in The National, based in Abu Dhabi.
Her essay, The God of Small Feasts, published in Gourmet magazine, won the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing. Her first book, Monsoon Diary: a memoir with recipes, was published by Random House (US) in 2003. It was a finalist for a James Beard Award. Her new book, Return to India was recently published.
Shobhaa De’s 17 books have all been runaway bestsellers. Her latest, Sethji, was declared this season’s hottest seller by the book trade. A widely read columnist in leading publications, she is known for her outspoken views, making her one of India’s most respected opinion shapers. She lives in Mumbai with her family.
Sudeep Nagarkar is the bestselling author of Few Things Left Unsaid.
He has a degree in Electronics Engineering from Mumbai. His books are inspired from real-life incidents. He never dreamed of becoming an author, but turned into one for his love. Apart from writing, Sudeep is a music enthusiast and loves to spend time with his friends. He resides in Mumbai. You can contact him on facebook and twitter too.
Sudeep Sen is ‘one of the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary scene’ (BBC Radio). Sen’s books include: Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems, Distracted Geographies, Prayer Flag, Rain, Aria (A K Ramanujan Translation Award), Ladakh, Letters of Glass, and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor). Blue Nude (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize) is forthcoming. His poems, translated into twenty-five languages, have featured in major international anthologies. His words have appeared in many local and international publications including the TLS, Guardian, Independent, Hindu, Times of India, Outlook, and broadcast on BBC, PBS, CNN IBN, NDTV, AIR & Doordarshan. He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas.
A politician and columnist, Sudheendra Kulkarni is a former member of the CPI-Marxist. He joined the BJP in 1996. He was executive editor with Blitz, in Mumbai. Associated with the ‘India Shining’ campaign, he was on the inaugural Delhi-Lahore bus with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Kulkarni has also been working for the think-tank, Observer Research Foundation.
Journalist, columnist and television presenter, Sunil Sethi has hosted the weekly literary show – Just Books – on NDTV since early 2005. He was one of the founding editorial team of India Today, has worked for the Hindustan Times and been a columnist for the Times of India and the Indian Express.
His journalism has appeared in The Economist, the Boston Globe and several international publications; he has scripted and presented documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. He is also a recipient of the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and the Japan Foundation fellowship.
Suresh Menon, author and columnist, was one of India’s youngest newspaper editors (New Indian Express). His books include Bishan: Portrait of a Cricketer, Champions: How the World Cup was Won and Sachin, Genius Unplugged(Edited).
He is currently editor of the Wisden India Almanac, the first edition of the ‘Bible of cricket’ to be published in India. He is also editing a book on Tiger Pataudi to be released in January next.
Tarquin Hall is a British writer and journalist. He has spent much of his adult life away from the United Kingdom, living in the United States, Pakistan, India, Kenya and Turkey, and travelling extensively in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
He is the author of six books and dozens of articles that have appeared in many British newspapers and magazines, including the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Observer and New Statesman. He has also worked in TV news and is a former South Asia bureau chief of Associated Press TV. His chosen subject matter has proven extraordinarily diverse. He has written features on Wilfred Thesiger, Texan rattlesnake hunters, the Taliban and British-Asian Urdu poets. Hall’s exclusive reports include a profile on Emma McCune, an English woman who married Southern Sudanese guerilla commander Riek Machar; the draining of Iraq’s marshes by Saddam Hussein, and a one-on-one with former Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in a Syrian safehouse.
Hall’s books have received wide acclaim in the British press. His second, To the Elephant Graveyard was heralded by Christopher Matthew in the Daily Mail as “a classic”. His third, Salaam Brick Lane, about Brick Lane in the East End of London, was described by Kevin Rushby in The Guardian as “charming, brilliant, affectionate and impassioned.” Salaam Brick Lane recounts a year spent above a Bangladeshi sweatshop on Brick Lane.
In 2009, Hall published his first mystery novel The Case of the Missing Servant introducing the Punjabi literary character Vish Puri, India’s Most Private Investigator. The second in the series, The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, was released in June 2010. The third, The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, was released in 2012. Hall is currently working on the fourth title, which is due for publication in 2013.
Tavleen Singh is an author, journalist and TV anchor. Her latest book, Durbar, is an up-close revealing account of our political past that holds crucial lessons for today’s India.
She currently writes three weekly columns. One in English that appears in the Indian Express, one in Hindi that appears in India Today and a third column in English that is syndicated to various newspapers in India. In 1997 she anchored Ek Din, Ek Jeevan for Star Plus. It was a weekly programme that ran for two years. She then anchored Two’s Company for Doordarshan which ran for more than fifty episodes and Dateline India for the BBC. For NDTV she anchored Indianama in Hindi and India Inc in English.
She is also the author of Kashmir: A Tragedy of Errors, published in 1995; Lollipop Street: Why India Will Survive her Politicians, published in 1999; and Political and Incorrect, published in 2007.
U R Ananthamurthy
Is a contemporary writer and critic in the Kannada language and is considered as one of the pioneers of the Navya movement. He is a recipient of the Jnanpith Award for the Kannada language, the highest literary honor conferred in India. In 1998, he received the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India.
Ananthamurthy’s works have been translated into several Indian and European languages and have been awarded with important literary prizes. His main works include Samskara, Bhava, Bharathi Pura, and Avasthe. He has written numerous short stories as well. Several of his novels and short fictions have been made into movies.
