Back to List

Sathya Saran

Journalist & Biographer

Sathya Saran is a senior journalist and author of biography on Guru Dutt and his association with screen writer, filmmaker and actor Abrar Alvi Titled, 10 Years With Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi's Journey. The book was on the nomination list for the National Film Awards.

Till recently editor of ME, a monthly magazine, Sathya has set out on her own in new directions, yet to be made public. In the past, Sathya has edited Femina and been on the Board of governors of the NIFT. She is currently also Adjutant Professor at NIFT, Bombay where she teaches Fashion Journalism. She has authored a book of short stories, Night Train and other Stories.

Back to List

Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil

Writer, Critic & Literary Historian

Dr Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic and literary historian. She has published over 15 books and written over 50 academic papers and essays. Her book on the lesser-known monuments of Delhi, Invisible City , continues to be a bestseller. Her recent works include: Liking Progress, Loving Change: A Literary History of the Progressive Writers Movement in Urdu (OUP, 2014); a biography of Urdu feminist writer Dr Rashid Jahan A Rebel and her Cause (Women Unlimited, 2014); a translation of 15 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 (Harper Collins, 2015). She runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture. Her debut collection of fiction, Release & Other Stories , was published by Harper Collins in 2011, and received critical acclaim. She was awarded the Kaifi Azmi Award for her contribution to Urdu and her translation The Sea Lies Ahead won the KLF Peace Prize awarded by the Karachi Litfest and the German Embassy.

Back to List

Radha Chakravarty

Writer, Critic & Translator

Radha Chakravarty is a writer, critic and translator. She has co-edited The Essential Tagore (Harvard and Visva Bharati), nominated Book of the Year 2011. Her latest book, a Tagore collection called Shades of Difference (Social Science Press, 2015), comes with audiovisual material on DVD. Her Tagore translations include Gora, Chokher Bali, Boyhood Days, Farewell Song: Shesher Kabita and The Land of Cards . She was nominated for the Crossword Translation Award, 2004, for In the Name of the Mother by Mahasweta Devi. She has also edited several anthologies of South Asian writing. She is Professor of Comparative Literature & Translation Studies at Ambedkar University Delhi.

Back to List

Amish Tripathi


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 4 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 (Part 1 of the Ram Chandra Series) (2015) — have over 3.5 million copies in print with gross retail sales of over Rs 100 crores.

His books have been translated into 16 Indian and International languages.

The Shiva Trilogy is the fastest selling book series in Indian history. Scion of Ikshvaku , the first book of the Ram Chandra Series, was the highest selling book of 2015. The Indian language translations of Amish's books have sold 5 lakh copies, breaking records in this space.

Post the launch of the Hindi edition of Scion of Ikshvaku which immediately followed the English launch, the Gujarati, Marathi and Malayalam editions have also hit the stands. More languages will be out shortly.

Notable Accolades

  • Forbes Magazine has listed Amish amongst the 100 most influential celebrities in India, four years in a row
  • Received the Society Young Achievers Award for literature
  • Man of the Year by Radio City
  • Communicator of the Year by PR Council of India
  • Pride of India Award (Literature)
  • Selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, a prestigious American programme for outstanding leaders from around the world.

Amish is a graduate of IIM-Calcutta and worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to full-time writing. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Preeti and son Neel.

Back to List

Nirupama Dutt

Poet, Journalist & Translator

Nirupama Dutt is a poet, journalist, and translator of many seasons. She writes in both English and Punjabi as well as occasionally in Hindi. Her recent works include the biography of Punjab’s Dalit icon, ‘The Ballad of Bant Singh’ and translation into English of Gulzar’s anthology of poetry, Pluto, published by HarperCollins.

She received the Punjabi Akademi Award for her anthology of poems, Ik Nadi Sanwali Jahi (A Stream Somewhat Dark). Her poetry anthologies have also come out in English and Hindi: The Black Woman and Buri Auraton Ki Fehrist Se.Her other books include Stories of the Soil (translation of 41 stories from Punjabi, published by Penguin) Poet of the Revolution Books edited by her include Our Voices, an anthology of SAARC poetry, and Half the Sky and Children of the Night, two collections of Pakistani short stories. Her journalistic work is vast and has written thousands of articles, critiques and features over a long career. At present she is writing a Chandigarh novel.

Back to List

Chiki Sarkar


Chiki sarkar is the publisher of juggernaut books

Back to List

M K Raina

Theatre Actor, Director & Activist

M.K. Raina is a well-known theatre luminary, who has been working in the field of theatre for the last three and a half decades, innovating, studying, analysing, writing and teaching. He has worked extensively in both contemporary and tradition theatre in South Asia and has been instrumental in reviving the traditional folk theatre of Kashmir, the BHAND PATHER. He has been on the visiting faculty of several national and international Institutions, such as the National School of Drama, the Central University of Hyderabad, the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, and the University of Hawaii, USA, etc.

Apart from teaching theatre, M.K. Raina has also been involved in the academics of theatre and in this connection, has presented several papers in seminars, both national and international. He has been a fellow at the Stanford University, USA and a scholar-in-residence at the Jamia Milia Central University, New Delhi.

He is a well-known social and cultural activist and is a founder member of SAHMAT, a trust formed to promote communal harmony and social equality. He is also a trustee of the South Asia Foundation, India and Artistic Director of the theatre group, PRAYOG.

M.K. Raina has also made documentaries and films for various national institutions and for national channels. For his long term contribution to theatre, he has been the recipient of several awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awrd, the Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman, the Sanskriti Award and the B.V. Karanth Lifetime Achievement Award.

Back to List

Manjiri Prabhu

Writer, Film Maker & Director, PILF

Manjiri Prabhu is a Pune-based English Author, Film-maker and Lit Fest Founder/Director. Labelled 'Desi Agatha Christie', Dr. Manjiri Prabhu has published 8 books till date, two of which have been published by Bantam/Dell USA. The Cosmic Clues, The Cavansite Conspiracy, In the Shadow of Inheritance, The Astral Alibi, all have been critically acclaimed and acknowledged.

Dr. Prabhu holds a Doctorate in Communication Science and is an independent film-maker for Television and a writer. She has directed over 200 children's TV programmes and more than 50 short fiction and travel films.

Her thesis, converted into a book, titled Roles: Reel and Real, has become a rare reference book for students of Hindi cinema. Prabhu has been acknowledged as a pioneer in India among women writers of mystery fiction, and she has a diverse global fan following. She is also the first female mystery author to be published outside India.

Back to List

Surender Mohan Pathak

Crime Fiction Writer

Surender Mohan Pathak is considered the undisputed king of mystery writing in Hindi. He has recently completed 57 years while writing full length mystery novels and has been the flagbearer of popular literature in India. His first story ‘ 57 Saal Purana Aadmi ’ was published in monthly magazine ‘Manohar Kahaniyan’ in year 1959, whereas his first novel ‘ Purane Gunah Naye Gunahgaar ’ was published in 1963. He has written 275+ novels, 45+ short stories 15 novellas and 26 joke books in these fifty seven years. Some of his bestselling books have been translated in English and Gujrati. His books have transcended boundaries – from pulp to white paper and now on the screens of mobiles/tablets/kindle. His books are currently published by M/s Harper Collins India.

Back to List

Jerry Pinto


Jerry Pinto is a writer and translator based in Mumbai. He is the author of the novel Em and the Big Hoom (winner of the Hindu Literary Prize and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction) and the non-fiction book Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb (winner of the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema). His other works include a book of poems, Asylum, and Cobalt Blue, the English translation of Sachin Kundalkar's Marathi novel of the same title, which was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award for Indian Language Translation.

He also recently won the Yale University's prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize of $150,000 for his literary achievements.

Back to List

Ameena Saiyid OBE


Ameena Saiyid, managing director, Oxford University Press, is the first woman in Pakistan to head a multinational and to be elected President of the Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry in its 150 years’ history.

In 2005, she was awarded the OBE by the British Queen. In 2013, she was awarded Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the Government of France.

She constructed the OUP office building in Karachi which is a celebration of Pakistani art, crafts, and culture.

She founded and organizes the annual Karachi Literature Festival and the Children’s Literature Festival.

Back to List

Maya Mirchandani


Maya Mirchandani is Foreign Affairs Editor and a Senior Anchor at NDTV- one of India's foremost, private, 24 hour news networks. She has been reporting for television since 1994, making her among the first generation of broadcast news journalists in the country.

An academic background mix of History, Mass Communications and International Relations from Delhi University, Sofia Polytechnic and the London School of Economics, respectively, has influenced her career spanning over two decades during which she continues to report on a range of issues-from environment to national politics, from human rights and conflict to her real forte, world affairs.

For Maya, the doors of diplomatic reporting haven't always open up peacefully. She survived a suicide bomb attack at President Chandrika Kumaratunga's election rally in 1999, reported on 9/11 as the planes hit the World Trade Center in New York and survived pro government mobs attacking the media during the Anti-Mubarak protests in Cairo, Egypt. From Moscow to Washington DC, Cairo to Islamabad, Freetown, Sierra Leone to Rangoon, and several places in between, Maya has travelled extensively, always in search of a good story to tell.

Maya has received several awards and accolades , including the Ramnath Goenka award for Excellence in Journalism twice and the Exchange for Media award for best International News Reporting to name a few.

Amongst her passions are music and the arts. Time permitting she learns Hindustani vocal music and takes the odd painting lesson. In fact, using the ‘soft power’ of the arts is an invaluable communications tool- one that Maya sorely wishes politicians and people around the world would use to build bridges.

Back to List

Deepak Rawat

District Magistrate, Nainital

Born and bought up in Mussoorie, Deepak did his schooling from Hampton Court and St. George's Mussoorie. He graduated with honours in History from Hans Raj College, Delhi University and went on to do Masters and M.Phil. from JNU. His M.Phil. theses was titled "Representing masculinity in the Mahabharata" and explored the gender equations within the epic.

Deepak joined IRS in 2005 and was selected as an IAS in 2007. He has held various key positions before being posted as District Magistrate of Nainital. He shares special bond with Kumaon as the former MD of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), the Tourism authority of the region.

An ardent lover of history and literature he loves trekking and bird-watching being a quintessential mountain person.

Back to List

Siddhartha Gigoo

Writer & Film Maker

Siddhartha Gigoo’s books are The Garden of Solitude and A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories . The latter was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2015. He also co-edited A Long Dream of Home: The Persecution, Exodus and Exile of Kashmiri Pandits . In 2015, he won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Asia) for his short story The Umbrella Man. His two short films, The Last Day and Goodbye, Mayfly , were selected for several international film festivals.

Back to List

Priyanka Chaturvedi

Indian Politician & Spokesperson, INC

Priyanka Chaturvedi is the National Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress. She is a regular on television channels on various issues on Indian politics, women empowerment, child rights, education and health. She was selected to be a part of a delegation of young political leaders chosen by the UK High Commission and CPA UK to visit London for better Indo-UK ties and to understand their democracy better. Recently a website named her amongst the top 10 upcoming Indian women politicians. Priyanka is a trustee of two NGOs that are closely working in the space of children's education and women empowerment. Priyanka contributes her opinion columns in various newspapers and online sites. Priyanka's book review blog is also amongst the top ten blogs on books in India. In 2015, she was nominated for and participated in Observer Research Foundation and Zeit Stiftung's programme Asian Forum on Global Governance.

Back to List

Dr. Bertrand de Hartingh

Director, French Insitute

An alumnus of France’s most prestigious university (ENS Ulm, alma mater of many Nobel Prizes such as Jean-Paul Sartre) he got his Ph.D. from Paris Sorbonne University with the highest honors.

Researcher, writer and diplomat, he has lived and worked in many American, European and Asian countries for various institutions (French Foreign Service, British DFID, World Bank, etc.). He speaks fluently 7 languages.

He is currently the Counsellor for Cooperation and cultural Affairs - director of the French Institute in India at the French Embassy and the Head curator for the next edition of Bonjour India.

Back to List

Ananth Padmanabhan


Anantha Padmanabhan is a Dog lover, Photographer, Novelist, Bibliophile, Bookseller and CEO at HarperCollins Publishers India.

His first work of fiction Play with Me, was published by Penguin in 2014.

Back to List

Afia Aslam

Writer & Co-Founder, Desi Writers' Lounge

A former development sector specialist, Afia Aslam has used her passion for education to inform and inspire her work at Desi Writers' Lounge , a project for writers from South Asia. As Editor of Papercuts literary magazine for over five years, Afia led the publication's drive to position itself as a platform for interesting, accessible literature, with a focus on developing new readers and writers. She lives in Karachi with her husband and two sons, and is working on her first novel.

Back to List

Yatindra Mishra

Poet & Writer

An award-winning poet, editor, music and cinema aficionado. A regular speaker at literature festivals and other prestigious forums, Yatindra has a large body of work behind him. He has written collections of Hindi poetry titled Yada-Kada, Ayodhya Tatha Anya Kavitayein, Dyorhi Par Aalaap and Vibhas. He has translated Bhairavi by the 12th century Lingayat mystic poet Akka Mahadevi; and written about the life and work of Thumri singer Girija Devi, danseuse Sonal Mansingh and Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan. His most recent work includes Humsafar, which charts 100 years of music in Hindi cinema. He is currently writing a book on Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.

He has been awarded Parampara Rituraj Samman, 
Rajiv Gandhi Rashtreeya Ekta Puraskar, New Delhi
Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Smriti Puraskar, New Delhi
Hemant Smriti Kavita Puraskar, Mumbai
 Bharateeya Bhasha Parishad Yuva Puraskar, Kolkata
 Independent Fellowship for Study on Ayodhya, New Delhi Raza Foundation Award, Raza Foundation, Jananpitha Fellowship.

Being a part of Doordarshan Kendra, New Delhi as an Advisor to D.D. Bharati Channel (May, 2014- April, 2015), launched new series for the talecast on D.D. Bharati with fellow advisor Smt. Kumud Diwan. They are Remembering Legends; Jewels of Hindustani Classical Music; Gunijan and other.

Back to List

Kishwar Desai

Columnist & Writer

Kishwar Desai is an Indian author and columnist. She is the Chair of TAACHT which is working towards setting up a Partition Museum. Her novel, Witness the Night, won the Costa First Novel Award, 2010 in the UK. She had worked in television and broadcast media for over two decades, as an anchor, producer and Channel Head. She writes columns for The Asian Age and a blog for DailyO, (India Today), and is working on a new book on Indian cinema.

Prior to writing three books of fiction, she wrote Darlingji: The True Love Story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt. The biography, based on interviews with the Dutt family and friends, explored their lives in detail and tells the larger story of the evolution of Hindi cinema, and a nation in the throes of change. Desai wrote the play, Manto!, based on the life of the famous Urdu writer, Saadat Hasan Manto, which won the TAG Omega Award for Best Play in 1999.

Back to List

Ravi Subramanian


Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bengaluru, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazinglyexciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. For Ravi, The Bestseller She Wrote, marks the beginning of a new chapter in his writing. A significant departure from his usual fare, this is Ravi’s first book on romantic intrigue.

He is the award winning author of seven bestselling books :

  • If God was a Banker (2007)
  • I Bought the Monks Ferrari (2007)
  • Devil in Pinstripes (2009)
  • he Incredible Banker (2011)
  • he Bankster (2012)
  • Bankerupt (2013)
  • God is a Gamer (2014)

His 8th book, The Bestseller She Wrote released on October 19th 2015.

If God was a Banker won him the Golden Quill readers choice award in 2008. He also won the Economist Crossword Book Award for The Incredible Banker in 2012. "The Bankster", released in 2012 won him the Crossword Book Award in 2013. In 2014 he won the Raymond Crossword book award for Bankerupt.

He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Dharini, and daughter, Anusha.

To connect with him, log on to Facebook at or tweet to @subramanianravi. You can also stay in touch with him by downloading the Ravi Subramanian App on iOS or Android.

