Aakar Patel is a syndicated columnist who has edited English and Gujarati newspapers. He is author most recently of ‘Price of the Modi Years’, a history of India after 2014. His translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s Urdu non-fiction, ‘Why I Write’, was published by Tranquebar in 2014. His study of majoritarianism in India, ‘Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here’, was published by Westland in 2020. He is Chair of Amnesty International India.
A Film Institute graduate, Adoor Gopalakrishnan has written and directed twelve feature films and more than two dozen non-fiction films, many of which have been screened at and received critical acclaim at major film festivals around the world. The International Film Critics’ Prize has gone to him six times successively. He received the British Film Institute (BFI) award for the Most Original and Imaginative film of 1982 for In 2004 the French Govt. honoured him with the title, Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters. He was given the Dada Phalke Award, India’s highest national honour for cinema, in 2005. India’s top civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, went to him in 2006 and he has bagged lifetime achievement awards from Cairo, Denver and New Jersey, Colombo and MAMI (Bombay) festivals. He has published four books on theory and aesthetics of cinema.
Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush
Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush is a film director and a start-up entrepreneur. Daughter of the legendary actor Rajinikanth and married to Dhanush, also one of India’s best-known actors, Aishwaryaa is the mother of two boys. She lives in Chennai. She is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer (recognized by the state government for the same in 2009), a voracious reader and a passionate writer. In August 2016, she was appointed as UN Women’s Advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment in India. Standing On An Apple Box is her first book.
Armed with an MBA from UCLA, and a home-grown flair for the book trade, Ajay Mago, Publisher, Om Books International (OBI), started the publishing arm of the 58-year-old book distribution outfit, Om Book Shop. He implemented a strategically planned expansion on the retail front as well. He was instrumental in shaping OBI—its fiction and non-fiction lists; Spotlight, its cinema imprint and OmKidz, its children’s imprint. He is also a consultant with a European publishing house.Today OBI counts amongst its authors Rohit Bal, Maria Goretti, Kris Gethin, Rauf Ahmed, Mushtaq Shiekh, Anupama Chopra, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Bikram Grewal, Khalid Mohamed, Raghu Rai, Vir Sanghvi and William Dalrymple.
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.
Alan Johnson is a Professor of English at Idaho State University.
His expertise is in postcolonial literature and theory, with an emphasis on South Asia, especially India, where he was born. He teaches a variety of other courses besides his speciality area, such as the novel, major figures (e.g., Rushdie and Naipaul), literary theory, postcolonial ecocriticism, comparative literature, South Asian literature and popular culture, writing about literature, and honors humanities. In 2010, he was a Fulbright lecturer in India, focusing on globalization and the place of literature, and he’s traveled throughout India for research, conferences, and talks. His current project is an interdisciplinary study of literary and popular depictions of the jungle in Indian literature, which draws on, among other fields, postcolonial critique and ecocriticism. Other projects: Hindi (Bollywood) film studies; religion and literature in India. He has written two books, Postcolonial Literature Today, co-edited with Jagdish Batra (New Delhi: Prestige, 2015) and Out of Bounds: Anglo-Indian Literature and the Geography of Displacement. (Univ. of Hawai’i, 2011).
He is currently a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar based in Chennai.
A storyteller, story coach and consultant, Ameen Haque is also the founder of Storywallahs – a company that trains people in the art of storytelling. No matter what you do, today’s world revolves around stories and Ameen has coached leaders, teachers and children alike to be powerful storytellers.
Amish is a 1974-born, IIM (Kolkata)-educated banker-turned-author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up his career in financial services to focus on writing. Besides being an author, he is also an Indian-government diplomat, a host for TV documentaries, and a film producer. Amish is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions. His books have sold more than 7 million copies and have been translated into over 20 languages.
His Shiva Trilogy is the fastest-selling and his Ram Chandra Series the second-fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history.
Amrit Gangar is a Mumbai-based author, curator, film theoretician and historian. He has authored books on cinema in English and Gujarati, besides having edited and co-edited a number of books. His book Cinema Vimarsh has been awarded by the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi. For the past decade he has been engaged with his theoretical concept of Cinema Prayoga and has presented it at various venues in India and abroad. He has been on juries of numerous film festivals and is on the international advisory board of the Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) published from London. He is Consultant Curator for the National Museum of India Cinema being set up in Mumbai by Government of India. He was curator for the film section of Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda Artfest in its initial years, as also of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s Artists’ Cinema section, 2015 and 2016.
Anand Neelakantan is an Indian author, columnist, screenwriter, television personality, cartoonist and motivational speaker. He is known for writing mythological fiction and has authored eleven books in English and one in Malayalam. He follows the style of telling stories based on the perspective of the antagonists or supporting characters of a larger work. His debut work Asura: Tale of the Vanquished (2012) was based on the Indian epic Ramayana, told from the perspective of Ravana—the first book in his Ramayana series.
Asura: was featured in the list of “100 books by Indian authors to read in a lifetime” by Amazon Books editors. The book has sold more than a million copies over the years. Three of his books have been shortlisted for Crossword Book Award during the respective years. He was listed as one among the “100 top celebrities in India” in 2015 and 2017 by Forbes India.
Anand Neelakantan wrote the official prequel series of novels for the Baahubali film series. Titled Bahubali: Before the Beginning, it is a three-book series which acts as a prequel to the films. The book became a blockbuster and was shortlisted for Crossword Popular Award 2018. Netflix has announced a web series on the book. The second book in the series, Chaturanga was released on 6 August 2020. The third book, Queen of Mahishmathi was released on 28 December 2020
He lives in Mumbai with his wife Aparna, daughter Ananya, son Abhinav and pet dog, Jackie the Blackie.
Ananth Padmanabhan is dog lover, bibliophile, novelist, photographer and CEO at HarperCollins India. He began his career in publishing in 1992 as a bookseller with Landmark and then joined Penguin where he went on to become senior vice president in the management team at Penguin Random House. He is a photographer and has completed many personal and professional projects, one of which, on publishing, called Calcutta: Walking in the City. Play With Me, an erotic novel, is his first work of fiction.
Andaleeb Wajid is a hybrid author, having published 45 novels in the past 14 years. Andaleeb enjoys writing in a number of different genres such as young adult, romance, and horror. Andaleeb’s romance trilogy Jasmine Villa Series was published by Westland in February 2023. She has an upcoming YA novel with Duckbill in December 2023, and a YA horror novel with Harper Collins in 2024.
Anita Raghavan was born in Malaysia but came to the United States in 1970. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she spent eighteen years at the Wall Street Journal where she won the Overseas Press Club award for her coverage of the mergers and acquisition boom in Europe, and the New York Press Club award for her reporting on the the near death of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital. In 2008, she became the London Bureau Chief for Forbes. Currently she is a contributor to New York Times Dealbook and Forbes.
Anita is the author of The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund.
Antoine Lewis lives to eat and writes to live. As a journalist, he’s spent the last twenty years digging through culinary histories, sniffing out emerging food trends and eating his way through India’s best, and worst, restaurants. Every week millions of listeners tune in to 94.3 Radio One’s Good Morning Mumbai to listen to him talking about food and books. He is also one of the Directors of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai International Literature Festival.
Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling author and new age Indian classicist widely regarded as one of the finest writers in mythology, historical fiction and fantasy. She followed up her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, which was named as one of the top 5 sellers in the Indian writing category for the year 2012 by Amazon India with Kamadeva: The God of Desire, Shakti: The Divine Feminine, Yama’s Lieutenant and its sequel, Yama’s Lieutenant and the Stone Witch. Her articles, short stories and book reviews appear in various publications like The New Indian Express, The Hindu, Scroll.in and Femina. Some of her other books are Kartikeya: The Destroyer’s Son, Prithviraj Chauhan: The Emperor of Hearts, Padmavati: The Burning Queen, Ganga: The Constant Goddess and Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant. Mohini: The Enchantress is her latest work of mythological fiction and winner of the prestigious Popular Choice AutHer award. Her books are also available as audiobooks and have been translated into Hindi.
An accomplished TEDx speaker and storyteller, Anuja Chandramouli, regularly conducts workshops on creative writing, mythology and empowerment in schools and colleges across the country. Her Mahabharata and Ramayana with Anuja storytelling series is now available on YouTube. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. This mother of two little girls lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu.
Anuja Chauhan writes bestselling novels (seven so far) which sometimes feature war, cricket, murder, and lok sabha elections and always feature romance and humour. All of them have been optioned by major film studios.
