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.
Described as ‘India’s first literary popstar’ by world-renowned film director Shekhar Kapur, Amish’s unique combination of crackling story-telling, religious symbolism and profound philosophies have made him an overnight publishing phenomenon, with spiritual guru Deepak Chopra hailing his books as ‘archetypal and stirring’.
His 4 books till now — The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras, which collectively comprise the Shiva Trilogy, and Scion of Ikshvaku (Part 1 of the Ram Chandra Series) — have over 3.5 million copies in print with gross retail sales of over Rs 100 crores. The Shiva Trilogy is the fastest selling book series in Indian history. The Indian language translations of his books have sold 5 lakh copies, breaking records in this space.
Forbes Magazine has listed Amish amongst the 100 most influential celebrities in India, four years in a row. He was Man of the Year by Radio City, GQ 50 Most Influential Young Indian and selected as an Eisenhower Fellow.
A graduate of IIM-Calcutta, he worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to full-time writing. He lives in Mumbai.
Anita Nair is the bestselling author of The Better Man, Ladies Coupe, Mistress and Lessons in Forgetting and Cut Like Wound. Her books have been translated into over 30 languages around the world. Her new novel Idris will be published in November 2013.
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.
Bhavya is a freelance Kannada translator and loves spending time with children. She has translated several books for Pratham Books.
Bhawana Somaaya has been writing about Hindi cinema for more than 40 years.
She is a film critic, columnist and author of several books which includes biographies of Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini.
Once Upon A Time in India profiling 100 years of Indian cinema and other books are a point of reference for students studying cinema at Whistling Woods, Manipal University and now JNU, Delhi.
She has served on Advisory Panel of Film Certificate in India, is chairperson of Tigerland India Film Festival, Madhya Pradesh and on Advisory Panel for Dhai Akshar, Educational Centre for underprivileged children.
Conferred with Padma Shri in 2017 Somaaya is currently the Entertainment Editor at 92.7Big Fm Radio channel.
Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession is Somaaya’s fourteenth book and second offering to Lord Krishna.
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.
C V Ranganathan
Former Indian ambassador to China and France; co-author of India and China – The Way Ahead, Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi.
Head of Publicity and Marketing at Random House Publishers India.
Chandrahas Choudhury is the author of three works of fiction about Bombay: Days of My China Dragon (2019), Clouds (2018) and Arzee the Dwarf (2009)
Chetan Bhagat is the author of nine books. These include seven novels—Five Point Someone, One Night @ A Call Center, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 States, Revolution 2020, Half Girlfriend and One Indian Girl, and two non-fiction titles—What Young India Wants and Making India Awesome. His books have remained bestsellers since their release. Four out his five novels have been already adapted into successful Bollywood films and the others are in the process of being adapted. The New York Times called him the ‘the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history’. Time magazine named him among 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’. He writes columns for leading English and Hindi newspapers, focusing on youth and national development issues. He is also a motivational speaker and screenplay writer. He quit his international investment banking career in 2009 to devote himself to writing and make change happen in the country. He lives in Mumbai.
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.
Deepthi Talwar has worked in publishing for more than fifteen years and is currently Chief Editor with Westland Publications. She has worked with several bestselling fiction and non-fiction writers, including Rujuta Diwekar, Amish, Devdutt Pattanaik, Hussain Zaidi, Anuja Chauhan and Preeti Shenoy, and has edited a variety of books over the years: from travel writing to literary fiction, from mythology to thrillers. In 2008, she was part of the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair Fellowship program, which focuses on information exchange, professional dialogue and the creation of networks between international publishers.
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.
Bio coming soon.
Harish Bijoor is a Brand-thinker and practitioner operating out of Bengaluru, India. He runs a unique boutique-consulting outfit branded “Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.”, a brand name that has a consulting presence across the markets of Hong Kong, Seattle, London, Istanbul, Dubai and the Indian sub-continent. Harish has spent his career across the aggressive realms of FMCG, Telecom and Consumer Durables. He is considered a marketing practitioner and thinker who is ahead of the consumer thinking curve, year on year. Harish is a public speaker who speaks to corporate audiences across the globe in the realm of motivation, people-management issues, brands, marketing and business at large. He has spoken to corporate audiences across the world for 12,100 hours to date. Harish teaches at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad & Mohali, in addition to semesters at overseas Business schools in the US and Europe. He has been teaching at the Indian School of Business for the past 15 years. Harish has recently published a book titled, “Marketing Trends – Smart Insights into the world of Indian Business”, a serious book written in a style that is distinctly young and ‘MTV-ish’! He is currently involved in his second book on core branding. The book is titled ”Brand Irrationals: a fundamental journey into brand- think”. Harish has simultaneously been commissioned to write a book on “Customer Service mechanisms” at play in contemporary marketing contexts. Harish is actively involved in research relating to Rural Consumer Behavior, Rural Retail Networks and Trade mechanisms at play. The current research exercise he is involved in spans a 6-year period covering 84,850 consumers across India. Harish has published papers extensively on the subjects relating to Strategic Marketing, Branding, Consumer Behavior, Retail networks, Rural marketing, Marketing research and Trend-analysis. Harish Bijoor contributes regularly to Business publications on Branding, sales, distribution and related topics.
