Venkatraman ‘Venki’ Ramakrishnan is an American and British structural biologist of Indian origin and a Nobel Prize winner. Ramakrishnan received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, sharing the award with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath for studies on the structure and function of the ribosome. He was knighted in 2012, and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina and EMBO, and a Foreign Member of the Indian National Science Academy. In 2015, he was elected as President of the Royal Society for a five-year term. His recent work, Gene machine. The race to decipher the secrets of the ribosome, was published in 2018.
André Aciman is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of Out of Egypt: A Memoir, False Papers, Alibis, and four novels: Call Me by Your Name, Eight White Nights, Harvard Square, and Enigma Variations. He is the co author and editor of Letters of Transit and of The Proust Project. Aciman is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a fellowship from The New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and has appeared in several volumes of Best American Essays. He is currently working on a novel and a collection of essays.
Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, and the novel, A River of Stars, which O, The Oprah Magazine calls "a marvel" and The Economist says is "delightful". For two decades, she has been writing, in journalism and in fiction, about Asia and the Asian diaspora. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post.
Ruskin Bond is an award-winning Indian author of British descent, much renowned for his role in promoting children’s literature in India. He has written over 500 short stories, essays and novellas and more than 50 books for children. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, written at 17, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. In June 2017 Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography was published. He has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar.
Yann Martel, the son of diplomats, was born in Spain in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada and as an adult has spent time in Iran, Turkey, and India. After studying philosophy in college, he worked at various odd jobs until he began earning his living as a writer at the age of twenty-seven. In 2002, Martel won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for Life of Pi (2002). The book has been published in over 40 countries and territories, in over 30 languages, and a film adapted by Ang Lee was released in 2012. His latest novel is The High Mountains of Portugal (2016). He lives in Saskatoon with his family.
Markus Zusak, one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia, is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which spent more than a decade on the New York Times’ bestseller list, and has been translated into more than forty languages. His books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry (also titled Getting the Girl), The Messenger (or I am the Messenger) and The Book Thief have been awarded numerous honours ranging from literary prizes to readers’ choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers. His latest novel, Bridge of Clay, was released in October 2018.
Actor, director, screenwriter, social activist, motivational speaker, philanthropist, rugby player, Rahul Bose is one of India’s most respected actors best known for his roles in English, August; Split Wide Open (for which he won Best Actor at Singapore Film Festival); Mr. and Mrs. Iyer; The Japanese Wife; and Midnight’s Children. He is the founder of the anti-discrimination NGO, The Foundation. He is also an Oxfam Global ambassador and is on the advisory board of Breakthrough, a New York-based NGO. Bose has written, and continues to write, articles that cover sport, humour, non-profit and cinema.
Niranjan Iyengar is a screenwriter and lyricist particularly known for his work with director Karan Johar. He is also author of the book, The Making of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Iyengar also hosts the talk show Look Who's talking with Niranjan, which is aired on Zee Café. He has also worked on hit films Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Wake Up Sid, My Name Is Khan, Ra.One, Student of the Year, and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
Jerry Pinto is a Mumbai-based Indian writer of poetry, prose and children's fiction, as well as a journalist. His works include Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb which won the Best Book on Cinema Award at the 54th National Film Awards, Surviving Women and Asylum and Other Poems, and Murder in Mahim. His first novel, Em and The Big Hoom won the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Windham-Campbell Prize (fiction) in 2016. Most recently, he has translated Baburao Bagul’s book When I hid my Caste: Stories.
Soumitra Chatterjee is one of Bengal’s most talented and internationally acknowledged actors. He made his debut in 1959 in Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar. Chatterjee worked extensively with Ray but collaborated with other well-known Bengali directors like Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha. Awards received by him include the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Bhushan, Officier des Arts et Metiers, a National Award for Best Actor, and two National Award Special Jury awards. In 2017, he was conferred the Legion d’Honneur. His book, The Master and I: Soumitra on Satyajit, was translated by Arunava Sinha.
Rekha Bhardwaj is an Indian singer and live performer. She has received two Filmfare and one National Award. In addition to Hindi, she has also sung in Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi and Malayalam. Bhardwaj was born in Delhi and moved to Mumbai when she married the noted film director, composer and playback singer Vishal Bhardwaj in 1991.
CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist, and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, the O.Henry Prize Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese. Her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into films. Her new novel, The Forest of Enchantments, is forthcoming in January 2019.
Geeta Gopalakrishnan is the author of My Grandmother's Tweets: Stories Inspired by Avvaiyar's Ancient Wisdom (2018). She has around thirty-five years of experience in advertising. Now, she channels her energy into two causes – children with special needs and underprivileged ones. All the author royalties from this book will go towards the treatment of underprivileged children with cancer at the Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata.
Namita Devidayal is a journalist with The Times of India and co-director of the Times Litfest. She has written three books — The Music Room, Aftertaste, and The Sixth String of Vilayat Khan. The Music Room was a winner of the 2008 Vodafone Crossword Popular Book Award, and was named an Outlook book of 2007. Namita graduated from Princeton University. She lives in Mumbai.
Uday Prakash is a Hindi poet, scholar, journalist, translator and short story writer. He has worked as an administrator, editor, researcher, and TV director, and also writes for major dailies and periodicals. He has received several awards for his collection of short stories, Mohan Das, which has been translated into English, seven Indian languages, and been adapted by the author as a screenplay (Mohandas). His best known and longest continuous story is Peelee Chhatri Wali Ladki. His first novel, Cheeni Baba, is forthcoming. Prakash has translated works by many international poets and writers into Hindi, including Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, H. Luis Borges, Paul Éluard, C.P. Cavafy, Adam Jędrzejewski, and TadeuszRóżewicz. Awards include the Bharat BhushanAgrawalPuraskar (1980), the SahityakaarSamman by the Hindi Akademi (1999 ), and the SAARC Literary Award (2009).
Sarnath Banerjee has written four books of graphic fiction. Corridor, The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers, The Harappa Files, and All Quiet in Vikaspuri, and recently Doab Dil. As part of his ongoing project involving collaboration with historians, Banerjee had produced Liquid History of Vasco Da Gama for the Kochi Biennial, 2014, and The Poona Circle, a series of vandalised history textbooks, for the Pune Biennale, 2017. The same year, for Frans-Hals museum, Harlem, he produced I Got Ginger; a series of drawings and text that proposes the making an ‘insubordinate’ children’s book on Dutch colonialism. His billboard series, Gallery of Losers, commissioned by Frieze Projects East, for the 2012 London Olympics, was widely displayed in East London. In 2016, he was commissioned for over 80 murals by Deutsche Bank, for their new office in Canary Wharf. In 2008, Banerjee co-founded publishing house Phantomville that brought together reporters and comic-book artists to produce works of visual journalism. He also had a column, The Enchanted Geography, for a national newspaper in India. Sarnath Banerjee had studied at Goldsmith College, London and currently lives in Berlin.
Gurcharan Das is a commentator and public intellectual. He is the author of a number of best-selling non-fiction works, The Difficulty of Being Good, India Unbound, and India Grows at Night. His latest is Kama: The Riddle of Desire. He has also written a novel, A Fine Family, and an anthology, Three Plays. He writes a regular column for the Times of India and six Indian language newspapers and occasionally for the Financial Times, the New York Times and others. He studied philosophy at Harvard and was CEO of Procter & Gamble India before he became a full-time writer. He is general editor for Penguin’s 15 volume ‘Story of Indian Business’.
Aatish Taseer was born in 1980. He is the author of the memoir Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands and three acclaimed novels: The Way Things Were, a finalist for the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize; The Temple-Goers, which was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award; and Noon. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He is a contributing writer for The International New York Times and lives in New Delhi and New York. He is, most recently, the author of The Twice-Born: Life and Death on the Ganges.
Abdullah Khan is a Mumbai-based screenwriter, lyricist and novelist. He was born in a poor Muslim village near Motihari, Bihar, and initially educated in madarsa and Urdu medium schools. In mid¬-90s, he discovered that George Orwell was born in Motihari and this 'Orwellian' connection with his home district drew him towards literature. Abdullah’s writings have appeared in Brooklyn Rail (New York), Wasafiri (London), The Hindu (India), The Daily Star (Bangladesh) and Friday Times (Pakistan). He has written a film called Viraam which was screened at Cannes Film Festival, 2017 and was released in theatres in December 2017. Patna Blues, his first novel, has been published by Juggernaut books in hardcover. He has also contributed to a non-fiction anthology India Now & in Transition with other contributors such as Shashi Tharoor, RamchandraGuha, SunilKhilanani. At present, he is working on a TV show for a well-known Indian TV channel.
