A.R. Venkatachalapathy, historian, writer and translator, is a professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies. Chalapathy has taught at universities in Tirunelveli, Chennai, Singapore and Chicago. A recipient of the V.K.R.V. Rao Prize (History, 2007), his publications include The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu, and In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History. He is the editor of Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry and Red Lilies and Frightened Birds: ‘Muttollayiram’ (both published in as Penguin Black classics).
Adrian Levy is an internationally renowned and award-winning investigative journalist who worked as a staff writer and foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times for seven years before joining The Guardian as senior correspondent. He is co-author, with Catherine Scott-Clark, of three highly acclaimed books, including most recently The Exile. He has reported from South Asia for more than a decade, and now lives in London and in France. In 2009 the One World Trust named them British Journalists of the Year, having won Foreign Correspondents of the Year in 2004. They co-produce documentaries which have been nominated at the Amnesty International Media Awards and the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and longlisted at the BAFTAs. Levy’s latest book, The Exile (co-authored with Cathy Scott-Clark) is the extraordinary inside story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the years after 9/11 using remarkable, first-person testimony from bin Laden’s family and closest aides.
Akhil Sharma is the author of the novels Family Life -- winner of the International Dublin Literary Award and the Folio Prize -- and An Obedient -- winner of the Pen Hemingway Prize. His most recent book is A Life of Adventure and Delight, a collection of short stories. He lives in New York City.
Began his tryst with radio at the age of eight in the English broadcasts of All India Radio (Bombay) under the guidance of his elder brother and guru, Hamid Sayani.
Linked up with the Indian agents of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon for its Hindi programmes in 1950. Began to be heard in Hindi over All-India Radio’s commercial Vividh Bharati stations from AIR’s very first sponsored programme in 1970.
His most popular radio show - “CIBACA (earlier BINACA) GEETMALA” - was awarded (in 2000) the “GOLDEN ABBY” by the Advertising Club, Bombay, for being the most outstanding radio campaign of the century. The programme had a record run of 42 ½ years – and was, after a few years’ break, revived for another 2 ½ years as “COLGATE CIBACA GEETMALA”.
For TELEVISION, he has presented 31 nostalgic episodes of “Cibaca Geetmala”, and has been the compere of a number of Doordarshan’s special features. Has also compered almost 1500 stage shows in India and abroad.
Has worked for the professional and social development of the media – and for the dignity, clarity and veracity of communications – through “Advertising Standards Council Of India”, “Radio And TV Advertising Practitioners’ Association” and various committees of the Directorates of All India Radio and Doordarshan.
Described as ‘India’s first literary popstar’ by world-renowned film director Shekhar Kapur, Amish’s unique combination of crackling story-telling, religious symbolism and profound philosophies has made him an overnight publishing phenomenon, with spiritual guru Deepak Chopra hailing Amish’s books as ‘archetypal and stirring’.
Amish’s 5 books till now — The Immortals of Meluha (2010), The Secret of the Nagas (2011) and The Oath of the Vayuputras (2013), which collectively comprise the Shiva Trilogy and Scion of Ikshvaku (Book 1 of the Ram Chandra Series) (2015), Sita – Warrior of Mithila (Book 2 of the Ram Chandra Series) (2017)
His books have been translated into 19 Indian and International languages.
Amit Chaudhuri is the author of seven novels, the latest of which is Friend of My Youth. He is also a critic, poet, musician, and composer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Awards for his fiction include the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, the Encore Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Indian government's Sahitya Akademi Award. In 2013, he was awarded the first Infosys Prize in the Humanities for outstanding contribution to literary studies. He is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
Amit V Masurkar's directorial debut, the uber low-budget comedy, Sulemani Keeda (2014, India-USA) was an indie sleeper hit and is now on Netflix.
With Newton, his second film, he's been widely recognised as one of the most original voices of the new wave of films from India. Both his films have found commercial and critical success in India and internationally.
Masurkar dropped out of engineering college to read History at the University of Mumbai. He has previously written for sketch comedy shows on TV. He lives and works in Mumbai.
Anand Gandhi is a filmmaker, mediatech entrepreneur and a science communicator. Anand's first feature film ‘Ship of Theseus’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 and has since won several awards, including the National Award for Best Picture in India. Anand has been actively engaged in pioneering cinematic non-fiction in India. He has produced Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla's non-fiction political thriller An Insignificant Man. In 2013, Anand was awarded the “Contribution to Jain Philosophy prize” by the Mumbai University. In 2015, Anand founded the Memesys Culture Lab. It is a cinema and new media studio at the intersection of science, philosophy and culture. The virtual reality wing of the studio, ElseVR is the first complete broadcast standard Virtual Reality producer in India. ElseVR productions have been showcased at Sundance, Toronto, Dubai, London, Mumbai and Sheffield. Anand is currently researching his thesis in integrated systems biology at the National Centre of Biological Sciences.
Angela Saini is an award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster. She presents radio shows on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, the Guardian, Wired, among others. Her latest book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, was published by Harper Collins in July 2017. Her first book, Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2011. Angela has a Masters in Engineering from Oxford University and is a former fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Anna Bressanin is an award-winning filmmaker at the forefront of digital storytelling. From the first BBC VR film in India to covering the US election for a mobile audience, she is responsible for pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling and finding new exciting ways of telling immersive and powerfully human stories. Her first documentary “9 Months in the Bronx” won the Jury Award at the Black Maria Film Festival and was screened at festivals around the world. Born in Italy, Anna has worked and lived in Germany, France, Belgium and is now based in New York.
Anupam Kher has acted in over 500 films in 35 years, including National Award winning roles in Saaransh and Daddy and blockbusters Lamhe, A Wednesdayand Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. He is the only Indian actor to have shared a stage with Robert deNiro in the Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook. The National School of Drama gold medalist graduate has won a record eight Filmfare awards in a row. He was chairman of the Film Certification Board and is currently chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He has authored a bestselling inspirational book called 'The Best Thing About You is You' which has been translated into six languages.
Ashwani Kumar is a poet, author, policy researcher and Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai). His latest anthology is titled “Banaras and the Other”, first of a trilogy on religious cities in India. He is also one of the founders of Indian Novels Collective, an initiative to popularize translation of Indian language literature.
Ashwin Sanghi ranks among India’s highest-selling authors of English fiction. He has written several bestsellers (The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key, The Sialkot Saga) and a New York Times bestselling crime thriller called Private India (followed by Private Delhi) together with James Patterson. Sanghi has also co-authored several non-fiction titles in the 13 Steps series. Ashwin was included by Forbes India in their Celebrity 100 and is a winner of the Crossword Popular Choice award.
Aurélien Bellanger is a novelist, born in 1980. He holds a degree in philosophy, where his field of research is on the metaphysic of possible worlds. He wrote an essay in 2010, Houellebecq écrivain romatique (Léo Scheer éditions) and three novels published by Gallimard: La Théorie de l’information (2012), L’Aménagement du territoire (Prix de Flore 2014) et Le Grand Paris (2017).
Aurélien Bellanger is a novelist, born in 1980. He holds a degree in philosophy, where his field of research is on the metaphysic of possible worlds. He wrote an essay in 2010, Houellebecq écrivain romatique (Léo Scheer éditions) and three novels published by Gallimard: La Théorie de l’information (2012), L’Aménagement du territoire (Prix de Flore 2014) et Le Grand Paris (2017).
'The Unfettered God – Lalon Fakir's Search' is a musical storytelling presented by Danish Husain with Sumanta Das Baul ,Jagannath Das Baul and Shambhunath Sarkar Like a bioscope, the artists will open a window on this great Fakir's life.
Bhalchandra Nemade is a Marathi writer, poet, critic and linguistic scholar. He taught English, Marathi, and comparative literature at various universities including the School of Oriental and African Studies at London. Kosala, his first novel brought new dimensions to the world of Marathi literature. Bidhar, Hool, Jareela and Jhool and Hindu: Jagnyachi Samruddha Adgal (Marathi:हिंदू: जगण्याची समृद्ध अडगळ) are his other novels. Hindu: Jagnyachi Samruddha Adgal is regarded as his masterpiece for which he received Jnanapith Award, the highest literary honour in India.
