Aakar Patel is the Executive Director of Amnesty International India. A columnist and writer, he has edited newspapers since 1996. And has translated the writings of Saadat Hasan Manto from Urdu and the writings of Narendra Modi from Gujarati.
Third generation of the Bahrisons Booksellers family, Aanchal Malhotra currently works as a Literary Agent with Red Ink Literary Agency, New Delhi. She is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Delhi. Her seminal work, ‘Remnants of a Separation’ is an alternative history of the Partition of India through material memory- a study into the objects refugees took with them when they left homes on either side of the border in 1947.
S.Aishwarya, the Great-Granddaughter of Bharat Ratna M.S.Subbulakshmi and Grand Daughter of Dr. Radha Viswanathan is a rising star of Carnatic Music. Aishwarya’s musical journey commenced at the age of 4, when she was initiated into music by her Great Grandmother and Grandmother. She continues to learn the MSS style from Dr Radha Viswanathan even today. Apart from her Grandmother, Aishwarya is under the tutelage & expert guidance of Guru – Karnataka Kalashree, Vidushi Smt. Jambu Kannan who has assiduously trained Aishwarya since 2002. Similar to her illustrious Great-Grandmother, Aishwarya is a Vainika too and since 2005 has been learning the Veena under Vidwan Sri A Shankar Raman, disciple of Late Vidushi Rajeshwari Padmanabhan of the illustrious Karaikudi Tradition.
Aishwarya has performed close to 200 concerts in India and abroad since her concert debut(2007), at the age of 11, including the prestigious Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival in USA and the Music India Festival at Dubai.
Ajitha G.S. has been an editor in various media and formats for the past 17 years. She is currently senior commissioning editor, HarperCollins Publishers India.
Akshaya Mukul is a journalist with the Times of India. He has contributed to A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures in English (2005) edited by Prem Poddar and David Johnson, Edinburgh University Press. He is the author of Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India that recently won Tata Prize for the Best Non-Fiction of the year.
Anam Zakaria is an author, development professional and educationist based in Pakistan. She has previously worked with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP), leading their Oral History Project and Exchange-for-Change Project in Lahore and Islamabad, collecting narratives of the first and second generations of Pakistanis and opening communication channels between schoolchildren in India and Pakistan. She currently leads the education sector for the Association for the Development of Pakistan. Anam is also a teacher of development studies, and a student of psychotherapy, with a special interest in trauma and healing in conflict zones. The Footprints of Partition is her first book.
Andaleeb Wajid is the author of 26 published novels and she writes across different genres such as romance, YA and horror. Her horror novel It Waits was shortlisted at Mami Word to Screen 2017 and her novel House of Screams has been optioned for screen by a reputed production house. Andaleeb’s novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Prize in 2017 and she has two new upcoming novels with Penguin and Penguin-Duckbill in 2021. Andaleeb is a hybrid author who has self-published 9 novels in 2019 and 2020.
Anne-Marie Kenessey is a Swiss poet based in Zurich. Her German poems have been published in various literary magazines, amongst others, SpracheimtechnischenZeitalter no. 190 (Berlin, Germany), Wespennest no. 156 and no. 164 (Vienna, Austria, August 2009 and May 2013), poet no. 14 (Leipzig, Germany, March 2013) and allmende no. 88 (Karlsruhe, Germany, December 2011), in the anthology Jahrbuch der Lyrik no. 30 (Munich, 2015) and in the Swiss national newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (Zurich, December 2012). Her first book, the poetry collection “Im Fossil verstecktsich das Seepferdvordir” (Edition Isele, 2012), received the award of the Canton of Zurich in July 2012. With a selection of new poems she won the Munich poetry prize in 2012. Some of her poems have been translated to Hungarian by Hungarian writer GyörgyDalos and have appeared in the cultural magazine Magyar LettreInternationale, Budapest. Since 2009 she is editor of the Swiss literary magazine orte. Her translations of French poems and short prose into German have been published in it.
Anuj Dhar has researched the issue of Subhash Chandra Bose’s mysterious disappearance for over a decade. His 2012 bestselling book “India’s Biggest Cover-up” triggered the demand for declassification of the Bose files.
Asha Francis is the author of Literally Yours, a romantic novel set in the Jaipur Literature Festival (co-author – Chetaan Joshii).The novel was also launched at the Jaipur Literary festival in 2015. Her short stories have appeared in Ripples, an anthology of short stories by Indian women writers, in 2011. Currently, she is working on a novel that is set to be completed by end of 2016. Certified by the British Council, she conducts creative writing workshops for adults and children in Bangalore. She works with Hewlett Packard, Bengaluru, in the training and knowledge management department of their finance organisation.
Ashutosh is a former TV journalist turned politician of the Aam Aadmi Party. He is the spokesperson of Aam Aadmi Party. He was previously associated with IBN7, of TV18 group, as Managing Editor.
Ashwin Mahesh is the national vice-president of Loksatta Party. He was one of the principal organisers of the IAC movement in Karnataka, and has worked closely with the anti-corruption movement from its inception. Also, with Loksatta, he has been involved in the national campaigns for electoral reforms, and the decriminalisation of politics.
Ayushmann Khurrana is an Indian film actor and singer, who started his career as a television anchor. In 2012, Khurrana made his film debut in Shoojit Sircar’s romantic comedy Vicky Donor, which touched on the topic of sperm donation.
Ayushmann Khurrana and Tahira Kashyap have co-written the book ‘Cracking the Code: My Journey in Bollywood’.
I was born in 1979 and brought up on a farm with only dogs, cows, geese and other assorted farm animals for company. Somehow, this set me up for a career in communication!!! In fact in school I was driven by a desire to communicate on a more than clicheish level. I was always taking part in debates, elocution, quiz, etc.…
While in college (where I was doing my BA in Industrial Relations, Economics and Sociology with English Honours) I began hosting a couple of shows at All India Radio and enjoyed it very much.
From A.I.R. I moved on to Radio Indigo on the Worldspace Network, Radio City, Bangalore and Fever 104fm (Bangalore).