She also works in advertising and is best known for her work on Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Kurkure.
She writes a fortnightly column for The Week magazine.
She lives outside Bangalore with her husband Niret Alva. They have three grown up children and a varying number of dogs and cats.
Aparna Chandar’s work as a composer and music director for “Dancing Tales”, a dance, music and storytelling performance for children has won acclaim across India.
Aparna is the CEO of Twaang, the popular Indian classical music app. Twaang brings the largest collection of eclectic (non-film) Indian music to music lovers across the world. Her focus with Twaang has been to bring Indian music to the youngsters, with the aim of making it a an everlasting fad. Aparna is a Carnatic vocalist, teacher and music aficionado. Her brainchild, the Dhvani School of music, has for a decade trained the younger generation in Carnatic music, nurturing young talents.
Arup Kumar Dutta
Arup Kumar Dutta is an author and freelance journalist based in Guwahati, Assam. He writes short-fiction, long-fiction, non-fiction, newspaper articles and columns, satirical pieces as well as novels for young adults. His longer works of fiction like The Anagarika’s Swansong, Red – Camellia Green, The Ahoms (an imaginative depiction of a dynasty which ruled the Brahmaputra Valley), have received critical acclaim, as have his meticulously researched 15 non-fiction books like The Brahmaputra, Unicornis – The Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Cha-Garam – The Tea Story, The Final Frontier, Hammer Blow, The Roving Minstrel. His 17 juvenile adventure novels include The Kaziranga Trail, Blind Witness, Smack, Lure of Zangrila, Revenge, Save the Pool, Oh Deer, Footprints in the Sand, The Counterfeit Treasure, A Story About Tea, The Crystal Cave, The Boy who became King etc. Among his awards are Shankar’s Award, Journalist Welfare Foundation Award, Kamal Kumari National Award and Lifetime Achievement Honour by AWIC, the Indian Chapter of International Board for Books for Young People. Between 2004-2008 the Government of India appointed him Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, Jakarta, and Indian Cultural Centre, Bali, with the rank of a Counselor in the Indian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ashish Vidyarthi is a national award winning actor. Trained at the National School of Drama, he has worked in more than 200 films across eleven languages and received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Drohkaak in 1995. Passionate about acting, travelling, photography, writing and meeting people while engaging in conversations about life, he sees “The journey as the destination”. His travels across varied cultures, work conditions, peer relationships, success, failures and the insights he has mined, from each unique day have found expression in Avid Miner – Out of the Box Leadership Conversations. These unique conversations are borne out of real life experiences of his career and interaction with people.
Ashok Chopra, author-publisher, has occupied some of the hottest seats in the Indian book trade – executive editor of Vikas Publishing House, vice-president of Macmillan India, publishing director of UBS Publishers, executive director and publisher of the India Today Book Club and Books Today as well as chief executive and publisher of HarperCollins Publishers India. Currently, he is the Chief Executive of Hay House Publishers India. He is the author of the bestseller – A Scrapbook of Memories and his latest book – Of Love and Other Sorrows – has just been published by Penguin India. He lives in Gurgaon.
Bezwada Wilson is an activist and one of the founders and National Convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), an Indian human rights organization that has been campaigning for the eradication of manual scavenging. He has been leading this movement for over a decade and is well known as one of the leading figures of the Dalit movement in India. His work at SKA, a community-driven movement, has been recognized by the Ashoka Foundation which has nominated him a Senior Fellow. In July 2016, he was honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
Bezwada and his organization have served as a watchdog, pushing for legal action to demolish dry toilets across India and preparing manual scavengers to achieve new sources of income. His goal is to detach manual scavenging and sanitary work from Dalits, in the larger context of reforming the caste system, by pushing government agencies to replace manual scavenging with mechanization.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Mumbai-based author, columnist and critic Bharathi S Pradhan’s latest book, Anything But Khamosh, is a biography of actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha. She has written fiction and non-fiction books and has also edited and contributed to diverse publications such as Star & Style, Lehren, Movie, Savvy, Reader’s Digest, Mid-day and Femina. She continues to be a Sunday columnist with The Telegraph, reviews English and Hindi films for LehrenTV and several other digital platforms every Friday, and hosts Show Business, an analytical show on Lehren TV and YouTube. She has been on the jury of many prestigious awards like ITA, ICE Awards and GIFA. She was Chairperson of the National Awards for Best Writing on Cinema and a jury member of the Indian Panorama at IFFI 2015. Her books incude Mr Bidi, Heartfelt: A real life inspirational story and Colas Cars & Communal Harmony.
Carlo Pizzati has published two novels, a collection of short stories and a non-fiction book. He writes about culture and politics for the Italian national newspaper La Stampa and teaches post-graduate level communication theory courses in different continents. His works appear in Italian, English and Spanish. Born in Switzerland, he grew up near the Dolomites Mountains north of Venice, Italy, then in Florida, Washington D.C. and New York City where, in 1987, he started to work as a foreign correspondent, which brought him to Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid and since 2010 across Asia, based in a fishermen village in Tamil Nadu.
Chandan Gowda teaches at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. He has translated UR Ananthamurthy’s story, Bara (Oxford Univ Press, 2016). He has recently edited, The Way I See It: A Gauri Lankesh Reader (Navayana and DC Books, forthcoming). A Life in the World, a book of autobiographical interviews he did with UR Ananthamurthy will be published early next year (HarperCollins, 2018). He has also edited Theatres of Democracy: Selected Essays of Shiv Visvanathan (HarperCollins, 2016) and is presently completing a book on the cultural politics of development in old Mysore state. He writes a weekly column on culture and politics in Bangalore Mirror.
Chandini is a Bengaluru based LGBT activist and poet. She has worked for many years with Sangama, the leading resource centre on Sexuality and is now with the social enterprise Three Wheels United. Chandini regularly conducts workshops on gender, human rights and other themes. She has represented the community at conferences and seminars across the globe including the World Social Forum in Kenya and the recent UNAIDS Conference in Johannesburg.
Chandini is a published poet. Her first compilation is titled ‘Manada Kannu’ and in the works are another anthology and her autobiography.
Chetan Bhagat is the author of twelve blockbuster books. These include nine novels—Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014), One Indian Girl (2016), The Girl in Room 105 (2018), One Arranged Murder (2020) and three non-fiction titles— What Young India Wants (2012) Making India Awesome(2015) and India Positive (2019). Chetan’s books have remained bestsellers since their release. Five out of his eight novels have been already adapted into successful Bollywood films and the others are in process of being adapted as well. The New York Times called him the ‘the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history’. Time magazine named him amongst the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ and Fast Company, USA, listed him as one of the world’s ‘100 most creative people in business’. Chetan writes columns for leading English and Hindi newspapers, focusing on youth and national development issues. He is also a motivational speaker and screenplay writer. Chetan quit his international investment banking career in 2009 to devote his entire time to writing and make change happen in the country. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Anusha, an ex-classmate from IIM-A, and his twin boys, Shyam and Ishaan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the Guestbook with your feedback. You can also follow him on twitter (@chetan_bhagat) or like his Facebook fanpage (https://www.facebook.com/chetanbhagat.fanpage) or on Instagram (https://www,instagram.com/chetanbhagat).
Dr. Claus Heimes is the director of Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in Bangalore/India.
Until recently, he was consul and director of the Department for Culture and Education in the German Consulate General in Shanghai. He has been an advisor to the secretary general of the Goethe-Institut and a business consultant. He has studied history, law, philosophy, international relations and political sciences in Göttingen, Amsterdam and Berlin and has a Ph.D. in political philosophy. Claus was born in Mönchengladbach, West Germany.
Deepthi Talwar is Executive Editor at Penguin Random House India. She has been a part of the publishing industry for two decades and has worked with and published fiction and non-fiction writers across genres.
G Sampath is a writer and journalist based in Delhi. He is currently the social affairs editor at The Hindu. He was previously a columnist for Livemint. He was part of the launch team of Daily News and Analysis (DNA) in Mumbai and served as its books editor from 2005 to 2012. He is the author of How to Make Enemies and Offend People, a work of satirical non-fiction, and the editor of The Pleasure Principle, an anthology of erotic fiction. His collection of short stories, Autoplay, is forthcoming in 2017.
Ganeshram is a naturalist by profession, the founder of TerraTaala, an organisation that seeks to enable people to celebrate nature in their everyday lives. Music has been his childhood passion and he has taught himself to play several instruments over the years. He looks forward to using his skills at music, to engage communities in moving towards a more sustainable way of life.