AdoorGopalakrishnanis an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. His debut film, 'Swayamavaram' marked the beginning of a new era in Malayalam cinema.He has been awarded the British Film Institute Award for Elippathayam for the most original and imaginative film of 1982, and has won the International Film Critics Prizesix times in succession. The French Government honoured him with the title, Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters in 2004. Gopalakrishnan has also won the National Film Awards 16 times and the Kerala State Film Awards 17 times. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2006 for his contribution to Indian cinema.
AMJAD ALI KHAN
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is an internationally acclaimed Indian classical sarod player. He has performed regularly at some of the most prestigious venues and music festivals around the world, and has been a visiting professor at various top universities. He has received numerous international awards and accolades, including the Gandhi UNESCO Medal for his composition Bapukauns, the Padma Vibhushan, and the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government. Some of his renowned works are North India: Instrumental Music of Medieval India, Moksha, Confluence, Samaagam, and Romancing The Rains.
Anita Agnihotri is a Bengali writer and civil servant. As a child she wrote regularly for Sandesh, the children’s magazine edited by Satyajit Ray and Leela Majumdar. Anita has authored over 35 books spanning all genres of writing — poetry, creative prose, novels, children’s stories, essays and travelogues, and her works have been translated into several Indian languages, besides English, German and Swedish. She has been awarded the Sarat Puruskar, Bangiya Sahitya Parishad Samman, Gajendra Mitra Memorial Award, and the Bhuban Mohini Dasi Gold Medal by University of Calcutta. Mahanadi, Forest Interludes, The Awakening, Seventeen, and Those Who Have Known Love are some of her notable works. In 2018, she co-authored Mahuldiha Days with Kalpana Bardhan.
Thingnam Anjulika Samom is an independent journalist based in Manipur. She writes for various press agencies and publications including Women’s Feature Service, India Together, Inter Press Service andThe Wire. Her Better Half column in a Manipur newspaper, The Sangai Express, proﬁles Manipuri women achievers. Anjulika has worked with the National Council of Educational Research and Training, UNI and North East Sun. She is also an award-winning translator. Her journalistic writing focuses on gender and conflict in Manipur. She is the recipient of the Katha Award for Translation, 2004, and the Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitivity 2010-11 (Eastern Region). She has contributed to Centrepiece: New Writing and Art from Northeast India (Zubaan, 2017) and is currently editing a book on Manipur for Zubaan.
Anupam Roy is an award-winning Bengali lyricist, composer and singer. He got his break in August 2010, when two of his songs — Aamake Amar Moto Thakte Dao and Benche Thakar Gaan — were used in the Bengali film Autograph and went on to become hits. In 2015, he made his Bollywood debut, composing the score and songs for Piku and winning the Filmfare Award for Best Background Score. He has also won a National Film Award in 2016 for his work as a lyricist. Anupam writes poetry and short stories and has contributed to various magazines and newspapers. He also performs live with his music group, The Anupam Roy Band. Most recently, he has worked on the soundtrack of the film Shah Jahan Regency.
Prof. Anuradha Lohia is a molecular parasitologist who has done extensive research in the field of infectious disease. She is a Senior Professor and past-Chairperson of the Department of Biochemistry at the Bose Institute, Kolkata. Previously, she served as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the UK-India collaborative ‘Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance’ – an organisation that supports excellence in medical research. She is currently the Vice Chancellor of Presidency University, Kolkata.
Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English and English fiction into Bengali. Forty-nine of his translations have been published so far in India, and ten in the US and the UK. Twice the winner of the Crossword Translation Award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), he has also won the Muse India Award for translation for When the Time Is Right (2012) and been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. He was born and grew up in Kolkata and lives and writes in New Delhi.
Ashis Nandy is an Indian political psychologist, social theorist, and critic. Ashis has provided theoretical critiques of European colonialism, development, modernity, secularism, Hindutva, science, technology, nuclearism, cosmopolitanism, and utopia. He has also offered an original historical profile of India's commercial cinema as well as critiques of state and violence. He was Senior Fellow and Former Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies for several years. Today, he is a Senior Honorary Fellow at the institute and the Chairperson of the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures. Ashis has also received the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2007.In 2008, he appeared on the list of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll of the Foreign Policy magazine, published by The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Bachi Karkaria is considered a game-changer in Indian journalism. She was the first Indian board member of the World Editors Forum. Her widely followed columns are the satirical Erratica in The Times of India and Giving Gyan, playing ‘Agony Aunt’, in the Mumbai Mirror. She appears regularly on television news channels, and is a media trainer in India and abroad. Karkaria’s books include the critically acclaimed, In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India; Dare to Dream; Mills, Molls And Moolah; Behind The Times; Mumbai Masti; The Cake That Walked on Kolkata’s iconic tearoom, Flury’s; two collections of her Erratica column; and, most recently, of Giving Gyan.
Bittu Sahgal, an environmental activist and writer, is the founding editor of Sanctuary Asia, a wildlife and ecology magazine. He is also a member of the National Board for Wildlife of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.He has authored and co-authored numerous book on wildlife includingIndia Naturally, The Bandhavgarh Inheritance, The Sundarbans Inheritance, The Bharatpur Inheritance, The Kaziranga Inheritance, The Corbett Inheritance and The Periyar Inheritance. He writes for both English and Indian local language newspapers and magazines and has produced over 30 conservation-related documentaries.
Bikram Grewal grew up in the dense evergreen forests of India’s North-east where he first developed his love for natural history. He has written over 30 books on Indian wildlife, travel and the entertainment. He made publishing his career and worked in England, Hong Kong and Singapore before returning to Delhi. He now devotes his time to the conservation of Indian wildlife, especially working on rare birds. When not travelling, he spends his time between his farm in Dehradun, where he grows rare plants, and his boat in the Sunderbans.
Chandril Bhattacharya is an essayist, poet, lyricist, and regularly nurtures a fantasy of becoming the greatest filmmaker on earth. He has authored seven books. His poetry does not sell (and hence proves he is ahead of his time). His prose is quite popular (and hence proves he is in tune with the times). His lyrics started out as refreshingly frolicsome, but are now veering dangerously towards contrived pedagogy (and hence prove that he is running out of time). His plan is to win two Nobels in quick succession and use the money to fund his first film.
Chinmoy Guha is a Professor and former Head of Department of English at the University of Calcutta, a Bengali essayist and translator, and a scholar of French language and literature. He has been the Vice-Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University and Director of Publications, Embassy of France, New Delhi. He taught English at Vijaygarh Jyotish Ray College in Kolkata for more than two decades, and French at Alliance Française and the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture for several years. He has been awarded knighthoods by the French ministries of Education and Culture, in 2010 and 2013, respectively, and the Vidyasagar Puroshkar in 2017.
Claire Armitstead is the Associate Editor, Culture, for The Guardian. She has also worked as a theatre critic, arts editor and literary editor for the paper. Claire presents The Guardian books podcast and is a trustee of the writers' charity English PEN. She has edited an anthology of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writing about contemporary London, called Tales Of Two Londons: Stories From A Fractured City. Claire studied English at Oxford and initially worked as a trainee reporter, covering the Welsh valleys during the miners’ strike, before joining the Hampstead &Highgate Express as a theatre critic and sub-editor after which she moved to the Financial Times. She also leads workshops and chairs literary events in the UK and around the world.
Deborah Baker is a biographer and essayist.She writes for the Los Angeles Times and has authored A Blue Hand: The Beats in India, The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism,andIn Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. Deborah was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. Her latest book, The Last Englishmen: Love, War and the End of Empire was published in 2018.
Dolly Kikon is a social anthropologist. She teaches Anthropology and Development Studies at the University ofMelbourne, Australia. Her monographs include Life and Dignity: Women’s Testimonies of Sexual Violence in Dimapur (2015) and Experiences of Naga Women in Armed Conﬂict: Narratives from a Militarized Society (2004). Her articles have appeared in Economic and Political Weekly, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Open Democracy, Seminar, and Himal South Asia. She has contributed chapters to books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Zubaan, Chicago University Press, and University of Vienna Press. She has also contributed to theantholology, Centrepiece: New Writing and Art from Northeast India (Zubaan, 2017).
Firdous Azim is a Professor of English at BRAC University, and a member of Naripokkho, a woman’s group in Bangladesh. She was awarded the US50 fellowship which recognizes her as one of the 50 notable alumni of Sussex University. Her works include The Colonial Rise of the Novel and Infinite Variety: Essays on Society and Literature. She is a part of the Feminist Review and the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies editorial board, and has edited special issues for both journals. She has served as a jury member for the ProthomAlo Best Book Award, the Commonwealth Short Story Competition for Commonwealth Writers, and the Himal South Asian Short Film Festival.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi is an Indian civil servant and diplomat, and a former Governor of West Bengal (2004-09). He has served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts. He most recently published an English version of Tirukkural, Tiruvalluvar's Tamil masterpiece. His other works include the novel, Refuge, and a play in verse, Dara Shukoh, The Essential Gandhi, Of a Certain Age (a collection of biographical sketches on twenty notable Indians), and Koi Acchha Sa Ladka (a translation of Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy), among others.