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 eight novels published by Penguin and Harper Collins and has also edited an anthology of writings on motherhood, published by Zubaan, as a fund-raising campaign for Save the Children India. 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 and worked in both areas, both in India and the UK. Her most recent job was at the British Board of Film Classification in London. She presently lives in Kerala.
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.
Karthika V K
Karthika VK is Publisher and Chief Editor of HarperCollins Publishers India. She started her career in publishing with Penguin Books India in 1996 and moved to HarperCollins in 2006.
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.
Kum Vee Bhadrappa
Kum Veerabhadrappa has penned 13 novels, 15 volumes of short fiction, 2 biographies and an autobiography, Gandhi Clasu. Hehas translated into Kannada many Telugu stories. Hemareddy Mallammana Katheyu is his latest novel.
Lata Mani, Ph.D. is a feminist historian, cultural critic, contemplative writer and filmmaker. She is the author of The Integral Nature of Things: Critical Reflections on the Present (Routledge, 2013), Interleaves: Ruminations on Illness and Spiritual Life (Yoda, 2011), Sacred Secular: Contemplative Cultural Critique, (Routledge, 2009) and Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India (University of California Press, 1998). Her books for children, The Tamarind Tree, The Spider’s Web, The Bee Master (all Tulika) & Laxman’s Questions (Pratham).
Her films include Leela’s Journey (2009); & with Nicolàs Grandi, Here-Now (2012); Nocturne I and Nocturne II (2013); De Sidere 7 (2014; artist book 2015); The Earth on its Axis, We in our Skin: The Tantra of Embodiment (2015) & The Poetics of Fragility (2016) an ongoing transmedia project: film, artist book, audio and video installations & artifacts.
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.
Mala Kumar is a freelance journalist, author and an editor with Pratham Books. She loves to play with words and with children, especially with both together.
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.
Manju Kapur is a professor of English at Miranda House in Delhi. Her first novel, Difficult Daughters, received the Commonwealth Award for the Eurasian region.
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.
Mark Tully is a journalist and broadcaster, who was for over twenty years the BBC’s Delhi correspondent. His non-fiction books include ‘No Full Stops in India’, ‘India in Slow Motion’, ‘Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi’s Last Battle’, ‘India’s Unending Journey’ and ‘No Stop India’. His first foray into fiction writing was the book of short stories ‘Heart of India’. His latest work, also short stories, is called ‘Upcountry Tales’.
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.
Chairman, Manipal Global Education; former member of the Board and Head – Finance and HR, Infosys Ltd.
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.
Nandan Nilekani is an entrepreneur, bureaucrat and politician. He was the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India. After a successful career at Infosys, he headed the Government of India’s technology committee, TAGUP.
He has written Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation and co-authored Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations with Viral Shah.
KS Nissar Ahmed is an award-winning poet and writer in Kannada, based in Bangalore. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008 and the Rajyotsava Award in 1981.
His famous works include Nityotsava and Manasu Gandhi Bazaru.
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 theatre, film, television and media personality. He is an actor, writer, director and instructor working for the stage and screen. His debut film feature Stumble won the National Award in 2003 for Best Film in the regional language (English) and has now been included in the national telecaster Doordarshan’s Best of Indian Cinema series. Some of films as an actor include Airlift, Kendasampige and Madras Cafe. As co-founder of Centre for Film and Drama, an integrated performing arts, cinema and media training and production organization, now under the Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy in Bangalore.
Prakash Kambathalli is the publisher, Ankita Book House.
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.
Divya Spandana, stage name Ramya, is a film actor and politician. She acts in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films. She became the youngest Member of Parliament from Mandya, Karnataka, in 2013. She has acted in many films, including Aryan, Crazy Loka, Thoondi, Lucky, Sidiingu, Bombaat and Sanju Weds Geetha, for which she won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress.
Rohini Nilekani is Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam, a foundation she endowed to fund initiatives for sustainable water and sanitation across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher. She is Co-founder-Director of EkStep, a non-profit
A former journalist writing for leading publications, she is also the author of “Stillborn” and “Uncommon Ground”, both published by Penguin Books India. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences.