Back to List

Sudha Sadhanand


Sudha Sadhanand began her career in publishing and later went on to become one of the first bi-lingual anchors on an Indian TV channel. A post graduate in journalism, she has more than two decades of experience in the allied fields of communication and has held senior positions in -- India TV, Times Now, National Geographic Channel, and Big FM.

Sudha Sadhanand is presently Managing Editor with Westland Tata Books.

Back to List

Panini Anand

Journalist, Poet, Singer & Cook

Panini Anand is an activist and journalist based in Delhi. A poet, singer, cook, painter, commentator, traveler and photographer who has worked as a reporter, producer and editor for organizations including BBC, Catch news, Outlook and Rajya Sabha TV. An IIMC-New Delhi alumni who comes from Rae Bareli of UP, Panini has experimented with many mass mediums: theatre, street plays and slum-based tabloids, wallpapers to online, TV, radio, photography and print. Presently working as Senior Assistant Editor, India Today Group.

Back to List

Urmila Pawar


Born in the small village in Ratnagiri as the youngest child of a Dalit family. Urmila Pawar learned early in life the meaning of her subordination as a woman and as a Dalit. The lesson she learned about the needs of self-confidence, and the courage to overcome these forms of discrimination has stood her in good stead in her attempts to break barriers and reach to the stars. A prolific writer. Her Ten book has published including “Three Short Story Collection”, Some selected stories translated in English as “Mother Wit” by Prof. Veena Deo of Hamline University USA.She has won many prestigious prizes for her sensitive exploration of the lives of Dalit women in India. Her Autobiography ‘Aydaan’ is a part of Syllabus of the University of Columbia (USA) from 2009 and translated English, Hindi and Kannad language. Recently AAYDAN has been adopted for a Marathi play by legendry Marathi play director Sushma Deshpande and also in the process to be adopted in Hindi and English as well, in the form of a Play

“AAYDAN”is still continues to touch the heart of all lovers of Marathi literature.

Back to List

Nalin Mehta

Journalist & Writer

Nalin Mehta is a leading Indian social scientist, journalist and writer. He is Associate Professor at Shiv Nadar University, Consulting Editor with The Times of India, and Founding Editor of the international journal South Asian History and Culture (Routledge) as well as the Routledge ‘South Asian History and Culture’ book series. He is also Co-Director of Times Lit Fest Delhi and has previously been Managing Editor of India's Today Group's English TV news channel. He is Adjunct Professor at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and has held senior positions with the Global Fund in Geneva, Switzerland, and UNAIDS.

Nalin has won Asian Publishing Award for Best Book on Asian Media/Society for India on Television, 2009. He has also been awarded by the Government of Australia Alumni Excellence Award for Media and Entertainment, 2010. His book Behind a Billion Screens: What Television Tells Us About Modern India was Long-listed for Tata Literary Live Best Business Book of the Year, 2015.

Back to List

Mayank Shekhar

Film Critic & Writer

Mayank Shekhar is a broadcaster, journalist, and author. His latest book ‘Name Place Animal Thing’, non-fiction on India and popular culture, is a critically acclaimed bestseller.

Shekhar has been a widely read columnist and film critic for a decade and half, starting with Mid-day; Mumbai Mirror, a paper he helped set up under The Times of India Group; and Hindustan Times, where he served as National Culture Editor. His reviews, published in six languages, are currently syndicated to BBC.

As a film critic, Shekhar consults for various film festivals, and has served on several international and Indian juries, including, most recently, at the National Film Awards. He’s the first recipient of Ramnath Goenka Award for films and television journalism, and his book of reviews, ‘How I Met Your Movies’, will be published by Harper Collins this year.

Shekhar read economics at Delhi’s St Stephen’s College. He runs the pop-culture site, and is Entertainment Head at Mid-day newspaper in Mumbai.

Back to List

Nupur Sharma

Advocate & Member, BJP

Ms. Nupur Sharma is one of the youngest leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India. A litigating lawyer by profession she is often seen extrapolating her party’s views on various TV news channels and also regularly contributes to various publications.

Born and raised in Delhi, Nupur’s political journey started when she won the election of DUSU (Delhi University Students’ Union) President in the year 2008 and rose through the ranks of BJYM (BJP’s National Youth Wing) and BJP over the years. She represented her home constituency (New Delhi or N.D.M.C.) when she stood runner-up against Delhi’s incumbent Chief Minister in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. She was recently awarded the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Ladies Organisation’s Young Woman Achiever Award (2015-2016) in the field of Politics.

Nupur has a degree in Economics from Hindu College (Delhi University), a degree in Law (LL.B.) from Faculty of Law (Delhi University) and an LL.M. (with Distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Back to List

Aditi Maheshwari


Aditi Maheshwari holds Master's degrees in English Literature (Hansraj College, Delhi University) and Business Management (Strathclyde Business School, Scotland) and a pre-doctoral/ M.Phil. degree in Social Sciences (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai). She also holds a diploma in Public Relations and Advertising. She heads the Department of Copyrights and Translation at Vani Prakashan and is the Managing Trustee at Vani Foundation.

Back to List

Kiran Manral

Former Journalist & Writer

Kiran Manral was a journalist with the leading newspapers in India before she moved out to set up a content supply company during the first dot com boom. An erstwhile blogger, both her blogs were considered amongst India's top blogs and she was a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues. She was India Cultural Lead and Trend Spotter with an US based Consumer Insights Firm and is currently a senior consultant with a qualitative market research company.

Her books include The Reluctant Detective (Westland, 2011), Once Upon A Crush (Leadstart, 2014), (All Aboard, Penguin, 2015) and Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You (Hay House, 2015) and The Face at the Window (Amaryllis, Feb 2016).

She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, a mentor with Sheroes and is an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. She lives in Mumbai.

Back to List

Rishi Suri

Senior Editor, The Daily Milap

Rishi Suri is a senior editor covering international affairs at The Daily Milap, India’s oldest and largest circulated Urdu daily newspaper. He is an internationally recognized journalist known for his strong views and opinions on global politics and diplomacy. His interviews with various international personalities and heads of states and his articles on different subjects in India and the Middle East have been widely acclaimed and appreciated.

Rishi is one of the select few certified diplomatic correspondents by the Ministry of External Affairs in India and has been part of various international delegations and programs like the International Visitor Leadership program run by the State Department of the United States of America. Apart from being a Fellow (Media) with the Australia India Council and a Chevening Scholar in 2013, he is also involved in the planning boards of various national and international organizations like the Australia India Youth Dialogue in Sydney, the Global Partnerships Program run by the Tampa Bay City Council in Florida in the US, the Taj Colloquium in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and the Kumaon Literary Festival in Uttarakhand. Rishi also serves on the advisory boards of a couple of Delhi based NGO’s like the You Can Foundation and the Sarvam Foundation and also a news organization called Grin News.

Other than being an Editor, Rishi also plays an administrative role in the publication as he is part of the fourth generation of the family running the newspaper, started by Mahashay Khusal Chand Ji, later known as Mahatma Anand Swami Saraswati in Lahore (now in Pakistan) on the 13th of April, 1923. The Daily Milap was a social reformist newspaper and an instrument of social change while fighting tooth and nail for the freedom of the country. Gradually through the love of the people, Milap grew and prospered and, even in its current functioning carries with it many values which it has stood for over the years. It is this lineage which has greatly contributed to Rishi’s knowledge, personality and development of his thought process.

Back to List

Dr. Saif Mahmood

Lawyer, Urdu Afficiando & Poet

Saif Mahmood is a New Delhi-based literary personality, Urdu poetry and literature expert, culturist, commentator, critic, translator and rights activist. An Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, holding a doctorate in Comparative Constitutional Law in South Asia, he speaks and writes on diverse issues ranging from law to literature and is founder of the South Asian Alliance for Literature, Art & Culture (SAALARC).

Back to List

Sujata Parashar

Novelist, poet, Short story Writer & Activist

Sujata Parashar is a novelist, poet, short story writer and social activist. She has written seven books so far. Her debut novel, In Pursuit of Infidelity (2009) was a bestseller. She also has a poetry book series to her credit, titled, Poetry Out and Loud. Her latest book is a collection of short - stories, titled, That Woman You See (2015). She has won awards for her first poetry book and her first short - story.

Apart from these, Sujata is on the planning board of a couple of prestigious literature festivals of the country (Kumaon Literary Festival & Delhi Poetry Festival). She’s also a founding board member of Empowering Minds; a Delhi based NGO focusing on education and mental health issues and works with them on different social projects. She has also been selected for the Karamveer Chakra Award 2016- instituted by iCongo in association with the UN conferred to individuals who bring about positive social impact.


Twitter handle:


Back to List

Vikram Sampath

Bangalore based historian and author, Vikram is a visiting Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the Founder of the country's first online digital repository for vintage gramophone records of the country called Archive of Indian Music (AIM) and is the Director of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF). He serves on several Government Committees like the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Karnataka Tourism Vision Group and the Prasar Bharati Archives Core group. Vikram was among the 4 Artists and Writers selected by the President of India for an In-Residence Programme at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in March 2015. He served the Government of India's Ministry of Culture as Executive Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Southern Regional Centre and is currently the Director of Symbiosis School of Media and Communication (SSMC)- Bangalore.

A trained Carnatic vocalist under several eminent Gurus, he writes regularly for newspapers and magazines on a wide variety of subjects.

Vikram is the author of three acclaimed works of non-fiction "Splendours of Royal Mysore: the untold story of the Wodeyars", "My name is Gauhar Jaan! - the life and times of a musician' and "Voice of the Veena: S Balachander, a biography". His book on Gauhar Jaan won him several laurels including the Sahitya Akademi's first Yuva Puraskar for English Literature and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York.

Back to List

Sumant Batra

Lawyer & Cultural Personality

A lawyer of international repute, social commentator, thought leader and creative innovator, Sumant is a multi-faceted person with accomplishments in diverse spheres. A cultural champion, museum owner, collector and writer, Sumant Batra is the founder and architect of a number of innovative creative projects to promote Indian heritage, culture, art and literature. Some prominent initiatives include, Kumaon Literary Festival, Taj Colloquium and Dalit Literature Festival amongst other. The initiatives started by him are rapidly developing into a robust cultural voice of the country because of their unique approach and contribution to the development of the soft infrastructure and power of the country.

A corporate and policy lawyer of global eminence by training, Sumant has held leadership positions in prestigious multi-lateral, global and national organisations. As senior international consultant to the IMF, World Bank Group, OECD and other development institutions, he has worked extensively on policy matters in Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South Asia. Rated as India's No. 1 insolvency lawyer by Legal 500, his contributions to reforms in Indian insolvency system are well recognised.

He is a frequent speaker at various international and domestic conferences.

An avid collector, he is probably the largest collector of Indian cinema memorabilia, has set up Chitrashala, a private museum of Indian vintage graphic art and has built a boutique hotel in the Himalayas out of his collection.

He is the author of the bestselling coffee table book - The Indians. Foreworded by Cherie Blair, the book was released by Dr. Karan Singh.

Back to List

Rana Ayyub

Journalist & Writer

Rana ayyub, 33 is a political affairs and investigative journalist and has recently self published her best selling book Gujarat Files. Rana in her decade long career in journalism has worked with top news channels in the country and is a former editor with Tehelka

Living between Mumbai and Delhi she is now an independent journalist who is a regular contributor to NDTV , Huffington Post and Outlook besides appearing on various international shows as a current affairs analyst. Her investigation on the fake encounters in Gujarat not just sent the first serving home minister of a state behind bars but also got her the coveted Sanskriti award for excellence in journalism in 2010.In the year 2011 she was named as the 50 most influential Muslims in post independent India by a leading tabloid.

Back to List

Akshay Manwani

Biographer & Columnist

Akshay Manwani turned to freelance writing in 2009. He has since written on Indian cinema and popular culture for a variety of publications such as The Caravan, The Indian Quarterly,, Mint, Business Standard and Mumbai Mirror.

Akshay’s first book, Sahir Ludhianvi: The People's Poet, was published in December 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers India. In 2014, Akshay won the RedInk award for Best Lifestyle and Entertainment Story, given out by the Press Club Mumbai, for his detailed feature on B.R. Chopra's Mahabharata television series. His next book - Music, Masti, Modernity: The Cinema of Nasir Husain - will be published by HarperCollins Publishers India in October 2016. Akshay lives with his daughter and wife in Mumbai.

Back to List

Shinie Antony

Short Fiction Writer

Shinie Antony is a short story writer. She has written four books of short fiction - The Orphanage For Words, Barefoot and Pregnant, Séance on a Sunday Afternoon and Planet Polygamous, and the novels When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied and Kardamom Kisses. She has compiled the anthologies Kerala, Kerala, Quite Contrary and Why We Don’t Talk. Co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003 for her story A Dog’s Death. Her latest work is an Amar Chitra Katha novel - A Kingdom For His Love.

Back to List

Tuhin Sinha


Tuhin A. Sinha is among the best-selling authors in India, a columnist and a screenwriter.

Tuhin is acknowledged among the most prolific Indian writers with a maverick knack to experiment with new genres. While his first book, That Thing Called Love (2006) was an offbeat romance, The Captain (2008) was a cricket thriller that explored the underbelly of modern cricket. Of Love And Politics (2010) was a political thriller. His fourth and fifth books The Edge Of Desire (2012) and its sequel, The Edge of Power (2013) can be called socio-political thrillers with a strong feminist skew.

Daddy(2014) ​ was Tuhin's sixth book and his first non-fiction narrative.

Daddy is India's first parenting book from a Dad's perspective and celebrates new age fatherhood. Let the Reason Be Love is Tuhin's latest book.

Other than his novels, Tuhin has co-authored the book India Aspires with ​Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping​, Nitin Gadkari.

Tuhin is also a screenwriter of several popular TV shows, a columnist and blogger. At present, is a consultant with Reliance Broadcast, in- charge of new programming initiatives for their TV channel, Big Magic.

Back to List

Vidya Shah

Indian Singer, Musician, Social Activist & Writer

VIDYA SHAH is a composer, musician, and writer from New Delhi, India. She was initially trained in Carnatic music, and later received guidance in the North Indian genres of Khayal (from Shubha Mudgal and Mujahid Hussain Khan) and Thumri Dadra, and Ghazal (from Shanti Hiranand). She has performed at national and international forums, including the Tansen Samaroh in Gwalior, The Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C, The Asia Society in New York and the British Museum in London.

A popular performer and a prolific composer, she is a recipient of the Charles Wallace Award and a Senior Fellowship from the Government of India for her project "Women on Record", a performance highlighting the contributions of the forgotten women performers in the Gramophone era. Her special performances include The Last Mughal (In performance) with author William Dalrymple, "Akhtari- the Life of Begum Akhtar" with Actor/Story Teller Danish Husain, and "Bas Tu Hii"a rendition of Mystic Poetry.

She is the Nana Shirgaonkar Chair For Classical music at Goa University for the year 2016-17. She writes and speaks on music and is the Author of Jalsa: Indian Women's Journey from the Salon to the Studio (Tulika Books)

Back to List

Dinesh Trivedi

Member of Parliament

Illustrious and articulate, Dinesh Trivedi is an Indian politician from the All India Trinamool Congress and current Member of Parliament in the Lower House representing Barrackpore, West Bengal.

A former Union Railway Minister, Dinesh studied in an elite boarding school in Shimla and Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He graduated from Kolkata's St Xavier's College and then went on to get an MBA from Austin, Texas in US.

Trivedi is the founder member and first general secretary of the Trinamool.

Back to List

Rakhee Bakshee

TV Anchor

Rakhee Bakshee is a broadcasting professional and social entrepreneur with over fifteen years of experience in the public sphere. She is the Senior Show host on Rajya Sabha TV handling Political Shows including the very popular "The Quest" and the Director of Women’s Feature Service (WFS), the only women's features syndicate in New Delhi. Prior to this, Ms. Bakshee was appointed as the Media Advisor for the office of the Speaker, Lok Sabha. She was also the Senior Correspondent for Dooradarshan and handled Jammu and Kashmir Bureau while working with Zee News. As an independent Print Journalist, Ms. Bakshee has written for The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer among other prominent publications.