Hari Vasudevan is a specialist in Russian and European history and Indo-Russian relations and a UGC Emeritus Professor at the Department of History, University of Calcutta. He is a former member of the Indian Council of Historical Research and his research interests are in the following areas: Democracy and Development in India and Europe, Global politics of Soviet Communism, Indo-Russian relations and contemporary World Politics.
HIDAYAT HUSAIN KHAN
Hidayat Husain Khan is an internationally renowned sitarist who has lent his versatility across all genres and nuances of music – from playing the intricate Etawa Gharana to performing with the Rolling Stones. An exquisite player and vocalist, Khan comes from a line of seven generations of court musicians. He has worked on several film scores, classical, and fusion concerts, and has collaborated with Ndugu Chancler, Alicia Keys, Usher, Zakir Hussain, Pete Townshend, Will.I.Am, Jay Z, and Darryl Jones, and has performed at several prestigious venues across the world. His group album Melodic Intersect has been included in the Grammy Ballot for the best World Music Album and his solo album Ziver was voted One of the Best World Music Albums of the Year by MTV music charts.
Jason Grunebaum is a writer and translator whose books include Uday Prakash’s The Girl with the Golden Parasol, The Walls of Delhi, and, with Ulrike Stark, Manzoor Ahtesham’s The Tale of the Missing Man. His work has been shortlisted for the DSC Prize in South Asian Literature, longlisted for the National Translation Award, and he has been awarded the Global Humanities Translation Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a PEN/Heim Translation Grant. He teaches both Hindi and literary translation at the University of Chicago.
Jayant Kaikini is a Kannada poet, short story writer and dramatist who has won the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi prize four times. He has published six anthologies of short stories, four books of poetry, three plays and a collection of essays. He has also written regular newspaper columns, screenplays, dialogues and lyrics for Kannada films. His book No Presents Pleasehas been shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018.
Jayant Kripalani is an actor, director and writer of indeterminate age and character. He lives in Bombay, Calcutta and Himachal depending on what he is working on and whom with.
Kishwar Desai is a columnist and award winning author.Her fifth book,‘Jallianwala Bagh , 1919, The Real Story’ has just been published.She is the Chair of The Arts And Cultural Heritage Trust that set up the world’s first Partition Museum, at Town Hall, Amritsar. She also helped to set up the statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside Westminster in the UK. Her first novel ‘Witness the Night’ won the Costa First Novel Award in the UK, and her play “Manto!” had won the Omega-TAG award, in India. She worked in television as an anchor/producer for over twenty years before becoming a writer . She is presently working on two historical period plays, as well as a novel based on Indo-British history, and a book on Indian cinema.
MAITREYEE BHATTACHARJEE CHOWDHURY
Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury is a Bangalore based poet, writer and columnist. She is author of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinema's First Couple; Where Even The Present is Ancient: Benaras; and The Hungryalists. In 2013 Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinema's First Couple was nominated for the Crossword Awards (Non-fiction). Maitreyee is poetry editor of The Bangalore Review – a literary journal, and one of the founding members of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival. Her other interests include writing on art and cultural travel.
Mallika Kapur is an international news journalist. She is currently a Senior Editor at Bloomberg Live, APAC. In her 20 year career that spans three countries, she has been a producer, anchor and correspondent for CNN in London, Mumbai, and Hong Kong. She has reported extensively on key economic, political, social and gender issues in India and covered some of Asia’s biggest breaking news stories for the network. She has also anchored business news shows and hosted long form feature programs. She is the co-author of Changemakers: Twenty Women Transforming Bollywood Behind The Scenes (Penguin India, 2018). Mallika attended Brown University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She resides in Hong Kong with her husband and two children.
Manoranjan Byapari, a Bengali writer and socio-political activist, is known as the pioneer of Dalit literature in Bengali. He has no formal education and started out as a rickshaw-puller. He received national acclaim after a translation of his essay Is there Dalit Writing in Bangla? was published in volume XLII of the Economic and Political Weekly in 2007. His life changed when Mahasweta Devi asked him to write for her Bartika journal. He has written 10 novels and over 100 short stories. He was honoured with the Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi Award in 2014. In 2018, Interrogating My Chandal Life: An Autobiography of a Dalit, a translation of his remarkable memoir Itibritte Chandal Jivan was released. Later in the year, There's Gunpowder in the Air (translated by Arunava Sinha) was published.
Manu Joseph is one of the finest authors writing in English in India today. A veteran journalist and former editor of Open magazine, he is the author of three novels — Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous; The Illicit Happiness of Other People; and Serious Men. Joseph is also a columnist for The International New York Times and The Hindustan Times. In 2007, he was a Chevening Scholar. Serious Men won The Hindu Literary Prize and the PEN/Open Book Award.
Nandana Sen is a writer, actor, and child-rights activist. She has authored children's books like Not Yet!,Mambi and the Forest Fire, and Kangaroo Kisses, and has published Make Up Your Mind, a bilingual book containing translations of her mother's Bengali poetry. Nandana also writes screenplays, and a monthly fiction series for The Wire titled Youthquake. After studying literature at Harvard and filmmaking at USC, she worked as a book editor, a translator, a screenwriter, a short-film maker, and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland. Nandana has served on the jury of numerous international film festivals and public hearings organized by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and is actively involved with RAHI, ApneAap, Operation Smile, and UNICEF.
Nazia Erum is the author of the critically acclaimed and hard-hitting book, Mothering a Muslim, which opened prime-time discussions on the telly and front page headlines in newspapers. Previously she has handled communications for the Global Fund in India and lead projects for development organizations including the UNDP. Presently she writes on the cross sections of gender, inter-faith and politics. Her work has found mentions in the Guardian, Washington Post, BBC, Le Monde, Voice of America among other Indian and international publications.
Pankaj Kapur is a theatre, television and film actor. He has appeared in several television serials and films and became a household name after his titular role in the television series Karamchand. His works include Ek Doctor Ki Maut, Roja, Jaane Bhi do Yaaro, Maqbool, Khamosh, Matru Ki Bijlee ka Mandola, Shaandaar, and Toba Tek Singh. He has received a Filmfare award, two Screen awards, two Indian Telly awards, and three National Film Awards for his work.
Prajwal Parajuly is a Nepali-Indian author whose works focus on the people and culture of Nepal. His works include the short-story collection The Gurkha’s Daughter and novel Land Where I Flee. Parajuly was educated at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and the University of Oxford. Before committing to a writing career, he worked as an advertising executive at The Village Voice. His debut book was shortlisted for the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize and his second book was awarded the Independent on Sunday Book of the Year and the Kansas City Star Best Book of 2015. He has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the New Statesman and the BBC.
Pritish Nandy is an Indian poet, painter, journalist, politician, media and television personality, animal activist and film producer. He has worked with Sunday magazine, The Telegraph, The Times of India, The Independent, Femina, Filmfare, Science Today, and other publications. A former member of the Rajya Sabha, Pritish was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution to Indian literature in 1977. He is also the recipient of the United Nations Heritage Award, Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Cinema, International Humanitarian Award, and was conferred the Liberation War Honour by the Government of Bangladesh. His work includes a book of poems called Again, Stuck on 1/Forty, and his version of the Isha Upanishad.
RamachandraGuha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. His books include The Unquiet Woods, A Corner of a Foreign Field, and India after Gandhi, and Gandhi BeforeIndia. Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than 20 languages. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the UK Cricket Society’s Literary Prize, the RamnathGoenka Award, the SahityaAkademi Award, the Padma Bhushan, and the Fukuoka Prize.
Rudrangshu Mukherjee is the founding Vice- Chancellor and the current Chancellor of Ashoka University. He is a Professor of History and has taught at the University of Calcutta and held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Manchester, and the University of California, Santa Cruz and served as the Editor, Editorial Pages, The Telegraph. He was awarded a D.Phil in Modern History by the University of Oxford in 1981 and is an internationally acclaimed historian of the Revolt of 1857 in India whose book, Awadh in Revolt, 1857-58: A Study of Popular Resistance is considered a standard reference on the subject. His notable works include Spectre of Violence: The 1857 Kanpur Massacres, Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero?,The Penguin Gandhi Reader, Nehru & Bose; Parallel Lives, and Twilight Falls on Liberalism.
Sandip Roy is a novelist and journalist currently living in Kolkata. His first novel Don't Let Him Know won the honour title for the Asian Pacific American Literature Awards in the US and the Likho Award in India and was listed for other awards including the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Green Carnation Prize. He is a contributing editor for Huffington Post in India and a long-time radio commentator for National Public Radio in the US. He has been a senior editor with Firstpost.com and his journalism has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Mint, BBC, Scoopwhoop, Hindu Business Line and other outlets.