With a background in architecture and design, and a passion for India, Bharath Ramamrutham has created a body of work which has come to exemplify the definitive pictorial statement on the architecture, design and the landscapes of India. With an architect’s eye and discipline, he has set about to capture the structure and spirit, body and soul of the icons of traditional and modern architecture. His photographs are featured in several important books on architecture and design including Indian Design, Inside India-Quintessential Indian Style, Jewels of the Nizams, Temple Towns of Tamil Nadu, Chidambaram, Elephanta, Falaknuma and The Mansions of Chettinad to name just a small selection. His images form part of the Incredible India campaign of the Department of Tourism, Government of India and campaigns of the Tourism Authority of Seychelles and Mauritius. With a bespoke design, visual communications and publishing company, Graf Media, operating from Goa, Mumbai and Chennai, he offers a range of services including photography and custom publishing solutions.
Bikram Grewal grew up in the dense evergreen forests of India’s North-east where he first developed his love for birds. He made publishing his career and worked in England, Hong Kong and Singapore before returning to Delhi.
He now serves as a trustee of several wildlife-based institutions and also acts as a consultant on eco-tourism to several Indian states.
He has written over 30 books on environment and diverse subjects diverse subjects. He is a trustee of the Wildlife Preservation Society of India (WPSI). He was awarded the Lifetime Award for spreading awareness about birds and conservation in India.
Bill Hayes is the author of The Anatomist, Five Quarts, Sleep Demons, and Insomniac City. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, and his writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books and Salon, among other publications. His photographs have been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. He lives in New York. Insomniac City is a moving celebration of what Bill Hayes calls "the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected" of life in New York City, and an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks.
Bombay Bairag is an indie fusion collective of singer-songwriters led by A R aka A R Thakur. The band excels in presenting its original sound which doesn't confirm to the boundaries of genres.
The band composes across genres while relying heavily on its collective knowledge of various musical streams such as Indian Classical, Sufi, Jazz etc. strength lies in its versatility of compositions aptly backed by three powerful vocalists.
A R Vocals/Pads Harry Singh
Vocals/Harmonies Rahul Kahar
Drums Vivek Mayekar
Keys/Pads Parth Joshi
Guitar Akhil Sindhwani
Bass Guitart Prathamesh Salunkhe
Flute Faraz Ahmed Tabla
Brijesh Singh is an officer of the elite Indian Police Service and patrols the cyberworld as the cyber crimes chief for Maharashtra. He indulges in photography, philosophy and classical music. He educated himself in varied fields like Engineering, Business Management, Psychology, Public Administration, Foreign Trade, Computer Forensics, and Law.
Author of the terror thriller 'Quantum siege' and co author of 'Dangerous minds' (both for Penguin), he also contributes to films and web series. He has also been designing apps for mobile platforms and holds several patents.
Brijesh personally is a firm believer in the connectedness of all things, he posits that everything that 'exists' is a unique pattern manifested through the filters of a perspective: the "Truth" is plasma-like and amorphous.
A finalist for last year’s Pulitzer Prize and 2015’s National Book Award, Carla Power is the author of If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran (Henry Holt, 2015), an account of her year spent studying with the Lucknow-trained Islamic Scholar Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. She is a former correspondent for Newsweek, where she produced award-winning stories, reporting from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and has written for a range of publications, including Time Magazine, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, and Foreign Policy.
Power holds an M.Phil. from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, as well as degrees from Yale and Columbia. Married, with two children, she lives in England.
Cathy Scott-Clark (along with Adrian Levy) is an internationally renowned and award-winning investigative journalist. She is the author of several books, including the acclaimed The Exile. For sixteen years Scott-Clark and Levy worked as foreign correspondents and investigative reporters for The Sunday Times and The Guardian. In 2009 the One World Trust named them British Journalists of the Year, having won Foreign Correspondents of the Year in 2004. They co-produce documentaries which have been nominated at the Amnesty International Media Awards and the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and longlisted at the BAFTAs. Currently they are filming several new projects in South Asia. The Exile is the extraordinary inside story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the years after 9/11 using remarkable, first-person testimony from bin Laden’s family and closest aides.
Cathy Wilcox, born in 1963, is an Australian cartoonist who lives and works in Sydney.
She studied at Sydney College of the Arts then lived in Paris, illustrating English language publications, from 1985-87.
She began drawing regularly for the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989.
She is a keen observer of society and politics, and has won many awards for her work including two Walkley Awards, and Political Cartoonist of the Year 2016.
She has illustrated numerous picture books, theatre productions and done a TEDx talk.
She is a member of Cartooning For Peace and continues to draw cartoons for Fairfax Media.
Chiki Sarkar is the publisher of juggernaut books- a new age publisher that combines traditional publishing while having its own app and amateur writer platform.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and professor of writing. Her books have been translated into 30 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese, and many of them, such as Palace of Illusions, are taught at universities. Several of them have been made into films and plays. Her latest novel is Before We Visit the Goddess.
Claudia Roden was born in Egypt and lives in London. She writes about the foods of the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean, with a special interest in the social, cultural and historical background of food. The publication of A Book of Middle Eastern Food, in 1968, is said to have revolutionised Western attitudes to the cuisines of the Middle East and North Africa. It is being dramatised for a BBC radio 4 series to be heard in April 2018. Roden is President of the Oxford Food Symposium and Honorary Fellow at University College London (UCL) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Cyrus Broacha is a TV anchor, theatre personality, comedian, political satirist, columnist and author. He is also a prankster; best known for his show Bakra on MTV and his show The Week That Wasn't on CNN-IBN.
Danish Husain is a poet, actor, storyteller, and a theatre director. His runs the theatre company The Hoshruba Repertory and lives in Mumbai. His current projects include India's Oscar entry film for 2018 Newton, two plays Guards At The Taj and Qissa Urdu Ki Aakhiri Kitaab Ka, a storytelling project Qissebaazi, and a poetry performance ensemble Poetrification with Denzil Smith.
Sunil Mehra is a Delhi based author, journalist, curator, filmmaker, social commentator who has worked in premiere publications like Indian Express, India Today and Outlook. He has researched, directed, produced and anchored 76 episodes of Centerstage, a weekly show on art and culture for DD Metro and DD International that was voted among the three best shows on DD.
He has acted in television commercials as also feature films, most notably: Earth , No One Killed Jessica and most recently the Anushka Sharma starter Philauri that released in March 2017.
He’s shooting currently for Zoya Akhtars new production: Made in Heaven to be released in summer 2018
Askari Naqvi, is a Lucknow based lawyer, human rights activist and a celebrated exponent of Sozkhwani: A Lyric recounting of the tragedy of the Karbala. A trained vocalist he has performed to wide acclaim all over the country.
David Davidar is a novelist, editor, publisher and occasional literary critic. He is Co-Founder of Aleph Book Company.
Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of six novels, Beautiful Mutants (1986); Swallowing Geography (1993); The Unloved (1994); Billy & Girl (1996), Swimming Home (2011), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2012 as well as the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize. Deborah is also the author of a collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), which was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC. Her latest novel, Hot Milk, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2016 and is published with Hamish Hamilton.
Debroah Treisman has been the fiction editor of The New Yorker since 2003, and was deputy fiction editor for six years before that. She hosts the award-winning New Yorker Fiction Podcast, and was the editor of the anthology 20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker. From 1994 to 1997 she was the managing editor of the art and literary quarterly Grand Street. She is co-author of The Dream Colony: A Life in Art which is a panoramic look at art in America in the second half of the twentieth century, through the eyes of the visionary curator, Walter Hopps, who helped shape it.
Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer from Abu Dhabi and a resident of the States. He has studied and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and presently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi. Temporary People, his first book, was the inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.
Devdutt Pattanaik writes, illustrates and lectures on mythology and its relevance in modern times. Through over 40 books, 100 videos and 700 columns he helps people understand how stories, symbols and rituals communicate both religions and secular worldviews. His recent books are My Hanuman Chalisa, Leader - 50 insights from mythology, Culture - 50 insights from mythology, and The Boys who Fought: Mahabharata for Children.
Dhrubajyoti Borah, a medical doctor by profession, is a Guwahati-based
Assamese writer and novelist. In a literary career spanning over three
decades he has published many critically acclaimed works of fiction and
non-fiction, including novels, monographs on history, travelogues and
collections of articles. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009. This
is his first novel in English.
