Aditi De loves children and the world of the word equally. Her latest book is The Secret of the Rainbow Phoenix published by Scholastic India. A journalist since 1976, she has edited magazines and supplements for children. She is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Aditya Mukherjee, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, works for a management consulting firm in Delhi. Boomtown is his first novel.
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.
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.
Anjum Katyal has been involved with theatre publishing for decades as an editor, writer, translator and critic. Apart from theatre in particular, she has worked on publications on Indian arts and culture and been involved in organising several exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as writing catalogues for exhibitions by Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Somnath Hore, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Reba Hore and Nasreen Moochhala. She has a background in education and teacher training. A published poet, she also sings the blues and reviews and writes on theatre and the visual arts.
She is presently Consultant (Publications) with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), a research institute based in Kolkata. She is also a Consultant with Oxford Bookstore.
Katyal is currently writing a book on Badal Sircar (SAGE Publications, Forthcoming).
Arindam Borkataki(1976) critic ,editor and essayist.for his first book Anusilon he was awarded Sahitya Akademi youth award and Munin Borkataki award in 2011. Goidya Vabona is his next book on literary criticism. He has also edited two important book on present social history of Assam titled Insurgency, counterinsurgency and Issues of Human Rights and Women Issues and Perspectives. Besides he has edited anthologies of Assamese Short Stories and Poetry.He was assistant editor Assamese encyclopedia Project (history section) and associate editor Aamar samai, a literary magazine published by The Times of India group in Asamese.
Presently he is astt. professor in English, A. D. P. College, nagaon, Assam and Editor, Prakash a literary magazine published by Assam Publication Board.
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.
Ashadevi is a well-known critic in Kannada. Ashadevi is known for her feministic approach. She teaches Kannada literature and culture in Maharani’s Women’s College Bangalore.
She has authored three books, attended several national and international seminars and received the prestigious G.S.Shivarudrappa critic award for her contribution to Kannada criticism.
Asha Nehemiah is a writer, whose books for children include Granny’s Sari, The Rajah’s Moustache, the Meddling Mooli series, Trouble with Magic and The Mystery of the Secret Hair Oil Formula. Her books have been translated into Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali and Urdu. She is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Ashok Ferry is the Colombo-based author of Colpetty People (2002) and The Good Little Ceylonese Girl (2006), both shortlisted for the Gratiaen Awards. Besides being an acclaimed writer, Ferry is a builder, script writer, comedian, mathematician, fitness freak and illustrator. He lectures at the Design School and Colombo School of Architecture.
His new book The Professional (also nomintated for the Gratiaen Prize) has just been released.
Ashok Vajpeyi is a Hindi poet-critic, translator, editor and culture-activist and is a major cultural figure of India. With more than 13 books of poetry, 10 of criticism in Hindi and 4 books on art in English to his credit, he is widely recognized as an outstanding promoter of culture and an innovative institution-builder. At present he is the Executive Trustee of the Raza Foundation, New Delhi.
Ashokamitran is one of the most influential figures in post-independent Tamil literature. He began his literary career with the prize winning play Anbin Parisu, followed by many short stories, novellas and novels.
A distinguished essayist and critic, he is the editor of the literary journal Kanaiyaazhi. He has written over 200 short stories, eight novels, some 15 novellas besides other prose writings. Most of his works have also been translated into English. He has received several awards including the Sahitya Akademi award for his work Appavin Snegidhar, a collection of short stories and the national award instituted by the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad.
Ashwin Sanghi is counted among India’s highest-selling English fiction authors.
Till date he has written three novels, all bestsellers, including The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key.
Ashwin is an entrepreneur by profession but writing historical fiction in the thriller genre is his passion and hobby. When he isn’t busy churning out bestsellers, he works for the MK Sanghi Group, which has business interests in automobile distribution, real estate development, engineering and industrial gases.
Athena Kashyap was raised in Bangalore and Bombay until she was eighteen, and then went to the United States for her higher education. After studying Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College, she did her M.A. and M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from University of California at Davis, and San Francisco State University. She taught English writing and literature at City College of San Francisco. She currently makes her home in San Francisco and Bangalore.
Kashyap’s first book of poetry, Crossing Black Waters, was a finalist in the Stephen F. Austin State University Press Award, and will be published by them simultaneously in the U.S. and India in 2012). She has published her poetry in Exquisite Corpse, Sanskriti, The Fourth River, Quiddity, Spork, Squaw Valley Review, the Waits-Mast Poetry Collection 2009 chapbook, Noe Valley Voice, Asia Writes among other journals. Her poetry has also been anthologized in Voices of Asian American Writers (U.S.) and Same Difference (Vaani, UK) She has been awarded fellowships to attend writing workshops at Squaw Valley and Mount Holyoke College.
Aurélia Lassaque is an Occitan and French poet who is keenly interested in the relationship between poetry and music and has collaborated with musicians for numerous music and poetry shows. She has also collaborated creatively with various painters and visual artists for exhibitions in France, Italy and the US.
Her poems have been translated into English, Italian, Asturian, Basque, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish, Turkish and Finnish for numerous journals and anthologies. She regularly takes part in international festivals of poetry. In 2010 she was artistic director of the Festival of European and Mediterranean Minority Literatures (held in Italy). She is also a book reviewer for regional television, literary adviser of Paroles Indigo Festival (held in France) and has dedicated her doctorate to Occitan baroque drama.
B M Hanif
B M Hanif has been working as journalist for the last 28 years in an esteemed newspaper of Karnataka. He is at present the assistant editor of Prajavani-Sudha. He has written a number of articles on politics, cinema and culture in Prajavani, the leading daily of Karnataka and Sudha Weekly. He has been a censor committee member of Bangalore Doordarshan for 3 years, a member of the state cinema award committee twice in 2006 and 2011 has published a number of books in Kannada.
Dean IIM-B and Trustee for Samskrita Bharati.
Babar Ayaz is a secular humanist and the author of What’s wrong with Pakistan? (Hay House India 2013). A journalist for more than forty years, he is a regular columnist for The Daily Times, Express (Urdu daily) and Awami Awaz (Sindhi Daily). He also contributes articles for The News. He has been Pakistan correspondent of The Hindu and Frontline (India). He has worked for the Sun, Pakistan Press International, Business Recorder and Dawn. He was editor of ‘Pakistan Business Update’, the first private television news program in Pakistan. He is founding member of Forum for Secular Pakistan, member of the Executive Committee of South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and Secretary General Media Commission (Pakistan Chapter). He founded the first PR consultancy of Pakistan in 1988 and is the Chairman of the company at present.
Baijayant "Jay" Panda
Baijayant “Jay” Panda is an Indian politician. He was elected to the Parliament of India, Lower House from Kendrapara Constituency, Odisha in May 2009.
He studied in the Michigan Technological University and with a background in Engineering and Management, he went on to work in the corporate sector before joining politics.