Karthik Sundar Gubbi – better known by his stage name Gubbi – is a multilingual rapper from the city of Bengaluru. He raps predominantly in his mother tongue Kannada but also in English, Hindi and German. Gubbi’s approach is experimental and involves projects which blend rap with other musical genres. His musical background is to be found in battle rap and he is the first rapper using lyrical Kannada language.
Gurcharan Das’ latest book, India Grows at Night: A liberal case for a strong state, was on the FT’s best books for 2013. His much-acclaimed The Difficulty of Being Good is ‘a riveting examination of governance and corruption in the modern world,’ said Newsweek and his international bestseller, India Unbound ‘is a quiet earthquake’ said the Guardian. It is published in 19 languages and filmed by BBC. His other literary works include a novel, A Fine Family, book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm, and an anthology, Three Plays. He studied philosophy at Harvard University. He was CEO of Procter & Gamble India and later Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide (Strategic Planning). At 50, he took early retirement to become a full time writer. He writes a regular column for the Times of India and five Indian language papers, and periodic articles for The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs and Wall Street Journal. He is editing for Penguin The Story of Indian Business in 15 volumes, of which nine have appeared. He lives in Delhi.
- Harish Bijoor is a Brand-thinker and practitioner operating out of Bengaluru, India. He runs a unique boutique-consulting outfit branded “Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.”, a brand name that has a consulting presence across the markets of Hong Kong, Seattle, London, Istanbul, Dubai and the Indian sub-continent.
- Harish has spent his career across the aggressive realms of FMCG, Telecom and Consumer Durables. He is considered a marketing practitioner and thinker who is ahead of the consumer thinking curve, year on year.
- Harish is a public speaker who speaks to corporate audiences across the globe in the realm of motivation, people-management issues, brands, marketing and business at large. He has spoken to corporate audiences across the world for 15, 812 hours to date.
- Harish teaches at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad & Mohali, in addition to semesters at overseas Business schools in the US and Europe. He has been teaching at the Indian School of Business for the past 20 years.
- Harish has recently published a book titled, “Marketing Trends – Smart Insights into the world of Indian Business”, a serious book written in a style that is distinctly young and ‘MTV-ish’!
- He is currently involved in his second book on core branding. The book is titled, ”Brand Irrationals: a fundamental journey into brand-think”
- Harish has simultaneously been commissioned to write a book on “Customer Service mechanisms” at play in contemporary marketing contexts.
- Harish is actively involved in research relating to Rural Consumer Behavior, Rural Retail Networks and Trade mechanisms at play. The current research exercise he is involved in spans a 6-year period covering 84,850 consumers across India.
- Harish has published papers extensively on the subjects relating to Strategic Marketing, Branding, Consumer Behavior, Retail networks, Rural marketing, Marketing research and Trend-analysis.
- Harish Bijoor contributes regularly to Business publications on Branding, sales, distribution and related topics.
- Currently, Harish works on the bleeding-edge brand & marketing work related to the Metaverse and Web 3.0
Find out more about Harish Bijoor at:
You can follow him on Twitter.com @harishbijoor
Jahnavi Barua is an Indian writer based in Bangalore. Next Door (Penguin India, 2008), her debut collection of short stories was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her next, a novel called Rebirth (Penguin India, 2010), was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. The third, Undertow, a novel, was published by Penguin Random House India (Viking Books) in February 2020 and was longlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2020 and the BLF Atta Galatta Book Prize 2020. It won the Best Fiction Prize in the Auther Award 2021 and the Kalinga Literary Festival Award for Fiction, 2021. Her short fiction has been widely anthologized and her work is part of several university syllabi. Jahnavi is a qualified doctor but does not practise medicine. She was born in Guwahati and raised between Assam, Shillong and Delhi.
Jane De Suza
Jane De Suza’s latest novel Happily Never After is a hilariously honest love story. Earlier books include the detective-comedy The Spy who Lost her Head and the best-selling SuperZero series for children, among others. She is a management grad and an advertising consultant, and writes for magazines and anthologies across the world.
Jeeva started telling stories first to the toddlers as a teacher for 12 long years. She moved on to teach French for the high schoolers using her creative teaching techniques. Destiny turned to her favour when she met her schoolmate Radhika Menon, of Tulika publishers, and she turned to marketing children’s books.This led her to translate
Cathy Spagnoli’s Priya’s Day. 15 years ago she was christened “Professional storyteller” at the launch of the same book. Lady luck, hard work and her passion for story telling has grown bounds and leap and today she has to her credit pioneered the storytelling movement in Tamil Nadu, trained over 25,000 children and adults all over the world, given over 500 performances and authored 8 children’s books both nationally and internationally.
Jeeva’s storytelling style leaves her audience spell-bound. She believes that she herself is the best prop for her storytelling. Her repertoire of stories includes a wide range of Indian and Asian folk-tales, European tales, Family stories, True-life incidents, Cross-culture and modern Stories.
Jeeva’s Workshops are highly interactive and based on time-tested storytelling ideas. They have also proven effective for varied groups and ages. Topics include storytelling techniques, story development, communication skills through stories, exploring India and developing language skills through stories.
Jaithirth (Jerry) Rao, is an Indian businessman, entrepreneur, columnist and author. He is currently the Executive Chairman of Value and Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC), an affordable housing venture which he founded in 2010. He is also a founder and director of Homefirst Finance Corporation, a housing finance company focused on providing housing finance to first time home buyers.
Jerry Rao holds Master’s degrees in Business Administration from the IIM-Ahmedabad as well as the University of Chicago, US. He is a visiting faculty at both the institutions.
Rao is a regular writer and speaker. He has published a volume of poetry – Gemini II published by Penguin India, and a book of essays – Notes from an Indian Conservative published by Rupa. He writes a regular opinion column for the Indian Express and occasional columns for Economic Times, India International Centre Quarterly and Mint.
Josy Joseph is the author of the recently released book, A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India. He is an award-winning investigative journalist based in New Delhi and presently the National Security Editor of The Hindu. He holds a Master’s in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Kerala University. He lives in New Delhi.
Kalyanaraman loves to span generations. It all started when he got his hands on a manuscript of a Sanskrit work written by his great grandfather, comprising of some 200 verses in Sanskrit. He translated Ganesatatwasudhalah
He lives and writes in Bangalore with his wife.
Kanchana enjoys writing thrillers, reading about cold cases, true crime events and these often serve as inspiration for her books. She’s the author of 4 books – Until I Find You (2023), Eye on You (2021), Nobody’s Child (2019) & A Forgotten Affair (2016).
Her books have been published by Harper Collins & Om Book International.
Nobody’s Child will soon be a web series on an OTT platform.
She conducts online writing courses for aspiring authors.
She lives in Gurgaon with her family.
Kanhaiya Kumar is a former President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union. He is also a leader of the All India Student Federation, the student wing of the Communist Party of India. Kumar graduated with a degree in geography from the College of Commerce, where he began his involvement in student politics. After completing his Masters in Sociology, Kumar moved to Delhi and after topping the Jawaharlal Nehru University entrance exam he joined the University where he is currently pursuing a PhD in African studies at the School of International Studies.
Bihar to Tihar: My Political Journey (Juggernaut) is his story from his childhood in rural Bihar, college days in Patna, to his political coming of age and fame in Delhi.
Kanishk Tharoor ‘s first book, Swimmer Among the Stars: Stories, was published by Aleph in 2016, and will be published in the US and UK in spring 2017. The book received the Tata Lit Live First Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. He is the presenter of “Museum of Lost Objects,” a BBC radio series on the destruction of cultural heritage in West Asia. His pieces on politics and culture have appeared widely, including in the New York Times, Guardian, and The National. He is a columnist for the Hindustan Times and The Hindu Business Line.
Karan Pinto Started playing the guitar and singing in choirs from Age 8. Has performed with the boy rock band Shock Democracy as rhythm guitarist, bassy and backing vocalist. Now sings and plays acoustic guitar with his childhood friend and classmate of 10 years, Arjun Barua.
Kiran Manral worked as a journalist with The Times of India and The Asian Age and was among the top bloggers in India. Her books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Karmic Kids – The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You, The Face at the Window and A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up. She currently writes a column on sexuality in DNA and has previously been a columnist-blogger on gender issues with Tehelka. She was part of the core founding team of Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and Violence Against Women Awareness Month, two social media initiatives that ran for four years. She is also on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, Chair of the Women Unlimited Series of the Taj Colloquium, a mentor with Sheroes, Qween and Back 2 The Front, and is an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. She lives in Mumbai.