Diksha Basu is a writer and an occasional actor. Originally from New Delhi, India, she now divides her time between New York City and Mumbai. Her novel, The Windfall, was published in June 2017 by Crown in North America and Bloomsbury elsewhere.
Dr Shashi Tharoor
Dr Shashi Tharoor is an award-winning author of 16 books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Great Indian Novel, Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century and the latest An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India. He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. A second-term Member of Parliament representing Thiruvananthapuram, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade long 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.
Dr Vayu Naidu
Dr Vayu Naidu is Europe's first doctorate in Storytelling as performance, working with world and contemporary music and culminated in the Arts Council England funding Vayu Naidu Intercultural Storytelling Theatre till 2011.
BBC Radio Drama have broadcast her plays, and British Council have toured her work in Scandinavia and India.
She now straddles the worlds of Oral Traditions and Fiction writing as she lives in London and Mammalpuram.
Her novel 'Sita's Ascent' (Penguin: 2013) was nominated for the Commonwealth Book Award.
'The Sari of Surya Vilas' (Speaking Tiger - India 2017) launched at Presidency University Kolkata’s Bicentenary and the Jaipur Literature Festival. It was selected by the Australia Arts Council, published by Affirmpress - Australia/New Zealand and launched at Byron Writers Festival, Australia.
Storytelling - oral and literary, is a route to unforgotten worlds yet to be reclaimed.
Argentine writer, Eduardo Sacheri, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1967. He is a professor of History, graduated in the National University of Luján. His first collection of short stories, ´Esperándolo a Tito y otros cuentos de fútbol´ (Waiting for Tito and Other Soccer Stories) was published in Spain in 2000 under the title ´ Traidores y otros cuentos´ (Traitors and Other Stories). Three other collections were published between 2001 and 2007, all of which have been best sellers in Argentina. His novel ´La pregunta de sus ojos´ has been sold into eight territories, and the film adaptation, The Secret in Their Eyes, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2010. Sacheri co-wrote the film's script in collaboration with its director Juan Jose Campanella. Sacheri and Campanella were also the screenwriters of the animation film Underdogs. He also published a number of short stories, such as ´Lo raro empezó después´ and novels like ´Aráoz y la verdad´ (2008) and ´Papeles en el viento´ (2011).
Born in Ireland in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and historian. She did a PhD in eighteenth century literature in England before settling in Canada. She is best known for her novel and Oscar-winning film ROOM, and has published many other works of fiction including THE WONDER, FROG MUSIC, and (for children) THE LOTTERYS PLUS ONE.
Freny Manecksha is a journalist who, for more than twenty-odd years, worked with various publications like Blitz, The Times of India, Mid-day and Indian Express. Since 2005 she has been an independent journalist writing on issues related to human rights, development and people's struggles. She first visited Kashmir in 2010 and has , since, been visiting every year. She was commissioned by Rupa to do a book, based on her earlier writings about the gender perspective in Kashmir. Her book looks at how militarization and conflict impacts women and children.It memorializes women's voices.
G. N. Devy writes in three languages, Marathi, Gujarati and English. He has authored nearly 20 books including After Amnesia, In Another Tongue, A Nomad Called Thief, Of Many Heroes, Indian Literary Criticism, Painted Words and The Crisis Within Knowledge. In addition, the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, for which he is the Chief Editor, has 50 volumes in it.
Formerly Professor of Humanities at the DAIICT and Professor of English at the M. S. University of Baroda, Devy is currently Chairman, The People’s Linguistic Survey of India and Honorary Professor at the CMDR, Dharwad. He was educated at Shivaji University and the University of Leeds., Devy founded two institutions: a) the Adivasi Academy for Indegnous Studies and b) the Bhasha Centre for Language Conservation, both recognized as Centres of Excellence. He received a number of Fellowships such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship, 1994-96; Fulbright Fellowship, 1992, T H B Symons Fellowship, 1991, Commonwealth Academic Exchange Fellowship, 1986 and the Rotary Foundation Fellowship, 1978. Awards and honours given to him include M. M. Kalburgi Research Award (2017), All Bodo Association Lifetime Achievement Award ( 2017), Vikhe Patil Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) , Padma Shree( 2014), Linguapax Award by UNESCO-CAT(2011) , Prince Claus Award, Netherlands( 2011), SAARC Writers’ Foundation Award (2001), Gunther Sontheimer Award( 1998) and Sahitya Akademi Award (1994)
George Michell trained as an architect and obtained a PhD in Indian archaeology and art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has carried out research at many historical sites in India, most extensively at Hampi Vijayanagara, where he co-directed fieldwork with John M. Fritz for more than twenty years. Among his recent publications is Mughal Architecture and Gardens (Mumbai, 2011), Late Temple Architecture of India, 15th to 19th Centuries (New Delhi, 2015), and Mansions of Chettinad (Karaikudi, 2016).
Poet, author, lyricist, film-maker, and screenplay and dialogue writer, Gulzar is one of the towering figures of Indian cinema, culture and literature. Born in Dina (now in Pakistan), his career in cinema took off as an assistant to film-maker Bimal Roy.
A stalwart of Indian literature and one of the finest poets in Urdu/Hindustani, he has a number of poetry and short-story collections to his credit. He has published two volumes of his translations of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems, Baaghbaan and Nindiya Chor. He is also one of the finest writers for children in the country. He is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Bhushan. In 2008, he was awarded an Oscar for his song ‘Jai ho’ in Slumdog Millionaire. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2014.
Hema Malini is India's first female superstar, who ruled box office as "Dreamgirl" in Bollywood for more than a decade. This year Hema Malini completed 50 glorious years in this industry. She has been a Bharatnatyam exponent, director, producer, singer and elected member of Parliament from Mathura. She is slowly becoming India's cultural ambassador.
Hemant Morparia believes that if journalism is the first draft of history, then editorial cartooning is sure its first laugh. He has been at it for over 28 years. A misanthrope, and a pessimist, he is an equal-opportunity offender, who draws cartoons (almost) daily for the Mumbai Mirror and other Mirrors from the Times of India group. He has, to his credit, over 17,000 published cartoons, in India and abroad, including in the New York Times (just one, though). In 2009 he was on the jury of the World Press cartoon awards, in Lisbon, Portugal, the only Indian to do so till date. In 2010 he exhibited his cartoons in La Rochelle, France following a month-long residency with the paper Sud Ouest. In 2013, he was invited to exhibit his cartoons in an International cartoonist meet at Carquefou, France.
Hemant Morparia, when not cartooning, runs from hospital to hospital, scanning the insides of patients, for deeper truths aka diagnoses. His big take-way from his scanning activity is this: important issues, and tissues, are always in shades of grey. And diagnosis often remains uncertain. The human body is rivaled in complexity only by the body politic.
He had an exhibition in August 2017, at the Sakshi gallery, Mumbai of his cartoons and sculptures entitled 'Motabhai is Watching You' .
As a paranoid, he thinks that those who are not paranoid, in these times of total surveillance, are probably nuts.
He has a Post Graduate degree in radiology from the Mumbai University.
Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean refugee and human rights activist whose bestselling memoir, The Girl with Seven Names, was published in 2015 in English by HarperCollins and since then has been translated into 20 other languages.
In February 2013 Ms Lee gave a TED talk that to date has been viewed over 15 million times.
Ms Lee has written for the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the LSE Big Ideas blog, et al. She had recently founded an organization providing assistance to North Korean refugees who are victims of human trafficking.
Indrani Bagchi is senior diplomatic editor with The Times of India, where she has been reporting and analyzing foreign policy issues for the newspaper since 2004. Indrani covers daily news on foreign affairs in the foreign office, as well as interpreting and analyzing global trends with an Indian perspective. She writes news stories; opinion articles; news features and a blog, "Globespotting".
She covers Indian foreign and security policy, terrorism, nuclear and national security issues among others.
Earlier, Indrani worked as associate editor for India Today, a premier news magazine. Indrani started her journalism career at The Statesman, where she was the weekend editor, before moving to The Economic Times in Calcutta to edit the Metro Magazine. Having graduated from Loreto College, Calcutta University with English honours, Indrani has been a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University. In 2010, India was awarded the Chang Lin-Tien fellowship by the Asia Foundation to study US-China relations at Brookings Institution, Washington DC.