Usha K R
Usha K R has been writing fiction in English for over three decades now. She began by writing short stories, which were published in various Indian magazines and newspapers. Her short story, Sepia Tones won the Katha Award for Creative Writing in English.
Usha K R is the author of the novels Monkey-Man (2010/ Penguin India), A Girl and a River (2007/Penguin India), The Chosen (2003/Penguin India) and Sojourn (1998/EastWest Books). Her novels have been listed for several awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Crossword Award, the Man Asia and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. A Girl and a River won the Vodafone Crossword Award, 2007. Monkey-man was short listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012.
Janaki Srinivasa Murthy, popularly known by her pen name Vaidehi is a well-known writer of modern Kannada language fiction. Vaidehi is one of the most successful woman writers in Kannada and winner of many prestigious national and state level literary awards. She has won the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for her collection of short stories, Krauncha Pakshigalu in 2009.
She has a number of novels, short stories, essays, children’s plays and poems to her credit.
Vasanthi Hariprakash is an independent journalist, television & radio personality, besides being a documentary filmmaker and media trainer. Earlier, Vasanthi was Special Correspondent with NDTV reporting on socio-political, environmental issues of Karnataka from the Bangalore bureau. She has also anchored a documentary series on BBC called One Square Mile, reporting from places like Nepal, Laos & Vietnam. Starting off at the newsdesk at Indian Express, Vasanthi dotcommed at an editorial of a business portal, then switched to radio as RJ, becoming the glorified alarm clock of the city with her breakfast show Gooood Morning Bangalore.. all before she succumbed to the call of 24×7 electronic media. Now on a liberating break, Vasanthi anchors events, moderates panel discussions and generally does training workshops across the country & abroad, on whether there is a way to harness the madness that’s media. A few awards have happened along the way, including the India Radio Excellence Award in 2007 for ‘Best English RJ’, when she was sent to London by her radio station to study the best practices of UK’s radio space. Amidst changing professions, she was gratified to win in February 2012, the Rotary Bangalore award for being ‘Change Agent par excellence’ & later ‘Dazzling Daughter’ award by the PRCI. A confirmed internet junkie, Vasanthi revels in doing random things, the latest being ‘modelling’ in solidarity for Heeya, a brand of sarees created by rural women weavers of Assam. She speaks over five languages, is a passionate singer and loves Carnatic classical music. But some day deep down she aspires to crack the secret of how to work on an excel sheet.
Vedam Jaishnkar is a journalist of more than two decades standing with a rich and vast experience in both Print and Electronic Media. He’s held senior positions and gone on reporting assignments to all the six continents for newspaper organisations like The Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The Vijay Times and Bangalore Bias. Incidentally, he launched The Vijay Times for the VRL Group and was Managing Editor of Bangalore Bias.
He also held senior editorial positions in both Deccan Herald and The Indian Express.
He writes for a number of Indian newspapers, websites and magazines, including DNA & Bangalore Mirror.
Vedam has written two books, Rahul Dravid, A Biography, which was translated into four languages and Casting A Spell, The Story of Karnataka Cricket, the most definitive book on Karnataka cricket. He is currently working on his third book, The Magical Years which will be released early next year.
He also does a bit of television work from time to time.
Vidya Mani is an editor and writer, who has put together many children’s magazines, including Chatterbox, Quest, Junior Quest, Hoot and Toot. She believes that reading magazines is like biting into an eclair – it shows you there’s a whole world of chocolate out there waiting to be eaten! She is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Vijaylakshmi Nagaraj is an educational consultant, author and storyteller. She believes that storytelling is excellent therapy and has used it to help children in conflict areas, cancer patients and tsunami orphans. She has authored a number of children’s books and written articles on children’s literature. She is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Bangalore based Vikram Sampath is the author of three acclaimed works of non-fiction ‘Splendours of Royal Mysore: the untold story of the Wodeyars’, ‘My name is Gauhar Jaan!–the life and times of a musician’ and ‘Voice of the Veena: S Balachander, a biography”. His book on Gauhar Jaan won the Sahitya Akademi’s first Yuva Puraskar for English Literature and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York. He has been a Visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced study, Berlin and the University of Queensland, Australia. Vikram currently serves as the Executive Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Govt of India, Southern Regional Centre. He has established the Archive of Indian Music (AIM), the first digital sound archive for the country for gramophone recordings and is the Founder Director of the Bangalore Literature Festival and the Times of India International Folk Festival. A trained Carnatic vocalist under several gurus like Vid DV Nagaraj, Smt Bombay Jayashri and Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh, Vikram serves on several Government committees–the Prasar Bharati core group and marketing Committees, the Dr. Sam Pitroda Commission on national archives, the Karnataka Knowledge Commission and the Karnataka Tourism Vision Group. An Engineer-Mathematician from BITS Pilani and an MBA in Finance from SP Jain, he has worked with several leading corporate firms like GE Money, Citibank and Hewlett Packard.
William Dalrymple is an award winning historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic. He is also one of the co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.
Dalrymple’s interests include the history and art of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Muslim world, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Jains and early Eastern Christianity. All of his seven books have won major literary prizes, as have his radio and television documentaries.
Born and raised in erstwhile Bombay, now Mumbai, Yasmeen Premji graduated from St.Xavier’s College, before completing her master’s degree from Smith College in the USA. She has always been interested in writing and her first short story was published when she was seventeen.
She worked as an assistant editor for the Indian design magazine, Inside Outside, for many years before moving with her husband Azim to Bangalore, which she now calls home. Days of Gold and Sepia is her first novel.