Apart from Fever 104fm, I also consult for some other radio stations. I also consult with a couple of other start-ups that are doing some pioneering work in the audio domain.
I am an avid theatre person trying to be as professional as I can get in Bangalore and have acted in a number of plays, from Indianised classics like “a midsummer’s night dream” to straight out bedroom comedies and farces. Being born and brought up on a 22 acre farm I have a strong love for nature and the outdoors and enjoy camping and trekking on whim and impulse and usually in solitude. I also love writing and have written for various publications.
Deevas Gupta is a theatre artist, co-founder of ‘Saarthak Productions’, based in Bangalore and likes to write, act and direct. He has written a few Hindi plays and acted in several Hindi & English ones. He likes writing poems in Hindustani.
Devdutt Pattanaik writes on relevance of mythology in modern times. Trained in medicine, he worked for 15 years in the healthcare and pharma industries before he plunged full time into his passion. Author of 50 books and 1000 columns, several with bestsellers, he is known for his TED talks, his TV shows especially Devlok, and his innovative views on culture, leadership and Indian approach to management.
Dinesh Gundu Rao
Dinesh Gundu Rao is an Indian politician working for the Indian National Congress (INC) in Karnataka. He was president of the Karnataka Youth Congress, and is currently a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Till date, he is a three-time winner in the Karnataka elections. Now he is minister of state for food , civil supplies and consumer affairs in Government of Karnataka.
Dr. G. B. Harish
Dr. G. B. Harish is a rare scholar. Besides holding a doctoral degree in Kannada, he is well-versed in Sanskrit, Pali and English; and his expertise ranges from Kannada literature to Buddhist and Tantric literatures. His 15 published works include literary criticisms, biographies, books on Hindu culture, Kannada literature and culture interpreted from an Indian point of view, Indian nationalism, book reviews, books on tantra samparadya and translations from Sage Sri Aurobindo, scholar Prof.S.K.Ramachandra Rao and tapasvi Sri M.P. Pandit. He hods a Ph.D in Jaina Sampradaya from the University of Mysore and has been an assistant professor at Stanford University and part of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Bangalore.
Dr. Madhurantakam Narendra
Dr. Madhurantakam Narendra is a Telugu writer whose books include short story collections Kumbhamela, Asthithwanikiatoo Itoo, Rendella Padnaaalugu Amsterdamlo Adbhutham and novels Kathakokila Prachuranalu Tirupathi, Bhoochakram, Kondakinda Kothooru and Roopantharam. He has also written Microcosms of Modern India: A Study of the novels of Nayantara Sahgal, Kathanjali: A Study of the short stories of Rabindranath Tagore, and translated books from Telugu to English and vice-versa. His awards include the Katha Award in 1994, the Paruchri Rajaram Award in 2005 and the Rabindranath Tagore Puraskaram in 2012. He is presently a professor at the Department of English in the S.V. University, Tirupati.
Durjoy Datta is the bestselling author of eleven novels – Of Course I Love You!, Now That You’re Rich, She Broke Up, I Didn’t, Ohh Yes, I’m Single!, You Were My Crush, If It’s Not Forever!, Till The Last Breath, Someone Like You, and Hold My Hand, When Only Love Remains and Worlds Best Boyfriend. All his novels have found prominence in various bestseller lists and continue to feature in them. His books predominantly deal with subjects of love, relationships, disability, drug abuse, sexuality and death. He is the co-founder of Grapevine India Publisher Pvt. Ltd., a mainstream English language publisher which promotes young talent in the publishing industry. He is also a motivational speaker and has spoken in over 100 colleges and schools on the topics of entrepreneurship, writing, marketing, passions etc. He also has to his credit five television shows – Sadda Haq (Channel V) and Veera (Star Plus), amongst others. A graduate from Delhi College of Engineering and Management Development Institute, he worked in the power engineering sector and the banking sector for a few years before quitting it to pursue his entrepreneurial and writing dreams.
Elke Falat is a freelance curator based in Berlin. She has studied cultural studies at the University of Hildesheim where she taught visual art / curatorial practice from 2006 to 2009. From 2007 to 2009, she was the director of the Kunstverein Hildesheim. In 2009, she participated in the International Curator Course of Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, and in 2012, she was invited by the Goethe Institut to a three-months curator residency in Bangalore where she did research on urban green. From 2010 to 2014 she was the co-director of LoBe London/Berlin project space. She is also a board member of nGbK (neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin). In 2015, she was awarded a curatorial stipend of the Goethe Institut for research in Russia and the Ukraine.
Emily Holleman is a Brooklyn-based writer. Her debut novel, Cleopatra’s Shadows, reimagines the beginnings of the famous queen’s saga from the perspectives of her forgotten sisters, Arsinoe and Berenice. Before getting lost in the world of Ptolemaic Egypt, Emily spent several years in the here and now as an editor at Salon.com.
Ganga Ganapathi Poovaiah
Ganga Ganapathi Poovaiah is a Relationship and Account Management professional, with 17 years of experience gained in 2 apparently unrelated fields – Advertising (in Mudra and Ogilvy) and Analytics (in HP), with the ability to decipher the needs of a business and tailor solutions to meet those requirements. 8 years of Advertising helped her drive creative that’s on strategy & breaks the mould, work with diverse personality types, the art of resilience, and showed her the importance of being able to package, present and sell an offering in the most impressive way possible. 5.5 years in Analytics have helped her understand the importance of being able to measure the effectiveness of any kind of time or resource investment, and the benefits of being able to see that people are at the core of this business, whether on the demand or the supply side.
Vocalist Geetha Srikrishnan started learning Carnatic Music at very young age and is a disciple of Smt. Neela Ramgopal.
Hampa Nagarajaiah popularly known by his pen name Hampanā, is an eminent Kannada scholar on Jainism. He was born at Hampasandra Village located in Gowribidanur taluk, Chikkaballapura District in the Indian state of Karnataka.