Ishaan Jhaveri was born in Mumbai. He recently graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Cornell University where he did his undergraduate thesis on the history of how technology has informed our notions of privacy from the 1800s till today. He is now studying for a Masters of Engineering, focusing on how to make computers understand human language! His research focuses on the influence technology systems have on news and the spread of information through society.
JEET THAYIL is a poet, novelist and musician. He was born in Mamalasserie, Kerala, and educated in Bombay, Hongkong and New York. His five poetry collections include Collected Poems, English and These Errors Are Correct, which won the 2013 Sahitya Akademi Award for poetry. He is the editor of The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets and 60 Indian Poets. His novel Narcopolis won the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for five other prizes, including the Man Booker prize, the Man Asian Literature Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. His new novel The Book of Chocolate Saints is forthcoming in 2017.
Jeff Koehler is a writer, traveler, cook, and author of books and articles on food and culture including Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea, winner of an International Association of Culinary Professionals Award and the Gourmand Award for Best Tea Book in the U.S.; Spain: Recipes and Traditions, named one of 2013's top cookbooks by The New York Times; Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes; and La Paella: Deliciously Authentic Rice Dishes from Spain’s Mediterranean Coast. His work has appeared in Saveur, Food & Wine, NPR.org, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Afar, Tin House, and Best Food Writing 2010. His latest book, Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The Untold Story of Coffee from the Cloud Forests of Ethiopia to Your Cup is the story of coffee’s origins, its history, and the threat to its future.
John Dougherty was born in Northern Ireland. A great reader as a child, his interest in both children's literature and the importance of reading for pleasure was reawakened when he became a teacher.
After the publication of Zeus on the Loose (2004) he left teaching and took up writing full-time. More recent books include the critically-acclaimed Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face series, the picture book There’s a Pig Up My Nose, and his poetry collection, Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies.
His books have been critically acclaimed and shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards, but more importantly, they make children giggle.
Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, writer, broadcaster and researcher. She has been active in the global campaign to end violence towards women and children since 1979 and is a founder of the Justice for Women campaign (https://www.justiceforwomen.org.uk) and a board member of SPACE International (http://www.spaceintl.org). Julie has written extensively on rape, domestic violence, sexually motivated murder, prostitution and trafficking, child sexual exploitation, stalking, the rise of religious fundamentalism, and the marketplace in female body parts.
Julie writes regularly for The Guardian newspaper, Truthdig and the New Statesman, and appears regularly on the BBC and Sky News."
Julie's latest book is The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth (Palgrave McMillan, 2017)
K.R. Meera is a multi-award-winning writer and columnist who has published more than a dozen books including short stories, novels and essays, winning 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. In 2015 she won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Aarachar, widely hailed as a contemporary classic and the best seller in Malayalam with more than 150,000 copies in less than three years. It is published by Penguin Books India 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, The Poison Of Love ( all published by Penguin) and And Slowly Forgetting That Tree ( OUP). Yellow Is The Colour Of Longing was shortlisted for the Crossword Prize for Translation and The Poison Of Love is long listed for The DSC Prize 2017. She lives in Kottayam with her husband Dileep and daughter Shruthi.
Karan Singh Magic is India’s leading psychological illusionist based out of Delhi.
The Women’s Era magazine quoted this mentalist as a 'threat to national security'. Using behavioural psychology and subconscious suggestions, Karan disarms his audiences completely by revealing their phone passwords, ATM pins and even what they are thinking!
From being invited by Aamir Khan to his New Year party to the offices of Facebook, Twitter, The Quint and ScoopWhoop to performing for a 100 top CEOs and corporate giants, Karan mesmerizes people with his mentalism.Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Jackie Shroff, Indra Nooyi, Shubha Mudgal, Varun Grover, Indian Ocean, Nucleya, AIB, Abish Mathew, Kanan Gill and many others have been enchanted by the charismatic Karan Singh Magic.
He recently wrapped up his 4 city tour titled : Legilimens (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad)
Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He was formerly Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank and Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian Government. Basu took over as President of the International Economic Association for a three-year term from June 2017.
A Fellow of the Econometric Society, Kaushik Basu has published widely in the areas of Development Economics, Industrial Organization, Game Theory and Welfare Economics. In May 2008 he was awarded one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India. Kaushik Basu has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and the London School of Economics, Harvard University, Princeton University and M.I.T. He was Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics, where in 1992 he founded the Centre for Development Economics and was its first Executive Director. He is also a founding member of the Madras School of Economics.
Krishna Sobti was born in 1925. Her first short story ‘Lama’ was published in 1944. Her early novels Channa (1954) and Dar Se Bichchuri (1958) marked Sobti as one of the voices in contemporary Hindi prose that could not be ignored. Subsequent works such as Mitro Marajani (1960), Yaron Ke Yar (1968), Tin Pahar (1968), Suraj Mukhi Andhere Ke (1972) further established Sobti as an unapologetically outspoken female voice, and created sensations amongst both readers and critics. She won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for Zindaginama and in 1996, she was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship. In 2005, the translation of her novel Dil-o-Danish won the Hutch-Crossword Award. She was offered the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2010, which she declined, stating that, ‘As a writer, I have to keep a distance from the establishment. I think I did the right thing.’
Kunal Vijaykar is an Indian film actor, director, and television personality who hosts the food show The Foodie on Times Now and comedy-spoof show The Week That Wasn't on CNN IBN with Cyrus Broacha.
Laurie Penny is a writer and journalist. She writes for Vice, The Guardian and many other publications, is a columnist and Contributing Editor at The New Statesman magazine and Editor-at-Large at cult New York literary project, The New Inquiry. She was the youngest person to be shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing on her blog 'Penny Red'. She has reported on radical politics, protest, digital culture and feminism from around the world, working with activists from the Occupy movement and the European youth uprisings. In 2012 won the British Media Awards' 'Twitter Public Personality of the Year' prize. Laurie is a nerd, a nomad and an activist. Her latest book, Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults, takes an unflinching look at the definitive issues of our age, from the shock of Donald Trump's election and the victories of the far right to online harassment and the transgender rights movement.
A life-long covert writer, Lisa Ray has had a long and serendipitous career in the entertainment arts spanning multiple countries and film (Oscar nominated Water) television (Top Chef Canada) and modelling. Her entrepreneurial activities include starting her own yoga studio and a line of ethical perfume. When diagnosed with a rare blood cancer in 2009, she chose to publicly share her experiences in a blog called ‘The Yellow Diaries’ which led to her first book commissioned by Harper Collins, to be published in 2018. She has become a high profile advocate for Cancer awareness through public talks and writing. Her poetry explores themes derived from an identity-bending, nomadic experiences, the culmination of a life of no fixed address.
Affectionately known as “Mumbai ki Rani”, Malishka Mendonsa is the adrenaline shot that’s been waking the city up every morning on the radio for the last 12 years. On her award-winning breakfast show, Red FM’s “Morning No. 1”, Malishka speaks with candor in a style that’s both bubbly and bold.
Whether she’s observing Karwa chauth for Mumbai’s well-being or educating on the peril of noise pollution in her infamous “Don’t be Horny” campaign, Malishka always manages to entertain while raising awareness on issues.
An influencer and youth icon, Malishka continues to redefine herself. She has made a splash on the big screen in her debut role as a radio jockey in the film, Tumhari Sulu with Vidya Balan. A motivational speaker, Malishka has also appeared at INK TALKS 2016 and TED-x IN Mumbai. She’s the recipient of numerous awards including the recent IMPACT’S 50 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN MEDIA 2017, Lokmat’s STYLE WITH SUBSTANCE AWARD 2017, WCRC ‘S 21 Young Guns 2016
Manoj Joshi is with the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. He is a columnist and journalist who has worked with the Times of India between 1993-1995 and, in the 1999-2004, period he was the Political Editor of the newspaper. He has a Ph.D from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and is the author of several books, most notably a study of the first decade of the Kashmir rebellion.
Manu Joseph is the author of 'Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous', which was released in September, and the widely acclaimed and bestselling novels, 'Serious Men' and 'The Illicit Happiness of Other People', which have been translated into many languages, and have been nominated for several prizes. Among other honours he is the winner of The Hindu Literature Prize, and The American Pen Open Book Award whose jury described him "...that rare bird who can wildly entertain the reader as forcefully as he moves them." Illicit… was among the top five national bestseller in Holland for several weeks, bettered only by the ’50 Shades of Grey’ series. Among India’s most popular commentators, he is a former columnist for The International New York Times. During his stint as editor of the newsweekly, ‘Open’, he broke the ‘Radia Tapes’ story, which revealed the telephone conversations between a corporate lobbyist and some of India’s most influential public figures. He is also the co-writer of the film, 'Love Khichdi'.