Shuma Raha has recently published her debut book, The Love Song of Maya K and Other Stories — a collection of short stories set in Kolkata and Delhi, which explores love and sexuality, disenchantment and loss, dogma and superstition against the backdrop of contemporary urban Indian society. A British Chevening Scholar, Shuma is Contributing Editor with Business Standard and was formerly with The Telegraph as Associate Editor, and with The Times of India as Senior Writer. She started writing short stories a few years ago and won the Juggernaut Short Story Prize in 2017. Shuma contributes columns, chiefly on gender and culture, to a number of print and digital publications. Her English translation of Bonophul’s Bangla novel Haate Bajaare has been published by Sahitya Akademi.
SIDDHARTH DHANVANT SHANGHVI
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi is author of The Last Song of Dusk, which won the Betty Trask Award (UK), the Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italy) and was nominated for the IMPAC Prize (Ireland). A past contributor to TIME and the New York Times, his most recent book is The Rabbit & The Squirrel. He lives in Goa.
SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a bestselling and prize-winning writer of history and fiction whose books have been published in 48 languages. He is the author of the international bestsellers Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar; Jerusalem: The Biography; Young Stalin;Catherine the Great and Potemkin; The Romanovs, as well as the Moscow Trilogy of Novels and the Royal Rabbits of London for children. He has won prizes for both history and fiction. All of his works are now being developed into films or TV drama series. His latest book is Written in History: Letters that Changed the World.
Srijato is one of Bengal’s most popular new generation poets and lyricists, and is the author of several books of modern poetry, including Uronto Sob Joker: All Those Flying Jokers, which won theAnandaPuroskar and KrittibasPuroshkar, SeshChithi, The Story of Katiusha, AndhakarLekhaguchchha and, most recently,PremerKobita. His novels include 4043, ShalimareShonghat, and the forthcoming MushtaqHussainerDorbari. Other than poetry he has also penned the lyrics of popular movies like Autograph, ItiMrinalinee, and Charulata. He also does anchoring and public speaking, and recently made his acting debut in Srijit Mukherjee’s Zulfiqar.
Srijit Mukherji is an Indian film director, actor, and screenwriter who predominantly works in Bengali cinema. He came to the limelight after directing his first feature film Autograph (2010) which was a critical and commercial success.His fifth film Jaatishwar won 4 national awards at India's 61st National Film Awards (2014). He has won the National Film Award for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for his sixth film Chotushkone at India's 62nd National Film Awards. Most recently, he has directed Shah Jahan Regency which was released in January 2019.
Sujit Saraf received an engineering degree from IIT Delhi and a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He has conducted research for NASA, taught at IIT and worked as a space scientist in California. When not at his desk, he runs Naatak, an Indian theatre company in America for which he writes and directs plays and films. He is the author of The Peacock Throne, which was shortlisted for the Encore Prize in London. His third novel, The Confession of Sultana Daku, is being made into a motion picture. His book Harilal and Sons has been shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018.
Sumana Roy's first book, How I Became a Tree, a work of non-fiction, was published in India in 2017. Her first novel, Missing, was published in 2018. Her poems and essays have appeared in Granta, Guernica, LARB, Drunken Boat, the Prairie Schooner, Berfrois, The Common, and other journals. She lives in Siliguri in India.
Supriya Pathak Kapur is a film and television actress and stage artist. She has appeared in films and serials like Sarkar, Wake up Sid, Delhi 6, Masoom, The Bengali Night, Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Love per Square Foot, Khichdi, Idhar Udhar, Ek Mahal ho Sapno ka and Mohandas B.A.L.L.B. Pathak has received the Filmfare Awards, Indian Telly Awards, Zee Cine Awards and Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards for her work.
TabishKhair is an Indian English author and associate professor in the Department of English, University of Aarhus, Denmark. His notable works include The Bus Stopped, The Thing About Thugs, Other Routes, Filming, andHow to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position. In 2016, he published a study, The New Xenophobia and a new novel, Jihadi Jane (available as Just Another Jihadi Jane outside India) to critical acclaim. His recent work is the Night of Happinesspublished in 2018.
Tejaswini Niranjana is the author of Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (Berkeley, 1992), Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad (Durham, 2006), and a forthcoming monograph on musicophilia in Mumbai. She won the Central SahityaAkademi Award for Translation for MK Indira's Phaniyamma and the Karnataka State SahityaAkademi Award for translating Niranjana's Mrityunjaya into English. Her translation of JayantKaikini's No Presents Please has won the Bangalore LitFest Atta Galatta Fiction Prize, and is now shortlisted for the DSC Prize.
Urvashi Butalia is a publisher and writer based in Delhi. Co-founder of India's first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, she now runs Zubaan Books. She has long been involved in the women's movement in India and writes for newspapers, journals, magazines and books on a wide range of issues to do with women and gender. Among her best known publications is the award winning history of Partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India.In 2011, Butalia and her colleague were jointly conferred the Padma Shri award by the Government of India.
Vu Hoang Tran is a Vietnamese American writer. He was born in Saigon and he grew up in Oklahoma. He is a criticism columnist for the Virginia Quarterly Review and is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. His first novel, Dragonfish, was a New York Times Notable Book and featured in the San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the Year list, and he is currently working on his second novel, Intruders in Smoke. Tran’s short stories have appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, A Best of Fence, The Southern Review, Harvard Review, and other publications. He has also won a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment in the Arts Fellowship, and has been a fiction fellow at Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the MacDowell Colony.
Abir Chatterjee is a popular and critically acclaimed Bengali film and television actor. He has played detective Byomkesh Bakshi in Byomkesh Bakshi, Abar Byomkesh, Byomkesh Phire Elo, Har Har Byomkesh, Byomkesh Pawrbo and Byomkesh Gotro. He has also played private investigator Feluda in Badshahi Angti. Other films he has acted in are Baishe Srabon, Jekhane Bhooter Bhoy, Bojhena Shey Bojhena, Ebar Shobor, Rajkahini, Bastu Shaap, and Meghnad BadhRahasya. In 2012, he made his foray into Hindi cinema in Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani, and in 2016, received the Best Actor Popular Choice award at IBFA, NABC 2016@ Madison Square Garden, New York.
Alka Saraogi is a novelist and short story writer in Hindi. She is the recipient of the 2001 Sahitya Akademi Award for Hindi for her first novel Kalikatha: Via Bypass, which was followed by five further books including Shesh Kadambari, Ek Break ke Baad, and Jaankidas Tejpal Mansion. Her first work, Kahani ki Talash Main, appeared in 1996.
Ambai is the pseudonym of Dr C.S. Lakshmi, one of India’s foremost feminist writers in Tamil and an independent researcher in women's studies. Her stories have been translated in three volumes entitled A Purple Sea; In a Forest, a Deer; and Fish in a Dwindling Lake. The second book shared the Hutch-Crossword award for translated fiction in 2007. She has been an independent researcher in Women’s Studies for the last thirty-five years, and is currently the Director of SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women). In 1992, she was a visiting fellow in the University of Chicago's Institute for Culture and Consciousness.
Amitabha Bagchi is the author of four novels. His most recent work Half the Night is Gone (Juggernaut, 2018) has been shortlisted for the JCB Prize 2018 and the Hindu Literature Prize 2018. Bagchi lives in New Delhi with his wife and son.
Angshuman Kar is a Bengali poet and novelist, and Professor of English at the University of Burdwan’s Department of English & Culture Studies. He was also the Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, Eastern Region, and a member of the Advisory Board (Bengali) of the Sahitya Akademi. He has several collections of poems, two novels, three novellas, a collection of short stories, and a memoir to his credit. Kar has received seven awards including the Krittibas Puroskar, Bangiyo Sahityo Parishad Puroskar, and the Paschim Banga Bangla Akademi Puroskar. He has also completed an Australia-India Council supported project designed for translating Australian aboriginal poetry into Bengali.
Aparajita Dasgupta received her Bachelor’s degree in History from Presidency College, and her MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in History from Calcutta University. She is currently the CEO of West Bengal State Book Board and is a member of the State Heritage Commission. She has been a Visiting Scholar in South Asian Studies in the University of Pennsylvania, and a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at St Mary’s University. She is working on her first academic book – Domesticating Nationalism: Women and the Politics of Gender in Bengal, 1870-1950. She has written Surer Smriti, Smritir Sur, a book of short stories, Chhayapath, a novel, and a collection of autobiographical vignettes, Ichchher Gaachh.
Anik Dutta is one of the finest and most talented Bengali film directors who made his directorial debut in 2012 with Bhooter Bhobishyot. Dutta did his schooling in South Point and Patha Bhavan. He completed his graduation in economics and earned a Post Graduation Diploma in Integrated Marketing Communication, both from St Xavier’s College. He has also directed and produced nearly 400 ad films, promo videos, and documentaries. In 2013, his film Aschorjo Prodip, based on Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s novel, was released to wide-spread acclaim. His latest film, Bhobishyoter Bhoot, is slated for release in February 2019.