K.R. Meera is a multi-award-winning writer and journalist who has published more than a dozen books, including short stories, novels and essays, and won some of the most prestigious literary prizes, including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for short story and novel, the Vayalar Award and the Odakkuzhal Award. Last year, she won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Aarachar, widely hailed as a contemporary classic and a bestseller in Malayalam with more than 120,000 copies in less than three years. It was published in English as Hangwoman and was short-listed for the DSC Literary Prize. Her other translated works include Yellow Is The Colour Of Longing, The Gospel of Yudas and And Slowly Forgetting That Tree. She lives in Kottayam.
Lakshmi Karunakaran is an art based educator and communication professional. She started her career as a telecom engineer but soon shifted gears to work first as a communication specialist and later as an educator. In 2013, when she decided to move to the social sector and work with children and arts, Lakshmi relocated to Kolar Gold Fields where she lived and worked with five government run primary schools for over a year. This inspired her to use art as a medium of education and she now works with Government schools in urban/rural areas, and in alternate and remedial schools with a diverse population of children and educators.
She has been selected as a resident artist at the AIR Laboratory Program 2017, Warsaw for a project on children from post industrial areas. She currently works as a consultant at Radio Active 90.4 MHz, Bangalore’s first community radio station, where she produces shows on arts, education and inclusivity. She also works with Rangashanka Theatre Group as a facilitator for a Theatre in Education Program.
Madhavi Mahadevan is the author of children’s books, short story collections and three novels based on the epic the Mahabharata. Her latest work is The Forgotten Wife. The story of Hidimbi and Bheem.
Maitreyee B Chowdhury
Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a Bangalore based poet and writer. She has four books to her credit, The Hungryalists , One Dozen-Hasan Azizul Huq (Trans) , Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen- Bengali Cinema’s First Couple and Where Even The Present Is Ancient: Benaras. She teaches poetry and design at NIFT Bangalore, and is currently involved with the Academy of Motion Pictures for their Oral History Project as a translator. She can be found at https://www.maitreyeechowdhury.com/
Dr. Mani Rao is the author of twelve poetry books, three books in translation from Sanskrit including the just-released Bhagavad Gita:God’s Song (HarperCollins 2023), Saundarya Lahari (HarperCollins 2022) and Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader (Aleph Books), and an academic book, Living Mantra: Mantra, Deities and Visionary Experience (Cham Springer, 2019). After working in advertising and television in Mumbai and Hong Kong for 20 years, she returned to academics to pursue her interests in poetry and early Indian knowledge, and did an MFA from UNLV, USA, and a PhD in Religious Studies from Duke University, USA. Mani has held writing residencies at Iowa International Writing Program, Omi Ledig House NY, and IPSI Canberra; her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and she is the poetry translations editor of The Bombay Literary Magazine. She lives in Bangalore and Puttaparthi.
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.
Chef Manu’s passion for food surfaced at a young age, thanks to his family’s deep culinary traditions. At St. Stephen’s College, he wrote, designed and helped photograph a book on fusion cuisine. Manu then enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, New York, where he apprenticed with some of the city’s most celebrated kitchens, including Restaurant Daniel, Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, Café Centro, Jean Georges and Town and also opened the now legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan.
Late 2004 saw Manu returning to India, where he joined Olive Beach Bangalore as Chef de Cuisine. Under Chef Chandra, Olive Beach, Bengaluru, has won several accolades including Outlook magazine’s Top 10 Restaurants, featured in renowned food critic Marryam Reshi’s book “100 iconic Restaurants in India” and more. He was recently featured in AmarOne, a book featuring 10 Chefs from around the world, released by Italian wine maker Allegrini to celebrate 60 years of their famed wine.
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.
Dr. Manvir Bhatia is a senior neurologist, electro physiologist and sleep specialist. She is director of the Department of Sleep Medicine and Senior Consultant, Neurology at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Neurology Sleep Centre, New Delhi. She is a co-director of the Ace School of Sleep Medicine for training physicians and paramedicals in field of sleep medicine. A pioneer in developing the specialty of neurophysiology and sleep medicine in the country, she has more than 25 years of experience in these fields. She was in charge of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at AIIMS and developed the ‘state of art’ Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory and started the first sleep disorders clinic under Neurology in the country. She initiated and was the coordinator of the epilepsy surgery program at AIIMS. She has been trained in USA and UK in Electrophysiology, Epilepsy and Sleep Medicine. She has published more than 80 papers in leading journals and several chapter in books. She organizes workshops and conferences on Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders.
Her first book, The Sleep Solution – Secrets For A Good Night’s Sleep (Penguin), is the first book on sleep in India.
Born in 1942 in Mangalore, Margaret Alva was educated at Mangalore, Coimbatore and Bangalore, securing her BA degree from Mount Carmel College and her Law Degree from the Government Law College. She was later conferred an Hon. Degree of D.Lit by the University of Mysore. In her life spanning 73 years, she has traversed a wide canvas with many achievements to her credit. As one of India’s youngest Rajya Sabha MPs at the age of thirty-two and a Minister of State in Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet at forty-two, Margaret Alva is among India’s longest serving Parliamentarians. She has held several important positions in the Government of India and the Congress party and served as Governor of four states. Over the years, she has been witness to several events that have played an important part in the political narrative of our times—among them the ‘Emergency’, Indira Gandhi’s Chikmagalur election, Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and Sonia Gandhi’s entry into politics. She is recipient of several awards in India and abroad, including the First Nelson Mandela Award for Minority Empowerment in New York and the Global Leadership Award from Vital Voices, Washington. Margaret Alva now lives in Bangalore with her husband.
Courage & Commitment – Margaret Alva’s autobiography—details her forty-year career under four Prime Ministers—Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, and her eventual transition from politician to Governor.
Melodee is a radio host and event anchor. She’s currently with Radio Indigo where she hosts a specialized Sunday show ‘Offsite’. In the past Melodee has been with All India Radio and Fever FM.
Mihir S Sharma is the India columnist for Bloomberg View and former Opinion Editor for Business Standard and has been with The Indian Express. Sharma is an economist and has written a book called Restart:The Last Chance for the Indian Economy. He is presently a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
Milee Ashwarya is the Publisher of the Adult Publishing Group at Penguin Random House India.
During her career, she has published a range of bestsellers across genres. An award-winning publisher, her focus has been on championing diverse voices, discovering talented debut writers, and building on the inclusive programme at Penguin Random House India.
Mini Menon is the co-founder and editor of Indy Network, a first of its kind digital content company that focuses on innovative formats, niches and platforms. An award winning journalist and author, she has spent the last 18 years reporting on the changing face of politics and business in India. She has worked with some of the leading news networks in the country, like Bloomberg TV, Times Now and CNBC TV18 and her programs have won awards and accolades.
In 2013 her book, Riding the Wave, was published. The first of a three-part series on Indian business, it chronicled the story of the opening up of India’s economy, through the eyes of seven businessmen who made a mark in post-liberalisation India. She has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence as a young achiever, the Zee Astitva Award for Journalism and in 2009 she was adjudged the Best Business News Anchor by the Indian Broadcasting Federation.
Mini has also worked closely with India’s premier industry associations like CII – Confederation of Indian Industry, FICCI and NASSCOM, where she has been part of debates and discussions on policy and regulations. Between 2014-16 she was the Regional Chairperson of the CII’s Indian Women Network.
Professor M S Sriram is currently Visiting Faculty at IIM Bangalore. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Development of Research in Banking Technology – an institute set up by the Reserve Bank of India. Prior to this he was the ICICI Bank Lalita D Gupte Chair professor in Microfinance at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has been Visiting Faculty at SPJain Center for Management Dubai-Singapore, and is a Visiting Professor, at Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Brussels, Belgium. He is a graduate from Institute of Rural Management Anand and completed his doctoral studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Sriram has served as an expert on several expert committees: Task Force on revival of Rural Cooperative Credit Institutions [Vaidyanathan Committee]; Chaired the Expert Committee on Kerala Cooperative Bank; External Advisory Committee of the RBI for Small Finance Banks; and on the Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee. Sriram had just completed a book titled “Talking Financial Inclusion in Liberalised India: Conversations with Governors of RBI” a book based on detailed conversations with RBI Governors to understand the evolution of policies on Financial Inclusion. He is also translating the autobiography of Dr. Reddy from Telugu to Kannada.
In addition to the above, Sriram has been a writer in Kannada. He has five books of fiction and four books of essays to his credit. He won the Masti Kannada Seva Nidhi Award for his first manuscript Mayadarpana and the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award for 2014 for his work of fiction Salman Khanana DifficultiesU and in 2015 for his collection of essays Arthartha.
Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. He has published his fiction with over 50 journals in the U.S. and UK. He has won six Pushcart Prize nominations, the highest award for the short story in the U.S, and is the recipient of the John Gilgun Fiction Award. His debut short story collection, Breathless In Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia. It was rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His recent novel, Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and received high praise from two renowned American authors, one a Pulitzer Prize winner, the other a National Book Award Finalist and New York Times book reviewer. He has represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival and been invited to speak about his work at UCLA, California State University Monterey Bay, and Berkeley. He is currently at work on a larger-than-life India collection, and the third part in his Mumbai trilogy.
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.
Dr Narendar Pani is a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, India. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. An economist by training, he has worked in both academic and media institutions, including Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and The Economic Times. He has, over the last four decades, written extensively on a variety of subjects. His books include ‘Inclusive Economics: Gandhian Method and Contemporary Policy’. He is also the author of an explainer on the WTO, several academic articles, two novels, a monograph on theatre and several hundred articles on the editorial pages of newspapers.
Naresh V Narasimhan, is an architect and urban designer who combines his passion for Bengaluru with his expertise. He recently republished the 50+-year-old book ‘Bangalore Through the Centuries’ by M Fazlul Hasan. Through his extensive contributions in various platforms such as social media, design magazines, universities, and conferences, Naresh continues to shed light on Bengaluru’s unique character.
A journalist for thirty-seven years, Neena Gopal began her career in a Bangalore that was the hotbed of post-Emergency politics. Moving to the UAE in the 1980s, she worked for the Dubai-based daily Gulf News where, as foreign editor, she travelled the Middle East during and after Operation Desert Storm, the first Gulf War in 1990, covering war-torn Iraq and its neighbours through the Second Gulf War in 2003. Neena’s other news-hunting ground has been India and its immediate neighbourhood, both as a foreign affairs journalist and as a close observer of the life and times of many leaders in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. She currently edits the Bangalore edition of Deccan Chronicle.
Neena’s 2016 book, The Assassination Of Rajiv Gandhi, reconstructs the chain of events in India and at the LTTE’s headquarters in Sri Lanka where the assassination plot was hatched, and follows the trail of investigation that led to the assassins being brought to justice.
Niret Alva is an award winning television journalist, producer, anchor and director. His work has been awarded a National Award(Indian) for Excellence in Visual Science Based Communication and an International Award(Asian Television Award) for Best Anchor in a Current Affairs Series.
Miditech Pvt. Ltd, the independent content production company he co-founded with brother Nikhil Alva has won 80 national and international awards for its documentaries, reality shows, drama series and kids programming.
Niret Alva was selected as an Asia 21 Leader by the New York based, Asia Society and is currently part of the Faculty at the Srishti School of Art and Design in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
He has a BA (hons) in History(St. Stephen’s College, Delhi) , a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism(Indian Institute of Mass Communications , Delhi) and an LLB(Bachelor of Law, Mumbai)
An economist, Omkar Goswami secured his D.Phil (Ph.D) from Oxford in 1982. From then to 1996, he researched and taught at the Delhi School of Economics, Tufts, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Rutgers and the Indian Statistical Institute, and was a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the OECD. After a period as the Editor of Business India, Omkar was Chief Economist at the Confederation of Indian Industry. Since 2004, he runs a corporate and economic consulting firm called CERG Advisory, and serves on the boards of some major listed companies. His passions are music, mountain walks, incessant reading, theatre and films.
Paul Affeld is a puppeteer and musician from Berlin, Germany and one of the founding members of the hip-hop project Puppetmastaz, a band with rapping hand puppets. Apart from touring, making albums and creating figurines, he tries to fill in the gap between ordinary theatre, dance and puppet theatre. From March to July 2016 he was part of Max Mueller Bhavan’s bangaloREsidency program and was hosted by Jagriti Theatre in Whitefield. In this context he developed the play Back From the Dark Side of the Moon together with four Bangalore actors, picking up the subject of mental illness and how our society deals with it.
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.
Prasanna Viswanathan is Co-founder and CEO, Swarajya one of India’s leading print and digital media platform. He is deeply interested in conservative politics, religion, philosophy, technology, psephology and history.
At Swarajya, Prasanna drives sales, technology and strategic initiatives. Before embarking on his media entrepreneurship journey in 2014, Prasanna worked for over 15 years in technology companies including Oracle, Honeywell and Cognizant.
Prashant Keshavmurthy is Associate Professor of Persian-Iranian Studies in McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies. His interests include early modern Persian and Urdu literature and Sufism. He is the author of Persian Authorship and Canonicity in Late Mughal Delhi: Building an Ark (Routledge, 2016).
Prathiba Nandakumar is a bilingual author, poet, journalist, film maker, columnist and translator. Her publications include autobiographies, poems, short stories, columns, in kannada, english and translations from dogri. She has received several awards including the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Book Award and Bangalore Literary Festival Literary Achievement Award.
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.
Dr. Premila Paul is Associate Director of the Study Centre for Indian Literature in English and Translation (SCILET) at The American College, Madurai and has served as Associate Professor of English at the same college for the past three decades. As a visiting Professor of English in USA for three years, she taught courses on Indian Literature and Gender Studies. Premila has also been a Guest Professor of English at Ginling College, Nanjing University, China for two years. She has published a book on Mulk Raj Anand and written articles on Post-colonial Literature and Women’s Literature.
Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi
Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi works on the social history of medieval south India, with a specific focus on dissenting cultures. He studied history and literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and at the University of Chicago. Prithvi taught Humanities at San Francisco State University, before returning to India to take up a position at the Karnataka State Open University, Mysore. He is the editor of three books, including the translation of A.K. Ramanujan’s Kannada poetry and fiction, which was published by OUO in 2005 as ‘Poems and a Novella’. Prithvi’s doctoral work on the relationship between vacana poetry and Virashaiva-Lingayat community is forthcoming. He has published extensively on the literature, culture and politics of Karnataka, both in scholarly forums and in popular media. At present, he writes a weekly column for Prajavani.
Prof. K. E Radhakrishna
An Educationist of repute, Prof. K. E Radhakrishna was Principal of Sheshadripuram College. Presently he is the Honorary Secretary of Bangalore North Education Society. He was the President of Indian Colleges Forum. Prof. Radhakrishna is a Yakshagana and theatre artist. His work Gopikonmada has been adopted as a Dance Ballet and into Yakshagana format. He is also a poet and writer in Kannada, Tulu and English. He recently published a Novel Pretham Bhattara Ninthillaru.
Prof. K. V. Tirumalesh
Prof. KV Tirumalesh is a well-known Kannada writer and a recepient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for 2015 for his poetry collection Akshaya Kavya. Formerly a professor at the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, he has written on a variety of themes, ranging from history, mathematics, psychology, philosophy, and science, besides literature and translations. He has over 20 publications to his credit, including Avadha, Papiyu, Vathara and Mukhavadagalu. His many published essays deal with topics in linguistics, literary theory, translation, and the teaching of English. Also a well-known Kannada poet, he has published several collections of poetry and translated the works of poets such as Ezra Pound and Wallace Stevens into Kannada.
Rachna Singh is the author of Dating, Diapers & Denial, We Were Wrong About Hema, and her account of her battle with breast cancer, called ‘Mum’s Gotta Live’. Her novel, ‘Band, Baaja Boys’, has been adapted into a web series called Mannphodgunj Ki Binny, which is streaming on MX Player.
Raghu Karnad is a journalist and the author of Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War. The book won the 2016 Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar and was shortlisted for the English PEN Prize for historical non-fiction. He is an editor-at- large at theWire.in.
Rajiv Malhotra is an internationally known researcher, writer, speaker and public intellectual on current affairs as they relate to civilizations, cross-cultural encounters, religion and science. He studied physics and computer science, and served in multiple careers including: software development executive, Fortune 100 senior corporate executive, strategic consultant, and successful entrepreneur in the information technology and media industries. At the peak of his career when he owned 20 companies in several countries, he took early retirement at age 44 to pursue philanthropy, research and public service.
He established Infinity Foundation for this purpose in 1994. He has conducted original research in a variety of fields and has influenced many thinkers in India and the West. He has disrupted the mainstream thought process among academic and non-academic intellectuals alike, by providing fresh provocative positions on Dharma and on India. Some of the focal points of his work are: interpretation of Dharma for the current times; comparative religion, globalization, and India’s contributions to the world. He has authored hundreds of articles, provided strategic guidance to numerous organizations and has over 400 video lectures available online.