Back to List

Abhay Kumar Dubey

Writer, Scholar, Translator & Editor

A social science scholar, translator, editor and a TV commentator. Currently a professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, he directs Centre’s Indian Languages Programme, and edits Pratiman Samay Samaj Sanskriti, a refereed journal of social sciences and humanities. He is working on Indian Maoist movement as well as on the hitherto unexplored structures of linguistic imperialism in India. Known for his extensive research about the configurations of Hindi's modernity, under his stewardship the Indian Languages Programme of the Centre has published number of anthologies, translated and self-contained original works in last fourteen years. One of his earlier works, the study of changing face of Naxalite politics, became a best seller and has seen several reprints. In nineties he edited Samay Chetna, a reputed monthly of ideas and analysis; and wrote prolifically in various journals. Recently he has published three books, namely Hindi Mein Ham, Secular/Sampradayik, and Footpath Par Kamsutra, and compiled the enormous Samaj-Vigyan Vishwakosh, a six-volume Hindi encyclopaedia of social sciences and humanities.

Back to List

Dr. Binod Chaudhary

Businessman & Writer

Dr Binod Chaudhary is a Nepalese businessman, industrialist and philanthropist. He is the Chairman of CG Corp Global, a multinational conglomerate, with a portfolio of 122 companies, spread over 5 continents with 76 renowned brands in the global market. He is an internationally respected name in FMCG as the man behind Wai Wai noodles, the most iconic brand from CG. His other business interests include electronics, hospitality, infrastructure, education, telecom and realty, which are among the fifteen business verticals, he runs with CG. The Group’s assets include a controlling stake in Nepal’s largest private-sector commercial bank, Nabil Bank and a string of hotels, and JV’s with the Taj Hotels, Palaces & Resorts, Alila, Fern and The Farm at San Benito, to name a few prominent brands. Chaudhary is also the first, and only billionaire from Nepal, as listed by Forbes.

Back to List

Dr. Asif Farrukhi

Editor, Translator & Writer

Fiction-writer, critic and translator, Asif Farrukhi was born in Karachi. A public health physician by training, he was educated at the Dow Medical College, Karachi and the Harvard University, USA. Known for short stories and essays, seven collections of his short fiction and two collections of critical essays have been published. He has published translations of prose and poetry from modern and classical writers. His recent publications include a collection of new critical essays on Manto and Look At The City From Here , an anthology of writings about Karachi, published by OUP. He is working on a book length study of Intizar Husain.

Asif Farrukhi contributes regularly to the English- language press. Two of his adaptations have been staged in Karachi. He is the editor of Duniyazad, a literary journal of new writing and contemporary issues in Urdu.

Asif Farrukhi has presented papers and participated in literary events at home as well as abroad. He is a founder member of the Karachi Literary Festival and the Islamabad Literature Festival. For his distinguished work, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1997 and the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.

Asif Farrukhi lives and writes in Karachi. He became associated with the Habib University, Karachi as the Director of the Arzu Centre for regional Languages and Humanities. He is a Visiting faculty member of the Aga Khan University, Karachi. Currently he is the Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, Habib University.

Back to List

Hindol Sengupta


Hindol Sengupta is an award winning writer and journalist. He is Editor-at-Large for Fortune India. He is the youngest writer and the only Indian to be nominated for the Hayek Book Prize given by the Manhattan Institute in memory of the Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek. He is an Aspen columnist and part of the Australia-India Youth Dialogue and the Sweden-South Asia Media Project. He is the founder of the not-for-profit Whypoll Trust which runs the global network of innovation information, Grin ( He is the author of 7 books.

Back to List

Anu Singh Choudhary

Journalist, Writer & Documentary Film Maker

Co-Founder of Dopamine Media and Entertainment, Anu Singh Choudhary is a Journalist, Author, Communications Consultant and Documentary Filmmaker. Her debut collection of short stories is titled Neela Scarf while Mamma ki Diary, her book on parenting and family, is said to be the of its kind in Hindi. She has also made six documentaries including Lighting Up the Hills, a heart-wrenching tale of a tribal group from Jharkhand. She has been awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism and the LAADLI Media and Advertising Awards for her gender sensitive reporting.

Back to List

Neeraj Kumar

Former Commissioner of Police Delhi

Neeraj Kumar is a 1976 batch IPS officer who retired as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi. In his career spanning thirty-seven years, Kumar cracked several high profile cases and brought dreaded gangsters, economic offenders and terrorists to book. He participated in the security arrangements during Asian Games, 1982 and the Commonwealth Games, 2010. Kumar led the CBI investigations into the Bombay bomb blasts of 1993 and arrested 7 members of the Memon family and 16 other absconders wanted in the case. He cracked the Meenakshi Temple blast case and unearthed the terror outfit Ahle Hadees. He is credited with the arrest and deportation of American Center attacker Aftab Ansari from Dubai and Gujarat’s underworld don Abdul Lateef. As CP, Delhi he unearthed and led the investigations into spot fixing in IPL 6 that indicted three high profile Indian cricketers. The case led to the appointment of Mudgal Committee followed by the Lodha Committee to go into malpractices in Indian cricket.

Kumar is the recipient of police medals for meritorious and distinguished services and is one of the most distinguished police officers of the country. He is presently serving as Chief Advisor to the BCCI in their Anti Corruption & Security Unit. Dial D for Don is his first book that recounts 11 riveting police operations conducted during his nine-year stint in the CBI.

Back to List

Pankaj Dubey

Film Director & Screen Play Writer

Pankaj Dubey is a Bestselling Penguin Novelist with his titles What A Loser! and Ishqiyapa-To Hell With Love . He accentuates the socio - political undercurrents with quirks and humour in his style of writing. He was recently selected for the prestigious Writer’s Residency in Seoul Art Space, South Korea amongst three Novelists from Asia. He has also been a Journalist with the BBC World Service in London . His debut novel, What a Loser! won the ‘ Lit-O-Fest Award for the Best First Published Book of an Author in 2015 ’. He is based out of Mumbai and can be followed on his twitter handle

Back to List

Prabhat Ranjan

Translator, Editor & Writer

Fiction writer, translator and editor, Prabhat Ranjan is writer of ‘Kothagoi’, first book in hindi on the history of tawaif tradition. Has published two collections of short stories ‘Janaki Pul’ and ‘Bolero Class’. and has translated 18 books included Anne Frank’s Diary, Mohsin Hamd’s novel Moth Smoke, Khushwant singh’s book ‘Khushwantnama’, etc. Awarded the Sahara Samay Katha Samman, Premchand Samman. ABP news best blogger award for the year 2014 for his blog ‘janki pul’. Krishna baldev vaid fellowship for his writing, 2013 . Recently received first ‘dwarika Prasad Agrawal bhaskar yuva puraskar’ of rupees one lakh for the book ‘kothagoi’ during Jaipur literature festival.

Back to List

Santosh Desai

Columnist & Writer

MD & CEO of Futurebrands India Limited, Santosh is one of India's best-known social commentators. He is author of 'City City Bang Bang', a weekly column in The Times of India that looks at contemporary Indian society from an everyday vantage point. It covers issues big and small, tends where possible to avoid judgmental positions, and tries instead to understand what makes things the way they are.

He is the author of Mother Pious Lady - Making sense of Everyday India. The book is about a new India that is visibly emerging from within the folds of its many pasts. An IIM Ahmedabad post-graduate with 21 years of experience, he is former President of McCann-Erickson, India. He conducts workshops and seminars on a broad range of subjects in marketing for companies and educational institutions in India and abroad. He has addressed the global management boards of several multinationals including Hershey's, Microsoft, Philip's, Unilever, Coke and Reckitt Benckiser.

Back to List

Vishwesh Desai


Vishwesh Desai is a 15-year-old with a fierce passion for reading and writing. He prefers to call himself a full-time reader and a part-time student.

The publication of his short stories in the Estrade literary magazine and the 2015 ‘I CAN’ book preceded his debut novel, Shadows of the Northlands , a fantasy fiction, which has a foreword by noted author Ashok Banker.

Words, written or spoken, are his strength. Apart from his writing, he’s a regular participant and winner at Model United Nations conferences. His creative streak extends to painting and sketching, and he has a few art exhibitions under his belt.

Vishwesh lives with his family in Ahmedabad, India.

Back to List

Shahid Siddiqui

Journalist & Former Member, Rajya Sabha

Shahid Siddiqui , opened his eyes in the old traditional cultural and literary atmosphere of Ballimaran, the street where Mirza Ghalib used to reside. He was born on 15th august 1951 in Haveli Hissamuddin. He literally opened his eyes in a newspaper office because at that time his father a famous Urdu writer and a leader of the Independence movement, Maulana Abdul Waheed Siddiqui’s residence was on the first floor of the house from where Nai Duniya was published. When children played ankh micholi, Shahid was playing with pen and qalam, listening to the mushairas organized in the angan (courtyard)of Nai duniya office every Saturday.

Great poets like Josh Malihabadi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Firaq Gorakhpuri, and Jigar used to visit the office whenever they were in Delhi. Nai Duniya office at that point was the centre of all literary, political and cultural activities in the old city.

Shahid Siddiqui got both traditional Islamic education and modern English education. He was a vociferous reader from a very early age. He read Shakespear, Maugham, O’henry, Dickens and other English literary writers at a very young age .He started writing at the age of 10. Translated many stories and novels from English into Urdu, and wrote articles in Huma Urdu digest. He translated Jules Verne’s around the world in 60 days, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering heights and many other books from English.

Shahid Siddiqui did his high school from Anglo Arabic School Delhi and graduated from Delhi College in Political Science. He did his masters from University of Delhi in 1974. He created a new record in political philosophy by breaking the record of Dr. Karan Singh and getting 86.5% marks. He was immediately offered lecturer ship in Deshbandhu College Delhi. He taught political science from 1974 to 1986 when he resigned due to his busy schedule as a journalist.

Shahid was involved with the publication of Huma Digest from the very first day. He published a unique and path breaking fortnightly Waqiat in 1970 when he was a student of first year in Delhi College. He launched Weekly Nai Duniya in 1973 when he was in the previous year of his masters at Delhi University. Since then he has written thousands of articles for Nai Duniya. He has interviewed every Indian prime minister and major political leader from Late Indra Gandhi to Narendra Modi. He has traveled extensively and his travelogues have been published. Shahid Siddiqui also hitch hiked around the country in 1970 covering more than 6000 kilometers from Delhi to Kolkata and Chennai, and wrote his diary which was published in Huma. Shahid Siddiqui went to jail many times for his fearless and honest writings.

Shahid has also been involved in politics from his student days. He was one of the founder members of SFI in Delhi University. He was actively involved with number of political groups opposing emergency. He went to jail many times for his writings and raising his voice for the cause of minorities and down trodden. He was pulled into active politics by Late Rajiv Gandhi and joined Congress Party. He was the Chairman of the Congress Minority Cell from 1996-1999. He joined Samajwadi party in 1999 and was appointed its general secretary in 2000. He was member of the upper house {Rajya Sabha} from 2002 -8.

He has retired from active politics and devoting himself to social work, educational upliftment of minorities and writing fiction. His first English novel “The Golden Pigeon” was published in 2014 by Harper Collins India. He has travelled extensively all over Europe, Asia, Africa and America. He has covered all great civilizations from Macho Pichu to Xian, Babylon, Persepolis, and Nimrud to Mohinjo Daro and written about them.

Political Career:

Shahid Siddiqui has been involved in political activities from his student days. He was the founder member of Student Federation of India, in Delhi University.

He joined the Congress Party in 1991 and held many organizational posts including that of the Chairman Minority Department of the party.

He joined the Samajwadi Party in 1999 and was its National General Secretary from 2000-2008. He was also elected to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament in 2002.

He contested the Parliament election in 2009 from Bijnore in U.P.

He was the vice-chairman of National Council for promotion of Urdu language.

Back to List

Ali Akbar Natiq

Poet & Writer

Ali Akbar Natiq was born in a village near Okara, Pakistan. He post graduated from Bhaudin Zakriya University, Multan, Pakistan. He is a celebrated Urdu poet, story writer and novelist enjoying a global fame. His first collection of poetry "Bewaqeen Bastion Main" appeared in 2010 followed by a book of short stories “Qaim Deen” published by Oxford Press in 2012. Penguin India published the English version of the aforementioned collection of the short stories in 2014 titled “what will you give for this beauty?” Whereas in 2013 he also came up with another book of poems "Yaqqot kay Warq". International Literary magazine Garanta also published his story “Masons Hand” in 2012. His last published work was a novel “Naulakhi Kothi” which is being translated in English and is expected to be published by Penguin India and America. Some of his short stories are being staged in Mumbai under Prithvi Theater. These days Mr. Natiq is working on publishing two more books, one regarding poetry and the other short stories. Like his previous poetry works, both of his upcoming poetry collections are being translated in Hindi, German and English by Juggernaut Publishing, India. Beside poetry and fiction, Ali Akbar Natiq is also wiring a critical account on Alama Muhammad Iqbal's poetry and a book aiming at discussing the critical aspects of the art of versification.

Back to List

Sudeep Sen

Poet & Editor

Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins), Rain, Aria (A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor), Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions) and EroText (Vintage: Penguin Random House). Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize) is forthcoming. Sen’s works have been translated into over 25 languages. His words have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, India Today, and broadcast on bbc, pbs, cnn ibn, ndtv, air & Doordarshan. Sen’s newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/Random House/Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), and Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sen is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Week. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”

Back to List

Shelly Bhoil

Poet & Writer

Shelly Bhoil is a Brazil-based academic and writer. Her poetry has featured in journals such as the Postcolonial Text, Dance Macabre, Blackmail Press, Asia Writes, Tayo literary magazine, and anthologies such as 40 under 40, Poetry Israel, and Poetry of Yoga. She was an honorable mention in the FLEFF checkpoint story contest in Ithaca univ and winner of Tahoe Safe alliance poetry contest in 2011. She co-edited the Muse India edition on Tibetan English writings, and is currently working on a book of essays on Tibetan Exile Narratives to be published by Lexington, besides her second poetry book titled Laatoo.

Back to List

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Member of Parliament

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi is an Indian politician belonging to Indian National Congress party, he is also a Member of the Parliament of India representing Rajasthan in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. He was formerly the spokesperson of the Congress party.

Dr. Singhvi was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan to Kamla and Laxmi Mall Singhvi, he obtained B.A.(Hons.), M.A., Ph.D., PIL educated at St. Stephen's College, Trinity College, Cambridge and Harvard University. He completed his Ph.D. under constitutional lawyer Sir William Wade of Cambridge University. The topic of his doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University was on Emergency Powers.

He was awarded and acknowledged by the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award in 1999. He was invited to hold lectures on Federalism in 2007, with that lecture being printed in the IIPA journal apart from the best essay.

Back to List

Hartman de Souza


Hartman de Souza has a varied background in theatre, education and journalism, and has lived and worked in Goa, Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. A former features editor with Patriot newspaper, New Delhi, he has worked with several theatre groups in the country and was till September 2015 the artistic director of the Space Theatre Ensemble, Goa, a professionally managed repertory company that tours ten months of the year to various parts of the country. Hartman is working on his second book, a sequel to Eat Dust – Mining and Greed in Goa, that looks at the destruction of Goa's coastline.

Back to List

Maheep Singh

Stand Up Comedian

A humorist, writer, lyricist, stand-up comedian, thespian, actor, script writer, director, producer.

Founder of New Delhi Comedy Club.

Back to List

Anant Vijay


More than two decades of journalistic experience in Print and electronic media. Worked with leading Hindi News Channel IBN7for more than a decade.