ANIRUDDHA ROY CHOWDHURY
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury is a Bengali film director known for exploring the intricacies of human relationships in National Award-winning Bengali films Anuranan and Antaheen. He made the transition to Bollywood with the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Pink. Apart from being a director, Tony Da, as he is known to his friends and colleagues, is also an actor and sarod player. He watches at least one movie a day, listens to classical music, and sits idle for two hours every morning to admire his vast collection of paintings and discover something new in them!
Anungla Zoe Longkumer can best be described as a free individual discovering her way through creative pursuits in music, writing, filmmaking, and folk traditions. Having travelled and lived outside Nagaland most of her life she is currently based in Dimapur, where she is doing some content editing, music, and filmmaking, besides doing some research in folklore. She has authored a book, Folklore of Eastern Nagaland, containing translations of folktales, folk songs, and real life accounts collected from the six tribes who inhabit the remote districts of Eastern Nagaland. She is currently editing a volume of women's writing from Nagaland for Zubaan.
Anuvab Pal is an internationally renowned playwright, author, screenwriter, stand-up comic and columnist. His stand-up comedy special The Nation Wants To Know, has had over 500 sold out shows, while Empire, has played in 35 cities world-wide. He has written the screenplay for Bollywood films Loins Of Punjab Presents and The President is Coming and is the author of four hit plays – The President is Coming, 1 888 Dial India, The Bureaucrat and Chaos Theory, three of which were bestsellers. He also wrote a non-fiction book on Bollywood movie The Disco Dancer. He writes for The Economic Times and Times of India.
Aruna Chakravarti is a well known academic, creative writer and translator. Her first novel The Inheritors was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and her third, Jorasanko, received critical acclaim and also became a best seller. Her seven translated works include an anthology of songs from Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitabitaan, Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s Srikanta and Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Those days, First Light and Primal Woman: Stories. She also has two academic works to her credit. Her latest novel Daughters of Jorasanko is a sequel to Jorasanko. Among the various awards she has received are the Vaitalik Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and the Sarat Puraskar.
Bappaditya Biswas is one of India's foremost textile experts and has been creating masterly weaves over the last decade and more, weaves that have redefined Bengal handloom and given the textiles of the state a new look and feel. He has created the brand 'bai lou' as well as the iconic store Byloom in Kolkata. Bappaditya has travelled the world to study the traditions of weaving and dyeing and one of his weaves has won the Unesco Seal of Excellence.
Debanjan Chakrabarti is Director British Council East and Northeast India. He has over 15 years of experience in leading education, development and cultural collaboration programmes in India and internationally. In his present role he leads on British Council’s work in East and Northeast India, covering 13 states. A triple gold medallist in English Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Debanjan is a Felix Scholar and obtained his PhD in Literature and Media Studies from the University of Reading, UK. He has been a journalist and taught English Literature and films at Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan, and at the University of Reading.
Dr Debnita Chakravarti is Associate Professor of English at Shri Shikshayatan College where she tries to get students who are reading to learn, to learn to read as well. After Jadavpur she did her Ph.D. from the University of Reading. She was subsequently a Charles Wallace scholar with a visiting fellowship at the University of Southampton. She has taught at the erstwhile Presidency College, Calcutta University, and French to management students. Alongside presenting and publishing academic papers, she enjoys freelancing as a creative writer. Dr Chakravarti has hosted several literary events with Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Ruskin Bond, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Ashwin Sanghi, Amish Tripathy and Shashi Deshpande, among others.
Eddie Ladd is internationally renowned as a dance performer. She was born and brought up in Wales, graduated from College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and has worked with Moving Being, Hijinx, Taliesen, Theatrig and Brith Gof. Since 1993, her work has been showcased in various national platforms, and internationally in Spain, France, Germany, Canada, USA, and the Balkans. She is the recipient of a NEStA fellowship, a Creative Wales Award, and her work Club Luz won a Total Theatre Award at Edinburgh Fringe (2003). Her powerful performances feature dance, bilingual text, music and new media technologies.
Ekavali Khanna is a Bollywood actress who has worked in host of disparate films, making her debut with Kaun Kitne Pani Main. Other films include What Will People Say, Dear Dad, and Bioscopewallah. In 2017, she acted in the Norwegian film What Will People Say, directed by Iram Haq; the same year she appeared in the Hollywood film The Field directed by Rohit Karn Batra. She has also appeared in Bangla films like Katmandu, directed by Raj Chakraborty, and Ganesh Talkies, directed by Anjan Dutt. She will next be seen in Harish Vyas’ Angrezi Mein Kehte Hai.
Ghazala Wahab is executive editor, FORCE, where she writes on homeland security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, left-wing extremism and religious extremism and contributes a column, First Person. She contributed a chapter on the changing profile of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in the book Operation Parakram: The War Unfinished. A career journalist, Ghazala has worked with The Telegraph and Asian Age. She has co-authored, with Pravin Sawhney, Dragon on Our Doorstep: Managing China Through Military Power.
Jash Sen graduated in Statistics, completed her MBA from IIM, Calcutta, worked in the IT industry in Bangalore and the US before opting to teach Mathematics in a London high school. This was when she started writing in her free time in earnest. She began The Wordkeepers Trilogy in December 2010. The Wordkeepers was published in January 2013 and its sequel, Skyserpents, in October 2013. She is currently working on the third and final book of the trilogy – Soul Army. Jash recently translated the early 20th Century Bengali adventure classic, The Yaksha’s Treasure, by Shri Hemendra Kumar Roy.
Jawhar Sircar is a retired Indian civil servant with 42 years experience in administration. He is a researcher, publisher of articles, author, and public speaker. He was CEO, Prasar Bharati, from 2012 to 2016. He relocated to Kolkata in November, 2016, to take up his long pending research and publication work. He has been elected as Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Social Science, Calcutta (CSSSC). He served as Secretary of the Ministry of Culture from late 2008 to February 2012.
Jayati Ghosh is a well known name in the Bangla art circle at Delhi. Her mother, Krishna Roy, was her first Guru in classical music. She has also trained under Sankar Ghoshal (Hindustani classical), Goutam Adhikari (Rabindrasangeet), and Mastermoshai Sudhir Chanda. She has been presenting Rabindrasangeet programmes like Gitanjalir Gaan, Robindro Nataker Gaan, Tagore in Germany, and Glimpses of Bengal. Some of the programmes conceived, directed, and presented by her are Lalon O Kobir and Betar Jogot. She performs as part of the Storytellers team. Jayati has had the honour of performing at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and various cities in India and around the world.
Joshua Pollock is a student of Kamlesh D. Patel. After experimenting with various meditative practices, Joshua started practicing Heartfulness in the USA in 2002 and has taught it since 2007. He regularly teaches Heartfulness at universities, corporations, government institutions, and at public seminars. An accomplished violinist, Joshua has performed and taught all over the world. He holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts from Indiana University and two Masters degrees from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In August of 2015, he was invited by Daaji to co-author the book The Heartfulness Way.
Juhi Chaturvedi is an Indian screenwriter and advertising professional based in Mumbai. Chaturvedi has written scripts for Bollywood films Vicky Donor (2012), Piku (2015), and October (2018). She won the 2013 Filmfare Award for Best Story for Vicky Donor, the National Film Award for Best Original Screenplay and Best Dialogues and the 2016 Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay for Piku. Born and brought up in Lucknow, Chaturvedi graduated from the Lucknow College of Arts. Most recently, she has worked as a writer on The Sky is Pink.
Krishnan Srinivasan has a degree from Oxford and was a diplomat, serving as ambassador in Libya, Zambia, Nigeria, Netherlands and Bangladesh before appointments as Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Commonwealth deputy secretary-general. After retirement, he was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge, Leiden and Uppsala apart from academic positions in India. He is the author of several books on international relations and a regular columnist and book reviewer for national newspapers. He has edited Values in Foreign Policy, Investigating Ideals and Interests, along with James Mayall and Sanjay Pulipaka, which is forthcoming in 2019
MALAY KUMAR ROY
Malay Roy is a communications professional-turned-author. From the early 1950s to the early ’60s, Roy spent around 10 years as a young boy in Hazaribagh in the Chhotanagpur district of Jharkhand, then a part of Bihar. After completing his Senior Cambridge from St Xavier’s School, Hazaribagh, Roy graduated from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta, and then did his Masters in English Literature from Jadavpur University. Later, he spent nearly 50 years in the corporate sector where he worked in communications, which left little time for much else. After retirement, he began to write about his memories of Hazaribagh where he spent his boyhood years. In his recent book, An Elsewhere Place, Roy vividly describes Hazaribagh’s tranquil landscape, its changing seasons and its unhurried pace of life.