Baradwaj Rangan is a National Award-winning film critic, currently Deputy Editor at The Hindu. His writings on cinema, music, art, books, travel and humour have been published in various national magazines. He is the author of Conversations with Mani Ratnam, which was published by Penguin in 2012.
Bas Böttcher is one of the founders of the German speaking Poetry Slam. He has won the German Poetry Slam Prize several times over. His lyrics are regarded as classical slam poetry. They have been published in schoolbooks and collections of German poetry (Der Neue Conrady, Lyrikstimmen a.o.).
Apart from his two volumes of poems Dies ist kein Konzert and Neonomade, he published the DVD Poetry Clips together with Wolf Hogekamp. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) titled him recently as a “pop-poetry-pioneer”. His other renowned works are Megaherz (2004), Die Poetry-Slam-Expedition (2009) and Vorübergehende Schönheit (2012). He lives in Berlin.
During his stay in Bangalore, Bas Böttcher will conduct Poetry Slam Workshops for children and adults at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan and at the Bangalore Literature Festival. He will also perform at both venues.
Progressive activist, thinker and translator. His authority on Shakespeare and Kuvempu is notable. He has written more than twenty books. His works have been translated into several Indian languages. He is the recipient of the Anuvada Sahitya Akademi award.
Bhawana Somaaya has been writing on Hindi films for over three decades and is the author of 12 books. Her last Talking Cinema released in 2013. She is currently the Film Editor at 92.7 BigFM does the film reviews and a biography show for the channel. She also writes weekly columns for The Indian Express, America and The Hans India. Somaaya is the only journalist visible on all the mediums – Radio/ Print/ TV/ Web.
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 N Ramachandran
C N Ramachandran is an eminent critic and has worked in several countries. He was professor of English at Mangalore university. His autobiography released recently and was well received by readers. He writes in Kannada and English and has more than ten books to his credit. Recipient of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award.
Bio coming soon!
Regarded as one of the finest Kannada poets after the mystic poet Da. Ra. Bendre, has been honoured with the Jnanpith Award, the eighth for Kannada. With a language that captures the flavour of north Karnataka, Dr. Kambara is among the finest playwrights as well.
His plays Jokumaraswamy and Sangya Balya have seen thousands of performances, not only in Kannada, but several other Indian languages as well.
Dr. Kambara is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Sahitya Academy Award, the Kalidas Samman, the Pampa Award, the Kabir Samman, and the Tagore Literature Award.
The versatile writer served as chairman of the National School of Drama and as president of the Karnataka Nataka Academy. Conferred with the Padmashri, he was a nominated member of the Karnataka Legislative Council, representing the Congress. He was the founder-vice-chancellor of the University of Hampi.
Important Folklorist. His works on Tulu Paddana is remarkable. He edited and wrote several books on Karnataka folk literature and culture. He is the recipient of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award. He is the recipient of Tulusahityaakademi award and Shivaramkaranth award.
Prize-winning novelist, author of short stories, essayist, playwright, screen writer, Christopher Kloeble studied at the German Creative Writing Program, Leipzig. His plays have been staged at theatres in Vienna, Munich, Heidelberg and Nuremberg. In 2011, his first screenplay Inclusion was produced and won the ABU-prize for Best TV Drama. For his first novel, Unter Einzelgängern (Amongst Loners), Kloeble won Best Debut 2008; his second book Wenn es klopft (A Knock at the Door) followed in 2009. Meistens alles sehr schnell (Mostly Everything Very Fast) appeared in 2012 and is being translated into several languages. Kloeble is currently adapting it as a feature film. In 2015 he has been invited as Guest Professor at Dartmouth College (USA). He has won numerous prizes for his poetry and prose and is also the recipient of key fellowships and residencies. Kloeble lives in Berlin and Delhi.
David Davidar was the head of Penguin India, who turned around its publishing program from a mere six titles in 1987 to 150 titles annually. In 2004, he relocated to Penguin Canada and is now the Founder of the Aleph Book Company established in May 2011 in partnership with Rupa publications. He has written several acclaimed novels like The House of Blue Mangoes, the Solitude of Emperors and Ithaca.
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.
Sumant has been awarded with the Sahitya Academy youth award for his playwright book Pani, which includes two plays Pani and Charoo Aro Etyadi. The book was published on 2011 by Popular Publications. Some of his plays have already become popular amongst youngsters.
Sumant is one of the names of those who are the future of the Marathi experimental theater.
Edwin Joseph Francis D’souza is a noted Konkani author, he has 33 published novels, over 100 short-stories, columns, satires etc. Many of his short stories are translated into English, Kannada, Hindi, Kashmiri, Malayalam and Tamil. He has won ten State, inter-state and international (from Dubai) Awards for literature.
Goa Konkani Akademi published his novel Kallem Bhangaar (Black Gold) using Nagari script. In the month of March 2012 he was awarded the The Book Sellers’ & Publishers’ Award (BAPASI) from Chennai for his life-time contribution to a minority language. He is also on the Board of Konkani Studies, Goa University.
He has written the dialogue for the Konkani movie Boxsane in 1995. He was also a Member of the General Council of the Sahitya Akademi (2008-2012) New Delhi and is presently the Executive Director of Konkani Institute, St.Aloysius College, Mangalore. Recently, he has been appointed a Member to the Expert Committee, Ministry of Culture, New Delhi, which decides on the Fellowship Awards.
Bangalore-based writer, freelance journalist, third-generation Mumbaikar, mixed-bag consultant, ghostwriter, an ex-corporate nobody, a counsellor-in-training and an introspective man.
Evan Hastings integrates Theatre of the Oppressed, Drama Therapy and elements of Hip Hop culture into his approach to artistic social healing. Grass Rooted in community organizing, he acts in, directs and produces original performance pieces that grapple with pressing issues while innovative aesthetics invite audience engagement.
Evan facilitates in correctional facilities, community theatres, schools and colleges. He also works with therapists, social workers, artists and educators by consulting and providing professional development.
Farah Ghuznavi is a writer, newspaper columnist and development worker, who remains an unrepentant idealist despite empirical evidence suggesting the wisdom of thinking otherwise. Her work has been published in the UK, US, Canada, France, Singapore, India, Nepal and her native Bangladesh. Judgement Day was Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Competition 2010, and Getting There placed second in the Oxford University GEF Competition. Currently finalizing her own short story manuscript, Farah recently edited Lifelines, an anthology for Zubaan Books.
Farah is writer-in-residence with Commonwealth Writers, and has been a panellist at the South Asian Literature Festival (UK), and Apeejay Kolkata Lit Fest, CALM Fest Shillong, Kolkata Lit Meet and Lit for Life Chennai (India). She is also a member of the organizing committee for Hay Festival Dhaka.
Farhan Akhtar is an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playback singer, lyricist and television host. Born in Mumbai to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, he grew up under the influence of the film industry.