Haroon Khalid has an academic background in Anthropology and has been a travel writer and freelance journalist since 2008, traveling extensively around Pakistan, documenting historical and cultural heritage. He has written for several newspapers and magazines, including The News, Express Tribune, The Friday Times, Dawn, Scroll and Himal. His first book A White Trail: a journey into the heart of Pakistan’s religious minorities was published in 2013. His second book In Search of Shiva: a study of folk religious practices in Pakistan will be released in December, and his third book Walking with Nanak is scheduled to be released in April 2016. He is also an educationist and lives in Islamabad with his wife.
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.
Dr. Janaky Sreedharan is an associate professor in the Dept.of English,University of Calicut, A bilingual writer, she writes on media and gender studies. Translated short stories from Malayalam into English and fiction from English into Malalyalam. Translated a critical work Feminist Aesthetics from English into Malayalam. Produced a documentary on Joseph Mundassery for Malayalam Doordarshan in 1997. Subtitled the documentary Maythil in 2010. Subtitled the feature film Ithra Mathram in 2012. She is also a book reviewer.
Julia Tieke works with ‘text, sound & around’ and is based in Berlin. She has studied cultural studies at the University of Hildesheim where she taught radio drama and feature 2002-2006. Since 2007, she is the project director of Wurfsendung, an ultra short radio art format on public radio Deutschlandradio Kultur. Since 2009, her works intensively deal with cultural and political aspects of the Middle East. Her latest works comprise a radio documentary about the German jihad program in WWI (2014), a published chat between her and the Syrian activist Faiz on his way to Germany as a refugee, and a radio adaptation of Abbas Khider’s next novel (2015). She cooperated with Berit Schuck in their audio projects ‘Alexandria Streets Project’ (2012), ‘Speaking of Beirut and the City is Missing’ (Beirut Art Center, 2013), and ‘Trading Urban Stories’ (Marrakech Biennale, 2014).
K N. Ganeshaiah
Dr. K N. Ganeshaiah has written seven novels: Kanakamusaku, Karisiriyana,Kapilipisara, Chitadanta, ELu RottigaLu, Mukha Dhatu and Shilakula Valase. He also authored six short story collections – Shalabhanjike, Padmapani, Nehala, Sigiriya, Kaldavasi and Mihirakula (a collection of four novelettes) – and authored one essay collection, Bhinna Bhimba (on religion, science and history). Four of his short stories have been staged as plays and one short story adopted for a movie. He is also a columnist with Kannada daily Kannada Prabha .
Kamala Hampana is a veteran Kannada writer and the author of 50 books. She also served as a chairperson of the All India Kannada literary meet – 2003.
Kanaka Ha. Ma.
Kanaka Ha.Ma. is a poet and a columnist in Kannada. She has three collections of poetry with the titles Holebagilu (river door), Paapanaashini (sin destroyer/River Ganga) and Arabi Emba Kadalu (An Arabian Sea). She has also translated Urdu poet Javed Akhtar’s book Tarkash to Kannada. While working with ‘SPARROW’ (Sound and picture archives for research on women) she translated poems and interviews of Urdu, Marathi, Kannada writers and edited books on them as part of projects. Used to write columns for “Lankesh Patrike” and Kannada daily “Udayavani”. Her works are translated into English and French. Also the poems are featured in “Poetry International Rotterdam (India)” edited by Arundhathi Subramaniam. Setteled in Kerala , Kanaka head an organisation – PAMPA (People For Performing Arts And More…) – which takes an interest in organising theatre workshops, student-authors interactions, film screenings for women and children, music-dance programmes and more such things involving the local people in rural areas.
A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, which includes working for DNA and Magna, she quit her job as Assistant Editor of Times of India to devote herself as a full time author. Karna’s Wife, her debut novel, was a bestseller. The second novel – Sita’s Sister – deals with Urmila, Sita’s sister and Lakshman’s wife who silently braved tears and tragedy those fourteen years of separation. Her third book – Menaka’s Choice, is not just a tale of love, lust and divine intrigue about Menaka, the seductress, the symbol of beauty and female sexual power who fell in love with a man she was meant to destroy. It is a story of a woman restricted by her designated role fighting for her dreams in a male-dominated world and that of a man defying all odds to achieve his goals and fulfill his destiny. Lanka’s Princess is about Surpanakha, Ravan’s infamous sister and one of the most misunderstood characters in the Ramayana, but was she a vamp or a victim?
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore and the current chairperson of IIM-Bangalore. In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list. As of 2014, she is listed as the 92nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. She is also a member of the board of governors of the prestigious Indian School of Business and Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad.
Kulpreet Yadav is a bestselling author, motivational speaker and founder-editor of Open Road Review, an international literary magazine. Shortlisted in various writing contests, his short stories and essays have appeared in over 30 publications. He is represented by Red Ink Literary Agency, and his latest novel, ‘The Girl who loved a Pirate’, is India’s first thriller based on marine piracy and hijacking.
Lovely Goswami is a mythologist and philosopher. Recently she authored a book titled “Matriarchy and sexuality in ancient India” (Hindi). She has written numerous articles on Indian philosophy and western psychology for prominent Hindi magazines.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Director Indic Studies Project (CSDS). She is the founder editor of Manushi – A Journal About Women and Society and Founder President of Manushi Sangathan, an organization working for democratic reforms that will promote greater social justice and strengthen human rights for all, especially for women. She has authored and edited several books that include Modi, Muslims and Media–Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, Zealous Reformers, Deadly Laws: The Potential and Limitations of Law as an Instrument of Social Reform in India, Deepening Democracy: Challenges of Governance and Globalization in India, Off the Beaten Track: Rethinking Gender Justice for Indian Women, Religion at the Service of Nationalism and Other Essays, ( Ed) The Dilemma and Other Stories by Vijaydan Detha, Gandhi and Women, In Search of Answers: Indian Women’s Voices from Manushi. (co-edited with Ruth Vanita), Women Bhakta Poets, Lives and Poetry of Women Mystics in India from 6th to 17th Century (co-edited with Ruth Vanita).
Malavika Avinash is an actress and television host noted for her wide repertoire of work in Kannada and Tamil. She is now a permanent invitee of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha and intends to pursue politics full-time in the years to come.