Meenal Baghel is editor, Mumbai Mirror.
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author Mei Fong has covered Asia for many years as a Wall Street Journal correspondent and named one of the Top 50 people to watch on US-China relations by Foreign Policy magazine.
Her first book, on China’s one-child policy, debuted in 2016 to critical acclaim from from New York Times, Guardian, Independent, Ms., The Times of London, Telegraph, and is called “a searing, important, and eminently readable exploration of China's one-child policy,” by Nick Kristof in the New York Review of Books. Winner of a nonfiction award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, One Child was also chosen as one of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2016 by Zocalo, Medium’s Best Human Rights Books of 2016 and is recommended reading by Council of Foreign Relations, TED, and Economist magazine’s lifestyle publication, 1843.
Born & raised in Kuala Lumpur, Mei is currently a fellow at DC-based thinktank New America Foundation. She graduated from the National University of Singapore and has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia.
‘Meru Gokhale is the editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, at Penguin Random House India. During her career she has worked with authors including Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman
Rushdie, Paulo Coelho, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Ramachandra Guha and Amitav Ghosh. She is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and the Columbia Publishing Course, New York.’
Dr Mickey Mehta is a Global leading holistic health guru and Corporate life coach to billionaires, top Bollywood super stars, top supermodels (Miss World and Miss Universe), top politicians and members of the Maharashtra Police. He has a double honorary doctorate in holistic health and life sciences from International Medicina Alternativa, and has been a pioneer in promoting holistic health in India through radio and TV shows too. Mickey was invited to talk at Harvard University at the Inspire series in February 2017 and at IIT Mumbai in 2015. He has held holistic health workshops in Oman, Thailand, USA, Hong Kong, Dubai, Turkey and Sri Lanka. Dr Mickey Mehta is also a leading social media influencer in the health and wellness space.
He has interwoven Zen, Tao, Tantra, Ved, Greek and many more philosophies to develop holistic health systems to self-heal, transform and transcend. His healing focuses on mingling with our five elements and skilfully balancing them. Throughout his 35-year-long career, he has striven to promote a disease-free world through his wellness commandants.
Mishka Ben David
Mishka Ben-David was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel in 1952. After his Army service he studied Philosophy and Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and got his Masters degree in Comparative Literature from UWM in the USA, comparing Literary and Philosophical works of the Exitentialists. He then completed his Ph.D in Literature at the Hebrew University . Mishka wrote 18 books: novels, collections of short stories, 5 espionage thrillers, a book of Philosophy, a survey of Israeli war novels and a children's book. He held several posts, including University Lecturer, Director of a comunity Center, Principal of a High-School, official of Israel's Mossad. He is now a full time writer, living in a village near Jerusalem.
Nadia Hashimi is an Afghan-American internationally bestselling author, paediatrician, public speaker, and advocate for empowering women. She has written three novels for adults and two for children inspired by the resilience of women and families despite Afghanistan's tumultuous history. Her books have been translated into 12 languages, have received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal and have been voted as finalists for Goodreads Books of the Year. She lives with her husband and four children in Maryland and also serves as a board member for Aschiana Foundation, an organization that supports educating and feeding Afghanistan's most vulnerable children.
1946, Karachi, (Undivided India). Lives and works in Bombay/Amsterdam.
Nalini Malani secured a Diploma in Fine Arts from Sir JJ School of Arts, Bombay, 1969 and the French Government Scholarship for Fine Arts to study in Paris from 1970 to 1972. In 2010 she was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2013 she won the Fukuoka Prize for Art, 2014 the St. Moritz Art Masters Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2016 the Asian Art Game Changers Award.
For five decades, Malani has in her experimental art addressed social, political and societal issues surrounding the Indian subcontinent, including the conflict between India and Pakistan, the abuse and rape of women, and the struggle for democracy. Starting out as a painter, filmmaker and photographer in 1969, Malani broke once again out of the classical painting frame in the late eighties to reach a wider audience, with installations, theatre, ephemeral wall drawings, erasure performances and video/shadow plays. Malani’s intense and committed art reveals her search for the profound certainties of life, of society, of experience-persisting 'evidence', which is encountered and felt.
Nalini has had 3 museum retrospectives and the 4th retrospective spanning 50 years of her oeuvre is The Rebellion of the Dead, 1969-2017, Part 1, is currently on view at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Part 2 takes place in Torino in 2018. Her works are in the museum collections of the Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the British Museum, London.
Namrata Zakaria is a seasoned fashion writer and noted observer of lifestyle, society and cultural trends. Her first column, Flair and Square, was published weekly in The Indian Express newspaper for fourteen years. The column moved to Mumbai Mirror, The Times of India, in 2015, and is now called Let Them Eat Cake. Zakaria is especially known for her insider’s take on fashion and luxury in India. Her writing is appreciated for shaping opinions, busting myths and making or breaking reputations.
Nandana Dev Sen
An award-winning actor, writer and child-rights activist, Nandana has also worked as a book editor, a screenwriter, a poetry translator, a script doctor and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland. She grew up in England, India and America, and has starred in over 20 feature films from four continents. As an Ambassador and advocate, Nandana works with children and grown-ups in UNICEF, Operation Smile and RAHI, to fight against child abuse. Nandana is the author of four children's books, which have been translated into 13 languages across the world.
Neel Mukherjee is the author of three novels : A Life Apart (2010), which won the Vodafone Crossword Award in India and the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award; The Lives of Others (2014), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Costa Best Novel Award, and won the Encore Award; and A State of Freedom, which was published in July this year.
The Founder and Chairperson of Mpower, Mrs. Neerja Birla has a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Derby. Mpower, her brainchild, is determined to bring about a positive change in attitude towards mental health. Through Mpower, Mrs.Neerja Birla actively champions the need for mental health awareness in order to stamp out the stigma, and provide world class mental health services to everyone, regardless of socio-economic barriers. She is very passionate about children, education and mental health, and is actively engaged as the Chairperson of the Aditya Birla World Academy and The Aditya Birla Integrated School.
Nina Martyris is a journalist who lives in US and writes for NPR, The Economist, The Guardian and several other publications.
Paromita Vohra is a filmmaker, writer and dedicated antakshari player. Her work as a director include several documentaries, among them, Unlimited Girls, Q2P and Where's Sandra? and the cutting-edge TV series Connected Hum Tum. She is the writer of the acclaimed feature Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) and the comic Priya's Mirror as well as several non-fiction essays on popular culture, desire and feminism. She is the founder of Agents of Ishq, the first multi-media web platform about sex, love and desire for Indians and writes the popular weekly columns Paronormal Activity and How to Find Indian Love.
Patrick French is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities at Ahmedabad University, and a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. He is presently researching the authorised biography of the Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing. His books include Younghusband, Liberty or Death, Tibet, Tibet, The World Is What It Is and India: A Portrait, and they have won prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Royal Society of Literature WH Heinemann Prize, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the US National Book Critics Circle Award.
Perumal Murugan is one of India's most reputed contemporary writers and among our foremost literary craftsmen. He is the author of ten novels, five collections of short stories, five anthologies of poetry, and six non-fiction books mostly on language and literature. He has also edited several fiction and non-fiction anthologies. His Tamil novels Koola Maathaari, Nizhal Mutram, Madhorubagan and pookkuzhihave been translated into English as Seasons of the Palm, Current Show, One Part Woman and Pyre all to popular and critical acclaim. He has received awards from the Tamil Nadu government as well as from Katha Books. Seasons of the Palm was shortlisted for the international Kiriyama Award in 2005. In 2017, the English translation of his novel Madhorubagan won the Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize.
Plum Sykes was born in London and educated at Oxford. She has written three novels, Bergdorf Blondes, a top ten Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, The Debutante Divorcée, a New York Times bestseller, and Party Girls Die in Pearls. She is a Contributing Editor at American Vogue where she writes about fashion, celebrity and society. Party Girls Die in Pearls is her latest novel and the first in her Oxford Girl Mysteries series.
Pragya Tiwari has been working as a journalist, editor, and Public Policy Researcher. She is researching a book on the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. Currently she is the Editor-in-Chief of Vice India that launches in January 2018.
