When the Headline is the Story
Amandeep Sandhu, Neena Gopal and Nirmala Govindrajan with Aruna Nambiar
Amandeep Sandhu was born in Rourkela, Odisha, and studied at the University of Hyderabad. He works in the IT industry as a technical writer and lives in Bengaluru.
Aman is the author of two novels: ‘Sepia Leaves’ (2008, Rupa) is about a family living under the shadow of schizophrenia from a young boy’s point of view during the Emergency. ‘Roll of Honour’ (2012, Rupa) is about the split loyalties of a Sikh boy in a military boarding school in Panjab during the Khalistan movement, based on the events of the year 1984. The novel was nominated for The Hindu Prize 2013 and translated into Panjabi as ‘Gwah De Fanah Hon Ton Pehlan’.
In late 2019, Aman published his non-fiction ‘Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines’ (Westland/Amazon, 2019) which is part-reportage, part-memoir, part-contextual history. The book is longlisted for the NIF-Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Award 2020 and short-listed for the Atta Galatta-BLF Non Fiction Prize 2020. His recent short e-Book on India’s mental health in the times of corona virus outbreak is: ‘Bravado to Fear to Abandonment: Mental Health and COVID-19 Lockdown’ available on Amazon.
Aman’s essays and short stories have appeared in various anthologies, magazines and websites. He also writes for Caravan, Scroll, The Hindu, The Hindu Businessline and others. Amandeep was a Fellow Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart 2013-15. For some time he has been working on a novel ‘The Memory Maker’ and now a cat has adopted him.
In a previous life, Aruna Nambiar was a student of engineering and management and worked in an international bank. Now a writer and editor based in Bangalore, she writes tongue-in-cheek, slice-of-life novels brimming with humour and nostalgia. Her latest novel, The Monsters Still Lurk, is a funny, moving saga about family and ageing that unfolds against the backdrop of a fast-changing post-liberalisation India. Her debut novel, Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth, is part coming-of-age story, part social satire and part comedy of errors set in small-town Kerala of the 1980s. She is working on her third novel.
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.
Nirmala Govindarajan is an author, journalist and social sector documentarian. She endeavours to build an equitable world through her writing. Her new novel Taboo (Picador India, Pan Macmillan India, December 2019) is inspired by under-aged girls who are kidnapped and trafficked, and has been shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize, 2020 and nominated for the Atta Galatta Bangalore Literature Festival Awards 2020. Her recent novel Hunger’s Daughters (Om Books International, December 2018) is born out of her experience of documenting in India’s rural heartland. Nirmala has authored The Community Catalyst, recommended reading for civil services aspirants (Sapna Book House, 2016), and co-authored Mind Blogs 1.0 (Write Wing Media, 2010). In 2014, Nirmala co-curated the debut Times Literary Carnival, Bangalore, and in 2016, debuted the Literary Lounge series at the British Council, Bangalore. Most recently, Nirmala has pioneered the Writer’s Yatra and Reader’s Yatra experiences in offbeat locations. Nirmala dabbles in theatre, plays the western classical piano and violin. www.nirmalagovindarajan.com