Mani Rao has ten poetry collections including Sing to Me (Recent Work Press), New & Selected Poems (Poetrywala), Echolocation (Math Paper Press) and Ghostmasters (Chameleon). Her books in translation include Bhagavad Gita (Autumn Hill Books; Fingerprint), and Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader (Aleph). Her latest non-fiction, an anthropology of mantra-experience among tantrics, is Living Mantra— Mantra, Deity and Visionary Experience Today (Palgrave Macmillan).
Featured in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English, Mani has poems and essays in Poetry Magazine, Wasafiri, Meanjin, Iowa Review, Fulcrum, West Coast Line, Omniverse, Mascara, Indian Literature, Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, W.W.Norton’s Language for a New Century, Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets and other journals and anthologies. She has held writing residencies at IPSI Canberra (2019), Omi Ledig House (2018) and IWP Iowa (2005, 2009), and has an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Religious Studies. See www.manirao.com
Manjiri Prabhu holds a doctorate in Communication Science and is an independent film-maker for television, a writer/ novelist in English and also the founder/director of a literary festival. She has directed over 200 children’s TV programmes, more than 50 short fiction and travel films and has authored 9 books. Her unpublished psychological thriller novel was adapted into a Hindi feature film by NFDC, titled Kuchh Dil Ne Kaha. Her thesis, converted into a book, titled Roles: Reel and Real, has become a rare reference book for students of Hindi cinema. She has been acknowledged as a pioneer in India among women writers of mystery fiction and is the first female mystery author to be published outside India and has been labelled as the ‘Desi Agatha Christie’. Her novel ‘The Cosmic Clues’ was selected as a Killer Book, by Independent Mystery Booksellers of America, and ‘The Astral Alibi’ was honoured as a ‘Notable Book’ in the Kiriyama Prize. She is the founder/director of the Pune International Literary Festival.
Manju Jaidka is a professor and former Chairperson of the English Department at Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is the recipient of several national and international fellowships including a Fulbright Research Grant to Harvard and Yale Universities, a Rockefeller Residency at the Bellagio Study Centre, a fellowship at the Salzburg Center, a Rockefeller Visiting Professorship at the University of Iowa, a visiting professorship at New York University, and the Lillian Robinson Fellowship from the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at the University of Concordia, Montreal. As a creative writer she has published a collection of poems, a play, and three novels, the latest Amaltas Avenue in 2014. She has also authored a dozen academic books and more than fifty research papers in reputed national and international journals. She was the Chairperson of the prestigious Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi from 2008 to 2015 and is presently the chief functionary of MELOW (the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World) In this capacity she organizes international conferences successfully every year. Jaidka has also held the post of Executive Director of the International American Studies Association and also serves on the advisory board of several international organizations.
Manu S Pillai is the author of the award winning The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore, which tells a social and political history of Kerala, from the dawn of colonialism in the sixteenth century till the rise of communism in the twentieth. Written over six years and researched in three continents, The Ivory Throneis his first book, which weaves themes of religious nationalism, matriliny, political economy, and feminism through the life and times of the last female Maharajah of Travancore. He is Chief of Staff to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, and has worked at the House of Lords in Britain and with Sunil Khilnani and the BBC on their Incarnations Indian history series. He is also text contributor to Serena Chopra’s Bhutan Echoes (Tasveer, 2016), and is a columnist for Mint Lounge, as well as a contributor on history, politics, and culture to The Hindu, Open Magazine, and other major publications. He lives and works out of New Delhi.
Maya Mirchandani is Senior Editor, Foreign Affairs Editor and a Senior Anchor at NDTV. In a career spanning two decades she has reported on a range of issues-from environment to crime, from national politics to human rights and conflict to her real forte, world affairs. She returned to India in 2007 after 4 years in the USA as NDTV’s correspondent based in New York. She has an academic background mix of History, Mass Communications and International Relations from Delhi University, Sofia Polytechnic and the London School of Economics, respectively. She has bagged many awards, including most recently the RamnathGoenka award for Excellence in Journalism. (for reporting on Politics and Government in 2010, and for reporting from the North East in 2012), the Exchange for Media award for best International News Reporting (Broadcast) in 2010, and earlier awards and commendations for her work on children affected by conflict in Kashmir, as well as a best documentary commendation for a special on the 20th anniversary of the Air India Kanishka bombing.
A well-known journalist and author, MJ Akbar is the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand. His books include Byline, Nehru: The Making of India, Kashmir: Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within, The Shade of Swords, Blood Brothers and Tinderbox: The past and future of Pakistan.
Mohammad Zaman Azurdah
Mohammed Zaman Azurdah is an award-winning Kashmiri writer. His essay collection Essay won the Sahitya Akademi Award. He has written three essay collections and one short story collection in Urdu.
I’m a software engineer by education, a product manager by profession and a poet and writer by heart. I have been writing for more than 25 years and have written 1500 poems, 2 plays, 8 stories, translated 3 plays, one book so far. Some of my poems got
used in short films like Nirjan and Good Wife in 2018-2019.
My poems and articles have got published in various national level literary magazines like “Navneet”, “Hindi Kavya”, “Chakmak”, and “Indian Literature”. Three of my poems got published in “Karnkavita”, an anthology of Hindi-Urdu poets
based in Bengaluru.
Recipient of the Uttarakhand Ratna, 2014, Haridwar based writer Mona Verma is the author of three works of fiction ‘A Bridge to Nowhere’, ‘God is a River…a story of faith’, and ‘The White Shadow.’ Her awards include the ‘Woman Of Substance’ from The All India Women’s’ Conference, Hindustan Times Woman Of The Year Award,( Reader’s Choice), and the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Puruskaar, an award from National Union Of Journalists India. Based on Indo-Pak partition, ‘God is a River’ is being used as course-ware in various universities. She also writes regularly for HT online paper, HMA annual souvenir, BHEL magazines, and various science journals.