Some of his books, that are a good resource to understand his game changing work, include, Academic Hinduphobia, The Battle For Sanskrit: “Is Sanskrit political or sacred, oppressive or liberating, dead or alive?”, Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines, Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity.
Besides these, his writings became the center of discussion in the book, Invading the Sacred. Currently, he is the full-time founder-director of Infinity Foundation in Princeton, NJ. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and is adviser to various organizations. He is the primary advisor for Infinity Foundation India that has been formed recently, engaged in various activities intended to disrupt the prevailing discourse regarding the Indian civilization while also building the alternative narrative for the same.
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 is Executive Editor at HarperCollins India. She has been a part of publishing for fifteen years, commissioning and editing many bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction. Rashmi loves acquiring books that are both timely and timeless. When reading too many manuscripts makes her go cross-eyed, she switches to audiobooks in her non-stop quest to decode bestsellers.
Rashmi Terdal is a journalist working with the Times of India, Bengaluru. Born and brought up in Dharwad, she studied Economics at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, and Mass Communication at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru. Besides socio-economic issues, she is passionate about Kannada poetry and fiction. She won Karnataka State Sahitya Academy Endowment Prize and Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati Award for her English translation of Mohanaswamy (Harper Collins, 2016), a collection of short stories in Kannada by eminent writer Vasudhendra. Her English translation of celebrated Kannada novelist SL Bhyrappa’s latest work Uttara Kaanda has been recently published by the Amazon-Westland. The novel is a retelling of Valmiki’s epic Ramayana from Sita’s perspective.
Rohini Nilekani is an author and philanthropist and has been a strong influence in the Indian social sector over the past three decades. Her philanthropic work spans different sectors of Indian civil society. She founded Arghyam, a foundation for sustainable water and sanitation, and co-founded Pratham Books, nonprofit enabling access to reading for millions of children. Currently, she is the Chairperson of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and a Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a nonprofit education platform. Rohini and her husband, Nandan Nilekani, are signatories to the Giving Pledge, pledging to give away half of their wealth to philanthropy.
Rohini’s first book, Stillborn, a medical thriller, and her second, Uncommon Ground, were published by Penguin Books India. Her latest, Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar – A Citizen-first Approach, is a self-published, Creative Commons-licensed book. She is also the author of 16 books for young children.
L Romal M Singh aka Rōmal Lāisram is a 30-year-old, out-and-proud writer from Bangalore who also dabbles in theatre, dance and music. Currently a consultant editor with Arvind Limited in Ahmedabad and Bangalore; and an editor with Human Rights Law Network in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi – he is also well-known (much to his annoyance) as an LGBTQIA+ activist. He is the founder of QAM(I) – The Queer Arts Movement, India and Rainbow Kitty – a public funding initiative for the LGBTQIA+ community; while he volunteers actively with Solidarity Foundation – an LGBTQIA+ foundation that focuses on marginalized trans-communities and CSMR – The Coalition for Sex Workers’ Sexual and Sexuality Minorities’ Rights, Bangalore. He also has been a lifestyle journalist with 10+ years of experience in the fields of lifestyle reportage and publishing and continues to write for DNA Mumbai.
Roopa Pai is one of India’s best-known authors for children. She has written over 30 books, both fiction and non-fiction, across genres and topics. Many of her books, including The Gita For Children and Cubbon Park: The Green Heart of Bengaluru are bestsellers, and are enjoyed by readers of all ages. She also writes a fortnightly column on the city for the Hindustan Times, and leads children on history and heritage walks in her beloved Bangalore.
Rosalyn D’Mello is a widely published freelance art writer based in New Delhi and was the Editor-in-chief of Blouin Artinfo India. She is a regular contributor to Vogue, Open, Mint Lounge, Art Review and Art Review Asia. nominated for the Forbes’ Best Emerging Art Writer Award in 2014, she was also shortlisted for the inaugural Prudential Eye Art Award for Best Writing on Asian Contemporary Art in 2014. She was Associate Editor of The Art Critic, a 600-plus-page selection of the art writings of Richard Bartholomew from the 1950s to the early 1980s and was a member of the jury of the Prudential Eye Art Award 2015.
A Handbook For My Lover is her first book.
Roswitha Joshi was born in Hamburg, Germany, and acquired a translator’s diploma for English in 1989. She is the author of Life is Peculiar, On the Rocks and Other Stories, Once More!, Fool’s Paradise, Indian Dreams and Trapped in Want and Wonder.
Ryan Lobo is an award winning filmmaker and photographer, and the author of Mr Iyer Goes to War (fiction).
A TED speaker on storytelling with photography, Ryan founded Mad Monitor Productions, a film and photo production company based in Bangalore. He has worked as a producer and cinematographer for more than 80 film projects, for National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, OWN and other clients, including shooting undercover for the Emmy-nominated film Child Slaves of India, producing several films for Oprah Winfrey and several film projects in conflict zones like Iraq, Liberia and Afghanistan.
He co-produced the critically acclaimed 2011 Sundance film festival award winning film, The Redemption of General Butt Naked, the story of General Butt Naked, a former African warlord who terrorized Liberia with his child soldiers. He has produced episodes for the OWN series ‘Belief’ on the Kumbh Mela, Jain initiation and Holi. He currently shoots various film and photography projects for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and for the C&A foundation. His photographs and writing have been featured in numerous magazines like GEO, Tehelka, Bidoun, The Caravan, National Geographic, Boston Review, Chimurega, Onzeweruld and The Wall Street Journal.
As an artist, his limited edition photographs have been exhibited all over the world and are present in many collections. He is the founder trustee of The Sunbird Trust which works towards ensuring education for children in insurgency affected areas of North Eastern India with the intention of bringing peace to conflict areas through education.
S. Diwakar, a well-known Kannada writer, has published over 30 books of short fiction, poetry, essays, translations and literary criticism.
Diwakar has participated in several major literary festivals across the country. In 2002, he was a participant at the International Writing Program, University of Iowa, USA. In 2015, Oxford University Press brought out his collection of short stories, “Hundreds of Streets to the Palace of Lights”, translated into English. In fact, this work was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award.
Diwakar is a highly acclaimed short fiction writer whose short stories have appeared in almost all the major anthologies. His stories weave in and out of different perspectives, time periods, and characters to explore grief, hope, passion, and alienation. Diwakar has edited several short fiction anthologies including “Shatamaanada Sannakathegalu”, a monumental anthology of 20th century Kannada short stories. In addition, he has also conducted many workshops for young story writers.
Some of the major awards Diwakar has received include: Senior Fellowship from the Department of Culture, Govt. of India, New Delhi; Writer-in-Residence at the University of Iowa, Iowa, USA; Karnataka Sahitya Academy award, Bangalore; Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi award for life-time achievement in translation, Bangalore; Katha award, New Delhi; Dr. Masti award, Bangalore and Dr. Shivarama Karanth award, Moodabidri.
Sabah Carrim has authored two novels: Humeirah and Semi-Apes. Both stories are set in Mauritius where she was born. She is a regular contributor to The Bangalore Review and has academic and fiction publications in various magazines and journals. She is currently writing a doctoral thesis on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Her first novel Humeirah, was the subject of a thesis by Masaryk University, Czech Republic. Her next book, a collection of short stories on Malaysian education, will be launched in 2017. She is a law lecturer and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur.
Sabitha Koraga has inspired the Koraga and tribal communities by her achievements and currently researching ‘Policies and Programmes of Tribal Development’ in Karnataka state. She has worked as a community field organiser, published research papers in reputed journals and delivered special lectures. She is presently an Assistant Professor at Mangalore University.
Saikat Majumdar is the author of four novels, The Middle Finger (2022), The Scent of God (2019), The Firebird/Play House (2015/17), and Silverfish (2007); a work of nonfiction, College (2018), of literary criticism, Prose of the World (2013), and a co-edited collection of essays, The Critic as Amateur (2019). He is Professor of English & Creative Writing at Ashoka University, and is reachable at: https://saikatmajumdar.com/
Sajita Nair is a writer and former army officer. She has published three novels and a collection of short stories. Her recently published novel titled ‘The Grande Matriarch of Malabar’ maps the social changes in Kerala at the turn of the century. She lives in Bangalore.