Manoj Mohanka is a Kolkata based businessman but more interested in affairs of the state and the state of affairs. He has served on the board of several companies including media and NGOs, and follows politics and religion closely. He runs a trust to educate Muslim girls from poor families.
Mir Afsar Ali, or ‘Mir’ as he is popularly known, is a radio jockey, television anchor, singer, comedian, and actor. He is the host of Mirakkel, a laughter show on Zee Bangla and Hi Kolkata on Radio Mirchi. He also appears on a Sunday audio suspense show named Sunday Suspense on Radio Mirchi. He has acted in movies like Bhooter Bhabishyat, Chaplin, Obhishopto Nighty, and the Bong Connection. He has received the Kalakar Award.
Monabi Mitra is an author, professor of English and a lover of words. Her works include translations of contemporary Bengali writing into English, of which the novel The Fakir was shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize in 2011. Her three-novel DSP Bikram police procedural series includes FIR, The Dead Don’t Confess and The Final Report all of which are set in Calcutta and depict the realistic world of the police force and its workings. A forthcoming book entitled Under the Banyan Tree: The Forgotten Story of Barrackpore Park chronicles the history and restoration of the Viceroy’s week-end mansion at Barrackpore.
Monideepa Banerjie is an aspiring reader. Once a bookworm, television reporting has reduced her attention span so much, she can barely get through an Archie comic. But she retires from NDTV in a couple of years and is looking forward to reinventing herself. Top of the list: reading. Yes, she is 56, has a dog her age, roughly, and a daughter in Delhi who is the real bookworm in the family and who is very worried about what the mother is doing at a lit meet.
MOSTOFA SARWAR FAROOKI
Mostofa Sarwar Farooki is a contemporary Bangladeshi film director and screenwriter. His fourth feature Television was the closing film of the Busan festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2013, in addition to awards at Dubai, Jogja-Indonesia, Asiatica-Roma, and Kolkata. His sixth feature, titled Doob (No Bed of Roses in English) featuring Irrfan Khan and Nusrat Imrose Tisha, among others, opened to rave reviews on the festival circuit. He has served on the international jury for the Busan International Film festival 2016, Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015, East End Film Fest London 2016, South Asian Film Festival Singapore 2107, and Kolkata International Film Festival 2017.
Mudar Patherya studied a bit at St Xavier’s School and College (B.Com) until 1983, and is a cricket writer turned stock market columnist turned stock market analyst turned communications professional turned philanthropy evangelist turned public space activist. He has a keen interest in Kolkata's heritage and collects porcelain email boards, architectural drawings of old Kolkata buildings, posters-lobby cards of Bengali films, LP album covers and so on. He is the Chief Positioning Officer at Trisys Communications, and produces annual reports / brochures / films / websites for Indian companies.
NS Ramnath is co-author of The Aadhaar Effect: Why the World’s Largest Identity Project Matters, and a senior writer at Founding Fuel, a media and learning platform. He received the Polestar Award for best business feature in 2017, and was Tow Knight Entrepreneurial Journalism Fellow at City University of New York in 2014. Prior to Founding Fuel, he was with Forbes India and The Economic Times. His writings have appeared in The Hindu, Mint, Quartz and Scroll. He has degrees in economics and finance from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He spends his spare time tracking how technology is impacting business, politics and society.
Nandini Khaitan serves as an Associate Partner of Khaitan & Co, and is on the board of nine other companies. She specialises in litigation and dispute resolution, and has vast experience in representing clients in various forums. She graduated with a degree from Columbia Law School and is a member of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.
Nasreen Khan started her career as a teacher before switching over to media. She has worked with the leading dailies of Kolkata and has also been an anchor-cum-scriptwriter for Doordarshan. She now practices law at Calcutta High Court. She is also associated with quite a few NGOs, and issues related to women, children, and human rights top her priority list. In her free time she travels, and writes poems and short stories. She is also the co-founder of the news portal eNewsroom.in
Padmapriya Janakiraman is an actress and model. A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, she made her acting debut in the Telegu film Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmiin in 2003, following which she appeared in a number of Malayalam and Tamil language films. She has also appeared in Bengali, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi films, and has received several awards. She is best known for her critically acclaimed performances in the Malayalam films Kaazhcha, Karutha Pakshikal, Pazhassi Raja and Tamil films Thavamai Thavamirundhu and Mirugam. Most recently, she has been seen in Crossroad, a Malayalam anthology film, and Hindi film Chef.
Parambrata Chattopadhyay is a film actor, director, producer, and television personality. He began his career with Bengali television and films, and made his Hindi film debut in Kahaani (2012), in which he starred along with Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He also acted in Bhalo Theko (2003), which was Vidya's debut film. He is very knowledgeable of world music and has sung in Bengali films like Chaya Manush and Samantaral.He has acted in many television series, tele-films, short films and films. His directorial debut feature film was Jiyo Kaka, starring Rituparna Sengupta and Rudranil Ghosh, which he followed-up with Hawa Bodol. Seven months after the success of Kahaani, he was signed by Jeffrey D. Brown, who won an Academy Award for his debut short film in 1986, for his film Sold.
Priyadarshinee Guha is an alumna of Loreto House, La Martiniere for Girls, and Presidency College, and a History gold medallist from Calcutta University. Passionate about teaching, she chose to make this her life force. Born into a family steeped in reading, theatre and cinema, these have enhanced her work enormously over the years. Presently the Dean of Activities at The Heritage School, she actively engages in marrying her love for the arts with her teaching and in steering the children to explore and identify creative avenues of expression, through drama, dance, singing, music and literary endeavours.
Qaushiq Mukherjee, known as Q, is a director and writer, known for Garbage (2018), Tasher Desh (2012), and Gandu (2010). Q grew up in Kolkata and was educated at South Point High School, and Calcutta University. He worked in advertising for 12 years in India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. He is the founder and CEO of film production company, Overdose Joint.
Radhika grew up in India and worked in advertising for around 17 years. During this time, she learnt how to tell a story within the confines of an A4 print ad or a billboard with space for three words only or a thirty-second television commercial. She has also moonlighted as a journalist for The Times of India, the Hindu Literary Review, the New York Times blog, India Ink, The Wire, Firstpost, Nikkei Asian Review, and Forbes India. She has a post-graduate degree in Creative Writing, Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.
Rajdeep Sardesai is senior journalist, author, and TV news presenter. His book 2014: The Election that changed India has been translated into half-a-dozen languages. Democracy’s Eleven: The Great Story of Indian Cricket was shortlisted by the MCC as Cricket Book of the Year, 2017-18. His latest book is Newsman: Tracking India in the Modi Era. He is currently the consulting editor and lead news anchor of the India Today group. He was the founder-editor of the IBN 18 network, and Managing Editor of NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India. He has won many awards for journalistic excellence, including the Padma Shri in 2008. A graduate of St Xaviers college, he is an Oxford Blue in cricket and captained Mumbai schools. He completed his Masters and LLB from Oxford University. Sardesai also writes a fortnightly across several major Indian newspapers.
SV Raman, popularly known as Raju Raman, retired as Programme Director of Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata, in April 2010. He is presently Programme Consultant to Victoria Memorial Hall, teaches public speaking/communication/journalism/film/German at various institutions, and is a freelance journalist, translator, and interpreter. He is actively connected with several social and cultural organizations in various capacities.
Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil is a well-known Indian writer, critic and literary historian. She is best known for her much-acclaimed book on Delhi's lesser-known monuments called Invisible City: The hidden Monuments of India and a well-received collection of short stories, Release & Other Stories. Her PhD. on the Progressive Writers' Movement as Reflected in Urdu Literature has been published by Oxford University Press as Liking Progress, Loving Change. RakhshandaJalil runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture.
Ravi Agrawal is the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy and author of India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World's Largest Democracy. Before joining Foreign Policy, Agrawal worked at CNN for 11 years in London, New York, and New Delhi, including a four-year stint as South Asia bureau chief. He has won a Peabody award and received three Emmy nominations for his work as a TV producer. Agrawal was born in London, England, and grew up in Kolkata, India. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
Rishabh C. Kothari is an entrepreneur by profession and a Heartfulness Meditation Trainer by passion. As CEO of CKC Fragrances, his craft is an interesting mix of science and creativity which extends to his interests and personality as well. Similarly, Heartfulness is a unique combination of the scientific and the esoteric, which he not only subscribes to but is an ardent proponent of, teaching people how to meditate. He is the Vice President of the Fragrance and Flavour Association of India, Member of the National MSME Board of the Government of India as well as MSME Chair of the MCCI. He often writes and contributes to various publications and periodicals and is also the editor of a perfumery journal.