Equally proficient in Hindi and English, Mridula Garg has written in almost every genre in Hindi; 8 novels, 4 plays, 4 collections of essays, 1 memoir of fellow writers, 1 travel account and 90 short stories. Her latest work is a novel in English called The Last Email (December 2017)
Her work displays a wry sense of humor and self reflection. She does not adhere to traditions, Marxist, feminist or region specific. The familiar turns unpredictable as she discards stereotypes to use irony to elucidate the axiom, I am my choices. If a book makes people angry yet does not allow them to put it down and ultimately forces them to rethink, it is probably written by Mridula Garg.
Among other awards, her novel, Kathgulab got the Vyas Samman in 2004 and Miljul Mann, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013. She received the Hellman-Hammet Grant from The Human Rights Watch, New York in 2001, and Ram Manohar Lohia Samman from U.P Hindi Sansthan in 2014.
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.
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.
Dr. Neal Hall is a medical-surgical eye physician and graduate of Cornell and Harvard Universities. An internationally acclaimed poet, he has performed poetry readings throughout the United States and internationally to include: Kenya, Indonesia, France, Jamaica, Morocco, Canada, Nepal, Italy and India. He is an award-winning author of four books of poetry: Nigger For Life, reflecting his painful discovery, that in “unspoken America,” race is the one thing by which he is first judged; Winter’s A’ Coming Still, reflecting poignantly the more things are said to change, the more things are made to stay the same. His third book Where Do I Sit will be released this year. Appalling Silence – selections of his work – has been translated into Telugu and Urdu and published in India.
Padma Rao Sundarji
Padma Rao Sundarji is a veteran foreign correspondent based in New Delhi. She was the longstanding South Asia bureau chief of German news magazine Der Spiegel till 2012, during which Sri Lanka was an intensive part of her beat. She has also worked for ARD German Television, ZDF, Geo and Outlook in New York and DPA, McClatchyDC in Delhi. Her work has appeared in syndicate in the New York Times and the Herald Tribune and in anthologies of writing by foreign correspondents in Germany and India. She currently freelances for various international and Indian publication and is a frequent guest on Indian television networks as a senior commentator on South Asian current affairs. Padma writes in both German and English. “Sri Lanka: The New Country” , published by Harper Collins India is her first book and has received excellent reviews in the leading publications of both India and Sri Lanka.
Padmavati Rao is an actor, writer, director, translator and poet. She speaks many languages but prefers writing in Hindi. As an actor she has worked in Kannada, Hindi, English, Marathi and now even Malayalam and Tamil cinema. The Hindi films she has acted in are Pardes, Te3N, Padmaavat,Tanhaji and Raat Akeli Hai. She has translated plays of Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani into Hindi. Padmavati is also a storyteller and puppeteer. Her collection of poems Kuch Pyaar Kuch Tadap- Of Love and Longing was released by Girish Karnad at the Bangalore Poetry Festival in 2017. She has worked with Girish Karnad in various capacities for 42 years… as actor, assistant director, dialogue writer and translator. She has also translated Kiran Nagarkar’s Cuckold.
Trained in process work as a facilitator at Foundation for Human Learning And Growth -Aastha, she combines process work and theatre in her work with children and adults. She trains teachers to use theatre in the classroom and has worked with teachers of private and government schools from around the country, in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, in the far off Lakshadweep and communities in the Himalayas too in order to empower them to tell their own stories to a larger audience. She has conducted workshops abroad as well. She hopes to make theatre more accessible to people of varied age groups across geographies. These days her focus is on villages just outside Bangalore for now, where she endeavours to do and promote natural farming, arts and crafts. Her TEDx talks on the subject of including all that is immeasurable in life, especially in schools are now on You Tube. Her interest in natural farming, arts and crafts drives her to stay connected and build bridges between people and cultures.
Paramita Satpathy Tripathy is an influential voice in Indian Literature. She writes both in Odia and English.
Some of her books are Intimate Pretence (Rupa&Co), A Boundless Moment ( Sahitya Akademi), Colours of Loneliness and Other Stories(Oxford University press), Door ke Pahad (Bhartiya Jnanpith), Chandan Ka Phool (Vani Prakashan), Paap aur Anya Kahaniyan (Rajkamal Prakashan), Prapti aar Anyanya Galpo (Kriti Karigar).
Paramita’s works while reflecting in their themes, tones and structure, the current state of Indian novels and stories also mark the new strides that women’s fiction in the country seems to be taking.
Paramita received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2016 for her book Prapti (A Boundless Moment). Besides she has received Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award, Bhartiya Bhasha Parishad Puraskar, Assam Sahitya Sabha Samman, Bhubaneswar book Fair Award and many others.
She joined Indian Revenue Service in 1989 and is presently working as Commissioner of Income Tax in New Delhi.
A self-taught musician, writer and performance artiste from Denmark, Per Bloch works across media and genres. He has published various releases – books, music and video productions. His CD-book ‘Kollektion’ consists of photography, poetry, short stories and a music CD with rock, electronica, folk and indie pop. His second album ‘Mezzosphere’, which won a Creative Circle Award, mixes electronical, classical and rhythmical sounds. He has written the Danish novel ‘Ti, tyve, tredive’. He is all set to release a new album, working title Babel, with 7 love songs in 7 languages. Music videos etc.: https://vimeo.com/Peerish
Piyush Pandey is an award-winning co-executive chairman and national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather India and vice-chairman of O&M Asia-Pacific.
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.
Dr. Prajna Mattihalli has written writing poems, short stories and plays. Her books include Hudugi Nakkaga, Donne deepa salu, Minugele Nakshatra and Gandha Gali. She is an associate professor in commerce in Dharwad. She is a performing artiste of yakshagana, has acted in several plays. She won a second prize in poem competition held by Kannada daily Prajavani in 2014 and was selected by the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi for a travelling programme in 2014 to write a book on Kerala.
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.
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.
Prof. Krishna Murthy Hanuru
Prof. Krishna Murthy Hanuru has taught Kannada literature at the University of Mysore for over three decades. He started his literary career collecting folklore texts and writing ethnographic accounts of folk informants. His three novels and many short stories encapsulate folk life and try to conceive history from the point of view of a common man. His recent novel Agnyathanobbana Athmacharitre (Autobiography of an unknown) describes the life an unknown commander during Haider’s and Tipu’s regimes. The novel also discusses the problems of monarchy and the palace and the relationship between common folks and their king.