Akhtar, after establishing a production company named Excel Entertainment along with Ritesh Sidhwani, made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and received critical acclaim for portraying modern youth. The film also won a National award. Following it, he made Lakshya (2004) and had his Hollywood debut through the soundtrack of Bride and Prejudice (2004), for which he wrote the lyrics. He went on to make the immensely successful Don (2006), though failing to receive critical acclaim for it. He directed a short-film titled Positive (2007) to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS.
He started his acting career with Rock on!! (2008), for which he won a second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer, and indulged in further experimentation before he acted in, produced and wrote the dialogues for the critical and commercial success Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), which also won two National awards. In the same year, he directed a sequel to Don titled Don 2 (2011), which remains as his highest-grossing film till date. His latest film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has just been released and received very good response worldwide eventually catapulting him into the Bollywood 100 Crore Club.
Farooq Shaheen hails from Jammu and Kashmir has been writing poetry and criticism in Kashmiri and Urdu since his teens. Well versed in English, Kashmiri, Hindi and Urdu, he has been contributing articles to several papers, magazines, and journals besides writing stories and dramas. He has participated in a number of state level symposia organized by various literary organizations and is a member of the editorial board of several literary magazines.
His published works include a compilation Nigah.i.Noor and a book Gash.i.Malar. He is presently president of Kaij Nag Cultural Forum, one of the literary organizations of his area. He is also an executive member of Adbi Markaz Kamraz, an international literary federation of Jammu and Kashmir. He received first position holder certificate in Natiya competition from Adbi Markaz Kamraz and Idara Itlaat (Daily news paper). He received the Yuva Puraskar 2012 from Kendra Sahitya Akademi for his book, Gash.i.Malar. The book is an in-depth contribution to the understanding and appreciation of certain landmark works in Kashmiri language and folk literature. It has critiqued modern poetry written in Kashmiri and has been appreciated by eminent senior Kashmiri critics.
Most acclaimed critic and short story writer. More than 15 books in his credit. Earlier he was Professor of English In Karnataka university, Dharwad. He was chairman of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi. As a critic He played major role in shaping navya literary movement in Kannada. He is recipient of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award and Rajyotsava award. He is pioneer member of Dharawada Sahitya Sambrama.
Grew up in a small gold mining town in Karnataka, went to college in Bangalore taught high school for a year and squeezed her way into journalism. Worked as a trainee for Hindustan Times Delhi and then at the age of 21 became a full-fledged reporter for Indian Express Bangalore…the first woman reporter in the city. Free-lanced for a long, long time, writing for a wide range of English language publications from different parts of the country. Her latest book of narrative journalism “Baby Makers: The Story of Indian Surrogacy” (Harper Collins 2014) the first ever comprehensive book on the subject has already received excellent reviews. Her other books are “Colour of Gold” a mystery novel set in an Indian gold mining town (Harper Collins in 2013), “Disappearing Daughters: the tragedy of Female Foeticide” (Penguin 2007)(translated into Marathi & Japanese), “Unbound: [email protected] (Penguin 2010) and “The Healing” a novel set in Chennai (Harper Collins 2008)
Govind Mishra is an award winning Indian novelist writing in India who has to his credit more than 53 books and has been awarded the most prestigious Hindi awards namely Vyas Samman and Sahitya Akademi Award. Govind Mishra was also awarded the Bharat Bharti Samman for the year 2011 – the highest literary award given by the Uttar Pradesh government.
He started writing at the age of 14 but regular writing commenced in 1965. Of his 53 books, 11 are novels, more than 10 are collection of stories, 5 are books on travels and the remaining are on miscellaneous subjects including stories for children, poems and literary essays. More than 150 PhDs have been completed on his works. Phool Imartein aur Bandar, Lal Peeli Zameen, Tumhari Roshni Mein, Dheer Sameere, Paanch Angano wala Ghar are a few of his master-pieces. His complete travelogues have been published in two titles Rango ki Gandh.
Bio coming soon.
H S Venkatesh Murthy
Dr. H.S. Venkatesha Murthy M A; Ph.D (1944), popularly known as H.S.V., is a leading luminary among the present-day Kannada poets and playwrights. Born to conservative parents, in a remote village Hodigere (Davanagere Dist), Dr. H.S.V had his schooling at his native village and later, Holalkare town, followed by collegiate training at Chitradurga and then Bangalore. Taking up his beloved teaching profession, he served as a faculty member of the famous St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore, over three decades.
After his retirement, he has settled down in Bangalore, devoting full time, talent and energy to his pet vocation of penning poetry as well as plays in Kannada. Dr. H.S.V has earned Doctroal recognition (Ph.D) for his research work on the subject Kannadadalli Kathana Kavanagalu. Recently HSV has been honoured with Central Sahitya Academy Bala Puraskar Award (2013).
Some of his famous works include Chithrapata – Uriya Uyyale – Agnivarna (plays) 1999, Vaidehi mattu itara kavanagaLu (poems) 2012 and ShankhadoLagina Mouna (poems) 2013.
H.H.Sri Sri Ravishankar
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world. He has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life and he has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.
Hakim, co-Founder and Principal Consultant at Winning Matters Consulting Pvt. Ltd., is an Olympian swimmer with over 20 years of experience in the Indian sporting domain.
Hakim, an Engineer, worked with Tata Consultancy Services Limited for 5 years before getting back into the sports domain in 2006. He co-Founded GoSports India Pvt. Ltd. (2006-2010) and GoSports Foundation (2008-2011) prior to starting Winning Matters Consulting. Hakim has also been a part of FICCI’s Sports Committee since 2010.
Towards the development of Indian sports, his journey has seen him work closely with key stakeholders in the sporting ecosystem – Government, Industry, Public Sector, Non-Government Organizations, International Sporting events, Centers of Excellence, Elite Athletes and Teams – in India and beyond.
Hakim believes in the power of sport towards enabling socio-economic development and envisions an India where sporting excellence and participation are an integral part of Indian culture.
Harish Bijoor is a brand-expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., a private-label consulting practice that operates in the realm of brand and business strategy. The company has a presence in the markets of Hong Kong, Seattle, London, Istanbul, Dubai and the Indian sub-continent. Harish is a much sought after 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 over 12,000 hours to date. He is active on Twitter @harishbijoor.
Hartosh Singh Bal
Hartosh Singh Bal trained as an engineer at BITS Pilani and a mathematician at New York University before turning to journalism. He is co-author of A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel, which won the Association of American Publishers’ award for the Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Mathematics for 2007. He is the political editor of Open, and has worked for The Indian Express, Tehelka and Mail Today.
Ian Jack is a Scottish journalist who was the editor of the literary magazine Granta from 1995 to 2007. Granta 98 “The Deep End” was the 48th issue which he edited and the last.
Jack was educated at Dunfermline High School. After working on several newspaper in Scotland in the 1960s, he was a journalist at The Sunday Times from 1970 to 1986, working as a reporter, editor, feature writer and foreign correspondent in India, from where he covered the Indian Subcontinent and regional hotspots including Afghanistan. Between 1977 and 1989, he lived mainly in Calcutta,and New Delhi.