Writes regular weekly column in Dainik Jagran, Dainik Tribune Regular Contributor in National Dailies Navbhart Times, Dainik Bhaskar ,Nai Duniya, Rastriya Sahara, Jansatta, Prabhat Khabar , Sanmarg, Regular Column in Naya Gyanodaya , the prestigious Hindi Literary monthly magazine of Times Group

BOOKS / PUBLICATION ( 7 books published)

  • PRASANGVASH – a collection of literary essays.
  • KOLAHAL KALAH MEIN – a collection of literary controversies of the 90s.
  • MERE PATRA – collection of interviews of top Hindi writers.
  • WIDHAON KA WINYAS – Collection of my critical essays based on the important English books published across the globe in last ten years.
  • Kahanai – Edited the collection of award winning stories
  • Bollywood selfies – Collection of Essays on the Life of bollywood Superstars
  • Loktantra ki Kasauti , Poltical Commentry arounf 2014 elections

Back to List

Bhupendra Chaubey


Bhupendra Chaubey started his career as a TV journalist with NDTV in the year 2000. In 2005, he left NDTV and became a part of the team that started CNN IBN. As a political journalist he has travelled the length and breadth of the country covering three general elections and assembly elections of most states.

A graduate in Mathematics and post graduate in film studies, Bhupendra has been among the finest political journalists of his generation. He has that unique ability to grasp things at micro level and present them with macro level insights. He is amongst those journalists who depend more on their ground level political awareness, supplementing it with academic knowledge of issues that confront the nation.

Bhupendra was the Executive Editor of CNN IBN and hosted their prime time broadcast “India at 9” before turning a Consulting Editor to try his hands at new journalistic platforms.

He now hosts a weekend interview show “Hot Seat” where he puts tough questions to key newsmakers.

He regularly writes columns for various English and Hindi newspapers and magazines. He also writes for several digital platforms.

He lives in the national capital with his wife and two children.

Back to List

Justice A K Sikri

Judge, Supreme Court of India

Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri is a judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Sikri has an excellent academic record. He stood third in the merit list in Higher Secondary from CBSE, Delhi. He completed his B.Com (Honors) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi in 1974, He completed his LL.B. from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi in 1977 and won a gold medal for attaining first position. He completed his LLM from Delhi University and stood first in the three-year course.

He started practicing in Delhi with specialization in Constitutional cases, Labour - Service Matters and Arbitration matters. He was counsel for numerous Public Sector Undertakings, Educational Institutions, Banks & Financial Institutions and various Private Sector Corporations. He has served as Vice-President, Delhi High Court Bar Association and Senior Advocate, Delhi High Court.

He was chosen as one of the 50 most influential persons in Intellectual Property in the world in a survey conducted by Managing Intellectual Property Association (MIPA) for 2007.

Back to List

Mona Verma

Poet & Writer

Mona Verma is a writer based in Hardwar, Uttarakhand. She did her Philosophy Honours from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. She was born in Hardwar and brought up by her grandparents.

At a very early age, Mona turned to books and rediscovered a world that accepted her as its own. As the years passed the book reader turned into a book writer.

She has published three books. Her first book "A Bridge to Nowhere was released by Sir Ruskin Bond in 2009 at Dehradun.

Back to List

Neeraj Jain


Born and brought up in Delhi, Neeraj has a keen interest in sports and Music. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in commerce from Hansraj college, University of Delhi, chartered Accountancy from Institute of Chartered Accountancy in India, CMA and CFM from Institute of Management Accountants, USA and Executive MBA from ISB, Hyderabad. While doing his Executive MBA he attended programs in FDC Brazil, Kellogg School of Management and Wharton Business School in USA.

Though a finance specialist by training, he discovered his interest in reading and education once he joined Scholastic. Since 2002 he has been working closely with the global teams of Scholastic to bring out the best books, reading programs, proven pedagogy, and latest developments to support the changing face of education in the Indian classroom. He has been involved in conducting focussed group session on reading with school principals in different parts of India. He has been a part of various principals and business conferences as speaker and moderator. Neeraj has also been on the Steering Committee of “Excellence in School Education” an initiative by IIT Delhi.

Back to List

Nicolas Idier

Head, French Book Office at French Institute in India

Nicolas Idier has been the Head of the Book Office at the Institut Français en Inde since September 2014, after having held the same position in Beijing at the Embassy of France in China for four years. A specialist in history and a Doctor of the Université Paris-Sorbonne, Nicolas Idier is also a fiction and non-fiction author.

Back to List

Piyush Jha

Film Director, Screen Play Writer & Novelist

Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and the author of bestselling crime-fiction novels.

A politically active student-leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. Later, he switched tracks, first to make commercials for some of the country’s largest brands, and then to write and direct feature films.

Piyush’s films Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikandar are noted for the unconventionality of the themes and for their relevance to contemporary society.

Piyush’s novels Mumbaistan, Compass Box Killer, Anti-Social Network and Raakshas- India’s No. 1 Serial Killer are page-turners that explore the gritty, noir landscape of crime-fiction in Mumbai. The novels have recently been released in Marathi language too.

Currently, Piyush is developing a crime-based TV show for a leading entertainment channel. He is also working on his next feature film a director/writer while simultaneously writing his next novel.

Back to List

Shubhra Gupta

Film Critic

Shubhra Gupta is film critic and senior columnist with the Indian Express. She watches world cinema for delectation, Hollywood for fun, and Bollywood for work. She has a huge capacity to sit through terrible Bollywood movies, but no patience at all with bad Hollywood.

She has led week after week, month after month, year after year, without a break, her readers into the magical world of movies, and shared her experiences of watching all those hundreds of films over the years. In her reviews and columns, she lets the reader into what she likes, and doesn’t, and invites them to be bewitched.

In 2012, she won the Ramnath Goenka award, one of India's most prestigious awards, for Best Writing on Film.

Back to List

Sunil Alagh

Business Executive

Alma mater:

Graduate in Economics (Hons.), St. Xavier's College, Calcutta

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta: MBA

Career Highlights:

Sunil Kumar Alagh is the Founder and Chairman of SKA Advisors – a business advisory and consultancy service with an emphasis on Marketing and Brand management strategies. He is a recognised thought provocateur who enables teams to realise their full potential and partners them to build a sustainable profitable business model. His wide range of clients include Godfrey Phillips India Ltd., Setco Automotive Ltd., Mrs. Bector's Food Specialities Ltd., Elite Food Specialities Pvt. Ltd., Louis Dreyfus Commodities India Pvt. Ltd., Amira Pure Foods Pvt. Ltd., LT Foods Ltd, KS Oils Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer HealthCare Ltd., Warburg Pincus, Emami Ltd., VIP Luggage Ltd., Sapat Tea Ltd, Biocon India Ltd., and Mahindra Group. Sunil Alagh has 40 years of hands on experience and has developed and incubated several successful brands like Britannia Tiger. He also spearheaded Britannia's successful foray into Dairy through branded cheese and milk. He has a wealth of rich experience in marketing and brand building strategies. Sunil’s rich experience in multiple stakeholder management helps him mentor the top most executives plough through business objectives amidst conflicting personal objectives, fractured governance and challenging needs for succession planning.

Career History:

Sunil Alagh held very senior positions in the private sector and was the former Managing Director & CEO of Britannia Industries Ltd. During his tenure, Britannia touched significant heights and figured in the Forbes List of 300 Best Companies in the World in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Britannia also became the most trusted Food Brand in India.

Sunil is on the Boards of United Breweries Ltd (JV of Heineken and Mallya Group), Gati Ltd (a JV with KWE, Japan), Gati Import & Export Trading Ltd and Indofil Industries Ltd. In addition, Sunil is on the Advisory Board of the Jawaharlal Darda Institute of Engineering & Technology, Yavatmal, Senior Advisor to Hannover Re, Germany, Member of the Prasar Bharati Board, India and on the Executive Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He is a former member of the Board of IL&FS Investsmart Ltd and of the Indian Advisory Board of Schindler, Switzerland and a former Member of the Round Table on Higher Education, under the Ministry of HRD, Government of India Sunil is the Past President of the All India Management Association, Delhi, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), The Federation of Biscuit Manufacturers of India (FBMI), Delhi and was a member of the Governing Council of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Board of Management of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi and member of the Governing Board of IIM, Bangalore and IIM Indore.


Sunil is actively involved with “Save the Tiger” campaign of Sanctuary Magazine (with a leading environmentalist). Sunil is on the Advisory Board of the Indian Music Group of St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. It's objective is to promote Indian Classical Music amongst the youth in Mumbai.

Sunil was the anchor of “The Job Show” on CNBC – a reality programme that ensured entry level jobs with reputable companies for the Youth of India.

Sunil has been invited by reputed Investment Banks like IDFC Ltd and Ambit Capital Pte Ltd on numerous Non-Deal Shows in USA, UK, Singapore and Hongkong to present India as an attractive investment destination for foreign investors. Have presented India to investors like Standard Pacific Capital, Fidelity, Soros Fund Management, Oppenheimer, TIAA CREFF, etc..

Awards and Recognition:

Sunil was honored with the Gold medal Kashalkar Memorial Award 2000 for outstanding contribution to the Food Processing Industry in India. He was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2002.

Back to List

Tarun Thakral

Hotelier, Founder & Managing Trustee, Heritage Transportation Trust

With a background and career in Hospitality and a collection of vintage & classic vehicles, Tarun founded Heritage Transportation Trust (HTT) in 1996, to preserve the rich transport heritage of India. In 2013, HTT opened India's first comprehensive transport museum: Heritage Transport Museum which is an endeavor to showcase and interpret the multiple narratives of transport movement.

The museum brings alive the history and evolution of transport heritage in India through a rich and diverse collection of vehicles and associated memorabilia. The collection is representative of not only the objects directly related to transport but also the socio-cultural life and art associated with it.

Built on a 3 acre complex, Heritage Transport Museum is spread over four air conditioned floors that offer over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, library and reference centre, mini auditorium, souvenir shop, seminar rooms and refreshment area. The museum is located in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Back to List

Vivek Agrawal


VIVEK AGRAWAL, a journalist with 3 decades of vast experience in the field of crime, defense, legal & terrorism in all the dimensions of media. Since 1985, he actively started writing as a freelancer for the local, state & national newspapers and earned good name in the united Madhya Pradesh.

His career in the mainstream newspapers started in 1992 with Hindi tabloid ‘Hamara Mahanagar’ at Mumbai. In 1993, joined Hindi national newspaper ‘Jansatta’ as a crime reporter. He broke many big time stories in both the newspapers. His broadcast media journalism days started with India’s First Views Channel ‘Janmat’ (Now Live India) as Bureau Head, Maharashtra-Goa. He was part of the team of channel –‘Mi Mrathi’. Then joined ‘India TV’ as an investigative journalist. Vivek Agrawal joined as State Head with ‘News Express’. He cracked many stories of Mumbai Mafia, Terrorism, Financial Crimes and Homeland Security all these days.

He is now focusing on writing and documentary projects, consulting print and electronic media houses to establish & run news businesses with right directions and high esteem. He is offering his services as a news broadcast channel /newspaper /magazine setup professional to news assessment editor to various new establishments across the nation.

Two books “MumBhai’ and “MumBhai Returns” are based on Mumbai Mafia and published by Vani Prakashan. His few more titles based on Mumbai Underworld are in press.

Back to List

Gautam Chintamani

Film Critic & Writer

Gautam Chintamani is a born cinephile and the author of Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna (HarperCollins, 2014). A popular columnist across many leading Indian publications Gautam is attuned to writing on all things cinema.

Gautam’s book is the first full-length biography of the original superstar of Hindi cinema and garnered rave reviews besides going into the second edition within 8 weeks of its release.

Hailing from a literary tradition that runs deep on both sides of his family, late poet laureate Arudra is his maternal grandfather and the liberal thinker Sir C.Y. Chintamani his paternal great-grandfather Gautam’s writing explores everything from world to Indian cinema and whatever exists in between. His writing has appeared in India Today, Outlook, The Indian Quarterly, The Pioneer , The Tribune, The Asian Age, The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, Scroll, First Post and Daily O amongst others. He also had a weekly film based columns in The Hindustan Times Brunch and Dawn , Pakistan’s most read English daily. In 2015 Gautam contributed an extensive essay on Majrooh Sultanpuri, the first lyricist to be honored by the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for Legends of Indian Silver Screen, a compilation of Phakle Awardees published by the Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Gautam’s documentary film S.R.I. - Challenging Traditions, Transforming Lives explored the positive impact of System of Rice Intensification, an alternate method of rice cultivation, on Indian farmers. The film has traveled to over 20 film festivals across the globe and won the Best Documentary Award at the maiden Asia Pacific Rice Film Festival, Malaysia. His trilogy Janam-Aagazh-Parvaaz – on the journey of children with special needs and their parents was screened at the 2011’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI). His notable television credits include Siddhanth, a law series, which garnered an Emmy Nomination in the International Drama category, a first for an Indian TV show, and Rihaee.

Gautam’s new book Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak: The Film That Revived Hindi Cinema explores the impact of the modern classic on popular Hindi cinema and will release in autumn 2016.

Back to List

Dushyant Parasher

Photographer & Adventurer

A Delhi College of Art 1972 graduate, Dushyant Parasher initially worked as a graphic designer and later as creative director for some of the leading advertising agencies, during the seventies.

Now For the past thirty years he has been a hard-core environmentalist, nature & wildlife photographer and writer. In addition to his own pictorial books, he also regularly contributes pictures and articles to various publications.

He has trekked extensively in Arunachal Predesh, Ladakh, Garhwal and through Thar—the Indian desert. As a nature & wildlife photographer, he has always tried to highlighted environmental concerns, particularly in the Himalayan region. His tireless campaign against the degradation of Valley of Flowers in Garhwal Himalayas during the late nineteen seventies finally resulted in the valley being declared a ‘National Park’ to preserve its unique bio-diversity.

In 2003 he received Sir Edmund Hillary’s ‘Himalayan Environment Trust Award for valuable contribution to the cause of Himalayan environment’.

In October-November 2010 he went on the Brahmaputra River Expedition as one of the five member ‘core team’ that did this first ever descend of the world’s highest river from source-to-the-sea through Tibet-India-Bangladesh. It was a two month long, 2,800 km journey on the river done in three 40hp powered, inflatable boats.

In February 2014 he walked the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh.

He has following pictorial books to his credit:

N.C. Hills - The enchanting land and the bird mystery of Jatinga
(1994, Konark)

BHUTAN - A kingdom in the sky
(2004, Vikas) ISBN 81-259-1576-1

TEA - Legend, Life and Livelihood of India
(2006, LBS-Red River) ISBN 81-85921-02-4

ODISSI - The Dance Divine
(2007, Niyogi) ISBN 81-89738-17-8

MANAS - A Pictorial Handbook
2007, LBS-Red River ISBN 81-85921-18-0

BODOLAND - Back to the Future
2010, LBS-Red River ISBN 81-85921-65-2

ASSAM - Realm of the Red River
2014, LBS-Red River ISBN 978-81-85921-81-5


CORBETT - Domain of the wild

KAZIRANGA - Paradise Regained

Back to List

Gunjan Veda

Writer & Founder-Director of India Reads

Gunjan Veda is a writer, public policy strategist, development consultant and the Founder Director of , India's largest online library.

Gunjan began her career as a journalist with the Indian Express and went on to work in Manipur after the Manorama incident of 2004. Subsequently, she was appointed as Officer on Special Duty at the Planning Commission, engaging with sectors like Health, Women & Children, Nutrition, Handlooms and Handicrafts.

In 2009, Gunjan conceptualised and started , an online platform that seeks to make books accessible to everyone across the country. A few years later, she worked with healthcare philanthropist and Co-Founder of iGate Corporation, Mr Sunil Wadhwani to set up WISH (Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare), a not-for-profit that identifies and supports healthcare entrepreneurs across the country.

Gunjan has authored many reports and newspaper articles. Her first book, Beautiful Country: Stories from Another India, (with Dr Syeda Hameed) was published by Harper Collins in 2012. She has just finished her second book, a volume that celebrates Dalit cultural capital and everyday heroes.