Rachna Singh’s seventh novel, ‘The Perfect Riddance’, a modern-day adaptation of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’, was published this year. Her debut novel was Dating, Diapers, and Denial and her humour novel, Band, Baaja, Boys, has been adapted into a web series, ‘Mannphodgunj Ki Binny’, that is streaming on MX Player. She’s also published her diaries written during her battle with breast cancer in a book called, ‘Mum’s Gotta Live’.
Prof. Radhavallabh Tripathi has served as Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (Deemed University) at Delhi for five years (2008-13). He worked as Visiting Professor at Silpakorn University, Bangkok for three years. He retired as Professor from Dr. Harisingh Gour University, Sagar (M.P., India) as Professor in February, 2014. Widely acclaimed for his original contributions to the study of Nāṭyaśāstra and Sāhityaśāstra, Prof. Tripathi has published 163 books, 227 research papers and critical essays. He has received 35 national and international awards. He is known for his creative writings in Sanskrit and Hindi. Research for Ph.D. has been completed as well as is being carried on his literary oeuvre in Sanskrit in a number of Universities.
V Raghunathan is CEO, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation. Author of bestsellers like Games Indians Play, Locks Mahabharata & Mathematics, Ganesha on the Dashboard and others.
He was MD, GMR Industries Ltd (2007 – 2008); President, ING Vysya Bank (2001 – 2004); and Professor of Finance & Accounting at the IIM, Ahmedabad (1982 – 2001). He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Bocconi, Milan, and Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto.
Ramaa Venugopalan has been practicing and performing Bharatanatyam for the past two and a half decades.
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and been the Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In the academic year 2011-2 he served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.
Guha’s books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002). India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007) was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out, and Outlook, and as a book of the decade in the Times of India, the Times of London, and The Hindu. His most recent book is Gandhi Before India (Knopf, 2014), which was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times.
Apart from his books, Guha also writes a syndicated column, that appears in six languages in newspapers with a combined readership of some twenty mllion. Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as ‘perhaps the best among India’s non fiction writers’; Time Magazine has called him ‘Indian democracy’s pre-eminent chronicler’.
Ramachandra Guha’s awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society prize, the Malcolm Adideshiah Award for excellence in social science research, the Ramnath Goenka Prize for excellence in journalism, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the R. K. Narayan Prize. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Republic of India’s third highest civilian honour. In 2008, and again in 2013, Prospect magazine nominated Guha as one of the world’s most influential intellectuals. In 2014, he was awarded a honorary doctorate in the humanities by Yale University. In 2015, he was awarded the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian studies.
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.
Rashmi Menon has been a part of the Indian publishing industry for nearly a decade. She is currently the commissioning editor at Amaryllis. She enjoys helping new authors develop a book idea to really make it their own, gets a kick from seeing her projects realised in print.
Considered as the King of Romance, Ravinder Singh is a well-known bestselling author from India. An ISB alumnus and an ex Sr. Prog Manager at Microsoft, Ravinder once realized it's more fun writing stories than computer programmes. Now a full time storyteller, he has sold more than 3.5 million copies of his novels. He also runs a publishing venture named Black Ink, where he publishes debut authors.
Rupa Gulab is a columnist and the author of Girl Alone, Daddy Come Lately, The Great Depression of the 40s and I Kissed a Frog. Her latest novel is Simi’s Mum’s Diary – The Daughter of all Battles.
Diwakar has published over 30 books of short fiction, poetry, essays, translations and literary criticism. As a journalist he has served as reporter, assistant editor and editor in such newspapers and journals like Samyukta Karnataka, Mallige, Sudha, Prajavani and The Times of India. He was a Karnataka Specialist at the American Consulate General in Chennai for nearly two decades. Presindly he is a literary advisor for the leading Kannada publishing house, Vasantha Prakashana, Bangalore. A highly acclaimed short fiction writer, he occupies a unique position for the way in which he weaves in and out of different perspectives, time periods and characters, to explore grief, hope, passion and alienation.
Saba Naqvi is a journalist and author. She is a known commentator on Indian politics, identity issues and election analysis.Her first book In Good Faith, published in 2012, was the culmination of a long journey across India in search of syncretistic and plural traditions at the folk level. Her second book, Capital Conquest, published in April this year, is about the 2015 Delhi elections and it examined the mechanics through which a small force like the Aam Admi Party could be giant-killers. She has been the Reuters Fellow at Oxford University and the Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Centre in Hawai.
Samar Halarnkar is the editor of Indiaspend.org, a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit. Halarnkar is the author of “Nirvana Under the Rain Tree”, an early chronicle of India’s internet revolution, and “A Married Man’s Guide to Creative Cooking– And Other Dubious Adventures.” He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley and a fellow at the Nieman Foundation, Harvard University. A journalist for 27 years, his last full-time job was Managing Editor of the Hindustan Times. He also writes for Scroll, Hindustan Times and the New York Times. He is an enthusiastic cook, the fallout of his culinary experiences finding their way into a cooking column for Mint Lounge.
Sambit Patra is a politician and the spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2006 he founded Swaraj, an NGO which aims to support backward communities in hygiene and healthcare facilities; the NGO mainly comprises doctors, lawyers and police officers.
Shankar Rajaraman, a psychiatrist by profession, writes Sanskrit poetry. He won the best poet of the year award by Karnataka Sanskrit University for the work Devidanaviyam, a poem that belongs to the genre of Chitrakavya (poetry that is composed amid constraints and that is aimed at creating wonder in the reader). He has co-translated two Sanskrit works to English: Kokila-sandesha by Uddanda and Madhuraa-vijayam by Gangadevi. He has also translated two works on Ayurvedic dietetics, Kshema-kutuhalam and Bhojana-kutoohalam, from Sanskrit to English.
Sharath Komarraju is a Bangalore based author. He began life as a software engineer but has since jumped the fence to write full time. His first novel, Murder in Amaravati, was longlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013. Perhaps his best known work is the Hastinapur series, which attempts to tell the story of the Mahabharata through the thoughts and lives of the epic’s lesser known female characters. When he’s not writing, he’s either watching cricket or talking to his wife, or trying to watch cricket while talking to his wife.