He was a co-founder of the Independent on Sunday in 1989 and edited the paper from 1991 to 1995, when he joined Granta as its editor, staying in that post until May 2007. A contributor to The Guardian for many years, Jack currently writes a weekly column and other articles for the newspaper. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. He also writes periodically for the Telegraph (Calcutta).
In 2009, Jack published a collection of essays and unpublished writings entitled The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain. One reviewer wrote of Jack’s handling of time in this book: “He is up there with a fiction writer such as Alice Munro in his grasp of its ebb and flow, his awareness that its strong but rapidly changing currents often leave us wondering not only what we can remember, but what we should.”Alexander Chancellor called the book “superb”, and added: “Collections of columns and newspaper articles are not usually a very good idea. They quickly become stale and dated, and one sometimes wonders what the point of them is except to deceive journalists into thinking that their ephemeral scribblings deserve some permanence. Jack is an exception to the rule.”
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.
Janaki Murali authored The Colour of Dawn in 2002 (publishers Harper Collins, India) and was selected as an emerging leader by the US government to travel to the US to study the US financial systems. She has interviewed world leaders – Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen; entrepreneur Lord Swaraj Paul; late management guru, C.K. Prahlad, several CEOs and industry leaders
Janaki campaigned the plight of child brides in Deccan Chronicler prompting government action in setting up rehabilitation centres for the affected girls. She started and program managed a very successful community empathy program and took it from baby steps to a very large global program impacting 250,0000 students and successfully transitioned it to another team. She has also created the first sustainability policy for Infosys.
Jayanth Kodkani, a Senior Editor with The Times of India, Bangalore, has lived in Bangalore all his life, watching its many faces of change. He has written extensively on social and cultural topics, besides trying his hand at fiction and translation. He has co-edited an anthology called, Beantown Boomtown: Bangalore In The World Of Words.
K. Satchidanandan, has 23 collections of his poetry in 18 languages including English, Irish, Arabic, French, German and Italian. His book While I Write: New and Selected Poems (Harper-Collins) came out in 2011. He has won 27 literary awards including Knighthood of the Order of Merit from the Government of Italy and India-Poland Friendship Medal from the Government of Poland. A film on him, Summer Rain was released in 2007.
Kanak Mani Dixit
Kanak Mani Dixit is Nepali publisher, editor and writer. He is the founder editor of the English current affairs magazine Himal Southasian and Nepali weekly Himal Khabarpatrika, published from Kathmandu. He is the co-editor of State of Nepal and the translator of Atamabrittanta: B.P. Koirala’s Late Life Reflections. His most recent works are Dekhekho Muluk (2010) in Nepali and Peace Politics of Nepal (2011). He is the author of popular children books such as Adventures of a Nepali Frog, The Leech & I and Other Stories. He was conferred the 2009 Prince Claus Award for his role in the cultural development in Southasia.
Managing Director – Rupa Publications & Aleph Book Company
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.
For the last twelve years, Kingshuk Nag has been the editor of The Times Of India, the country’s leading newspaper in two different parts of the country (Ahmedabad and Hyderabad). Nag was awarded with The Prem Bhatia Award for 2002 for excellence in political reporting and analysis for the coverage of the Gujarat incidents.
A prolific writer on the pages of The Times Of India, Nag also writes a blog called Masala Noodles on the site of timesofindia.com that comments on contemporary issues and is widely read. He is presently engaged in conceptualizing a political and electoral system that may serve India better in what he calls the ‘Second Republic’.
Nag serves on the board of the School of Management of the University of Hyderabad (a central university) and is a member of the Hyderabad chapter of the CEO’s Club of India. He was also a member of the People’s Tribunal to examine cases of atrocities on minorities in 2007. In 2010, he was awarded the state level Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award by the Orissa Rajiv Forum for excellence in journalism.
Kishwar Desai’s debut novel, Witness the Night won the prestigious Costa First Novel Award (2010). Her controversial second novel, Origins of Love, has been published internationally by Simon and Schuster. She has just completed her third novel; The Sea Of Innocence, to be published in May 2013, and is working on a book on cinema on Devika Rani and Himansu Rai.
Chamu Krishna Shastri is co-founder of the Samskrita Bharati movement, which is aiming to make Sanskrit popular across the world.
A senior bharatanatyam dancer, Lakshmi Vishvanathan was initiated in the art by Shrimati Kaushalya of the Vazhuvoor school. Subsequently she learnt under Ganeshan Pillai and Sankar and finally came under the tutelage of vidwan Kanchipuram Ellappa Pillai. She also received training in Carnatic music and learnt Padams from T.Mukta. From Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam she received training in kuchipudi dance.
Lakshmi Vishvanathan has been performing in India and abroad since the 1970s and is a notable artist specializing in abhinaya. She is also a choreographer, teacher and writer on dance. Her productions Vata Vriksha and Chatmanga have received wide appreciation.
A recipient of the title Nritya Chudamani, Lakshmi Vishvanathan has been convenor of the Natya Kala Conference in Madras for two years. She has also conducted dance workshops in Europe and the United States. She has published a book on Bharatnatyam, Bharatanatyam: The Tamil heritage and a film on the subject, The Poetry of Dance.
Lavanya Sankaran’s debut novel The Hope Factory was selected by Amazon UK as a Top Pick and awarded rave reviews worldwide. Her first book, The Red Carpet, a critically acclaimed short story collection, spent two years on the best-seller lists. Lavanya sponsors an annual Writing Fellowship at the Sangam Writers Residency to encourage new writers in India.
Laxmi Murthy is Consulting Editor with Himal Southasian, the region’s only political review magazine, published from Kathmandu. She also heads the Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange a research unit under the Himal banner. She edits and writes, but mostly loves to read.
Lt. Gen. Ramesh Halagali
Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali was born in Karnataka in 1952. He graduated from the Indian Military Academy and was commissioned in First Battalion the Sikh Light Infantry in Dec 1972. He has attended Defence Services Staff College, Higher Command Course at Army War College, National Defence College and Senior Fellowship Programme at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC accredited with US War College. He is an M.Phil. from DAV Institute of Management, Indore. He commanded First Battalion the Sikh Light Infantry, an Infantry Brigade and an Infantry Division on the Line of Control in Kashmir. He was also the Corps Commander of a Corps in Punjab. Thereafter, he was the Director General Military Training and later was the Deputy Chief of Army Staff at Army Headquarters.
He has been awarded the President’s Sena Medal Gallantry for displaying courage and bravery in the face of enemy in 1992. He was also awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his outstanding & distinguished service to the Army and nation. He was instrumental in bringing peace and stability in war torn Kashmir during the peak of insurgency. He conceptualized and integrated communications and Information Technology in the field Army. He enhanced diplomatic and military programmes with foreign countries and ushered in greater focus on strategic affairs and United Nations Peace Keeping Missions world over. He enhanced infrastructure development and force multipliers in keeping with the spirit of Nation Building.