An avid cultural enthusiast and traveller, Gunjan loves interacting with people, learning about fast disappearing cultural forms and sharing nuggets about people and polity, art and artists through powerful stories - oral as well as written. She likes to describe herself as a nomad with an insatiable wanderlust and a compulsive bookaholic; someone who is happiest when surrounded by mounds and mounds of books, a crisp wind and some happy birdsong!

Back to List

Koral Dasgupta

Columnist & Writer

Koral is an author, academic, columnist, art patron and Founder of , a boutique collection of short stories. She is an advisory member with the Censor Board for Film Certification (CBFC).

Back to List

Vinay Sitapati

Political Scientist, Journalist & Lawyer

Vinay Sitapati is a political scientist, journalist, and lawyer. He teaches at Ashoka University and writes for The Indian Express. He has studied at National Law School Bangalore and Harvard University, and is finishing his PhD in politics from Princeton. Half-Lion is his first book.

Back to List

Yasser Usman

Journalist, Film Critic & Writer

YASSER USMAN is a television journalist and author of the bestselling Rajesh Khanna- The Untold Story of India’s First Superstar. His second book Rekha-The Untold Story has been published recently. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award and the NT (News Television) Awards thrice over.

Back to List

Daleep Akoi

Theatre Actor, Former Journalist & Owner. JJR

Daleep began his career as a writer and editor with Reuters in New York City and now spends time developing experiential boutique properties in the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. He also devotes his time to writing about the jungle and its unique wildlife, acts with a traveling theater company and manages a jungle lodge called Jim's Jungle Retreat at Corbett Tiger Reserve.

Having spent an entire childhood amid jungle air and river sound, it was a natural homecoming for Daleep to the Kumaon foothills of Corbett. He is now developing new programs that aid in educating guests and children about the wonders of the Indian jungles, the importance of all of its living beings and our dependence on it.

Back to List

Abha Iyengar

Writer, Poet & Creative Writing Instructor

Abha Iyengar is an award winning, internationally published poet, author, editor, translator and a British Council certified Creative Writing Mentor. Her story, The High Stool , was nominated for the Story South Million Writers Award. She received the Lavanya Sankaran Writing Fellowship for 2009-2010 . Her poem-film, Parwaaz, won a Special Jury prize in Patras, Greece . Her short fiction, The Marshlands , was shortlisted in the DNA-Out of Print short story contest 2015. Her poems have appeared in the Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poets. She is Chair, Literary Bhagidari , Kumaon Literature Festival. Her published works include Yearnings, Flash Bites, Shrayan, Many Fish to Fry and The Gourd Seller and Other Stories .

Back to List

Ajay Mago


Armed with an MBA from UCLA, and a home-grown flair for the book trade, Ajay Mago, Publisher, Om Books International (OBI) started the publishing arm of the 58-year-old book distribution outfit, Om Book Shop, in 1997. He implemented a strategically planned expansion on the retail front as well. Ajay was instrumental in shaping OBI—its fiction and non-fiction lists; Spotlight, its cinema imprint and OmKidz, its children’s imprint. He is also a consultant with a European publishing house.

Today OBI counts amongst its authors Rohit Bal, Maria Goretti, Kris Gethin, Rauf Ahmed, Mushtaq Shiekh, Anupama Chopra, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Bikram Grewal, Khalid Mohamed, Raghu Rai, Vir Sanghvi and William Dalrymple.

Back to List

Anjana Basu


Born in Allahabad and schooled in London, Anjana Basu is a writer based in Calcutta. She has 5 novels, a book of short stories and two anthologies of poetry to her credit. In 2004, she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in Scotland where she worked on her second novel, Black Tongue published by Roli in 2007. Her byline has appeared in Vogue India, Conde Nast Traveller India, and India Today Travel Plus. She has worked on scripts with director Rituparno Ghosh for Antarmahal and The Last Lear and has subtitled several of his films including Unishe April, Dahan and Chokher Bali.

Back to List

Anuj Bahri

Bookseller, Publisher and Literary Agent

A graduate in commerce from the University of Delhi and wasting enough time with a few small but good management courses, I joined the legendry booksellers – BAHRISONS at Khan Market, New Delhi. After having worked with the bookstore for 20 odd years under the tutorship of my father Balraj Bahri, I looked at other avenues in the book trade and added a small publishing division (Tara-India Research Press) to the existing line of business as a bookseller. And finally, seven years ago added a new platform that gave voice and opportunity to the young and talented writers in India to showcase their talent across the globe – thus in the year 2009 was born the RED INK LITERARY AGENCY at New Delhi, India.

With an all-round, 360 degrees experience as a Bookseller, Publisher and Literary Agent - I head the group of BAHRI. I am also the head of affairs at RED INK and the Principal Agent to Amish Tripathi (India’s biggest and most popular author), Shrabani Basu, MissMalini, Amarendra (Bob) Swarup, Megha Rao, Shobha Nihalani, and a few more in our small family of Red Ink authors.

I believe, there is no story that has not been written, but the love with which it is narrated makes all the difference.

A story ‘well told’ is what I am looking for and someday I hope to be your agent as well.

Back to List

Anup Sah

Photographer & Mountaineer

A self-taught photographer and naturalist, Anup Sah has been one of the most iconic voices in Mountain photography for more than 20 years, with scores of magazines, books and exhibitions to his name. Born in a small town in Northern India, Nainital, Anup is known as master of peaks. Anup Sah has exhibited more than 2500 photographs in national and international photography salons and has over 300 awards to his credit.

He was named as one of the Top Ten Photographers in the country by The India International Photography Council (IIPC) in the years 1990, 1992 -2001 and in 2003 – 2005. He has also been honoured with Associateship Honour of India International Photographic Council, New Delhi.

Anup sah has been granted a fellowship (FICS) by image collegue society, USA.

An excellent mountaineer in his younger days, Anup has led and participated in various National and International Mountaineering Expeditions, Nanda Devi, Nanda Khat, Pawali Dwar, Devisthan, Shivling, Rudragaria, Panchchuli, and Shrikant to name a few. He still remains an active member of different mountaineering associations of the country. He is one of the active founders of Florists League, India and a Member of the Uttarakhand Wildlife Advisory Board.

Anup has been instrumental in organizing National and International Photography exhibitions in Uttarakhand since 1985 in collaboration with India International Photographic Council, Photographic Society of America, Federation of International Photography India and Federation of International De la Art Photography, Italy. He has also contributed as a Jury Member to judge various national and international recognized photography salons/ exhibit ions. These exhibitions has contributed to a large extend to popularize photography and environmental conservation

Back to List

Aseem Chhabra

Columnist & Writer

Aseem Chhabra is a freelance writer in New York City who writes on a variety of topics, including arts, entertainment, social and political issues stories. He has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Courier-Journal, Time Out, New York.

He writes a weekly column for Mumbai Mirror – a Mumbai based daily newspaper and also contributes regularly to two Indian-American outlets — India Abroad and, the leading news portal that originates from Mumbai. His by-lines have also appeared in India in Outlook, and the Indian editions of People and Cosmopolitan magazines. Aseem has been interviewed on film and popular culture by several media outlets, including ABC’s Good Morning America and Nightline, National Public Radio, Associated Press, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times and New York Daily News.

Aseem has also worked in the publishing industry in the US, managing the businesses and finances of magazines at several leading companies including Reader’s Digest, American Express, American Media Inc., and Rodale Press.

He holds an MS degree in Journalism from Columbia University and an MBA from Boston University.

Back to List

Prof. Ashalata Kamble

Activist, Academician & Writer

Activist and well known writer Ashalata Kamble works as a lecturer in Pendharkar College, Mumbai. She has several books to her credit like Bahinabainchi Kavitta: Ek Aakalan (second edition), Samarth Striyancha Itihas, Yashodharechi Lek (Poetry), Aamchi Aai, Pravas Aamha Doghancha, She has won several awards for her work like Dr.Ambedkar International award from Canada, Prabhakar Padhye critics award from Konkan Sahitya Parishad, Maharashtra, Wamandada Kardak award from Darpan Sanskrutik Manch, Kankavli, Savitribai Phule-Fatima Sheikh award, Mahila Kasturi Bhushan Award from Dainik Pudhari. She has delivered lectures on feminism as well as Savitribai phule, Bahinabai choudhari and Therigatha. National blind association (NAB) has translated the books into audio recordings - Bhinabainchi kavita:ek aakalan and Samarth striyancha itihas. Some poems from yashodhrechi lek have been included for the study of M.A.Marathi, Mumbai University, India.

Back to List

Dipa Chaudhuri


With an M.Phil. in French Literature from Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, Dipa Chaudhuri has been a publishing professional for nearly two deacdes. Starting out as a freelancer with Oxford University Press and Penguin Books India in 1998, she went on to work with some of India's leading publishing houses. Since 2010, she has been Chief Editor, Om Books International, and looks after the fiction and non-fiction publishing lists.

Amongst the authors she has worked with are Khushwant Singh, Mushirul Hasan, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Rakshanda Jalil, Rauf Ahmed, Khalid Mohamed, Bharathi S. Pradhan and Kris Gethin.

She is also the co-translator of Asterix in Hindi.

Back to List

Dr. Aman M Hingorani

Academician, Lawyer & Writer

Dr. Aman Hingorani is a practising lawyer and mediator in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court. He has been engaged in teaching law and professional skills development since 1998 as adjunct faculty to students, law teachers and lawyers in India and abroad. Dr. Hingorani has 28 publications on varied subjects ranging from the Bhopal Gas tragedy to Indian Public Interest Litigation to intellectual property protection of bioengineered life forms to global missile proliferation. His book, ‘Unravelling the Kashmir Knot’ (SAGE), is the result of 20 years of research on the Kashmir issue, and offers an unconventional way forward.

Back to List

Dr. Sabyn Javeri

Short Story Writer & Novelist

Sabyn Javeri is an award winning short story writer and the author of upcoming novel Nobody Killed Her . A political thriller based on the assassination of a female politician in an Islamic country, the book will be published by Harper Collins, Fourth Estate, in early 2017. Sabyn’s short fiction has been published in The Oxonian Review, The London Magazine, The South Asian Review, Bengal Lights, Wasafiri, World Audience, Trespass and Sugar Mule amongst others. Her short stories explore issues of gender, identity and displacement. They have been widely anthologised, and her essays on craft have appeared in Creative Writing textbooks in the UK. She has won The Oxonian Review short story award and was shortlisted for Meridian, Leaf books and the first Tibor Jones South Asia Prize.

Sabyn holds a Masters with Distinction from the University of Oxford and has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Leicester.

Back to List

Dr. Shivani Chaturvedi

Gynaecologist, Columnist & Founder, Agra Book Club

Dr. Shivani Chaturvedi is a Laparoscopic Surgeon and Director of Obstetrics Gynaecology Super-Speciality Centre. She is the Founder of Agra Book Club and Vice President of Gayatri Public Schools (10+2 CBSE Schools). She also serves as the Executive Member UPHAI and IMA Agra. She writes for Hindustan Times, Gaon Connection and has written and published several papers in articles in relevant academic fields.

She has been invited as a speaker and panellist in several conferences and seminars and is an expert in leaders in cervical cancer vaccination EXCEL program. She has received national award for gynaecology oration on safe abortion in 2002. She runs the campaign for awareness and positive gynaecological health for adolescent girls.

She is also working as a social activist and is on advisory board of several women and social organizations. She is considered a gender sensitive motivational speaker.

Back to List

Geet Chaturvedi

Hindi Poet & Novelist

Geet is a Hindi poet and novelist. He has authored five books till now. In 2010, he published three of his books, two collections of novellas - Savant Aunty Ki Ladkiyan (Aunt Savant and Her Daughters) and Pink Slip Daddy, and a collection of poetry, Aalaap Mein Girah (The Knotted Preludes). He was awarded the Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Award for poetry in 2007. He is regarded as one of the major poets in contemporary literature by critics as well as by various periodicals and newspapers. He was termed one of the 'Ten Best Writers' of India by the English Daily Indian Express in 2011. His poems have been translated into eight languages. He has translated into Hindi the poems of Pablo Neruda, Lorca, Adunis, Czeslaw Milosz, Mahmoud Darwish, Adam Zagajewski, Bei Dao, Dunya Mikhail, Iman Mersal and Eduardo Chirinos.

He is currently working on his first full-length novel Ranikhet Xpress. He lives in Bhopal, India.

Back to List

Gurcharan Das

Economist & Writer

Gurcharan Das is the author of India Grows at Night: A Liberal Case for a Strong State , as well as two other non-fiction works, The Difficulty of Being Good and India Unbound . He has also written a novel, A Fine Family , and an anthology, Three Plays. He studied philosophy at Harvard and was CEO of Procter & Gamble India before he became a full-time writer. He writes a regular column for Times of India and six Indian-language papers, and periodically for the Financial Times , the New York Times , and the Wall Street Journal . He lives in Delhi.

Back to List

Hridayesh Joshi

Journalist & Writer

Hridayesh Joshi started his career as a journalist in 1998. He then worked as a reporter-assistant producer with a news and current affair programme on Jammu & Kashmir. In 1999 he joined television news agency Asian News International (ANI). As a correspondent he covered Punjab, Kashmir and other parts of country extensively. He then moved to premier Hindi news channel Aaj Tak and worked till 2003 as an associate producer.

In January 2003 Hridayesh joined the New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s most prestigious and largest News TV group. NDTV India proved to be the turning point in his career. Hridayesh was given total independence to pursue the kind of stories he always wanted to report. He travelled the remotest of India’s villages and brought most appalling stories about malnutrition, poverty, backwardness, lawlessness and the absence of Indian state machinery.

In the last almost ten years Hridayesh has consistently covered armed conflict between the Maoists and the Indian state. Be it Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, he is among the few who reaches the spot first, often walking through the dense forests on foot for days. In 2012 Hridayesh’s hard work was recognized. He was given the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for his reporting from war zones of central India. He is among the rare journalist who has won the RN Goenka award twice, the first time in 2009 for his reporting from China. At the height of anti-China tirade in India, Hridayesh showed how there is a bit of India in Chinese hearts. Apart from India being a huge market, Hridayesh saw Indian culture having made deep inroads in the Chinese mind and heart.

During Kedarnath tragedy in 2013 Hridayesh Joshi was among the few reporters who covered the calamity most comprehensively. In fact, he was the first to reach the Kedarnath Shrine and report on the ground situation. He stayed back in Uttarakhand for more than a month and trekked the most difficult parts of the state to bring out the story of common people which in generally lost in the din of daily news.

Hridayesh, currently a senior editor (national affairs) with the NDTV-India has recently authored a few books. ‘Rage Of The River – The Untold Story Of The Kedarnath Disaster’ ( published by Penguin India) and ‘Lal Lakeer’ (The Red Line) by Harper Collins India.

Back to List

Kanchana Banerjee


After writing for various publications, PR firms and companies for nearly two decades, Kanchana Banerjee pursued her long cherished dream - to write a novel. She holds a Masters degree in English from JU, Kolkata & has also a done a story writing course from London School of Journalism. Her debut book is being published by Harper Collins this year. A Forgotten Affair is a love story which deals with the themes of love, friendship and delves into the sensitive issue of emotional abuse that happens in affluent homes.

She always wanted to be a writer; anything else was never an option . A voracious reader, she believes, Read better to write better.

Back to List

K K Muhammed

Archeaologist & Historian

Shri Muhammed K.K, retired from the Archaeological Survey of India as Regional Director( North ) in 2012,is known for his enlightened and broad views on some of the issues for which he was felicitated by no less a person than Dr Subhramanya Swami. He was awarded INDIA HARMONY AWARD 2014” by Dr Najma Heptulla for working closely with various religious groups.

During his distinguished carrier he excavated IBADAT KHANA (the hall of interreligious discussions) where Akbar, the Great promulgated the composite religion, known as Din-e-Ilahi. He also located and excavated the first CHRISTIAN CHURCH of North India built by Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri.