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.
Shathavadhani R Ganesh
Shatavadhani R. Ganesh is a practitioner of the art of avadhana, a polyglot, an author in Sanskrit and Kannada and an extempore poet in multiple languages. He has performed more than 1000 avadhanas, in Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu, and Prakrit.
Shinie Antony has written short story collections The Orphanage for Words, Barefoot and Pregnant and novels When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied and A Kingdom for His Love. She has compiled the anthology Why We Don’t Talk and the humour anthology Jest Like That.
Co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003 for her story A Dog’s Death. Her latest novel is The Girl Who Couldn’t Love.
Shoba Narayan is the author of five books. She has been a journalist and columnist for over 30 years, writing about travel, food and culture for national and international publications, winning a James Beard award and Pulitzer Fellowship. She has taught and lectured at universities in India and abroad. She founded and co-created a website called Project LooM, which documents the weaving traditions of India. In her spare time, she watches birds, enjoys wine, studies Jung and is a gadget geek. Her lifelong mission is to get fit without exercising and lose weight without dieting.
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi is author of The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay and The Last Song of Dusk. He has written for TIME, the New York Times, and currently lives in north Goa.
Sourav is a journalist, poet, and translator. He is the founding editor of Bengaluru Review magazine, and has conducted creative writing workshops for both children and adults in schools, colleges, and independent venues. He has worked as a visiting faculty at Azim Premji University and NIFT Bengaluru, and is currently teaching at Head Start Educational Academy. He is also a core member of ‘Anjuman’, a literary club that promotes Hindi-Urdu literature in Bengaluru. His published books include Yayavar (Collection of poems), Karnakavita (Editor: Anthology of Hindi-Urdu poetry from Bengaluru), Teen Natak : Abhishek Majumdar (Editor), Soho Mein Marx (Translator: Three Plays by Howard Zinn), and Os Ki Prithvi (Translation of Japanese Haiku).
Award-winning author Steffen Kopetzky was born in 1971 in Bavaria and studied Philosophy in Munich. His latest novel Risk was nominated for the German Book Prize 2015 (long list) and remained on the Spiegel Bestseller List for over 25 weeks. The novel follows a secret German expedition to Afghanistan during the First World War, the aim of which was to persuade the Afghan Emir Habibullah to join forces with the German Reich and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy to fight the British Empire, which meant fostering turmoil in the Indian colony. His other works include The Hand Encyclopaedia of Europe’s Fundamental Problems at the End of the 20th Century, Breaking and Entering Madness, Grand Tour, Lost/Found , Morocco and The Last Thief. He served as Artistic Director of the Bonn Theatre Biennale from 2003 to 2008. The theme of the 2006 edition was “India” which led him on several intensive fact-finding excursions to India.
Subodh Sarkar (b 1958), eminent Indian poet writing in Bengali, has published 27 books of poems in 35 years.Recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013.Visited USA, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, Taiwan, France Turkey, and Russia to read his poems.Dr. Sarkar teaches English at city college, Calcutta University.Currently Guest Editor of Indian Literature, Sahitya Academy’s flagship journal.
Sundeep Bhutoria is the author of Aapbiti Jagbiti, Safari My Life My Travels. He has also initiated various literary events like An Author’s Afternoon, Write Circle, Kalam, Ek Mulakat and Aakhar across India.
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.
Tahira is the author of 2 books- ‘I Promise’ and ‘Souled Out’. She has done her masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from Punjab University. She used to give lectures at Mithibai college, R.D National college and L.S. Raheja College in Mumbai. She was the programming head at Big 92.7 (Radio Station).
Ayushmann Khurrana and Tahira Kashyap have co-written the book ‘Cracking the Code: My Journey in Bollywood’.
Tejasvi Surya is the State Secretary of the Karnataka BJP Youth Wing. Tejasvi is a prominent youth leader, orator and writer from Bangalore. In 2008, he founded a youth powered NGO ‘Arise India’ that now works in various areas including skill development, youth and women empowerment, and preservation of culture and heritage.
Tony V Francis
Tony V Francis is the author of the best-selling historical fiction The Autograph Seeker. His novel opened at No 13 on Amazon Hot 100 New Indian Releases and received a Best-fiction nomination at VOW Awards 2018. It was longlisted for Jio MAMI 2018-Word To Screen Mumbai Film Festival and is optioned by major production houses.
The Autograph Seeker featured in Deccan Herald Writers Choice 2017 and New Indian Express Authors Choice 2017
Having spent his formative years in Calcutta, the smells, taste and sound of the grand dame of the British colonial empire finds its way into his stories.
Tony is a National Manager with The WPP Group , world leader in advertising, marketing and communication services. He is the former station director of 93.5 Red Fm Bangalore and under his leadership the station won its first Gold at the New York Festival International Radio Awards.
Tony is the recipient of the Distinguished Toastmaster Award(DTM).The award represents the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters, an international leadership and communications club.
He is an alumnus of St. Xavier’s Calcutta, Alliance Business Academy and IIM Bangalore and lives with his family in Bangalore.
An M.A. in Kannada literature, Tulasi Venugopal has worked with SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archive for Research on Women), Mumbai, as a Kannada language coordinator. Her short fiction collection includes Munjavige Kaadavalu (The Woman Who Waited for Dawn) and Jugalbandi (along with K. T. Venugopal). She has written the poetry collection Putagala Madhyadalondu Navilugari (A Peacock Feather in Between Pages). She has written for magazines like Taranga, Sudha, The Sunday Indian (Kannada) etc. She has bagged awards like Sir M. Vishweshwarayya Sahitya Prashasti award (Munjavige Kaadavalu), Vardhamana Udayonmukha Sahitya Prashasti award (Munjavige Kaadavalu) and G.S. Shivarudrappa award (Putagala Madhyadalondu Navilugari).