Rta Chishti is a recognized textile scholar, co-author and editor of the Saris - Tradition & Beyond covering 15 states and the previously published Saris of India volumes on Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal as well as Handcrafted Indian Textiles -Tradition and Beyond with Martand Singh and Rahul Jain. She has been a contributing author to several other publications. As a writer and translator she has written of the life and work of craftspeople and scripted for films and exhibitions. She has been consistently involved with research and development of handspun-handwoven textiles. She is founder of the “Sari School” which produces saris and fabrics, organises workshops for those who wish to learn the wonders of this unstitched garment and make it more relevant to their lives today. She has also collaborated with The Daksha Sheth Dance Company to develop the production titled, SARI, a tribute to the process of turning by hand, raw material into a wondrous woven unstitched garment.
SagarikaGhose is a senior journalist and author, currently Consulting Editor, Times of India. She has been a journalist and media personality for over 25 years. She is the winner of several awards including the ITA Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2009, Best Anchor Award in 2013 from the Indian Television Academy and the C.H. Khoya National Award for Excellence in journalism in 2016. She was deputy editor and prime time news anchor on the news network CNN-IBN. She is the author of two novels, The Gin Drinkers and Blind Faith, and of the recently published best-selling biography of Indira Gandhi, Indira, India's Most Powerful Prime Minister. Ghose is a Rhodes Scholar and completed her post graduate studies in Modern History from Oxford University.
Sajni Mukherji was long-term resident Chaucerian and Dickensian at the Department of English, Jadavpur University. She was first drawn to the scholarship of Humphrey House in her student days. For a while she wrote a column for senior citizens called Autumn Flush in The Telegraph, Kolkata.
Samantak Das has successfully prolonged his misspent youth by remaining in university, as student and alleged teacher, for approximately 63% of his life, during which period he has written and lectured on 19th-century literature, translation, the relationships between the biological sciences and literature, environment, ecology, rural development and primary education. He spends a fair amount of time in rural Bengal, as a volunteer for an NGO that provides vocational training for economic rehabilitation to impoverished young women and men. He is a (harassed) father to three children, a lover of food (and drink) and a failed student of karate. His favourite activity is sleeping, followed closely by day-dreaming.
Sangeeta Datta is a writer, filmmaker, and musician working between London and Kolkata. Her award-winning documentary on Rituparno Ghosh, Bird of Dusk, has been screened extensively on the international circuit. Her latest book, 100 Essential Indian Films (2018, co-edited by Rohit Dasgupta) follows Rituparno Ghosh: Cinema, Gender and Art, and several essays on Indian Cinema in international journals and publications. Sangeeta has performed Tagore songs (Rabindrasangeet) in the Women in the Arts Festival, London, and, following Anant ( Zee Music), is working on further Tagore translations with Javed Akhtar. She runs SD Films, and the cross-art platform Baithak.
Satya Vyas is from the current generation of professionals-turned-amateur writers. A law graduate from BHU, and a logistics professional, he has created a niche for himself in new age Hindi writing. His first novel, Banaras Talkies, is a bestseller, and has been selected as one of the top 5 Hindi books of 2015 by Amazon India. Dilli Darbaar , his second novel, was No.1 in the Jagran-Neilsen survey for the best selling Hindi novel and has featured in the second list also. An avid reader, blogger, and poet, Vyas is currently working on a couple of screenplays. He resides in Rourkela.
Shabana Azmi is regarded as one of India’s finest actresses of film, television and theatre. She made her debut in 1974 in Shyam Benegal’s directorial debut Ankur and soon became one of the leading actresses of Parallel Cinema. Azmi has appeared in over 120 Hindi films, both mainstream and independent, and several foreign projects including Madame Sousatzka, City of Joy and In Custody. Her performances have earned many awards, including a record five National Film awards for best actress and several international honours. Azmi is also a social and women’s rights activist.
SHANTANU RAY CHAUDHURI
Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is senior copy editor at Penguin, and a former executive editor with HarperCollins India. He has edited some of India’s best-known authors like Gulzar, Kiran Nagarkar, Manu Joseph and Anita Nair, among others. He has also commissioned and published a number of books on cinema which have won the National Award for Best Book on Cinema, the MAMI Award for Best Writing on Cinema and which have been best-sellers. He is also the author of two books: Whims, a book of poems, and Icons from Bollywood.
Shantanu Moitra is a music composer who has worked on indi-pop tracks and in films like Parineeta, Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi, Bobby Jasoos, 3 Idiots, Pink, October, and Wazir. Moitra has also composed ad jingles and his first jingle ‘Bole mere lips, I love Uncle Chips’ was an instant hit. In 2007, he won the Cannes Bronze Lion for the Happy Dent jingle. He has also co-authored On the Wings of Music, with Aruna Chakravarti and has authored Ferari Mon - Memories by Santanu Moitra in Bengali. He has won numerous awards including the National Film Award for Best Music Direction. Moitra is also a keen trekker, an avid photographer and an amateur astronomer.
A communications consultant and former journalist, Sharif uses every possible platform—talks, writing, and music — to advocate change and garner support for the LGBTQ community. He is the frontman of Friends of Linger, a band that is credited with India’s first dedication to the gay community — Head Held High. He curates the platform ‘Embrace: Music Justice Arts’, which blends art with social justice.He held positions at The Economic Times and The Pioneer, before leading Integral PR as its CEO and later as its chairman. He was named PR Professional of The Year 2013 by IPRCCA and was named in the Global Powerlist of PR Week in 2015.Sharif provides counsel in the area of diversity and inclusion in business, specific to the LGBTQ community. He is also associated with Open For Business, a platform that promotes such policies.
Sirsho Bandopadhyay is a journalist and author, currently associated with the Bengali daily Aajkaal and the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. He often writes for other publications. Tiger Woman was originally published as Shardulsundori in 2015 in the Bengali magazine Desh. Sirsho has four other published novels, including Tero Nadir Paare, forthcoming in English translation. He has also published two collections of feature writings and a series on forgotten Bengali luminaries.
Sugata Bose is the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University, and has served as Director of Graduate Studies in History at Harvard and as the Founding Director of Harvard’s South Asia Institute. He is the author of the definitive biography, His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle against Empire; A Hundred Horizons: the Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire; and, most recently, of The Nation as Mother and Other Visions of Nationhood. In 2015 he was awarded the RabindraPuraskar for his corpus of works with a special mention of his book, His Majesty’s Opponent. He was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, and is currently a Member of Parliament.
Sujaan is pursuing his PhD as a Sylff scholar at the Department of English, Jadavpur University. His work focuses on colonial memory and history in the city of Kolkata. Sujaan was awarded an Archival Fellowship by the India Foundation for the Arts in 2015 to work at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (Calcutta) , which resulted in an exhibition of Calcutta tourism memorabilia. His areas of interest include Modernisms, the physical cultures and urban studies. He freelances with Scroll and occasionally writes for the books page of The Telegraph.
SujitSaraf received an engineering degree from IIT Delhi and a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He has conducted research for NASA, taught at IIT and worked as a space scientist in California. When not at his desk, he runs Naatak, an Indian theatre company in America for which he writes and directs plays and films. He is the author of The Peacock Throne, which was shortlisted for the Encore Prize in London. His third novel, The Confession of Sultana Daku, is being made into a motion picture. His book Harilal and Sons has been shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018.
SumitSen is an expert birder, photographer and financial analyst, with an abiding interest in documenting the life of birds in India. He has also contributed articles to the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Sanctuary Asia magazine and had articles appearing in the Journal of Threatened Taxa and Indian Birds. His photographs have been published in various books and journals worldwide. He has co-authored Birds of India and A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of Nepal with BikramGrewal.
Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor of English (Emerita) at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She was educated at Presidency College and the University of Oxford. She works on Renaissance literature and culture, translation, cultural history, and modernism, and has published widely in these fields. She also reviews new fiction and has judged fiction and translation awards.
Tissa Jayatilaka is the Executive Director of the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission and has authored, edited, and translated several publications, journals and collections of essays like Peradeniya: Memories of a University, and A Garland for Ashley: Glimpses of a Life Celebrating the 75th Birthday of Ashley Halpe and His 50 years of University Teaching. Jayatilaka has taught English and American Literature at several universities in Sri Lanka and the United States and has also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, the Gratiaen Trust and a Member, Board of Directors of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.
VineetBajpai is the author of the mythological trilogy Harappa: Curse of the Blood River, Pralay: The Great Deluge, and Kashi: Secret of the Black Temple. Bajpai is a first-generation entrepreneur who has founded and built a multi-million dollar global digital company. In 2014, he was ranked among the 100 most influential people in the country’s digital ecosystem, and was perhaps the youngest ever CEO of a multinational advertising-agency in India. He has won several prestigious corporate awards. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed The Street to the Highway, and the best-selling Build from Scratch (his first book).