Prashant Jha is a journalist with The Hindustan Times and the acclaimed author of Battles of the New Republic and How BJP Wins: Inside India’s most powerful election machine .
Pravin Kumar is a senior journalist working with The Times of India, Lucknow, as Deputy Resident Editor.Over a career spanning two decades, he has reported on various political, sports, social and cultural events. With his keen news sense and deep understanding of current affairs, his writings are widely cited and anticipated. A powerhouse of knowledge, he lightens tense moments inthe newsroom with his witticisms. Apart from chasing news and polishing news reports, he has a keen interest in sports, music, cooking and films - not in that order. He lives in Lucknow with his wife -- also a journalist - and son.
'Yogi Adityanath: The Rise of A Saffron Socialist' is his maiden book.
Rajdeep Sardesai, 52, is senior journalist, author, TV news presenter. His book 2014: the election that changed India is a national best seller that has been translated into half a dozen languages and his new book, ‘Democracy’s Eleven’, will be published later this year. Currently the consulting editor and lead news anchor of the India Today group, he has 28 years of journalistic experience in print and television. He was the founder editor of the IBN 18 network which included CNN IBN, IBN 7 and IBN Lokmat. Prior to that, he was Managing Editor of both NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India and was responsible for overseeing the news policy for both the channels. He has also worked with The Times of India for 6 years and was city editor of its Mumbai edition at the age of 26.
During the last 28 years, he has covered major national and international stories, specialising in national politics. He has won more than 50 awards for journalistic excellence, including the prestigious Padma Shri for Journalism in 2008, the International Broadcasters award for coverage of the 2002 Gujarat riots and the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism award for 2007. The only Indian to win the Asian Television award for talk show and news presentation, he has been News Anchor of the year at the Indian Television Academy eight times. He has been the President of the Editors Guild of India and was also chosen as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the world economic forum. Sardesai writes a fortnightly column across several newspapers, including The Hindustan Times and Dainik Bhaskar. He has his own blogsite and is the third most followed journalist in the world on social media site, Twitter. A graduate of St Xaviers college, he has completed his Masters and LLB from Oxford University and played first class cricket at Oxford and captained Mumbai schools.
Rajesh Tahil has worked in media across print, radio and digital for over 2 decades. Starting his career with Lintas, he went on to work with Star (as Director, Programming at Channel V), at Mid Day (as COO/Publisher) before setting-up Hill Road Media (a media services firm) and Audiomatic, India’s first podcast network.
Rajesh has been involved with radio from the early days of FM privatization working as Programming Head for Radio Mid Day and as the founding Chief Executive of Radio One; a Mid Day/BBC joint-venture. He has also for over 5 years, been the Executive Producer on UNICEF’s Meena Ki Duniya, a daily radio drama for children broadcast nationally on All India Radio.
Audiomatic is India’s first podcast network with podcasts by Vikram Doctor, Anuvab Pal, Aakar Patel, Devdutt Pattanaik, Samanth Subramanian and Padmaparna Ghosh doing podcasts across food, culture, science, history and current affairs.
Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic and literary historian. She has published over fifteen books and written over fifty academic papers and essays. She runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi–Urdu literature and culture. Her books include a translation of fifteen short stories by Intizar Husain entitled The Death of Sheherzad (HarperCollins, 2014) and The Sea Lies Ahead, a translation of Intizar Husain’s seminal novel on Karachi (HarperCollins, 2015).
Ram Kamal Mukherjee
Ram Kamal Mukherjee is India's first Power Brand film journalist, former editor-in-chief of Stardust, television producer, author of Long Island Iced Tea and biographer of Hema Malini: Beyond The Dream Girl.
Rashmi Uday Singh
World Gourmand cookbook Award winning author of 38 food books,(India’s first ever city-restaurant guide and the world’s first vegetarian guide to Paris) Rashmi studied journalism, literature, law, management and trained with the BBC. She worked with the Indian Revenue Service and resigned as Commissioner of Tax. Her weekly columns with "The Times of India" and TV shows (including Channel 4 with Gordon Ramsay) continue to be popular.
Ravish Kumar is an Indian writer and journalist who covers topics pertaining to Indian politics and society.
Robert Seatter has worked at the BBC for over 20 years, and has been Head of BBC History since 2008, telling the story of the BBC at the heart of the nation and as a global broadcaster. Key activities in this role include orchestration of major anniversary seasons; public engagement partnerships with museums and other cultural agencies; commissioning and management of in-depth written and oral histories; and wider interpretation of BBC history in our BBC buildings. The aim is always to resonate the BBC story across the past and present, and into the future. Previous careers included teaching, acting, journalism and publishing. He is also an award-winning poet, with four wide-ranging collections to his name.
Robyn Davidson is a writer whose first book, Tracks, an account of her journey alone, with camels, across Australia, won many awards, and has been published in twenty languages over forty years. It has never been out of print. Born in Western Queensland, Australia, on a cattle property, Robyn was educated at a boarding school in Queensland, won scholarships including a music scholarship, but decided to forego them in order to travel. She has been travelling ever since. Her second award winning travel book, Desert Places, is an account of two years spent on migration with Indian nomads.
Ruchira Gupta has pioneered laws, policies, protocols, conventions and Best Practice approaches in the Feminist Abolitionist struggle against sex-trafficking in the UN, globally and India. Her work will be archived at Stanford Library and will be open access for students across the world to study. Her journey began as a journalist, when she made the Emmy-winning documentary, The Selling of Innocents. With the help of the documentary, she testified to the US Senate for the passage of the first Trafficking Victim Protection Act and to the UN for the passage of the UN Protocol to End Trafficking in Persons. She founded the Indian anti-sex trafficking organization, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, that supports thousands of prostituted and at risk girls in India. She is a visiting professor at New York University, and Distinguished Scholar at University of California, Berkley. She is the editor of a feminist journal for SAGE, Antyajaa: Indian Journal of Women and Social Change and two anthologies-River of Flesh & Other Stories and The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader. She has been presented the French Légion d'honneur, an Emmy, and the Clinton Global Citizen, UN NGO CSW Woman of Distinction award. She dreams of a world in which no human being is bought or sold.
S. Hussain Zaidi
S. Hussain Zaidi is a Mumbai based journalist, a veteran of investigative, crime and terror reporting in Mumbai media. He has worked Resident Editor at the Asian Age, Mumbai, Editor investigations at the Mumbai Mirror, Mid-day, and the Indian Express. He has authored several bestsellers like Black Friday, Dongri to Dubai,the Mafia Queens of Mumbai, Byculla to Bangkok and the latest Dangerous Minds. Zaidi is also associate producer for the HBO movie, Terror in Mumbai, based on the 26/11 terror strikes.
Sam Miller was born and brought up in London, but he has spent much of the last twenty-five years in India. He has worked for the BBC as a reporter and editor, and as Country Director for the organisation’s development arm, BBC Media Action. He continues to work, on and off, for the BBC. He is the author of Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity (2009) and A Strange Kind of Paradise: India Through Foreign Eyes (2014) both published by Penguin India. He was the translator of the first English-language version of Alfred Assollant’s Once Upon a Time in India: The Marvellous Adventures of Captain Corcoran (Juggernaut 2016). His most recent book is Fathers (Jonathan Cape 2017).
Sandeep Adhwaryu is a Delhi based cartoonist currently working with Times of India. He started his career with Outlook newsmagazine in 2002 as an illustrator. That was on probation, as he had practically no experience with the profession—and no formal training in the field of arts. Having sustained his testing period he graduated to political cartooning in 2008 and continued to work for Outlook till 2011. He had a brief stint as Editorial cartoonist with India Today and Mail Today before joining Times of India in 2015.
“To handle yourself, use your head but to handle others, use your heart” and with this thought Mrs. Sangita Jindal established JSW Foundation, with a sole desire to improve the quality of life of individuals.
Today, as Chairman of JSW Foundation, Sangita strategizes and oversees social development projects within the JSW Group. Today the programs and initiatives of JSW Foundation have bettered the lives of over 1 million individuals
A philanthropist who believes in demystifying art for the common man, Sangita set up Jindal Arts Centre (1992) which works as a custodian of interdisciplinary arts activity and Art India Magazine (1994) which has become the benchmark for contemporary art, globally. Her efforts to preserve heritage for future generations led to extensive conservation work at Hampi. Later, Hampi Foundation was conferred the UNESCO-Asia Pacific Award for Merit for Cultural Heritage Conservation for the stabilizing and restoration of the Chandramauleshwar Temple.