At the age of 59, he performed a solo skydive from over 12000 feet with only four hours of training. This record breaking jump is featured in the Limca Book of Records 2013 edition.
He is the Co-Founder of Catalytic, a Strategic Multi-disciplinary Think Tank, operating from Bangalore in the peninsular India region.
M B Srinidhi
Sanskrit scholar from Matthoor.
M M Kalburgi
M M Kalburgi is hailed as the most outstanding and authentic research scholar of Kannada literature and culture. His knowledge of, and work on old Kannada literature, epigraphy, manuscriptology, vachanasahitya are the milestones of his career. All of his writings are available in a set of seven volumes called Marga. He is the recipient of Nadoja award, Nrupatunga award, Pampa Prashasti, Karnataka Sahitya Akademi and central Sahitya Akademi awards.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar is an Indian academic, and writer. She is the Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), based in Delhi, and the Director of the Indic Studies Project based at CSDS which aims to promote the study of Religions and Cultures in the Indic Civilization. She studied at Miranda House as well as at Jawahar Lal Nehru University. In 2013, Madhu Kishwar wrote Modinama (Chronicles of Modi) in which she has been critical of the media for their false propaganda about Narendra Modi’s role during Gujarat violence 2002 and in its aftermath, Kishwar had earlier been critical of Modi, in the context of the violence.
Madhu is the Natya Stem Dance Kampni’s Director and Choreographer. A graduate of commerce, journalism and choreography, she has trained in Kathak from her mother Dr Maya Rao and from Smt. Chitra Venugopal. Although she trained in contemporary dance in New York, she came back to India to create a unique ‘contemporary Indian dance’ vocabulary where tradition and modernity co-exist. As a Kathak and contemporary dancer, and panellist at important design and academic institutions, she has been invited on many occasions to perform, design programmes and choreographic works for prestigious cultural organisations in India, UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, South East Asia, Europe and USA. Madhu was chosen as one of India’s young achievers by the magazine India Today.
Madhulika Liddle is a novelist and award-winning short story writer who lives in New Delhi. She is best-known as the author of the Muzaffar Jang series, about a Mughal detective who debuted in The Englishman’s Cameo, and has since appeared in The Eighth Guest & Other Muzaffar Mysteries, and Engraved in Stone. Madhulika writes in a variety of genres, including dark humour (a collection of which, My Lawfully Wedded Husband and Other Stories, was released in 2013) and crime.
Mallepuram G Venkatesh
Critic and scholar. He has edited Shambajoshi works in huge volume and written a scholarly preface to that. Recipient of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi honorary award and Rajyotsva award. At present he is vice-chancellor of Karnataka Sanskruta university. He has more than ten books are in his credit.
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.
Meena Kandasamy is a poet, writer, activist and translator. Her work maintains a focus on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch (2006) and Ms Militancy (2010).
She holds a PhD in socio-linguistics from Anna University, Chennai, and is now working on her first novel The Gypsy Goddess.
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.
Mira Hashmi lives and works in Lahore. A graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal, she has been teaching the discipline of Film Studies since 1998, and is currently Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the Lahore School of Economics.
Mira has also been writing about film for various publications for over twenty years. Her areas of special interest include the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock and the Hollywood musical, and she also has a special affinity for Hindi masala movies. She has two children, one of them named after her grandfather the iconic poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and the other after a character from the TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She always seeks the perfect glass of cold coffee, and hopes to swim with dolphins one day.
Nabaneeta Dev Sen
Nabaneeta Dev Sen is a major creative writer in India, and an academic of international recognition. While her academic work is in English, her creative writing is in Bangla.
Retired as Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, has more than eighty publications in a variety of genres, consisting of poetry, novels, short stories, travelogues, plays, memoirs, literary criticism, translations and children’s literature.
She has received national and international acclaim, including Padmashri, Sahitya Akademi Award, Bangla Akademi Lifetime Achievement Award, Publishers and Booksellers’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, etc. She has represented Indian writing at international fora, was the Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecturer at Oxford University, held the Maytag Chair of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at Colorado College, USA, a visiting professor at the International Summer School of Semiotic and Structural Studies, was member of the executive committees of International Comparative Literature Association, and of the International Association of Semiotic Studies. She is the President of Soi, Women Writers’ Association of West Bengal.
Nandita Bose explores relationships and social biases through her works of fiction. Her published works include: Tread Softly, The Perfume of Promise, If Walls could Weep and Shadow & Soul.
Renowned Critic and writer. His works on K K Narasimhaswamy, and Kuvempu are well acclaimed in Kannada. He was coordinator of Central Sahitya Akademi for Kannada board. He is the recipient of GSS award, Kavyananda award. He has more than twenty books to his credit.
Nasreen Munni Kabir
Nasreen Munni Kabir is an India-born television producer based in the UK. She is best known for producing an annual season of Indian films for the British terrestrial television channel Channel 4.
Nighat Gandhi is a writer, mother, Sufi wanderer, and mental health counsellor. She spent her formative years in Dhaka and Karachi, and has subsequently spent many years in India and the United States. She consciously identifies as a citizen of South Asia to transcend limitations imposed by narrow nationalisms.
She is the author of Ghalib at Dusk and Other Stories (Tranquebar, 2009) and What I am Today, I Won’t Remain Tomorrow: Conversations With Survivors of Abuse (Yoda Press, 2010). Her memoir/travelogue entitled Alternative Realities: Love in the Lives of Muslim Women is forthcoming from Tranquebar.
Nilanjan P. Choudhury spent several years peddling highly overrated software to gullible corporates, until a mid-life crisis saw him joining an NGO that works in education. He studied at IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Kanpur and often wonders why he went through all that jazz. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, a daughter and a home loan.
Nilanjana S. Roy is an Indian journalist and literary critic, author of The Wildings. She currently writes a regular column for the Business Standard. She used to write a notorious literary blog called Kitabkhana under the pseudonym Hurree Babu.
Nirmala Laxman is a journalist and Director of The Hindu group of publications. She was Joint Editor of The Hindu and has held senior editorial positions at the newspaper for more than three decades. Nirmala founded and edited The Hindu Literary Review, and conceptualized and created Young World, India’s only children’s newspaper supplement.
She launched and curated The Hindu’s literary festival, Lit for Life, and initiated the annual Prize for Best Fiction from The Hindu. Nirmala has a PhD in postmodern fiction from Madras University and a master’s degree in English from the United States. She is the editor of an anthology of contemporary Indian journalism, Writing a Nation.
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.
Padekal Vishnu Bhatt
Padekal Vishnu Bhat is presently the Principal, Government First Grade College, Hiradka, Udupi dist. He is a great scholar of Kannada, Tulu & Sanskrit among other languages. His books include Vichara Prapancha, Sukruthi, Sediyapu Chandassamputa etc.