As superintending Archaeologist in Bihar (1998-2000), Shri Muhammed, discovered a new BUDDHIST STUPA at Rajgir and excavated KESARIYA STUPA where LORD BUDDHA had handed over his begging bowl to the people of Vaishali.

He conserved Samlur temple at Dante wada in Jagdalpur(Chattisgarh) working with NAXAL group of the area in 2003. Shri Muhammed, reconstructed EIGHTY TEMPLES at CHAMBAL VALLEY with the help of the DREADED DACOITS of the area. It is considered as a milestone in the field of conservation.(2004-2008)

Of the four TRANSPLANTATIONS so far executed in India, Shri Muhammed has the distinction of heading two of them, namely KURDI MAHADEV temple in Goa(1994-1997) and CHAUBIS AVATAR TEMPLE temple at OMKARESHWAR in Madhya Pradesh (2004-2007).

Naturally due to his excellent track record, the Archaeological Survey of India deemed it fit to entrust him the conservation work of Delhi monuments on the occasion of COMMON WEALTH – 2010.

In Delhi Shri Muhammed attracted the attention of AMERICAN PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA by running SLUM SCHOOLS for the labourers working in the monuments for its conservation.

For his excellent work, Shri Muhammed has to his credit three International Awards, seven National Awards and one State Award. The details are as given below

International Awards:

  • SAARC ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD for Conservation of Bateshwar temples by Foundation of SAARC writers and Literatures 2009-2010 (2010).
  • SRILANKA MAHA BODHI SOCIETY AWARD 2010 for “Invaluable contribution and effort in resurrecting the ancient Buddhist heritage of Mahabharath.”
  • REACH FOUNDATION AWARD for the year 2010 by the Board of Trustees in Chennai.

National Awards:

  • NATIONAL AWARD FOR MAINTAINING SANCHI STUPA, A WORLD HERITAGE SITE as the Best Maintained & Tourist Friendly Monument. The award was instituted by the Ministry of Tourism Govt. Of India 2006-2007. Award for Sanchi Stupa.
  • NATIONAL AWARD FOR MAINTAINING QUTB MINAR as the best Maintained & Tourist Friendly monument 2007-2008. Award for Qutb Minar.
  • 3. NATIONAL AWARD FOR THE FIRST BARRIER FREE MONUMENT (QUTBMINAR) 2007-2008. Award for Barrier Free Monument (QutbMinar), shared with Swayam An NGO.
  • NATIONAL AWARD FOR MAINTAINING HUMAYUN’S TOMB as the Best Maintained & Tourist Friendly monument 2008-2009.
  • CITIZEN JOURNALIST AWARD- Be the Change given by Network18 (CNN IBN) 2009-2010 for running Slum School initiative. Award of Citizen Journalist for running Slum Schools.
  • NATIONAL AWARD FOR MAINTAINING RED FORT as the Best Maintained & Tourist Friendly monument 2009-2010. Award for Maintaining Red Fort.

State Award:

  • MADHYA PRADESH GOVERNMENT AWARD for Tourist Friendly Archaeologist 2009-2010.

Back to List

Nishtha Satyam

Head, Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact & PR, UN Women

Nishtha Satyam heads Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations for UN Women, the entity of the United Nations that is dedicated to working towards Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. Nishtha has had a long standing career with the United Nations in India prior to which she spent around a decade working in the private sector with leading firms such as KPMG and American Express as an Economist. As a futurist and feminist, she is an active advocate of the urgency to mainstream women across the marketplace, workplace and community. Nishtha has authored a number of studies on the business value of inclusion and continues to be excited about exploring the interplay of policy, politics and people to foster growth for the most marginalized. She spends her time advising businesses of approaches to create shared value and is closely associated with India's first integrated sports portal, Book My Sports.

Nishtha holds a Master's Degree in International Business from the University of Nottingham, UK and Bachelors in Economics from Delhi University. She loves to write travelogues and also hopes to write a war love story one day. She believes strongly in the power and outreach of creative media in reaching out to people's lives and thoughts and manages the Gurgaon Documentary Club, which brings together like minded individuals interested in the power of outreach through documentaries.

Back to List

Poonam Saxena

Journalist & Editor

Poonam Saxena went to school and college in Delhi. She did her BA and MA in History from St Stephen's College in Delhi University. She went on to do an M Phil from DU on "Women and Political Participation in the United Provinces 1937-47".

She has been a journalist for almost 20 years, first as a freelancer and then as features editor with newspapers such as The Asian Age. Poonam launched the Hindustan Times Sunday magazine, Brunch, in 2004 and edited it for 12 years, making it one of the most popular and loved Sunday offerings of any newspaper and also one of Hindustan Times' biggest brands. She has now moved to her new role in HT -- National Weekend Editor, looking after the special weekend feature pages in the main paper, as well as building up a strong digital Sunday section. She also wrote a popular TV review column in HT called Small Screen for almost ten years.

She recently translated Gunahon Ka Devta, the iconic 1949 novel and Hindi fiction's biggest ever bestseller, into English (Chander & Sudha, Penguin Viking). The novel was written by one of Hindi literature's most well known and brilliant writers, Dharamvir Bharati, when he was just 23 years old. Chander & Sudha has received excellent reviews. She has also co-authored celebrity filmmaker and television host Karan Johar’s memoir, An Unsuitable Boy, which will be published later this year.

Back to List

Rashmi Menon


Rashmi Menon has been part of the Indian publishing industry for nearly a decade. She is currently the commissioning editor at Amaryllis. Rashmi enjoys helping new authors to develop a book idea and outline to really make it their own. She gets a kick from seeing her projects realised in print.

Back to List

Satyarth Nayak

Crime Fiction Writer

Satyarth Nayak is an author & script-writer based in New Delhi. Holding Masters in English Literature from St. Stephen’s, his debut novel The Emperor’s Riddles was a best-selling thriller. Described as ‘a history meets mystery’ by Times of India and ‘a gripping tale of intrigue’ by Hindustan Times, the book was also acclaimed by Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi. Earning comparisons with Dan Brown, the thriller is now being released as an Audio Book by Amazon in US. Satyarth’s short stories have also been published by Penguin and Westland. A regular speaker at various literature festivals. Satyarth was recently named one of the Top 50 authors to follow on Facebook. He is currently working on his next thriller and also planning books on Mahabharat and Indian scriptures.

Back to List

Shantanu Chaudhuri


Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is an editor with a publishing house. He has commissioned and edited a number of books which have won awards like the National Award for Best Book on Cinema and the inaugural MAMI Award for Best Writing on Cinema. He is also the author of two books: Whims (a book of poems, published by Writers Workshop) and Icons from Bollywood (Penguin/Puffin).

Back to List

Swati Rai


Swati Rai is a freelance corporate, English language and Soft Skills trainer. She writes on her experiences as a Flexi'mom' and a careerist. Her writing canvas includes lifestyle, career tips and trends, cinema, technology and society! Heritage, history and its preservation is a theme close to her heart. She is currently working on a book that is an amalgamation of career trends, tips and life mantras! She can be caught on @RaiSwatiRai on twitter

Back to List

Vish Dhamija

Crime Fiction Writer

Vish Dhamija is a marketer, classic car enthusiast, single malt aficionado and a crime fiction author of four bestselling novels: Nothing Lasts Forever, Bhendi Bazaar, Déjà Karma and Doosra . On the release of his first legal thriller Déjà Karma, Glimpse magazine called him “India’s John Grisham” for stimulating the genre of legal fiction in India. His fifth book releases this December, with two legal thrillers in the pipeline for 2017

More about me, if you need:

Back to List

Kulpreet Yadav


Kulpreet Yadav is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, startup mentor, and Founder-Editor of Open Road Review , South Asia's leading online magazine of literature and culture. Kulpreet’s latest novel, The Girl Who Loved a Pirate , is India’s first thriller based on marine piracy and hijacking. A new novel, The Girl Who Loved a Spy , is forthcoming in end Aug 16. Passionate about Creative Writing, Kulpreet also mentors aspiring writers at schools and colleges and has spoken at many literary festivals in India and abroad. An ex-armed forces officer, he now lives in New Delhi. More at

Back to List

Asif Noorani

 Newspaper & Television Writer

Asif Noorani is a former editor, senior columnist, author, book and music reviewer and a prominent Pakistani television personality. He is the author of Tales of Two Cities in which Kuldip Nayar narrates the migration of his family from Sialkot to Delhi, while Asif Noorani, who was only five at the time of Partition writes about his family's migration from Mumbai to Pakistan, when he was only eight. His second book, on the flamboyant Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi, was also a bestseller. His book on Mehdi Hasan, with two CDs, one of rare renditions of ghazals, and the other a medley of folk, film and semi-classical numbers will go into production for the third time. In 2012, he rewrote and updated the quick selling coffee-table book Journey Through Pakistan.

Asif Noorani contributes to leading Pakistani Dawn Group of Newspapers and occasionally Indian publications. His articles are on art, literature and music. He reviews books and music recordings. He is particularly known for his humorous writings and travelogues. He writes in English and Urdu.

An ardent crusader of the need for close contacts between Pakistanis and Indians, as also warm cultural relationship between their two countries, Asif Noorani was born in Mumbai, India in 1942 and belongs to a secular Urdu speaking family. His family migrated to Pakistan from Bombay. He obtained his Masters in English Literature in 1965 from the University of Karachi.

Back to List

Fazal Rashid


Fazal studied History in college. A love of reading led him to work as an assistant editor at Random House. A love for plants then led him to a job in which he helps create kitchen gardens. A love for stories led him to dastangoi. Fazal performs dastans with Fouzia.

Back to List



Fouzia grew up in the streets of Turkman Gate, Old Delhi. She studied at Bulbuli Khana, an Urdu-Medium school in her locality. Her love for literature led her to learn the art of storytelling known as dastangoi. During the last eight years she has performed over seventy shows, including at the India Habitat Centre, India International Centre and the National School of Drama. She is also the first female dastango of modern times.

Back to List

Rashmi Agarwal

Sufi & Ghazal Singer

RASHMI AGARWAL is a versatile musician, composer and performer, specialising in Sufi, Bhakti and Ghazal singing. Rashmi is the only Indian woman to win the Grand-Prix Award, at the prestigious IX International World Music Festival “Sharq Taronalari”(Melodies of Orient)in August, 2013, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. She is an empaneled artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Extensively traveled and multi award winner Rashmi has performed at various national and international forums including USA, UK, Indonesia, Turkmenistan etc. Her music is emotive, expressive and soulful, having the blend of the rich Thumri gayaki, and the rustic earthiness of the folk style.

She has also released a number of original Sufi, Ghazal, Folk and Devotional albums and Singles.

Back to List

Tarun Vijay

Film Maker, Poet, Photographer & Writer

Author, film maker, poet and photographer Tarun Vijay has written 23 books, three in English and some have been translated into Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi and Chinese. A ‘ faithful vagabond,’ who loves to trek in most difficult regions like Zanskar and shoot and write . Scripted and Directed the story of Indus with famous film director Mr Ravi Chopra

His books include The Saffron Surge,,India Battles to Win (Rupa) and An Odyssey in Tibet. . Contributed for " Sita " ( Penguin). He writes regular column in more than 22 newspapers including Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, English, Punjabi, Urdu and sometimes in Tamil language media. He participated in the Shangri La dialogue in Singapore. Also led a multi party Parliamentary Delegation to Japan in October 2014.

Former Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha (Uttarakhand), President, Friends of France in Parliament, President, Parliamentary Group on India - China Friendship, Member, President , Shri Nanda Devi Raj Jat Poorv Peethika samiti, Uttarakhand, He is also Member, Governing Board, Parliamentary Network on WB and IMF.

Back to List

Rabi Thapa

Writer & Editor

Rabi Thapa is a writer and editor based in Kathmandu and London. He is the author of the short story collection Nothing to Declare (2011, Penguin India) and the Editor of the literary magazine La.Lit ( Rabi's writing has appeared in Outside Online, Profil, Indian Quarterly, Himal Southasian, The Cricket Monthly, Live Mint, Mumbai Mirror, The Sunday Guardian, and The National. His short biography of Thamel, Kathmandu's tourist quarter, is due to be published by Speaking Tiger in November 2016, and he is now working on a book on the environment.

Back to List

Rishu Nigam

Manager-Visual Media, Film and Television Unit of TERI

Rishu Nigam is a documentary filmmaker with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) since 2001. She is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, and a recipient of the British Chevening Scholarship in Broadcast Journalism.

Over the last decade, Rishu has led TERI’s Film & TV Unit, with the objective of sharing TERI’s research in the fields of energy and environment with the wider public through the medium of films. She has directed and mentored a range of documentary films on ecology, livelihoods and climate change.

Rishu has also been instrumental in founding TERI’s community radio, Kumaon Vani, in Nainital. Here, she mentors the local farming community to use radio as a tool for accelerating sustainable development in the region.

Back to List

Ravinder Singh


Ravinder Singh is the bestselling author of I Too Had a Love Story, Can Love Happen Twice?, Like It Happened Yesterday, Your Dreams Are Mine Now & This Love That Feels Right. He has edited and compiled two crowd sourced anthologies named Love stories That Touched My Heart and Tell Me A Story. He is among the three highest selling authors in this country. After having spent most of his life in Burla, a very small town in western Odisha, Ravinder is currently based in New Delhi. He has an MBA from the renowned Indian School of Business (Hyderabad). His eight-year-long IT career started with Infosys and came to a happy ending at Microsoft where he worked as a senior programme manager. One fine day he had an epiphany that writing books is more interesting than writing project plans. He called it a day at work and took to full-time writing. He has also started a publishing venture called Black Ink to publish debut authors.

Back to List

Josy Joseph

Journalist & Writer

Josy Joseph is the author of the just released ‘A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India.’

He is an award-winning investigative journalist based in New Delhi. His stories have repeatedly fostered public debate, and continue to contribute to significant policy and systemic changes in India. His investigative stories include the Adarsh Apartment scam, Naval War Room Leak case, several aspects of recent scandals such as the conduct of the Commonwealth Games, the 2G Spectrum Allocation scam, and other government decisions that have highlighted nepotism and corruption in governance at all levels.

The Prem Bhatia Trust elected him India’s best political reporter of 2010 ‘for his scoops and revelations, which include a list of scams that have become familiar names in the political lexicon’. In July 2013, the Ramnath Goenka Foundation run by the Indian Express group awarded him the Journalist of the Year in print media.

Joseph was with The Times of India until August 2015. He is presently the national security editor of The Hindu.

Joseph holds a master’s in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Kerala University.

He lives in New Delhi with his wife Priya and daughter Supriya and available at

Back to List

Priyanka Sinha Jha


Priyanka Sinha Jha is a journalist who in her 18-year long career has written on celebrities, films, lifestyle, business and more.

Born in Patna, Bihar she lived out a suitcase for a greater part of her growing up years in Asansol, Delhi and Pune gathering up an honours degree in English Literature from Miranda House and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism before Mumbai claimed her as one of its own. She chartered a unique course as a correspondent for publications as varied as Citadel, The Asian Age and Intelligent Investor.

At the age of 26, she took on the editorship of Society, India's first celebrity magazine, followed by a stint as editor of HT Style and HT Saturday and then as the Editor of Screen, India's foremost film and entertainment weekly.

Currently, she is the Head of Content of Star Screen at Star India Network, She has also contributed to Outlook, The Week and Tehelka and is a regular columnist for The Indian Express.

Between analysing celebrities and earning her daily bread she likes to travel to unknown destinations, watch films and spend time arguing endlessly on egalitarian issues with friends and family.

Her recent mass-market self-help book 'Supertraits of Superstars' is a peek into the defining traits that can help a person live life star-size, should he or she decide to imbibe these traits.

Currently, the book is being translated into Gujarati and Marathi editions too.

Back to List

Antara Ganguli


Born in Kolkata, Antara Ganguli grew up in Bombay. Her novel Tanya Tania, an epistolary coming-of-age novel set in 1992 between Karachi and Bombay, was published by Bloomsbury India in July 2016. Antara has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Times of India, Indian Express and others. She is a 2014 Asia Society Young Leaders Fellow and a 2015 Sangam House Fellow. She works in international development with a focus on girls’ empowerment and currently lives in New Delhi.