Upamanyu Chatterjee was born in 1959. He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1983. His published works include short stories and the novels English, August: An Indian Story (1988), The Last Burden (1993), The Mammaries of the Welfare State (2000), which won the Sahitya Akademi Award for writing in English,Weight Loss (2006) and Way to Go (2011), which was shortlisted for the Hindu Best Fiction Award. In 2008, he was awarded the Order of Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government for his contribution to literature.
Usha Rajagopalan is a writer, translator and lake conservationist based in Bengaluru. She is the author of three novels, a collection of short stories, two volumes of Mahakavi Subramania Bharati’s poetry translated from Tamil to English, and a writer’s manual (ed.). She has ventured into writing for children with The Zoo in My Backyard, a memoir of her childhood with a variety of birds and animals as pets. This book was released on 2nd Oct. 2020 at the inauguration of Wildlife Week by the Kerala Forest Department.
Usha has received national and international recognition with The Quest Poetry prize and three times consecutively in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition organized by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Foundation. She was the Andrew Fellow in Fiction at the University of British Columbia, Canada and Charles Wallace Fellow at the University of East Anglia, UK. She was a writer-in-residence at the Sangam House International Writers’ Residency and at Le Château de Lavigny, Switzerland.
She led a campaign to save the Puttenahalli Lake in south Bengaluru in 2008. Usha continues to nurture the lake through her Trust. Among others, they were awarded the Earth Day Network-India’s शहर GREEN करो – It’s Our Turn to Lead award, 2015 and Namma Bengaluru Award, 2012. They were featured as “Water Heroes” in Republic TV’s Har ek Boond campaign, Jan. 2020 and as eco-saviours in Times Now “Amazing Indians” Series 1, 2012.
Vaasanthi is a Tamil writer, journalist and columnist (English and Tamil). Her articles appear in the New Indian Express, Tehelka, Media Transasia, Caravan, Open, India Today etc. She has published 30 novels and 6 short story collections, 2 volumes of journalistic articles, 4 travelogues. Her works have been translated into Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu, English, Norwegian, and Czech and Dutch. Two of her novels were filmed in Malayalam. Her novel ‘Akasha Veedugal’ has been translated in Hindi, Czech and English. Some of her famous books are “The Guilty and other stories”, ‘The Silent Storm’ and ‘Birthright’. ‘Cutouts,Caste and Cine stars, the world of Tamil politics’ written in English by Vaasanthi published and released in April 2006 by Penguin. She has also worked as the Editor, India Today – Tamil Edition from January 1993 to July 2001. Her awards include the Punjab Sahitya Academy Award for contribution to Indian Literature [with special reference to her novel on the Punjab ethnic problem ‘Mounappuyal’ which has been translated into English titled ‘The Silent Storm’], the Uttar Pradesh Sahitya Sanstan Award [with special reference to the Hindi translation of her Novel ‘Akasha Veedugal’ as Akash Ghar], the Amudasurabi/Sriram ‘Best Novel of the Year’ Award for ‘Ammani’ and the Gyana Bharathi Award.
Vamsee Juluri is a professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of The Mythologist: A Novel, Bollywood Nation: India through its Cinema and Rearming Hinduism.
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.
Vedica Kant is the author of ‘If I die here, who will remember me?’: India and the First World War. Vedica was born and raised in India. She holds an M.Phil degree in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Singapore Management University. Vedica’s interest in the Indian story of the war grew out of her research into the wartime experience of the Ottoman Empire against which many Indians found themselves fighting between 1914 – 1918. She has written widely about the First World War from both an Indian and Turkish perspective in newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. She also frequently writes on South Asian and Middle Eastern history, politics and culture.
Venkat Dhulipala is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He has a doctorate in History from the University of Minnesota besides degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Hyderabad. His book Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India was published by Cambridge University Press earlier this year.
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.
Viral Shah is the Founding Partner of Julia Computing. He has worked at the intersection of policy and technology at the Unique Identification Authority of India, where he led the design of the government’s payments and subsidy platforms using Aadhaar. He has co-authored ‘Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations’ with Nandan Nilekani; is a co-inventor of the Julia programming language, and co-founder of FourthLion Technologies. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Poet, editor, music and cinema aficionado, Yatindra Mishra has four collections of Hindi
poetry to his credit- Yada-Kada, Ayodhya Tatha Anya Kavitayein, Dyorhi Par Aalaap
and Vibhas. He has also written about the life and work of thumri singer Girija Devi, danseuse Sonal Mansingh and shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan. Translation of his writing Girija, Ayodhya series of poems, Vibhas, Yaar Julahey &Meelon Se Din have been well received.
He has also translated the 12th century Lingayat mystic poet Akka Mahadevi’s poems titled
Bhairavi. Recently he has published a book about hundred years of Hindi Cinema which
deals about the authentic analysis of cinema’s musical journey titled ‘Humsafar’. He is
recipient of many awards for his literary contributions, including Raza Award, Bharat
Bhushan Agarwal Smriti Puraskar, Bharteeya Bhasha Parishad Yuva Puraskar &
Parampara Rituraj Samman. Currently writing a book on the life and musical journey of
playback singer Lata Mangeshkar. He lives in Ayodhya.
Zac O’Yeah is a Swedish detective novelist and author of the Majestic Trilogy, which is set in his Indian hometown Bengaluru. He has published 18 books including several fiction and nonfiction bestsellers. His Gandhi biography Mahatma! was ranked as the best nonfiction book in Sweden in 2008. His travel writings have appeared in magazines such as National Geographic Traveller, Outlook Traveller, RES and Vagabond, and also been included in a huge number of anthologies. All in all, he has written for nearly 100 different publications and he is currently a columnist with the BusinessLine newspaper. His writings have been translated into German, French, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, Assamese and other languages. He is a founder-director of Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Programme, the first semi-professional writing school in India. His most recent books include the novel Tropical Detective and the travelogue A Walk Through Barygaza and the children’s book The Mystery of the Cyber Friend. In 2020, his travel story “Looking for Malgudi” was featured in the anthology The Best Asian Travel Writing. He also composes music with the pop group The Ändå whose latest hit “You!” was released in 2020. Read more on www.zacoyeah.com