Saroo Brierley was born in a small Indian town. In 1986, aged only 5, he lost all contact with his family when he was separated from his brother at a train station. He never saw his brother again.
After living on the streets of Calcutta for 3 weeks by himself, Saroo was placed in a local orphanage before being adopted by an Australian family. He grew up with his new parents in Hobart, Tasmania for the next 25 years. But he was unable, and unwilling, to forget the land of his childhood.
Determined to rediscover his past, he embarked on a virtual odyssey of his homeland and, after many hours pouring over Google Earth, armed only the images etched into his memories as a 5-year-old, he managed to recognise his home town - and track down his mother.
Their reunion in 2012 made headlines across the world, and his full story is recounted in his #1 international bestselling autobiography, A Long Way Home.
The film Lion, based on his autobiography was released in November 2016 and nominated for four Golden Globe and six Academy Awards. The film stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.
Saroo’s is a remarkable and touching story of survival and sheer determination.
Dr. Shamsah Sonawalla is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre; Founder of TransMag Well Being Clinic, Mumbai and former Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, U.S.A. A practising psychiatrist for over 15 years, she has worked extensively in this field across India and the United States. She has over 100 publications in national and international journals, has co-edited a book and has received several prestigious awards in both countries.
Sheela Reddy has written extensively for leading Indian newspapers and journals during her over thirty-five years in journalism. In her last job as books editor of Outlook, she wrote on diverse subjects including politics, history, culture, literature and biography. Her writing has appeared in literary magazines and in several anthologies, besides an edited volume of essays by Khushwant Singh, Why I Supported the Emergency. Mr and Mrs Jinnah is her first book. She lives in Delhi.
Shobhaa De has monitored and written extensively on India’s socio-cultural-political contours for over four decades. Her twenty books include several bestsellers like ‘Starry Nights’ , ‘Spouse’, ‘Superstar India’ and now , her latest, ‘Seventy.... and to hell with it!” She is a prolific writer, columnist, blogger, social commentator and opinion shaper with a vast Twitter following of close to 3 million. It is often said that one tweet from her can – and does – shake up Parliament. Her feisty, irreverent style has made her a powerful icon, widely respected for her fearless and independent opinions.
Working as a journalist for publications like the Hindustan Times, Outlook, DNA and Mumbai Mirror, Shreevatsa Nevatia has interviewed a cross-section of politicians, actors and authors. Twelve years ago, he started his career by covering conflict in the Middle East, and today he works as the Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveller India. In 2007, he was diagnosed bipolar, and though his condition has made him suffer the trauma of depression and institutionalisation, it has also given his mind the ability to be nimble. His memoir, How to Travel Light, has been published by Penguin Random House in October.
Soha Ali Khan
Soha Ali Khan is an Indian film actor who has appeared in movies such as Rang De Basanti, Tum Mile and Go Goa Gone. She studied modern history at Balliol College, Oxford, and earned a masters' degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the youngest daughter of actor Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the ninth nawab of Pataudi. Both her father and paternal grandfather, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, were former captains of the Indian cricket team. Her older brother is Saif Ali Khan and she's married to actor Kunal Kemmu.
From being a successful actress, to being one of the most popular faces on television and a favourite with brands, Sonali Bendre Behl has consistently set an example of being a modern-day professional and responsible mother.
Recently, Sonali penned her experiences as a mother in her award winning book ‘The Modern Gurukul – My Experiments with Parenting.'
An avid reader herself, Sonali created "Sonali's Book Club" an online community, primarily to revive the joy of reading not just for herself but for avid readers across the country. Leveraging the power of social media, Sonali has formed an ever growing community of readers,
Sooni Taraporevala, photographer, screenwriter, filmmaker, is best known for writing the films Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay, and directing the National Award-winning Little Zizou as well as for her book, PARSIS A Photographic Journey. Her photographs have been exhibited around the world and are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The recipient of numerous national and international awards she was awarded a Padma Shri by the Government of India and is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. She lives in Mumbai with her husband Dr. Firdaus Bativala.
Srijana Mitra Das
Srijana Mitra Das has written the upcoming 'BTM (Bharat Turns Mod): Pop Culture, Politics and Power in Aspirational India'. Srijana read Economics at the LSE and completed her PhD in Social Anthropology at Cambridge University, after which she worked at the Times of India for six years. She is currently Senior Editor at The Indian Express.
Stephen Kotkin holds the Birkelund Professorship of History and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he directs the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs the Program in the History and Practice of Diplomacy. He has chaired the editorial board at Princeton University Press, served as the business book reviewer for the New York Times, and writes reviews and essays for the Wall Street Journal, TLS, and Foreign Affairs. He is the author of six books covering the rise and demise of Communism. His Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His latest, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, is published by Penguin.
Subodh Gupta (b. 1964) is an artist who lives and works in New Delhi. Trained as a painter, he has gone on to work with a variety of media including painting, performance, video, photography, sculpture, and installation. Gupta is best known for working with everyday objects that are ubiquitous throughout India, such as mass-produced stainless steel utensils, bicycles, and milk pails. From these ordinary items the artist produces works that reflect on universal issues including migration, globalization, and the cosmos.
His recent solo shows and group displays include the ones at Freer Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian, Washington D.C (2017), Galleria Continua, Italy (2017), Famous Studio, Mumbai (2016), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2016), Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2015), The Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2014) and Arario Gallery, Seoul, Korea and Shanghai, China (2014).
Sudarshan is a managing director in the Investment Banking Division and a member of the Asia Ex-Japan Mergers & Acquisitions team. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2004 in Hong Kong and subsequently moved to help found the Mumbai office in 2007. Sudarshan was named managing director in 2015. Sudarshan earned a BE in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli in 2002 and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 2004.
Suhel Seth is the Founder of Counselage, India’s only strategic brand management and marketing consultancy advising Chairpersons and CEOs on branding and marketing. Counselage works for Tata Sons, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp, GMR, Coca Cola, and Max India amongst others.
Suhel also sits on the Boards of IMG Reliance, Reliance Jio Media and on the Advisory Boards of Coca Cola and Samsung.
Suhel is on the Board of Advisors of Deepalaya, the Neemrana Foundation and the Max India Foundation. Suhel is also an advisor to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Sujatha Gidla is the author of Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, published in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and in India by Harper Collins India. Sujatha was born in Andhra Pradesh and migrated to America at the age of 26. She lives in New York and works as a conductor in the city’s subways. Ants Among Elephants is her first book.
Sujit Saraf has conducted research for NASA, worked in Silicon Valley startups and taught at IIT Delhi. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His novels include The Peacock Throne, shortlisted for the Encore award in London, The Confession of Sultana Daku, being made into a motion picture, and Harilal & Sons, a fictionalized account of his grandfather’s life and travels. He runs Naatak, America's largest Indian theatre company, for which he regularly writes and directs plays, the most recent being Toba Tek Singh, a musical adaptation of Saadat Hasan Manto's short story.
Sumana Roy's first book, How I Became a Tree, a work of non-fiction, was published in India in February. Her poems and essays have appeared in Granta, Guernica, LARB, Drunken Boat, the Prairie Schooner, and other journals. She lives in Siliguri in India.
Sunil Khilnani, Avantha Professor and Director of the India Institute at King's College, London, is currently visiting professor at Princeton University. Among his publications are Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives (Penguin 2017), and of The Idea of India, recently published in a 20th anniversary edition.
Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor (Emerita) in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and is a scholar of European Renaissance literature as well as Indian cultural history, the novel, modernist literature and theory. She translates modern Bengali poetry and fiction, reviews new literature in English, and has served on the juries of the Crossword, Commonwealth and Sahitya Akademi literary prizes. She also writes on education, the humanities, and the public university in India.
Supriya Nair is a journalist from Bombay. She is a sports columnist for Mumbai Mirror and editor of the anthology The Caravan Book Of Profiles. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, Vogue and Wisden
Swagato Ganguly is Editorial Page Editor, The Times of India. He is the author of Idolatry and the Colonial Idea of India: Visions of Horror, Allegories of Enlightenment. He has a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar
Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar is a prominent Indian journalist and columnist. He is consulting editor for the Economic Times and writes regularly for the Economic Times and The Times of India.