Back to List

Vikramjit Singh Rooprai

Heritage Activist

Vikramjit Singh Rooprai is a Heritage Activist and Founder of Youth for Heritage Foundation. He developed innovative techniques to spread awareness about history and challenged the traditional way of teaching. His methods include promoting heritage through poetry, theater, photography, music and discussions. Vikramjit started his career in the field of IT 14 years back and moved on to establish the Delhi Heritage Photography Club, which became India's largest platform for heritage lovers. His project is considered to be the most authentic and exhaustive resource on Delhi's heritage. He now works as a Digital Marketing Consultant and spends quality time for his belief of "Individual Social Responsibility". Learn more about him at

Back to List

Amrit Gangar

 Scholar, Critic & Writer 

Amrit Gangar is a Mumbai-based author, curator, film theoretician and historian. He has independently authored books on cinema both in English and Gujarati languages, besides having edited and co-edited a number of books. His book Cinema Vimarsh has been awarded by the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi. For the past decade he has been engaged with his theoretical concept of Cinema Prayoga and has presented it at various venues in India and abroad. He has been on juries of numerous film festivals. Gangar is on the international advisory board of the Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) published from London. He is Consultant Curator for the National Museum of India Cinema being set up in Mumbai by Government of India.

Back to List

Rahul Bhatt

Scientist & Writer

Rahul Bhatt is a Scientist by profession but writing is his passion. He is an alumnus of ‘Kumaun University’ and also holds a master’s degree from ‘IIT Delhi’. He has published a few research papers in Indian and International Journals in the field of ‘Lasers’ and ‘Photonics’. He is also the first inventor in two Indian Patents.

He has written a novel - ‘Roots’, which is about memories, longing and displacement.

He lives in Delhi and his roots are in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand).

Back to List

Smita Bahuguna Agarwal

Poet & Writer

Smita Agarwal belongs to Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. Her poems have received awards and residencies from the British Council. She is the author of Wish-granting Words, Poems (New Delhi: Ravi Dayal, 2002) and Mofussil Notebook (Calcutta: Sampark, 2016). She is editor of Marginalized: Indian Poetry in English , (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2014). Her poems have been curated in magazines, journals and anthologies published from India and abroad. Her critical articles have appeared in Poetry Review, Journal of Commonwealth Literature and Plath Profiles for which she is also an editor. She is Professor of English, University of Allahabad, India, and a professional singer with samples of her songs available on , YouTube and SoundCloud.

Back to List

Janhavi Prasada

Janhavi Prasada is one of the founding members of the Kumaon Literary Festival. She was the co-host for the 1st edition of KLF at her heritage property in Nainital - Abbotsford ( Prasada Bhawan)

A graduate of St Stephen’s College, Delhi University and pursued her higher studies from Cardiff School of Journalism, UK. Sixteen years in the field of media she started her NGO – Youth 4 Gandhi Foundation in 2009 and worked for the next 3 years to research and bring back Gandhi in the daily lives of people.

Under the aegis of the foundation she ran a first of its kind online multimedia campaigns on re-discovering Gandhi across 3000 schools in Delhi , NCR and has the repertoire of collating one of the most extensive artwork archives on Gandhi in the 21st century in all formats (print, audio, digital) of new media. Her wide ranged experience led her to launch her NGO that uses media and technology tools to promote awareness about Gandhi and other issues such as health, education, environment, social justice.

More recently she conceived and created the only existing digital portal on Gandhi for children.

The publishing house – Harper Collins has approached Janhavi to write the first ever-graphic novel of Gandhi. It is to be launch shortly.

Janhavi is a contributor for travel articles as well as for her photography skills.

She is currently working as a “Peace Activist” in the area of “Technology.”

Back to List

Yossi Ghinsberg


Yossi Ghinsberg is an Israeli adventurer, author and speaker based in Australia .[1] He is most known for being lost and surviving alone in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon for three weeks in 1981.[2][3]

Ghinsberg’s survival story was featured in a documentary in I Shouldn't Be Alive on Discovery Channel.[4] He wrote his first book titled Back from Tuichi in 1993.[5] The book became very popular in Israel and has been translated into 15 languages and published in several countries under different names - Heart of the Amazon (Macmillen) Back from Tuichi (Random House)[6] and Lost in The Jungle (Summersdale). In 2008, he wrote his second book titled Laws of the Jungle: Jaguars Don't Need Self-Help Books.

Back to List

Aditya Arya

Photograher & Collector

Aditya Arya ‘s Journey as a professional commercial and travel photographer, began in 1980 after graduating in history from St Stephens College, Delhi University. After a brief stint in the Bombay film industry, he shifted back to Delhi. Known for his advertising Photograohy work in the genres of Architecture ,Interiors ,Industrial and Food , Arya has been widely published by travel magazines and books,

He has curated many shows nationally and internationally of archival and contemporary visual works including some of them at at the prestigious Institutions like The National Gallery of Modern Art ,New Delhi , and the National Museum ,New Delhi .

Over the last couple of years, he has also been completely immersed in the subject and practice of photographic conservation. Uncovering the historic photographic works, pouring over thousands of negatives and vintage prints from the famous KULWANT ROY COLLECTION, honing his skills and knowledge on preservation, restoration and archiving. He has played a pivotal role in the formation of India Photo Archive Foundation.

He has also been on the Jury of the prestigious National Art Exhibition 2014 organized by Lalit Kala Akademi besides many other national shows.

Besides actively perusing his professional advertising and commercial assignments he divides his time in his photography archive and the only Photography and Camera Museum in India with more than 1000 cameras and other equipments tracing the history of photography from 1870’s to the Digital Era .

Aditya Arya started professional photography in 1980 after graduating in history from St Stephens College, Delhi University. Following a brief stint in the Bombay film industry shooting stills for Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro , Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho! , Arya shifted back to Delhi and has since gained eminence as a travel, as well as food, advertising and corporate photographer. He has been published widely in travel magazines and by book publishers. Notable among his works are the extensive travel and documentation of Nagaland, titled The Land of the Nagas published by Mapin, and the first ever exhaustive visual study of the masterpieces of Buddhist art at the Alchi Monastery in Ladakh.

Arya has been curator and organiser of several photography shows in Canada, USA and India. Over the last couple of years, he has also been completely immersed in the subject and practice of photographic conservation. Uncovering the historic photographic works, pouring over thousands of negatives and vintage prints, honing his skills and knowledge on preservation, restoration and archiving. Arya has played a pivotal role in the formation of India Photo Archive Foundation.

Aditya Arya started professional photography in 1980 after graduating in history from St Stephens College, Delhi University. Following a brief stint in the Bombay film industry, Arya shifted back to Delhi and has since gained eminence as a travel, as well as food, advertising and corporate photographer. He has been published widely in travel magazines and by book publishers. Notable among his works are the extensive travel and documentation of Nagaland, titled The Land of the Nagas published by Mapin, and the first ever exhaustive visual study of the masterpieces of Buddhist art at the Alchi Monastery in Ladakh.

Arya has been curator and organiser of several photography shows in Canada, USA and India. Over the last couple of years, he has also been completely immersed in the subject and practice of photographic conservation. Uncovering the historic photographic works, pouring over thousands of negatives and vintage prints, honing his skills and knowledge on preservation, restoration and archiving. Arya has played a pivotal role in the formation of India Photo Archive Foundation.

He was also a Director(2012 -2015) at Apex – Academy for Photographic Excellence, one of the leading photography academy of India in New Delhi,besides being a guest faculty at JAMIA ,Institute of Mass Communication ,New Delhi.

He was also a Guest Fellow(2012-14) at the prestigious INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDY ,Shimla

Back to List

Dr. Gaurav Raheja

Architect & Academician

Dr. Gaurav Raheja is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee with over 10 years of teaching and research experience. Driven by a passion for architecture and human-space interactions, his professional dimensions span from inclusive designs for persons with disabilities, children and aging populations to developing stories of human-space relationships in visual formats through photo narratives and sketch renderings. He has been an IIT Faculty Exchange Scholar under the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2016. Also, he has been a visiting professor to various German Universities like Technical University of Berlin, University of Duisburg-Essen and Technical University of Darmstadt. He is a recipient of the Mphasis Universal Design Award in 2010, conferred upon him by the National Centre for Promotion and Employment of Disabled Persons (NCPEDP), India. Gaurav was one of the International Scholars for the DAAD Science Tour on ‘City of the Future’ during February, 2016.

He serves as an Expert Member in various national committees in Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India. Dr. Raheja is one of the co-authors of the Universal Design India Principles , copyrighted and released in 2011. He is a key consultant to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India under the Accessible India Campaign for some of the prestigious projects including Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi Airport, New Delhi Railway Station, etc . His doctoral research cited in World Disability Report 2011, published by WHO & World Bank, offers an insight into creation of Enabling Rural Built Environments using Universal Design approach.

Besides his diverse interests in human centric urban studies, photo narratives and design pedagogy, Gaurav remains as one of the key managers in the Management Committee of ‘Anushruti’, a social initiative of IIT Roorkee for educating children with hearing impairments.

Back to List

Chandrashekhar Tiwari

Mr. Tiwari was born in Almora. With a Masters in Geography, he is currently working in Doon Library and Research Centre as a Research Associate. He has been continuously published in various magazines of Uttarakhand on subjects related to culture and socio-economic conditions. He has been an active part of programmes organised by Akashvani and Doordarshan. He has edited and written books related to the ways of people in Kumaon and Uttarakhand, on large. He has worked with UP State Rural Development Institute and Uttarakhand Environment Institute in the past.

Back to List

Sabarathinam Selvaraj

Sabarathinam Selvaraj is currently an Associate in the India practice of the Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), an advisory firm chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. At ASG, Saba helps multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations assess the policy landscape, identify advocacy opportunities, and help them collaborate with the Indian government. He holds a postgraduate diploma in liberal arts from the Young India Fellowship and an undergraduate degree in engineering. Having nursed political ambitions from a very young age, Saba has been actively volunteering by working in election campaigns. He also volunteers with organizations that enable more Indian women to join or stay in the workforce.

Back to List

Michael Swamy

Chef & Writer

Having studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in London, and is a Gourmand Award-winning author himself, Michael Swamy believes in taking food and cuisine beyond the confines of a dinner table.

Touted as one of the ‘50 Masterchefs in India’ by the Indian Culinary Forum, Chef Michael has worked as a chef with several leading hospitality brands and properties and cooked for many personalities. He is also a consultant with many popular restaurant chains and stand-alone fine-dining restaurants. This experience coupled with his culinary expertise has enabled Michael to take Food Styling & Photography in India to a new level of refinement and global appeal.

As a food writer, he is the author of the Gourmand Award-winning “The East Indian Kitchen” and “Easy Guide to Pairing Indian Food and Wine” – his latest book Comfort Food has won several accolades and recently a publishers award for the Best Hard cover cookbook in India. Chef Michael has also worked as a food stylist, photographer and consultant on many award-winning cookbooks by leading publishing houses.

Back to List

James Champion

Naturalist, Conservationist & Writer

James Champion is a passionate wildlife enthusiast with a long and distinguished pedigree. His grandfather Frederick W Champion OBE IFS started campaigning vigorously for the protection of wildlife in the 1920s. FWC was also the pioneer of tripwire photography in India, now known as camera-trapping. His astonishing images graced the pages of publications including the Illustrated London News and Indian State Railways Magazine.

James has always been fascinated by wildlife, and is the guardian of much of his forefather's legacy. Conscious of the contribution that can still be made by FWC to wildlife conservation, with his astonishingly modern views of the importance of forests and nature, James' aim is to keep the legacy of his grandfather in India alive, and to inspire current and future generations of conservationists through his FWC's evocative writings and astonishing wildlife images.

Back to List

Dr. Rebecca Tavares

Ed.D. Representative, Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka, UN Women

Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, from Southern California, USA, has worked in the field of race relations and women’s rights. She is the representative of UN Women’s Office located in New Delhi, since July 2013, covering four countries of India, Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Earlier, from 2009 to 2013, she was the UN representative for Brazil and Regional Programme Director of UN Women’s Brazil & Southern Cone Office.

Tavares has published, as editor, a book titled Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality, pertaining to racial inequality in Brazil and on issues of "black women’s status and roles." She has coauthored with Sonia Correa, a book titled Population and Reproductive Rights.

Tavares has written many books, monographs and papers related to sociology of race relations in Brazil, rights and entitlements of women, and microfinance in Latin America.

Back to List

Rishabh Raghavan

Young India Fellow

After completing his Bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from Manipal, Rishabh worked at a bicycle store in Bangalore. Two years and a couple of odd jobs later, he entered Ashoka University as a Young India Fellow, taking up the Master’s in Liberal Studies programme the following year, working under the mentorship of Jonathan Gil Harris. His thesis was on the Anti-Beggary Laws, focusing on the law’s phrasing; especially its criminalization of the Madari community and other street based performance artists. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at Ashoka University, simultaneously looking forward to pursuing his PhD in Social Anthropology.

Back to List

Ajay Rawat

Historian & Writer

Ajay Rawat is a much respected ecological crusader and highly acclaimed international authority on forests history and ecology. He was Chairman of the International Union of Forestry Research Organization,Vienna, from 1995 to 2005, the first Asian to be nominated to this position, It is the biggest and oldest forest research organization in the world. He has written many books chief among them being, Man and Forests, Forests on Fire, Forest History of the Mountain Regions of the World, Indian Forestry a Perspective, and Indian Forestry through the Ages. As an activist he successfully saved the famous Naini Tal Lake and nine other lakes in the Nainital Lake Region from ecological degradation owing to pollution through Public Interest Litigation .For his relentless work, erudition and passion he has been awarded with many accolades including the International Award, Order of the Golden Ark in Netherlands, Best RTI Citizen of India, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Gold Medal, Vijay Shree and First Narain Dutt Aushadhalaya Trust Award by the Vice President of India.

Back to List

Bharathi S Pradhan

Film Critic & Writer

Columnist, Critic & Author Bharathi Sanjaya Pradhan has written both fiction and non-fiction books, edited a variety of magazines and contributed to diverse publications that include Reader’s Digest, Mid-day, Savvy, Femina and Movie. She continues to be a Sunday columnist with The Telegraph (Kolkata), she hosts ‘Show Business’, a weekly show on analysis of films for LehrenTV, website and YouTube, and reviews English and Hindi films for LehrenTV, and a host of other digital platforms every Friday.

Bharathi has been a member of diverse juries, she was the Chairperson of the National Awards jury (for Best Writing on Cinema) and was a member of the Indian Panorama IFFI 2015.

She lives in Mumbai with Sanjaya, her Chartered Accountant husband and Siddhesh, her son who is currently studying law.

Books published

Author-columnist-writer Bharathi S Pradhan’s recently released book ‘Mr Bidi’, an authorised biography on an industrialist and philanthropist has been hailed for its inspirational value, for its honesty and for its readability Her ‘Heartfelt: The inspirational story of Medha Anup Jalota’ has been recommended as India’s answer to ‘The Secret’

Her book on communal harmony titled ‘Colas Cars & Communal Harmony’ received excellent reviews from a cross-section of critics

‘Anything But Khamosh’. the Shatrughan Sinha Biography, has been one of the best-selling books of 2016


Film critic for Film reviewer for Lehrentv & other platforms Sunday Columnist with The Telegraph Hosts Show Business on LehrenTV, website

Back to List

Jean Echenoz


Jean Echenoz was born in Orange in 1947. He was awarded the Médicis Prize in 1983 for his book Cherokee and the Goncourt Prize in 1999 for Je m’en vais.

Back to List

Maria Goretti

Former VJ & Writer

Maria Goretti is a popular MTV VJ. She has hosted several TV shows including Do It Sweet on the NDTV Good Times channel and I Love Cooking on Living Foodz.