Piyush Jha is a film director and screenwriter and novelist, most known for his acclaimed films Sikandar, King of Bollywood and Chalo America and his bestseller crime-thriller novel, Mumbaistan.
Poile Sengupta is a novelist, poet, playwright and short fiction writer for both children and adults. As a writer for children, she has about a dozen books for various age groups and has been anthologized in some of the most prestigious anthologies for children in India. Her plays have been published by Seagull, Routledge and Puffin and include the award winning Mangalam, as also Keats Was a Tuber, and Samara’s Song which were shortlisted for BBC and The Hindu awards, respectively. She has recently concentrated on fiction for adults; her short story Ammulu was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Her first novel for adults Inga was published in 2014 to critical acclaim. She has been on the Governing Body of the National School of Drama and several times on the jury of the Trinity College international play-writing competition for children. She has acted in several plays and in the award winning films The Outhouse and Shaitan.
India’s Fashion guru Prasad Bidapa exports Bangalore style to world destinations and has created a distinctive niche in the Indian Fashion scenario. His projects like the Prasad Bidapa Fashion Week, the Prasad Bidapa Megamodel Hunt and Colombo Fashion Week are held annually and have put him on the International fashion map. He was the first to hold the Men’s Fashion Week in India and he was responsible for the first ever Fashion Industry awards in India – The Kingfisher Fashion Awards.
He presents some of the largest Fashion events and has travelled abroad extensively to present shows in S.Africa, Sweden, San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai and other cities.
His training programme for models is legendary for having created some of the biggest names in Fashion and Film. His work as an Image and Fashion consultant has created a state-of-the-art approach to retail fashion and branding exercises.
He is actively involved in fund raising projects for various charitable institutions and is committed to the cause of educating children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2010 he was nominated as one of Bangalore’s 25 most influential people. He is currently the trustee of B.PAC, the Bangalore Political Action Committee.
He lives in the countryside outside Bangalore with his wife Judith, two children – Adam & Aviva, and ten dogs.
Prasoon, Writer Poet and Ad legend, straddles myriad worlds. One, in his roles as Chairman & CEO McCann Worldgroup India & Executive Creative Director of the Asia Pacific. Add to which his avatar in the world of literature and music, as an acclaimed Writer.
On One hand he has been designated as a Young Global leader by The World Economic Forum and on the other he has been conferred the acclaimed ‘National Award ‘ twice by the President of India. The overlap of these fields gives Prasoon’s work a distinct edge.
He has his finger on the pulse of the masses with unique brand and content creation that transcends boundaries and becomes part of Popular culture is his forte. Prasoon is also recognized for creating a new language for Advertising in India and responsible for India’s strong presence of on the International advertising map. He has won over 500 International and National awards. Including the International Vatayan Samman at the House of Lords, London for his contribution to Hindi Poetry and Langauage.
He has judged and chaired many prestigious International and National Award shows like Cannes and also the acclaimed Dada Saheb Phalke Purkaskaar.
His work in mainstream Indian films has him collect the all the major Cinema awards like Filmfare and Screen apart from others.
He has recently penned the story, screenplay dialogues and songs for the Feature Film on a legendary sports star Milkha Singh – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. This is in addition to his already acclaimed work in films like Taare Zameen Par, Chittagong, Rang De Basanti and recently Satyagraha.
His work on Social causes : be it Women Empowerment, Polio, Anti Tobacco, Voting, or Child rights of Tourism Ministry’s Athithi devo Bhava.
Prasoon has also been part of former Indian Prime Minister’s board of Advisors (Communication) and has been invited by various bodies on their board as Advisor. Wielding his intellect and pen across mediums and creating unique content be it for brands or, a critical Malnutrition campaign for the Government of India, or socially relevant campaigns Prasoon also has 4 published books of prose and poetry.
Prasoon’s work has a Mass connect and especially resonates with the youth. His talent and sharp intellect is uniquely poised and finds reflection in many diverse fields.
Preeti Shenoy, among the top five highest selling authors in India, is also on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India. She is the highest selling woman writer in India. India Today has named her as being unique for being the only woman in the best-selling league. Her second book, Life is what you make it, continues to top the best-selling charts and has been translated to several languages, ncluding Turkish. Her third, Tea for two and a piece of cake, made it to the top five best-selling Indian fiction of 2012. Her fourth, The Secret Wish List, was among the top ten fiction of 2013. Her fifth, The One You Cannot Have, debuted at No.2 on the Nielsen list. The sixth, It happens for a Reason, was out in December 2014 and has been on the Nielsen top ten, every week, since its release. Her seventh book, Why We love The Way We Do, was among the top five best selling non-fiction books of 2015. Her latest, It’s all In the Planets, is at No.3 on the Nielsen list. She has been awarded the Academia award for Business Excellence by the New Delhi Institute of Management, which is given to distinguished professionals for innovative best practices for their contribution to their field that adds to India’s international and national reputation. She has also received the ‘100 Young Indian women achievers award’ in the Powerful leader category, given to the top professionals their field, chosen by consumers and Industry. She is also an artist specialising in portraiture. With a very popular blog, she also writes a weekly column in The Financial Chronicle.
Raghavendra M. K.
MK Raghavendra is a film scholar and a founder-editor of Phalanx a web journal dedicated to debate. He received the National Award (the Swarna Kamal) for best film critic in the year 1997. He was awarded a two-year Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 2000-01 to research into Indian popular film narrative as well as a Goethe Insitut Fellowship in 2000 to study post-war German cinema.
He has authored two volumes of academic film criticism – Seduced by the Familiar: Narration and Meaning in Indian Popular Cinema (Oxford, 2008) and Bipolar Identity: Region, Nation and the Kannada Language Film (Oxford, 2011) and 50 Indian Film Classics (2009). His academic essays on Indian cinema find a place in Indian and international anthologies. 50 Indian Film Classics and Seduced by the Familiar: Narration and Meaning in Indian Popular Cinema have been named as among the best books on cinema from around the world by FIPRESCI, The International Federation of Film Critics. His most recent book Directors Cut: 50 Major Filmmakers of the Modern Era (Collins) came out in June 2013.
Rajmohan Gandhi is a biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and a research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is an Indian filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for writing and directing Rang De Basanti (2006), for which he won Best Director awards at the 2006 Filmfare Awards and National Film Awards and received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. He is also the writer and director of the films Aks (2001) and Delhi-6 (2009). He also directed movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) which was well appreciated among both masses and critics. The movie was based on popular Indian athlete Milkha Singh.
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. His books include The Unquiet Woods, A Corner of a Foreign Field, India after Gandhi, and Gandhi Before India. His books and essays have been translated into more than 20 languages. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the UK Cricket Society’s Literary Prize, the Ramnath Goenka Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Bhushan, and the Fukuoka Prize. He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Times Litfest, Mumbai.