MANI SANKAR MUKHERJEE
Mani Sankar Mukherjee, popularly known as Sankar, is a prominent writer in Bengali. In addition to his literary efforts, Sankar is regarded as a street food expert and has written two books on this topic. He also is a marketing professional associated with an Indian industrial house. Some of his notable works are Kato Ajanare, Chowringhee, Gharer Madhye Ghar, Nagar Nandini, Simanta Sambad, Sonar Sangsar, Jana Aranya, and Seemabadhya. A few of his works have also been adapted into films by notable Indian directors.
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. His books include The Unquiet Woods, A Corner of a Foreign Field, and India after Gandhi, and Gandhi BeforeIndia. Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than 20 languages. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the UK Cricket Society’s Literary Prize, the Ramnath Goenka Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Bhushan, and the Fukuoka Prize.
SUPRIYA PATHAK KAPUR
Supriya Pathak Kapur is a film and television actress and stage artist. She has appeared in films and serials like Sarkar, Wake up Sid, Delhi 6, Masoom, The Bengali Night, GoliyonkiRaasleelaRam-Leela, Love per Square Foot, Khichdi, IdharUdhar, EkMahalhoSapnoka and Mohandas B.A.L.L.B. Pathak has received the Filmfare Awards, Indian Telly Awards, Zee Cine Awards and Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards for her work.
Arun Lal belongs to a cricketing family; his father, uncle, and cousin all having played first-class cricket before him. He played for India, as a right-handed batsman, between 1982 and 1989, making made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Madras. He is a cricket commentator, and his columns regularly appear in newspaper and internet columns. He moved from Delhi to Kolkata in 1979 and started a cricket academy. Lal helped Bengal to the Ranji Trophy title in 1989-90 after 51 years, with his most important contribution being a knock of 189 that helped shut out Bombay in the quarters.
AMJAD ALI KHAN
Amjad Ali Khan is one of the undisputed masters of the music world. Born to sarod maestro Haafiz Ali Khan, he gave his first performance at the age of six, and is credited with reinventing the technique of playing the sarod. Over the course of a distinguished career spanning more than six decades, Amjad Ali Khan has won numerous accolades including the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum, Unicef's National Ambassadorship and the Fukuoka Cultural grand prize. He has also received a Grammy nomination. He has performed at venues the world over including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 in Oslo, Norway. Amjad Ali Khan has also been a visiting professor at Stanford University, University of New Mexico, and Jacob’s School of Music. Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash were felicitated at the Global Music Awards in 2017 under the Gold Medal category for their outstanding contribution to the global music industry and excellence in the classical music sphere.
Anjan Dutt is a film director, actor, and singer-songwriter, and a professional of the Bengali music scene defined by anyodharar gaan (alternative music), reminiscent of western folk music. He is also an accomplished actor; his first film Chalachirto, directed by Mrinal Sen, won him the best actor (newcomer) award at the Venice Film Festival. He also acted in Aparna Sen's Mr. and Mrs. Iyer. In 2018, he featured in Swapnasandhani's new play Taraye Taraye, as Vincent Van Gogh. He is a national award-winning filmmaker and one of the most prominent directors of Bengali cinema, directing The Bong Connection, Chalo Let's Go, and Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona. In recent years, he has directed the Byomkesh Bakshi series.
Charles Assisi is co-author of The Aadhaar Effect: Why the World’s Largest Identity Project Matters and a co-founder at Founding Fuel, a media and learning platform. He is a recipient of the Polestar and MadhuValluri Awards for excellence in journalism. He is a contributor to the Hindustan Times. In earlier avatars, Charles was Managing Editor at Forbes India, National Business Editor at Times of India, and worked across various newsrooms in Europe with media conglomerate Vogel Burda to set up the India edition of CHIP, the group’s flagship computing magazine. He graduated in the biosciences from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and has an MA in Economics. His spare time is spent reading on science, psychology, history, and philosophy.
Kaushik Sen a film, television and theatre actor based in Kolkata. He won the prestigious BFJA awards for best supporting actor for his performance in the Mrinal Sen directed film Aamar Bhuvan. From 1992, he has been the director of Bengali theatre group Swapnasandhani. The group has staged more than 35 plays and mainly perform in Sujata Sadan. Kaushik has acted with Soumitra Chatterjee in the play Tiktiki. In 2010, the group staged Birpurush, which was inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s poem. He most recently acted in the 2018 web series, Monsoon Melodies.
Moinak Biswas is a Film Studies Professor at Jadavpur University and the Editor of the Journal of the Moving Image. He has been widely published in both English and Bengali on contemporary Indian cinema. He specialises in Indian cinema, film theory, and cultural theory. He co-initiated the Department of Film Studies at the university, and is also initiator and coordinator of the Media Lab at the university. His books on Indian cinema include Apu and After, Revisiting Ray’s Cinema, and Ujan Gang Baiya. He co-edits BioScope, South Asian Screen Studies. Biswas is the writer and co-director of the award-winning Bengali feature film Sthaniya Sambaad.
Equally proficient in Hindi and English, Mridula Garg has written in almost every genre in Hindi: novels, plays, essays, a memoir, a travel account and ninety short stories. Her novel, Kathgulab was awarded the Vyas Samman in 2004 and Miljul Mann, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013. She received the Hellman-Hammet Grant from The Human Rights Watch, New York, in 2001. Four of her novels, Chittacobra, Anitya, Kathgulab and Main Aur Main, have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages. Her essays have been published by leading journals in Hindi and English, in India and abroad.
Piya Chakraborty is a PhD research scholar currently pursuing her doctoral research in the Department of Sociology in Shiv Nadar University, India. Prior to this, she completed her M.Phil in Social Sciences (C.S.S.S.C.) and subsequently worked as a researcher in an international sociological research project conducted by Umeå University, Sweden. She was also employed as guest faculty in the Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University, for a brief period. Her research interests focus on the relationship between individuals, communities and spaces. She is also interested in looking at the ways in which the current discourse of mental health can be shaped by the intersectionality between sociology and psychology.
Poorna Banerjee is a food writer, social media strategist, blogger and restaurant critic, documenting her experiences in her blog, www.presentedbyp.com. She is a passionate advocate of sustainability and culinary anthropology, and has written at length about the same for several magazines and newspapers.
PAROMA ROY CHOWDHURY
Paroma Roy Chowdhury read Political Science in Presidency College for her undergraduate and graduate studies and completed a Press Fellowship from the University of Cambridge, UK. She is a business journalist-turned-public affairs professional and has held leadership positions in global organizations. She is an ardent champion of free expression and inclusion and a keen observer of politics. She also loves literature, contemporary Indian art, music, films and good conversation.
Rachana Yadav is a professional Kathak dancer and choreographer. She founded the Rachana Yadav Kathak Studio in Gurgaon, with a performing repertory as well as a training wing with more than 50 students. In 2013, following the passing of her father Rajendra Yadav, celebrated Hindi author and editor, Rachana took over as the Managing Director of Hans – the largest Hindi literary magazine in India, with a wide and diverse readership. As of today, Rachana manages both these professions. She is choreographing and actively performing. With her literary background, she is able to blend contemporary literature into her choreographies. Simultaneously, she strives to ensure a continuous publication of Hans, with the objective of increasing its reader base. Carrying on with Rajendra Yadav’s revolutionary idea, the creation of Hans English is one such attempt by Rachana and her team towards spearheading new ideas in the conventional field of Literature in India.
Praveen is one of the most sought after RJs in the country. The variety of shows and type of content he has handled is diverse. His show, Ek Kahani Aisi Bhi, has won many national and international awards and accolades (New York Festival Awards and Asian Customer Engagement Forum Awards). He is now successfully tickling Kolkata’s funny bone with Morning Number 1, a daily breakfast show and Araamzaada Weekend, the first ever stand-up comedy show on radio. Praveen also utilises Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by doing regular FB live audio streams and videos. His digital experiments have been tremendously successful. He showcased Souvik Ganguly, a security guard with a golden voice; the FB Live got him over 15000 shares and Souvik was offered a 10-year contract with Sony Music.
Samaresh Majumdar is a Bengali writer who excels in several genres — short stories, novels, travelogues and children’s fiction. He has written over 100 short stories and about 60 novels that include the famous ‘Animesh Trilogy’ (Uttaradhikar, Kalbela and Kalpurush). He is the creator of Detective Arjun, who was used as the central character of the 2013 film Arjun – Kalimpong E Sitaharan. The Bengali film Buno Haansh is also based on his novel of the same name. He won the Ananda Purashkar in 1982 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984 for Kalbela. His most recent work is Chhayataru (2018).
Sukanta Chaudhuri is Professor Emeritus at the Department of English, Jadavpur University. He has been Director of the School of Cultural Texts and Records at Jadavpur and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He has many publications on the European Renaissance and textual studies, and was Project Director for Bichitra, the complete Tagore variorum website. He edited the collection Calcutta: The Living City, and writes and campaigns on education and civic issues. He has prepared the Third Arden edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2017) and A Companion to Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance (The Manchester Spenser) (2018).