A prolific lyricist, singer, music composer, actor, director, poet, playwright, theatre director and screenwriter, Swanand wears more than a few hats. A two-time national award winner for his lyric writing, Bande mein tha dum (Lage raho Munna Bhai) in 2007 and Behti hawa sa tha woh (3 Idiots) in 2009, Swanand has written lyrics for over thirty films. His name features in the rolls of many awards. His lyrics for popular TV series Satyamev Jayate and The Dewarists have caught people's imagination. Hailing from Indore, Swanand is a graduate from the prestigious National School of Drama in New Delhi and has acted in over fifteen films and many stage plays. His parents, who have learned their music under the legendary Pt. Kumar Gandharva, have deeply influenced his musical sensibilities. With his contempories Shantanu Moitra and Vikram Sathaye, he is also the founding member of ‘Baawas’, an initiative named after his first and most loved song Baawra Mann, which organizes shows to support young promising Indians in unconventional careers. Swanand is currently writing a web series for Amazon Prime.
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
Managing Trustee and Honorary Director, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, Convenor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Mumbai Chapter.
Mrs Mehta is an art historian, writer, curator, designer and cultural activist who has successfully pioneered the revival and restoration of several cultural sites in Mumbai. She conceptualized, curated, designed and implemented the restoration and revitalization of the Museum and the ongoing exhibitions and outreach programmes. The Museum won UNESCO’s 2005 Asia Pacific ‘Award of Excellence’, the prestigious Prudential Eye award for exhibitions in 2014 and the International Quality Crown Award (IQC), Gold category, 2016. The Museum is considered an important cultural hub and platform for showcasing both contemporary and historic exhibitions.
Teesta Setalvad is a senior journalist, educationist and activist who has worked with several Indian publications since 1983. Since 1993, she launched and co-edits Communalism Combat along with colleague and husband, Javed Anand, a monthly journal that has received kudos for its analysis and quality journalism. Setalvad has exposed the communalisation within India’s law and order machinery since the early 1990s including the partisan behaviour of sections of the Indian police during outbreaks of communal violence.
Since November 26, 2015, Communalism Combat has been re-launched online to a webportal Sabrangindia.in Twenty three years of valuable archival material is available on the site.
She has extensively analysed and documented the build up to the conflict in Gujarat since 1991. Trained in law, Setalvad was also convenor of the Concerned Citizens Tribunal—Crimes Against Humanity headed by justices Krishna Iyer, PB Sawant and Hosbet Suresh among other eminent academicians and activists that had conducted an investigation into the genocidal carnage.
Since April 2002, she along with concerned citizens of Mumbai set up Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) a civil rights group to give quality and sustained legal aid to victims of mass crimes. She is secretary to CJP and its chief functionary. Setalvad is also an educationist working on issues related to pluralism and democratic values in the curriculum especially related to the teaching of history and social studies. Khoj, India’s only secular education programme is working extensively on the issue of broadening the boundaries of history and social sciences teaching.
Tishani Doshi publishes novels, essays and poetry. She has worked as a dancer with the Chandralekha troupe for fifteen years. She lives on a beach in Tamil Nadu.
Victor Mallet is an award-winning journalist and currently Asia news editor for the Financial Times. He has worked for more than three decades in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His latest book, River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and Modern India, will be published by Oxford University Press in October 2017 and follows on from his highly praised debut, The Trouble with Tigers: The Rise and Fall of South-east Asia, chronicling the south-east Asian industrial revolution and the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
Vikas Khanna is a Michelin Star Chef and James Beard Award nominee. He is the host of MasterChef India, Twist of Taste and Mega Kitchens on National Geographic. He has also appeared on International television with Gordon Ramsay, Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay and MasterChef Australia.
He is the creator of Holy Kitchens documentary series and Kitchens of Gratitude.
Duetche Wells named Khanna in the list of 10 most influential chefs in the world, who have changed our eating habits.
Khanna’s Museum of Culinary Arts, Manipal will be inaugurated in 2018.
Biography on his life “Buried Seeds” by Andrei Severny had Special Screening at Venice Film Festival, 2017.
He is the global ambassador for nutrition and education for Smile Foundation.
Vikram Chandra’s latest book is Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty. He has also written the novels Sacred Games and Red Earth and Pouring Rain and the short story collection Love and Longing in Bombay. Sacred Games is to be the first Netflix original series produced in India. His honours include a Guggenheim fellowship, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia), the Crossword Prize, and the Salon Book Award. He teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley. His work has been translated into nineteen languages. He is a co-founder of Granthika, a software startup that is reinventing writing and reading for the digital age.
Vikram Doctor is editor, special features at The Economic Times, where he writes on several issues including food and the role it plays in Indian culture.
Vinita Dawra Nangia
Vinita Dawra Nangia is an Associate Editor, Columnist and Author with The Times of India. As Director, Write India, the world’s largest movement for crowd-sourced writing, she fronts a movement in association with established authors to identify and launch new writing talent in the country.With over two decades of experience in Lifestyle & Features Journalism, Vinita has helped launch several cutting edge editorial products and specialises in society, relationships and life commentary. Her Sunday column in The Times of India - O-zone - is an ongoing commentary on Contemporary Living, shifting Societal Trends & Relationships.
Vinita has authored three books – It's Your Life -- Reflections on Contemporary Living & Relationships, Love is Always Right & Other Musings and Fashion Fair -The Journey of 13 Contemporary Designers. She has also edited Write India Stories - which launches several new winners of Write India as published authors. She is a regular on the Talk circuit for her insights and dialogues on aspects of human interactions -- life, contemporary living, relationships and coping.
Vipin is a Hindi singer, song writer and actor from Delhi who has a distinct sound and style.
His craft is all about spoken word and converting stories into songs, that are based on real-life incidents and observations, which will always elicit a laugh or a bring a smile to your face.
One of the key talents that Vipin has is to write songs spontaneously, which turn out to be extremely memorable and hum-worthy.
He writes lyrics which are humorous, relatable and honest, and sets them to catchy tunes - which appeal to all age groups, and especially to the youth of today.
After moving to Mumbai in 2014, Vipin has worked on multiple projects owing to his talent - he wrote, composed, produced and performed over 100 tracks for the ZeeQ DIY kids show “Artroom”.
He is currently pursuing his passion for theatre as well, in Atul Kumar’s musical adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream “Khwaab Sa”, Amitosh Nagpal’s “Talli Tuesday” and Gagan Dev Riar’s “Ishq Aaha”.
He comes on board Sony Music with a massive bank of songs, two of his singles “Dost’ and “O Rickshewale” are being released in December 2017
Vishal Bhardwaj is a film-maker, writer, composer and producer. He has directed nine feature films, produced five and composed music for more than forty. His directorial work, which has won him three international awards and seven national film awards, includes Makdee, The Blue Umbrella, Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, Rangoon, as well as the internationally acclaimed Shakespearian trilogy: Maqbool, Omkara and Haider (adapted from Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet, respectively). He has recently begun his stage career by directing A Flowering Tree by John Adams in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, and composing music for Monsoon Wedding: The Musical in Berkeley, California.
Bollywood star, versatile actor with an impressive oeuvre of cinema and many awards, Vivek has appeared on Forbes' list of 'Heroes of Philanthropy' and is known for his association with worthy causes including Project Devi. What we also found out about Vivek was his love for books and reading. As a child, he set up a library in his garage and this relationship with books continues through his association with the Indian Novels Collective, a not-for-profit initiative to bring classic works of Indian fiction to English readers through creating a community of readers and sponsoring quality translations. Vivek will read parts from masterpieces of fiction that have found immortality through cinema, including Teesri Kasam, Chimmeen or Charulata.
Zareer Masani is the author of Macaulay: Pioneer of India’s Modernisation (Random House, 2013). He has an Oxford history doctorate and is the author of three other historical books: Indira Gandhi: A Biography, Indian Tales of the Raj and India from Raj to Rajiv (with Mark Tully). He has also written a widely acclaimed family memoir, And All Is Said: Memoir of a Home Divided (Penguin, 2013).
Zareer spent two decades as a producer for BBC Radio 4 and is now a freelance historian, journalist and broadcaster. His particular areas of interest include the British Raj in India. He is currently researching a biography of Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General.