His latest book is Democrats and Dissenters.
Ramakanta Rath is one of the most renowned modernist poets in the Oriya literature. Heavily influenced by the poets such as T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, Rath experimented greatly with form and style.
Ravi Subramanian is an Indian author. A banker by profession, Subramanian has written four popular thrillers about banking and bankers, including the Economist Crossword Book Award winning The Incredible Banker.
Reena I Puri
Reena I Puri is the Executive Editor of Amar Chitra Katha. A journalist by profession, her forte has been writing and editing for children.
Reeth Abraham is an athlete from India and was once the national champion in long jump and heptathlon. She won the Arjuna Award in 1997. During the course of her long athletic career spanning over 15 years (1976–1992), Reeth represented Karnataka State and India on a number of occasions, setting records along the way.
Her best achievement was as a mother when she won a national championship within 10 months of giving birth. She is also the first Indian mother to break a national record and the South Asian Games record. She also holds to her credit being the first Asian woman to win an Asian medal in an Individual event as a mother.
An eminent Kodava writer and scholar.
Rohini Nilekani is Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam, a foundation she has personally endowed to fund initiatives in ‘Safe, Sustainable water for All’. Since 2005, Arghyam has supported work in water and sanitation all around India. Arghyam also facilitates the India Water Portal, which has become a singular resource for the sector.
In 2014, together with her husband Nandan Nilekani, she co-founded and is a Director of EkStep, an education non-profit that has created a technology platform for early learning.
In 2004, she co-founded and funded Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher, which aims to democratize the joy of reading with ‘A book in every child’s hands’. By the time she retired as Chairperson on December 31 st , 2013, Pratham Books had reached millions of children with indigenous, attractive books in multiple languages.
Rohini sits on the Board of ATREE- Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, an environmental think tank. She is on the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India. Between 2010 and 2012, she was a member of the Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Earlier, she spent several years as a journalist, and has worked or written for many leading publications such as Bombay Magazine, India Today, MINT and the Times of India. Her first novel, Stillborn, a medical thriller, was published by Penguin Books. In 2008, she anchored a television show called Uncommon Ground for NDTV, which created a rare dialogue between top leaders of the corporate and social sectors. A book based on the show was published by Penguin Books India in 2011. Under the pseudo name ‘Noni’, she has also authored several books for young children, including the popular Sringeri Srinivas series, published by Pratham Books.
As a committed philanthropist, she continues to fund work in areas such as governance and accountability, independent media, education and research and environmental sustainability.
Rohini Nilekani is an active advocate for Indian philanthropy.
Saskya Jain grew up in New Delhi. Educated at Berlin’s Free University and Columbia University, New York, she holds a Masters degree in fiction from Boston University, where she was the recipient of the Florence Engel Randall Award for Fiction and the Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship for travel to Iran in 2010. Her translation of renowned German academician, Erika Fischer-Lichte’s The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics was published by Routledge in 2008. One of her short stories was a finalist in the 2011 Asian-American Short Story Contest, and her writing has appeared in Literary Imagination, Hyphen Magazine and The Baffler. She was a Fall 2012 resident at Ledig House in upstate New York and Writer-in-Residence at the Goethe-Institut Bangalore in January 2013. She is currently working on her debut novel.
Satyajit Sarna graduated from the National Law School, Bangalore, in 2008. He lives in New Delhi. He is the author of The Angel’s Share.
Gold medalist from the Mysore university in bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Between 1970 and 1993, worked as senior lecturer in Sanskrit at Sir M Visvesvaraya First Grade college, Bhadravati, Between 1993 and 2006 worked as the Academic Director at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s UK Centre in London and Manchester.
He is currently a freelancer Sanskrit tutor in UK and works for several universities and organisations in UK as well as Europe. He is in the Cambridge International Exams Board for two subjects, –Sanskrit as well as Hinduism (Mauritius). Under the UK Ministry of Justice, he is the Hindu faith Adviser for Her Majesty’s Prison Services, Chaplaincy.
Sharmistha Gooptu has a Ph.D in History from the University of Chicago. She is author of Bengali Cinema: An Other Nation, and has written extensively on Indian cinema. She is a founding trustee of the South Asia Research Foundation (SARF), joint editor of the journal South Asian History and Culture (Routledge) and the Routledge South Asian History and Culture book series, and editor of the online South Asia Archive.
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.
Sheba Karim writes fiction for young adults and adults. She was born and raised in Catskill, NY, where she never saw Rip Van Winkle but frequently crossed the bridge that bore his name. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Her young adult novel, Skunk Girl, was published in the United States, Denmark, India, Italy and Sweden. Her fiction has appeared in 580 Split, Asia Literary Review, Barn Owl Review, EGO, Kartika Review, Shenandoah, South Asian Review, Time Out Delhi and in several published and forthcoming anthologies in the United States and India, including Cornered, Electric Feather and Venus Fly Trap. Two of her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was a 2009-2010 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar scholar.
She is the editor of Alchemy: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Short Stories 2, released in November 2012 by Tranquebar Press, India. She is represented by Ayesha Pande Literary. She is currently working on a historical fiction novel set in 13th century India and a young adult novel set in 21st century New Jersey.
Shikha Malaviya considers herself a morpher, having been born in the U.K., and raised in the U.S. and India. Her cross-cultural experiences greatly inspire and inform her work. She is founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Project, an online archive of Modern Indian Poetry currently under development, as well as The Great Indian Poetry Collective, a specialized literary press.
She is also a partner in the project Poetry in Public India. Shikha’s work has been featured in The Missing Slate, Sugar Mule, Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Water~stone Review, and other fine journals/anthologies. She gave a TEDx talk on poetry in Bangalore, India, March 2013 and has also been organizing the ‘100 Thousand Poets for Change-Bangalore’ event for the past two years. Shikha’s book of poems, Geography of Tongues, is forthcoming September 2013.
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.
Dr. S L Shrinivas Murthy is originally from Kolar district in Karnataka. Although a graduate in Science, did his post graduation in both Kannada language and Journalism. Completed his Ph.D. on B L Rice from Bangalore University. He traveled to Oxford and Cambridge Universities in UK in search of research material. He has also edited books on P V Acharya and others. Presently a professor in Vijaya College, Bengaluru, he is also a visiting professor at Bangalore Law College and Kannada Sahitya Parishad. He is also the honorary editor of Masti Adhyayan Peetha.
Shyam Madhavan Sarada
Greystroke aka Shyam Madhavan Sarada a founder-member of Bookalore is a writer, illustrator, cartoonist and art director.
One who started Dalit literature in kannada. Eminent Poet, Playwright, thinker and activist. His poetry Holemadigarahadu gave a new dimension to kannada literature. His popular autobiography is Oorukeri translated in to many Indian languages including English. He was president of Kannada book authority and ex member of Karnataka legislative council. Recipient of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award, Rajyotsava award and Nadojapuraskara.