Goretti was a popular MTV VJ before she was married to Arshad Warsi. She is the author of the recipe book “From My Kitchen To Yours”.

Back to List

Shatrughan Sinha

Film Actor & Politician

Shatrughan Sinha is an Indian film actor turned politician. He was selected by Rediff as one of the most unconventional actors in Hindi cinema. His first acting opportunity was playing a Pakistani military officer in Dev Anand's Prem Pujari.

Apart from being member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha twice, he was also Union Cabinet Minister of Health and Family Welfare (Jan 2003-May 2004) and Shipping (Aug. 2004) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He was elected to 15th Lok Sabha in 2009. In 2016, a biography on him Anything but Khamosh was released.

Back to List

Dr. Sanjay Paswan

Former Cabinet Minister & Writer

Dr. Sanjay Paswan is former Central Minister, Associate Professor and a social thinker. He was Minister of state Human Resource Development in Vajpayee's government. He is former National President, Bharatiya Janata Party, S. C. Morcha and presently national executive member of Bharatiya Janata Party.

Educational Qualifications:

  • Ph.D., Patna University, Bihar.
  • M.A. in Sociology, Patna University, Bihar.
  • B.Sc., M.A. in Labour and Social Welfare.


  • Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi
  • Indian Society of Labour Economics, New Delhi
  • National Productivity Council
  • National Institute of Personnel Management, Calcutta
  • Indian Red Cross Society
  • Youth Hostel Association of India; Founder of N.G.O.s like “IJOT” and “LOKESHNA”; Member, Mineral Advisory Council
  • Member, National Railway Users’ Consultative Committee
  • Founder Chairman of "Vanchit Pratishthan" (N.G.O.)

Books Authored:

  • Biography of former Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Bhola Paswan Shastri
  • The Problems of Scheduled Castes of Bihar
  • The Roots of Rural Violence
  • Encyclopedia of Dalits in India (in eleven vols.)
  • Rashtranishtha Babu Jagjivan Ram
  • The Social face of Indian Parliament (In Press)

Positions held

Former General Secretary Bihar; National Secretary and Incharge (Orissa), BJP

1999 Elected to 13th Lok Sabha

1 July 2002 - 28 Jan. 2003 Union Minister of State, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology 29 Jan. 2003- 23 May 2003 Union Minister of State, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 24 May 2003- 24 May 2004 Union Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Back to List

Sanjay Hegde

Senior Advocate

Sanjay Hegde, the reputed Senior Advocate at the Supreme by his own admission is a “… history buff with a sense of humour & rumour. Militant secularist. Good food, good friends & good times make my day. Retweets are not endorsements.”

His twitter feed apart, few people know that Sanjay got selected by the UPSC for a non-IAS service, which he kept on hold for a couple of years, while he started out in the Supreme Court with the then Attorney General G.Ramaswamy who was his guru in court-craft.

As a debater and a quizzer growing up, clearly a quiet life behind a desk in a solicitor’s firm (that’s what corporate law was called then), did not appeal to Sanjay. It had to be courtrooms or nothing.

During this period he worked on several high profile cases, appeared for the Government of Indian before an international arbitral tribunal and from 1996 to 2004 was on the Union of India’s arguing panel before the Supreme Court. He also worked for a decade as the Advocate on Record for the State of Karnataka and thereafter focused on private practice.

He has frequently engaged in legal journalism including appearing on high-profile television panels, and writing as a columnist for newspapers such as The Hindu, India Today and Outlook.

Today, Sanjay has become the voice for civil rights, sometimes going against the “popular” grain. He believes, a democracy without a dissenter in it is impossible. Free men, in the exercise of free thought, will give vent in free speech. No matter how abhorrent the thought, or its manner of expression, a mature democracy will tolerate it, and even encourage its publication. It is better for an imperfect thought to be voiced, and rejected in the marketplace of ideas, than for it to fester within the warehouses of inexpressible thought. After all there is no greater idea of democracy than free men, freely and voluntarily, committing to the requirements of citizenship of a free country.

“Only totalitarian regimes suppress dissent and dissidents. Only a country not yet rid of its colonial hangover of a government that commands and controls, labels dissent as seditious. A truly free nation will confidently view even its advocated destruction as a bad idea that will fail in the marketplace of ideas,” he says.

Back to List

Sanjay Pandey

Journalist & Content Creator

Sanjay Pandey is the founder of Banyan Infomedia. The company provides specialised editorial and creative content for print, TV and web. Banyan Publishing, which is the publication wing of Banyan Infomedia, was launched with the objective of providing a platform to new and upcoming talent.

A postgraduate in Physics, Sanjay was born and brought in Uttarakhand and all his formative years were spent in the Himalayan state. He shifted to Delhi in 1994 but a part of him remained in hills of Kumaun. Sanjay feels very strongly about Uttarakhand and tries to raise the issues facing the state on every possible platform. Banyan Publishing's first venture, Roots is also based on the theme of rootlessness and loneliness, pangs of which have been faced by almost every second house hold in Uttarakhand.

He combines editorial sense with business acumen having worked in both fields. He was the Business Development Head for India's first private broadcaster, Zee News Limited. Before that he was output editor for Zee News, responsible for all the on air content and programming.

Back to List

Ravi Kant

Academician & Cinema Historian

Ravikant is a bilingual historian, writer and translator working with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. He read, taught and researched history at University of Delhi before joining the Sarai Prgramme in 2000. He has authored Media ki Bhasha-Leela (Vani Prakashan, 2016), and collaboratively edited Translating Partition: Stories, Essays, Criticism (Katha, 2001); Deewan-e-Sarai 01://Media Vimarsh: Hindi Janpad, and Deewan-e-Sarai 02: Shahernama (Vani). He also co-edits the Indian Languages Programme's academic journal Pratiman and his recent essays on inter-media history of Hindi cinema are available online at, Kafila, gadyakosh, janakipul and rachnakaar.

Back to List

Piyush Mishra

Film & Theatre Personality

Piyush Mishra (born 13 January 1963) is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Mishra grew up in Gwalior, and went to graduate from National School of Drama, Delhi in 1986. Thereafter, he started his career in Hindi theatre in Delhi. Over the next decade he established himself as a theatre director, actor, lyricist and singer. He shifted to Mumbai in 2002, actor, lyricist and screenwriter, and receiving acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012).

As a film lyricist and singer, he is noted for his songs "Arre Ruk Ja Re Bandeh" (Black Friday, 2004), "Aarambh Hai Prachand" (Gulaal, 2009), "Ik Bagal" (Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2, 2012), and "Husna" (MTV Coke Studio, 2012)

Back to List

Raj Shekhar


Raj Shekhar is a Hindi film lyricist who has woven numerous songs with his magical words; Tanu weds Manu and TanuWeds Manu

Returns being some of his most notable pieces of work.

He is also a poet and a celebrated fiction author of children’s literature. A post graduate in literature from University of Delhi, Raj Shekhar has come a long way from his native town in Bihar - Madhepura.

His original and translated published work includes: 'Ruru raag', 'Pakdo uss bille ko', 'Five little monkeys' and 'Abu'. Abu is one of his personal favourites. ‘Abu’ was a part of the much praised anthology “Being Boys” which also featured some of the country’s most remarkable authors like R.K. Narayan, Manjula Padmanabhan, Vikram Seth and Jerry pinto along with him. It was his privilege to be a part of such an ensemble. His poems have been published in several prestigious literary magazines and he has also performed in numerous literary and cinema events.

Back to List

Faiza S Khan


Faiza S Khan is the Editorial Director of Bloomsbury India and freelance culture writer. Her work has appeared in publications including the Guardian, the New Republic, Caravan, Mint, and The Daily Beast. She is based in Delhi and London.

Back to List

Pavan K Varma

Member of Parliament

Writer-diplomat Pavan K. Varma is a graduate in History from St. Stephen's College (securing the first position in the College), after which he took a degree in Law from the University of Delhi. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1976. He has been Press Secretary to the President of India, the Spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, Joint Secretary for Africa, High Commissioner for India in Cyprus, Director of the Nehru Centre in London, Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, and Ambassador of India to Bhutan.

A writer of depth and insight, he has written over a dozen best selling, books including the highly successful Krishna: The Playful Divine on India’s most popular deity, the critically applauded biography of the Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, Ghalib: The Man, The Times, and the Havelis of Old Delhi. His first book on a contemporary subject was the path breaking The Great Indian Middle Class (published also in French), followed by the astoundingly successful Being Indian: The Truth About Why the 21st Century Will Be India’s (Viking/Penguin 2004). Being Indian was described by The Economist as “one of the most subtle recent attempts to analyse the continent-sized mosaic of India and simplify it for the general reader.” It was published by Random House, in the United Kingdom, as Being Indian: Inside the Real India in March 2005. The Japanese, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian translations of this book were very well received. Another work is a witty adaptation of Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra, which was published early in 2007 by Roli Books and has been translated into French and German.

Mr. Varma has also translated the poetry of Kaifi Azmi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Gulzar (three volumes), all published by Penguin.

His book titled: Becoming Indian: The Unfinished Revolution of Culture and Identity (Penguin-Allen Lane) was launched in February, 2010 and deals with the pivotal issues of culture and identity for postcolonial societies. A Hindi and a French edition has been published.

Mr. Varma’s first work of fiction When Loss is Gain was launched in January 2012 by Aleph to much critical acclaim. It is now to be made into a Bollywood film.

Gulzar’s translation of Mr. Varma’s epic poem Yudhister & Draupadi (alongwith the published original in English) was released in October-November 2013 by Penguin. Yudhister and Draupadi has now been adapted into a Play –Paansa- written by Gulzar, with extensive performances both in India and abroad.

Mr. Varma’s book Chanakya’s New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis within India was launched by Aleph in January 2013. His latest book, The New Indian Middle Class: The Challenge of 2014 and Beyond, was published by Harper-Collins in 2014.

Mr. Varma was the chief guest at the Hyderabad Literary Festival (2011) and delivered the Inaugural Address.

Mr. Varma was conferred an Honorary Doctoral Degree for his contribution to the fields of diplomacy, literature, culture and aesthetics by the University of Indianapolis in 2005. Mr. Varma was also awarded by His Majesty the King of Bhutan, the Druk Thuksey Award, Bhutan’s highest civilian Award. He is the only serving Indian Ambassador in Bhutan to have received this Award. Mr Varma has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award by his school, St Xavier’s Delhi, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award by St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.

A widely admired public speaker and television commentator, Pavan K. Varma’s columns appear regularly in The Times of India, The Asian Age and several other leading publications. Mr Varma was till 1st January, 2013 the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, after which he took premature retirement from service. In the same month, Mr Varma joined as Adviser (Culture) to the Chief Minister of Bihar, with the rank of Cabinet Minister. With effect from June, 2014 he was a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) until July 2016. He was a member of the Standing Committee on External Affairs, Committee on Government Assurances and Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He was also been nominated to the Samsad (Court) of the Visva Bharati University, West Bengal, and the Court of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Mr. Varma lives in Delhi and can be contacted at his email

Back to List

Dr. Kavita Pania


Dr. Kavita Pania, M.Phil, Ph.D (Hindi), hails from Udaipura, Madhya Pradesh, is a Writer, Composer and Poet | Committed to expanse “Hindi as a Language” with awareness for “Poetry”| Strong zeal to work on Literature with Hindi Language as its Axis | Felicitated with “Sahitya Sadhak Samman” in 2015 | First Poetry Book "Kavitanshu – Har Ummed Ek Nayi Shuruvat”, launched at “Bangalore Literature Festival, (BLF 2015)

Hindi Lecturer by profession at Bangalore, penned many articles & poems, which got articulated into “Kavitanshu” and other channels. She is vigorously participative in Literature based events like BLF, Bangalore Poetry Festival and with AIR Bangalore, Rajasthan Patrika, Naiduniya, Arnav (Research Journal), Sahitya Sadhak Manch, Sahitya Sangam and Guest Author at Schools.

Back to List

Apurv Kumar Mishra

Young India Fellow

Apurv Kumar Mishra is currently the Editor-in-Chief at India Law Journal and Senior Research Fellow at India Foundation. He is also Visiting Faculty at Ashoka University and teaches courses on law at several institutions including Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai; Miranda House, Delhi University and NLIU Bhopal. Apurv is a founding member of Robin Hood Army (RHA)- a voluntary organisation of young professionals and students that works to get surplus food from restaurants across to the less fortunate people in 30 cities across 7 countries. He has previously worked at Albright Stonebridge Group- a Washington-based strategic advisory firm and is a freelance writer on public policy issues for several publications.

Apurv completed his B.A. LL.B (Hons.) from National Law Institute University Bhopal. After graduation, he joined the Mumbai office of law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. In 2013, Apurv was selected for the Young India Fellowship- a scholarship based, one-year, liberal arts program at Ashoka University.

Back to List

HE Krishan Kant Paul

Governor, Uttarakhand

HE Dr. Krishan Kant Paul is the 6th and current Governor of Uttarakhand. He had previously served as Governor of Meghalaya for over one year with additional charge of Mizoram and Nagaland for the same post.As a former officer of Indian Police Service he had previously served as Commissioner of Police, Delhi from February 2004 till retiring from service in July 2007.

Paul is credited with having cracked the first ever cricket betting racket in which South African captain Hansie Cronje was indicted. Paul has experience working in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

While posted in Delhi, he had wide ranging experience of urban policing and was involved in handling some mega events like the 1982 Asian Games, followed by NAM and CHOGM in 1983.

Paul after retirement from police service, became a member of Union Public Service Commission, New Delhi on July 26, 2007. He served there till July 2013.

He did his post-graduation in Chemistry from Punjab University, Chandigarh, followed by Ph.D thesis in Fluorine chemistry, which was highly commended and resulted in 15 research publications, of a technical nature, in international scientific journals of repute. In the context of his research work in Chemistry, he has over 20 papers published in international scientific journals of repute.

Married to Omita Paul, a former Indian Information Service officer, who is currently posted as Secretary to the Hon'ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Paul is an avid cricket lover. He was amongst the first Ph.D holders in Police Service, he has maintained his touch with the academics and continued to write on various matters of topical interest. One of his Columns "Brass Tacks" appeared regularly in "The Tribune".

Back to List

Deep Belwal

Patron, Oldest Family of Dhela

Born in Ramnagar, Deep Chandra Belwal spent his growing years amidst the very people and the jungles that Jim Corbett considered his own turf.

His ancestors were the first settlers in this ‘Bhabhar’ tract adjoining Ramnagar. His grandfather, Rai Bahadur Prem Ballabh Belwal together with Jim Corbett, was instrumental in determining the boundaries of the Hailey National Park which now is known as Jim Corbett National Park.

Time spent at his orchards and farm, on the fringe of Jim Corbett National Park, have thrown into sharp reflection the increase in man animal conflict and much of his spare time is now utilised in promoting agricultural practices in tune with habitat conservation and in mitigating man animal conflict.

Back to List

Vikram Sampath


Bangalore based historian and author, Vikram is a visiting Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the Founder of the country's first online digital repository for vintage gramophone records of the country called Archive of Indian Music (AIM) and is the Director of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF). He serves on several Government Committees like the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Karnataka Tourism Vision Group and the Prasar Bharati Archives Core group. Vikram was among the 4 Artists and Writers selected by the President of India for an In-Residence Programme at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in March 2015. He served the Government of India's Ministry of Culture as Executive Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Southern Regional Centre and is currently the Director of Symbiosis School of Media and Communication (SSMC)- Bangalore.

A trained Carnatic vocalist under several eminent Gurus, he writes regularly for newspapers and magazines on a wide variety of subjects.

Vikram is the author of three acclaimed works of non-fiction "Splendours of Royal Mysore: the untold story of the Wodeyars", "My name is Gauhar Jaan! - the life and times of a musician' and "Voice of the Veena: S Balachander, a biography". His book on Gauhar Jaan won him several laurels including the Sahitya Akademi's first Yuva Puraskar for English Literature and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York.