Dr Sally Breen is the author of The Casuals (2011) winner of the Varuna Harper Collins Manuscript Prize and Atomic City (2013) shortlisted for Book of the Year QLD Literary Awards 2014. Her short form work has been published widely in Overland, Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Guardian London, The Age, Best Australian Stories, The Asia Literary Review, The Conversation and The Sydney Review of Books. Dr Breen has worked as associate editor of the Griffith Review, is executive director of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Griffith University. She lives on the Gold Coast, Australia https://www.sallybreen.com.au
Salma has written two volumes of poetry – One Evening, Another Evening and Green Angel – and the novel The Hour Past Midnight, all of which have been translated into several languages. Lakshmi Holmstrom’s English translation of her novel was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Prize and long-listed for the Man Asian Booker Prize. Her poetry and fiction are well-known in contemporary Tamil literature for the articulation of desire and sexuality as well as the emotions that animate the domestic space every day, subjects that are often considered beneath literary consideration. The recipient of several awards and honours, she runs an NGO called Your Hope Is Remaining. British filmmaker Kim Longinotto made a documentary film about Salma for British television Channel 4; it screened in 100 international film festivals and won 14 international awards.
Sangeeth Varghese is a globally acknowledged leadership thinker, ranked among the top 10 in 2011, from the Harvard and London School of Economics. Varghese is the author of bestsellers ‘Open Source Leader’ and ‘Decide to Lead’. He is also a co-founder of Bangalore Biz Lit Fest and Future 2050.
Sanjana Kapur enjoys interacting with children. She has conducted various workshops and story-telling sessions in different schools across India. She is fascinated by Indian mythology and folklore, constantly looking for new stories to tell. She is the Assistant Editor at Amar Chitra Katha and never tires of telling people that she writes comics for a living!
Unarguably, one of the most recognized faces of Indian television, Sanjeev Kapoor was in people’s living rooms for almost two decades introducing them to the delights of Indian and international cuisine in his inimitable easy going and cheery manner. The show Khana Khazana was one of those trailblazing cookery shows on Zee. Little wonder then that he has a massive fan following across all age groups, genders and countries! He has the proud distinction of being the only chef in the world to have his own channel – FoodFood. He has been conferred the ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India and has represented India as a Food ambassador in Spain under the Spanish Government’s Indian Future Leaders Programme (IFLP).
Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe books are bestsellers, with more than 200 titles in 7 languages and bagged Indian and international awards. His restaurants Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana, The Yellow Chilli, Signature, Hong Kong and Options are considered the best in their categories not only in India but abroad as well. His Khazana brand of blended spices, ready to cook mixes, pickles and gourmet chutneys are super popular in US, Europe and Middle East, in addition to India. His business of world class kitchen gadgets, Wonderchef has enabled and continues to empower women, a cause close to his heart.
Sanjeev Sanyal is currently a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). He was the Principal Economic Adviser to the Finance Minister for five years till February 2022 and the Co-Chair of the G20’s Framework Working Group. Prior to joining the government, he spent over two decades in financial markets and was Global Strategist and Managing Director at Deutsche Bank.
An alumni of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, Mr. Sanyal later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship in 2007 for his work on urban dynamics. In 2010 he was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Mr. Sanyal is the author of a number of best-selling books including Revolutionaries, Land of the Seven Rivers, The Ocean of Churn, India in the Age of Ideas, and the Indian Renaissance. He has also published over two hundred articles and columns in leading national and international publications.
Shankar Ramaswami is a Lecturer on South Asian Studies at the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University, where he teaches courses on anthropology, literature, cinema, and religion. He completed a B.A. in Economics at Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is currently working on a book entitled, Souls in the Kalyug: The Politics and Cosmologies of Migrant Workers in Delhi.
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.
An author, politician, and former international civil servant, Dr. Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience. Currently a second-term Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade long prior career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan’s leadership of the organisation. Dr. Tharoor is also an award-winning author of sixteen books of both fiction as well as non-fiction.
A well-known actor and politician, Shatrughan Sinha has acted in many iconic films such as Kalicharan, Dostana, Kaala Pathar, Paras, Dost and Blackmail. He was Union Cabinet Minister of Health and Family Welfare (2003-2004) and Shipping (2004). His biography Anything But Khamosh is out in 2016.
Shilok Mukkati is Radio Jockey and script writer with Radioactive CR 90.4 Mhz where she hosts her award winning show Colourful Kamanabillu focused on the LGBTQIA Community.
Shilok is also a Kannada poet and short story writer and writes actively on her blog Abhuthapurna Aksharamalike and actively participates in Open Sky Slam, Poetry in the Park and Queer Poetry Slams. Her writing focuses on trans-identity, homosexuality and challenges hetero normative stereotypes.
Shilok took to writing as a result of her gender confusion, which eventually led her to the conclusion of who she is – she identifies herself as a transgender women.
Shiv Visvanathan is an Indian public intellectual and social scientist best known for his contributions to Science and Technology Studies, and for the concept of cognitive justice, a term he coined. He is a Professor at O P Jindal Global University, Sonipat and Director, Centre for the Study of Knowledge Systems, O.P Jindal Global University. He also holds the SAARCHI chair at UNISA, South Africa, and an Adjunct Professorship at Raman Research Institute, Bangalore.
Previously, he was Professor, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT), Gandhinagar, India, Henry Luce Professor at Smith College Massachusetts, and also Visiting Professor at Stanford University and Center for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London; Center for Science Policy, Arizona State University; University of Maastricht, Holland; National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Mudra Institute of Communication (MICA), Ahmedabad.
He has also taught at the Delhi School of Economics and was Senior Fellow at Centre for Study of Developing Societies. He is author of Organizing for Science, A Carnival for Science, Theatres of Democracy and has co-edited Foulplay: Chronicles of Corruption. He is a regular columnist at Hindu, Asian Age, Sunday Mail, Daily O, Scroll.in, BBC and Open. He also serves as a frequent commentator on TV programmes.
Shradha Sharma is Founder and CEO of YourStory. As India’s biggest media tech platform, YourStory has had far-reaching impact by having published 42,000 stories of entrepreneurs and providing business opportunities to many more. It has served as a catalyst in the growth of India’s startup ecosystem and is now available in 12 Indian languages.
Shradha has worked as Brand Advisor with the Times of India group, after which she moved to CNBC-TV18 where she became the youngest-ever AVP. She has won many awards as an entrepreneur including CNBC-TV18’s Young Women Business Leaders Award and the ET award for Promising Entrepreneurs of India.
In February 2016, she was featured in Fortune magazine’s ‘40 under 40’ list of powerful Indians, is LinkedIn’s top digital influencer in India, and among the top 500 in the world.
Shweta Taneja is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes science and fiction for all ages. With eight books and many short stories and articles, she is a leading voice in environment, science and science fiction.
She is a Charles Wallace Fellow (2016), has won the Publishing Next Award (2022) and was nominated for Valley of Words Awards (2022), AutHer Awards (2022) and the prestigious French Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire (2020).
While drinking tea, she often ponders on how we can bridge the gap between science and society through stories so we may collectively tackle modern challenges like climate emergency. Find her with her handle @shwetawrites
Siddharth Varadarajan is a Founding Editor of The Wire. He was earlier the Editor of The Hindu and is a recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Award for Journalist of the Year. He has taught Economics at New York University and Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, besides working at the Times of India and the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, Shiv Nadar University.
Soumya Menon is an illustrator, comic book artist and animation filmmaker.
Sridhar Gowda, a literary agent and a publisher started his career in the book trade as a bookseller in the UK in 1994. In 1997, he co-founded an internet bookshop, selling over 3 million titles, and in 2005 co-founded Peak Literary Festival in the heart of the Peak District countryside. He curated the events for the festival for 5 years. He also co-founded Peak Platform, a publishing venture in the UK in 2009 and entered the Indian market in 2011.
The Kannada language titles he has published include Central Sahitya Academy Award winning title ‘Papu Gandhi Gandhi Bapu Aada Kathe’ and the Kannada translation of John Berger’s ‘Ways of Seeing’. Through the Kadalu Literary Agency he represents works of many award winning Indian language writers including Dr U R Ananthamurthy, Dr Chandrasekhar Kambar, M T Vasudevan Nair, Sethu Madhavan, Devanoor Mahadeva, Dr Shivaram Karanth, Nabaneeta Dev Sen and Mamta Sagar.
Sriram is among Bengaluru’s most popular radio hosts. He started off with All India Radio and then went on to join Radio Indigo. He currently hosts the #1 ranked evening drive radio show – The SuperHero Show on Fever 104 FM.
Sriram has been a Finalist at the NewYork Radio Festival for Best Personality and is also the Official Host of In-stadium Entertainment for the Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL Team.