Sidhartha Bhatia has been in the media for over three decades, working as a journalist, television anchor, teacher and commentator in India and abroad. He writes on politics, foreign affairs, and society and culture. He loves old Hindi and Hollywood films and the city of Mumbai where he lives with his family. He is the author of two books – Cinema Modern: The Navketan Story and Amar Akbar Anthony – Masala, Madness, Manmohan Desai.
Sumeet Shetty, a book worm, is the coordinator for Literati, SAP’s book-reading club, which has so far invited writers with varied tastes and outlook either in Bangalore or at its Gurgaon office.
Swar Thounaojam is a playwright, theatre director and performer. She is a recipient of the Junior Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, India, the Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship, the Robert Bosch Art Grant and the International Playwrights’ Residency, Royal Court Theatre, London. She co-wrote Flinntheater’s C sharp C blunt which won Best Original Script at META (Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards) 2014. Her plays include Turel, Fake Palindromes, Lucky Lobster, and Bogey Systems. She is currently working on Great Game East – a photography-video-performance project.
T V Mohandas Pai
Chairman, Manipal Global Education; former member of the Board and Head – Finance and HR, Infosys Ltd.
Tilman Rammstedt was born in 1975 in Bielefeld and now lives in Berlin. He has received many awards including the renowned Ingeborg Bachmann and Annette von Droste Hülshoff literary prizes. Der Kaiser von China (The King of China) that won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2008 is translated into English by Seagull Books, Kolkata and will be released during the Bangalore Literature Festival. It is an overwhelming picaresque novel, so sparkling, action-packed, and exceedingly funny that one allows oneself to be lied to with the greatest of pleasure. It tells a ripping story in which a grandson, somewhat absurdly named Keith Stapperpfenning, steals not only his grandfather’s wife, but also his travelling money. He has to think up a fairy tale about a trip to China to tell his siblings, a trip he will supposedly take with his grandfather – although he has just died.
Rammstedt’s other well-known works include Erledigungen vor der Feier (2003), Wir bleiben in der Nähe (2005), Brachland – Geschichten vom Nichts (2010) and Die Abenteuer meines ehemaligen Bankberaters (2012).
Tilman Rammstedt is also Goethe Writer-in-Residence @ The Bangalore Literature Festival in September 2013.
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.
Vani Mahesh has a Masters degree in computer science from the US but always nurtured a desire to retell the exciting stories from Hindu Puranas. A consultant writer with Amar Chitra Katha where she scripts stories from the Hindu texts, her books include Tales of Creation – stories from Brahma Purana, A Kingdom for His Love and Saptarshi – the Seven Supreme Sages. A retelling of Shiva Purana for children is due for release next year. She is also the founder of EasyLib.com, the first online library in India.
Varun Agarwal is 25 years old, and has three companies to his credit – Alma Mater, Reticular and Last Minute Films. He’s now turned into an author with his first book How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded a Million Dollar Company.
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.
Veeraraghav T. M.
Currently Associate Editor, The Hindu. Was Senior Editor and Prime time anchor with CNN IBN. Has been a TV Journalist since 1999 (Worked with NDTV 2000 – 2005; CNN IBN 2005 -2013). Fan of – Old Monk Rum, Enfield Bullet, The Beatles.
A young and upcoming Telugu writer who received the Sahitya Akademi’s Yuva Puraskar 2011 for Telugu for his work Molakala Punnami depicting the lives of the village people of Rayalaseema. His work on the Tribal Landscape and life, Minam Bommalu (Wax Toys) was selected for ATA Puraskar for the year 2004.
His works include Kathanam (Collection of Articles), Molakala Punnami (Collection of Stories), Pune Pranayam (News Story), Kadapa Vybhavam (Souvenir), Hiranya Rajyam (Rayalaseema Factionalism History), Devarasila (Selected Short Stories), Neela Dhigina Vaana (Novel), Toli Telugu Sasanam (First Telugu Inscription) and Papagni Kathalu (Collection of Stories).
Eminent scholar and teacher. He scholarly work on Kannadachandassu is well known. He has more than eighty books to his credit. He has edited several old Kannada epics. Recipient of Pampa Prashasti, Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award.
Vibha Rani is a national level writer, playwright & theatre performer of two Indian Languages – Hindi & Maithili. She has published more than fifteen books and translated seven books of three Maithili Sahitya Akademi Award Winner writers.
A nationally acclaimed theatre actor, specialized in solo performance, Vibha is continuously doing theatre in & around the world. A winner of several awards for her literary/theatrical/social contribution in Hindi & in Maithili including the prestigious KATHA AWARD, Ghanshyamdas Saraf Sahitya Samman, Dr. Maheshwari Singh ‘Mahesh’ Sarvottam Sahitya Samman, 1st Rajiv Saraswat Samman, 1st Ladli Media Award for her satirical writing, 1st Vyangya Rachnakar Samman, Sahityasevi Samman, Best female Actor Award, Vishnudas Bhave Samman, etc.
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.
Vikas Singh is a self-confessed word addict, who obsessively reads anything that comes his way, be it an old newspaper or the label on a cough syrup bottle. An Army kid, he spent most of his early life moving from one place to another, with books being his only constant companion. A love-affair that is on even today, with the repertoire varying from military history to Larry Gonnick’s cartoon histories and non-fiction to pulp fiction.
Having obtained a history honours degree from St. Stephen’s College, he did a post-graduate diploma in Marketing Management soon after. But plots and stories continued to fire his imagination. Starting his career with The Economic Times, he is now the Resident Editor of The Times of India, Delhi. He lives in the capital with his wife and daughter, who are equally enthralled by the written word, in a house which seems to have more books than furniture.
Having previously co-authored a brief, breezy history of knowledge, The Know of Things, with Derek O’Brien, Jug Suraiya and Bunny Suraiya, The Big Fix is his first novel, though definitely not his last.
Teaches Kannada at the Central Uiversity of Karnataka. He is a promising poet and critic. He has over five books to his credit. He is the recipient of Bharatiyabhasha Yuvapuraskar from Kolkota, and the Shrivijaya award from the Kannadasahitya Parishat.
Vimala R. Malhotra is the founder-director of Hippocampus Children’s Experience Centre – a space where children can discover and satisfy their love for reading. After a decade, Hippocampus now also promotes reading by establishing libraries and developing school library programmes. She is a founder-member of Bookalore – Bangalore’s Big Little Book Club.
Professor of Kannada Language,Literature andFolkloristics in Mangalore University,Karnataka,(1970-2004), Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University,Hampi (2004-07)and Karnataka State Open University(2007-09) & Guest-Professor,Dept.of Indology,University of Wurzburg,Germany(2009- ).
Wendell Rodricks is a prominent fashion designer based in the western Indian region of Goa. He has been listed among one of India’s top ten designers. He has authored two books – The Green Room, Moda Goa: History & Style and contributed to Inside/Out, a collection of stories.
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.