As signatories of the Giving Pledge, Rohini and Nandan Nilekani have committed half their wealth to philanthropy.
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.
Sanjana Roychoudhury is publisher, Amaryllis, an imprint of Manjul Publications and has a long career with the publishing industry for close to over two decades.
Sanjeev Sanyal is an internationally acclaimed economist and best-selling author. He was named Young Global Leader 2010 by the World Economic Forum and was Deutsche Bank’s Global Strategist and a Managing Director till 2015. He is also a well-known environmentalist and urban theorist. In 2007, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban dynamics and was honored by the Singapore government at the World Cities Summit 2014. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore, and a Senior Fellow of the World Wide Fund for Nature. Currently he serves in the Future City Committee of the Singapore government, tasked with writing a long-term vision for the city-state. He attended Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, and Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar (1992-95). His best-selling books include Land of the Seven Rivers, The Indian Renaissance and The Ocean of Churn. In addition, he had published around 200 articles, columns and reports in leading national/international publications. He was given the inaugural International Indian Achievers Award for contributions to Literature in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London and a Visiting Fellow of IDFC Institute, Mumbai.
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 has ten novels, two novellas, a number of short story collections, a book of non-fiction, Writing from the Margin, and four children’s books to her credit. Her novels include Small Remedies, Moving On, In the Country of Deceit and Shadow Play. Her latest novel Strangers to Ourselves, was longlisted for the Bangalore Literature Festival – Atta Galatta fiction award. A number of her short stories and novels have been translated into various Indian as well as many European languages. She has translated two plays by Adya Rangacharya, eminent Kannada writer, as well as his memoirs from Kannada into English, as also a novel by Gauri Deshpande from Marathi into English. She has been invited to participate in various literary conferences and festivals, as well as to lecture in universities both India and abroad. She was awarded the Padmi Shri in 2008.
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 Narayan is the author of three books: Katha: Tell a Story; Sell a Dream (the Art of Corporate Storytelling); Monsoon Diary: a memoir with recipes; and Return to India: an immigrant memoir. She writes about food, travel, fashion, art and culture for many publications; and is a columnist for Mint Lounge. In another life, she would have been a trapeze artist or stand up comic. But for now, she watches birds and tells stories.
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.
Author and columnist Suresh Menon is editor Wisden India Almanack and Contributing Editor, The Hindu. He has reported international cricket from around the world in over three decades. He became one of the youngest sports editors and then newspaper editors in the country. His books include Bishan: Portrait of a Cricketer and Pataudi: The Nawab of Cricket.
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.
Chairman, Feedback Consulting; Chief Evangelizer, City Connect; former Member of Bangalore Agenda Task Force and active columnist on civic issues.
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 anchor-moderator and media strategist. She is also the founder of a community platform called Pickle Jar that creates and curates film festivals and programs of social relevance that gave Bangalore city retrospectives of cinema greats like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Smita Patil. Her past life include being a special correspondent with NDTV 24×7, documentary anchor of a South-Asia series on BBC World News, radio show host of a primetime breakfast show on Radio CIty 91.1 FM and a chief sub-editor at the New Indian Express. She hashtags on facebook as #womanwanderer as her work takes her sometimes to towns like in Chhattisgarh in central India to ideate as advisor for a tribal communities radio network Bultu Radio, or to places like Lucknow to bond with rural journalists on a pathbreaking rural newspaper called Gaon Connection. Between juggling random events and roles, she pretends to be a cool parent, as a result of which she gets asked to give gyan on parenting, career dilemmas of young people and such things that the nation wants to know.
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, a founder-member of Bookalore is an educational consultant, author and storyteller.
Vikram Sampath, a Bangalore-based historian, is the author of three acclaimed books-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. Vikram was awarded the Sahitya Akademi’s first Yuva Puraskar in English literature and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York for his book on Gauhar Jaan. The book has also been adapted as a play, Gauhar, by Lillete Dubey and is being adapted into a Hindi movie by Ashutosh Gowariker.
Vikram has a doctorate in history and music from the University of Queensland, Australia, and is currently a senior fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. An engineer/mathematician from BITS Pilani and an MBA in finance from S.P. Jain Institute of Management, Mumbai, he is also a trained Carnatic vocalist. He has established the Archive of Indian Music, India’s first digital sound archive for vintage recordings, and is the founder-director of the Bangalore Literature Festival, Indic Thoughts Festival and the ZEE Group’s ARTH: A Culture Fest.
Vikrant Dutta is the author of Ode To Dignity, a ballad novel. He serves as Officer on Special Duty to the President of India and has been with the Indian Air Force.
General Manager, World Sport Group
Vinod Naidu, the VP of World Sport Group, has represented Sachin Tendulkar’s commercial interests for over a decade.
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.