Born in 1950 in Shiggaon, north Karnataka, Sudha Murty was one of the first women engineers to start her career at TELCO (now Tata Motors).
Her love for Kannada stems from her early years of studying in a Kannada-medium school. Her strong ties with the language led her to establish more than 60,000 libraries in the region. She strongly believes in creating awareness about social issues and has extensively travelled the world giving a voice and raising awareness to various causes. During her twenty-four-year long tenure as the founder and chairperson of Infosys Foundation, she has handled sixteen national disasters.
She has penned several bestselling books across genres—from children’s books to short stories and novels, from technical books to travelogues. Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over 30 lakh copies around the country. Recipient of nine honorary doctorates, Sudha Murty has also been awarded with the Rajyotsava Award from the Government of Karnataka, the Padma Shri from the Government of India, the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award, the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature, the Attimabbe Award from the Government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature and the Lifetime Achievement by Crossword Book Awards.
She lives by the belief that the generosity of a few is hope for a million. Her writings are replete with values of compassion and kindness, in keeping with our culture and heritage. With simple and accessible language, she hopes her stories continue to inspire and entertain the readers.
Sumant is a writer, poet and columnist. A lawyer of international repute, social commentator, thought leader and creative innovator, Sumant is a many-faceted person with accomplishments in diverse spheres. He romances with life, lives his dreams and thinks through his heart. A cultural champion, museum owner, collector and writer, Sumant Batra is the founder and architect of a number of innovative creative projects to promote Indian heritage, culture, art and literature. Some prominent initiatives include, Kumaon Literary Festival, Taj Colloquium and Dalit Literature Festival amongst other. The initiatives started by him are rapidly developing into a robust cultural voice of the country because of their unique approach and contribution to the development of the soft infrastructure and power of the country.
An avid collector, he is probably the largest collector of Indian cinema memorabilia, has set up Chitrashala, a private museum of Indian vintage graphic art and has built a boutique hotel in the Himalayas.
Sumant is also the author of the popular limited edition coffee table book – The Indians: Interesting Aspects, Extraordinary Facets. The book is a humble attempt at casting a roving eye through the country and showcase the extraordinary spirit of the people of India and a few interesting faced culled out of their daily lives. It celebrates the common people of India.
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.
Surendra Varma completed his Masters degree in Wildlife Biology from Bharathidasan University in Trichanapally, Tamil Nadu, in 1988 after which he joined Asian Nature Conservation Foundation as a researcher. Since then he has been working on the conservation of elephants and other large mammals in South India, Vietnam and Myanmar, estimating elephant numbers, mapping habitat, reviewing the status of human-elephant conflict and elephant poaching in sanctuaries including Bandipur National Park, Kameng Elephant Reserve, Pakke Tiger Reserve and Namdhapa National Park in Arunachal Pradesh.
Suresh Hinduja is the founder of the hugely popular social media network on food and drink — gourmetindia.com. A well-known figure, he has deep and instinctive knowledge of food and beverages and loves researching ingredients, especially the long forgotten ones. Suresh has travelled widely and dined in the finest restaurants across the world and in India, and has used his experience to give a futuristic twist to traditional Indian cuisine which he calls Naya Zaika, the equivalent of nouvelle cuisine. On weekends, he tries to fix his golf slice.
T V Mohandas Pai
Chairman, Manipal Global Education; former member of the Board and Head – Finance and HR, Infosys Ltd.
Ravichandar is a self-described civic evangelist and ‘Patron Saint of Lost Causes’, who of late feels more like the Town Crier. He has been active on city issues in Bangalore and other cities since 2000 including as a key member of the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) during 2000-04. He is now part of multiple social and cultural initiatives – Bangalore International Centre; Vidya Poshak, Samhita Academy, Akshara Foundation; Bangalore Literature Festival, Takshashila Institution among others.
Vani Mahesh has a deep-rooted interest in Hindu mythology and ancient Indian history. Her latest book, Journey to the Throne, is a YA historical fiction published by HarperCollins, India. She is the author of Creation Tales – stories from Brahma Purana, Saptarshi – The Seven Supreme Sages, both published by Amar Chitra Katha. She has written The Glory of Shiva Purana – Volume 1, published by Sri Ramakrishna Math. Her novel A Kingdom for his Love is based on a play by Bhasa, a 1 st -century dramatist. Vani has also authored a contemporary fiction, Meet Me in the Middle, published by Black Ink and HarperCollins.
A software engineer by profession, Vani owned and ran EasyLib.com, the first online library in India, for thirteen years. She lives in Bangalore with her husband and two daughters.
Varun Narain is a Delhi based puppeteer who believes in the freedom of expression free from trauma, and the blurring of boundaries. Born in 1969, Varun discovered puppetry at the age of nine, as a childhood passion. He professionalized puppetry and media skills in 1991 at the Mass Communication Research Center at Jamia University; He was then invited to teach puppetry by the Late Anwar Jamal Kidwai, at MCRC in 1993. He taught Puppetry for eight years, and explored puppetry with filmmaking and video production.
Varun was the first Indian Performance Artist in Residence in Switzerland facilitated by Prohelvetia, The Swiss Arts Council, New Delhi. Varun has worked at the Schlachthaus Theater in Bern under the mentorship of Sandro Lunin (Theater Spectakel, Zurich). He has created and performed under the supervision Master puppeteer Neville Tranter. He continues to train and work with Ms. Ranjana Pandey and Janmadhyam and The One World School of Music Gurgaon.
Varun is presently the Show running Director for the Kishore Kumar musical ‘Jhumroo’ at The Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon.
Vasanthi Hariprakash is an award-winning journalist, podcaster and speaker. In the past two decades, Vasanthi has been part of buzzing newsrooms, on field reporting and live broadcasts in India and outside. She is the founder of Pickle Jar Media that produces premium podcasts and shows. Vasanthi is a case of a confirmed nomad, but her deep travels solo into 16 states of India and fluency in 5 languages have come to be of use to newschannels who invite her to give the ground picture, especially during elections.
Vasudev Murthy is a yoga enthusiast, violinist, animal rights activist and management consultant. He has written across Crime, Classical Music, Management and humour. His work has been published by Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Sage, Poisoned Pen Press, Rupa and Jaico, and has been translated to Kannada, Hindi, Portuguese and Japanese. His latest book “Yogasutras simplified” was published in November 2022 by Jaico
Vasudhendra was born in Sandur in Ballari, Karnataka. After working as a software professional for more than twenty years, Vasudhendra now runs his own publication house, Chanda Pustaka, which publishes and encourages new writing in Kannada and has instituted the Chanda Pustaka Award which recognizes young short story writers. He is also associated with local support groups for LGBT individuals. The author of thirteen books in Kannada, that have sold over 80,000 copies, Vasudhendra has won many literary awards, including the Kannada Sahitya Academy Book Prize, the Da Raa Bendre Story Award and the Dr U.R. Ananthamurthy Award.
Veena Srinivasan is currently a Fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, an academic think-tank. Her research interests include inter-sectoral water allocation and impacts of urbanization on water resources. Veena received her PhD from Stanford University’s Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.
After her PhD, Veena stayed on as a post-doctoral fellow to help found a Freshwater Initiative at Stanford. Her dissertation and post-doctoral work resulted in a number of journal articles in Water Resources Research, Water International and Global Environmental Change.
Originally from Bombay, Veena has an undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and an M.A in Energy and Environmental Analyses from Boston University.
Vinod Pande was a civil servant with the British Government, broadcaster with the BBC, maker of documentaries and several ad-films, owner and creative director of an advertising agency and finally the producer, writer and the director of his first Hindi feature film, Ek Baar Phir, which was huge success. He went on to make eight more films, including Yeh Nazdeekiyan and SINS. He also made four TV serials, including Air Hostess and Reporter. He headed as Chief Commissioning Editor and Director of Programmes the launch team of a private network TV in India during the late nineties. He has been the chairman of the jury of several important film awards events, including the committee for selecting the Indian entry for the iconic Oscar Awards, more than once. He has written Don’s Wife and Saanvri: The story of a Concubine, and is presently completing his 3rd novel, Destiny.
Vivek Shanbhag writes in Kannada. He has published five short story collections, three novels and two plays, and has edited two anthologies, one of them in English. For 7 years from 2005 to 2012, he published and edited the literary journal Desha Kaala. His acclaimed novel Ghachar Ghochar was published in English translation in 2015. He was a Fall 2016 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. An engineer by training, he lives in Bangalore.