Speakers 2016

Amrit Gangar is a Mumbai-based author, curator, film theoretician, historian and archivist, working in the field of cinema for over three decades. He has authored and edited several books on cinema in English and Gujarati. His book Cinema Vimarsh has been recently awarded by the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi. For the past decade, he has been engaged with his theoretical concept Cinema of Prayoga and has presented it at various venues in different parts of the world and India. Amrit Gangar had been the Consultant Curator of the National Museum of Indian Cinema to be opened in Mumbai. He is on the international advisory board of the journal Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) published from London.
Kochi-born Anand is an English writer of popular fictions based on mythologies, and also dabbles as a cartoonist and oil painter. He is known for his debut novel ‘Asura-the Tale of the Vanquished’ which became a surprise bestseller of 2012. Asura is available in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Italian and the Indonesian Bahasa. He was also chosen as one of the six most remarkable writers by the Indian Express and the DNA newspapers in 2012. An alumnus of the Government Engineering College, Thrissur, Anand has been working with Indian Oil Corporation for the past 17 years, though writing, cartooning and painting remain his passions. His second book Ajaya-The Roll of the Dice -was published in 2013 and stayed in the best-seller charts for 16 continuous weeks. The second and the concluding part of the Ajaya series The Rise of Kali-came in 2015.
Born in Thrissur in central Kerala, Ananth has lived most his life in the megapolis of Mumbai and has made his name as a director, script writer, actor and writer. Since the 198os, he has also been into tele-serials, apart from being actively involved in professional theatre, both English and Hindi. While his Marathi biopic Mee Sindhutai Sapkal has fetched him international acclaim in 2010, his latest film Gour Hari Dastaan-The Freedom File, was part of the Indian Panorama at the 2015 International Film Festival of India in Goa, the International Film Festival of Kerala, besides getting worldwide recognition in London, New York, San Francisco. His new film Rough Book, which is a scathing attack on our failed education system, will be ready for release later this year.
Anitha, the Malayalam poet and translator, has been publishing poems since mid-‘80s. Her works have been translated into several Indian and international languages, apart from appearing in various journals and anthologies.

Born and bred in a central Kerala hamlet, Anitha’s first book, Muttamadikkumpol (While Sweeping the Frontyard) was published in 2004 and second collection, Azhakillaathavayellam (All that are bereft of beauty) was published in 2010. Her third collection of poetry Alappuzha Vellam (A Different Water) is under publication. Her first major translation came out in 2007, when she translated the works of the Australian poet Les Murray into Malayalam. Another translation is, I Saw Ramallah, the autobiographical monologue of the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, into Malayalam. Anitha is pursuing advanced research at the IIT-Bombay.

As a consummate writer of fictions, poetry, and mythologies in both Tamil and Malayalam, leading literary critic, scriptwriter and social activist, Jeyamohan is one of the most influential writers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala today.

Though a Malayalee by birth, he began writing first in Tamil in the 1990s and soon he made a deep impact on the Tamil literary landscape as it emerged from the post-modern phase. His best-known critically acclaimed work is Vishnupuram, a deeply layered fantasy exploring the various schools of Indian philosophy and mythologies. In 2014 he started his most ambitious work Venmurasu, a modern adaptation of the epic Mahabharatha and is still working on the same. Heavily influenced by the thoughts of Tolstoy and Gandhi, Jeyamohan draws strength from his own experiences derived from extensive travels across the country. In 2009, his readership circle set up the Vishnupuram Ilakkiya Vattam to impart literary awareness among the public and to shed light on the under-recognized pioneers of modern Tamil literature.

The Mumbai-based Malayalam novelist and short-story writer Balakrishnan has published 14 novels, five novelettes and six collections of short stories. His novels Nagarame Nandi, Kuthira, and Furnace received much attention. Balakrishnan’s latest novel, Aayiram Suryanmar, is based on the country’s first nuclear explosion in Pokhran. Born in Thrissur district in central Kerala, he started writing short stories in the ‘60s and came to Bombay in 1964 to work with the nation’s premier nuclear facility Bhabha Atomic Research Centre where he remained till his retirement in 1998. He has won many awards, including the Kumkumam special award, Keraleeya Kendra Sanghatana award, VT Gopalakrishnan award and Malayalam Foundation award.
Currently, pursuing doctoral studies in ‘translation theory and praxis’, Bengali poet and novelist Binayak has published 11 collections of poems since 2000 with the first being Nehat Goreeb Nehat Chhoto (Too Little too Trivial), Baki Katha Pare Habe (The Rest will be Said Later), and Darachhi Dorjar Baire (Standing Outside), among others. Since 2008, Binayak has published 10 novels, with the debut being Sohaginir Sange Akbachhor (A Year with Sohagini and Sikandar), and others include Bnachamorar Majhkhane (Between Life and Death) and Golapknatar Gondho (The Smell of Thorns) among others. A recipient of many awards including the Bangla Academy Shakti Chattopadhyay Memorial award in 2011, Binayak teaches English at Dhakuria Sri Ram Roy Institution in Kolkata.
Binita is a Mythili writer and painter based in New Delhi and recently published her first collection of poems on women, Ahin Jekaan.

Apart from taking part in various other literary activities, Binita has also published a number of articles and poems in the Maithili Bhojpuri Academy’s magazine Parichhan. That apart, she has been regularly participating in poetry recitals at the National Law University, New Delhi since 2012, and also on Radio Dwarka and published articles in a quarterly magazine Mithilangan.

A regular trainer at different Delhi schools in Madhubani painting, she has participated in Bhartiya Kavita Bimb by Hindi Academy, Delhi in September 2015, and has been participating in Maithili Bhojpuri Academy in Delhi from 2010. Married to Adhir Kumar Mallik, an under-secretary with the Government of India, Binita is a graduate in psychology from Ranchi University and lives in the national Capital.

Born in Shillong and brought up in Assam and Meghalaya, Desmond is a leading bilingual poet and folklorist known across the North Eastern region. A graduate from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, he currently heads the department of cultural and creative studies at the alma mater, where he also teaches folkloristics.

Desmond has translated many works from Khasi to English and vice-versa, and has so far published three collections of poems in English-Touchstone, Here and Home Coming, which deal with the contemporary sociocultural concerns of Meghalaya, their cultural past and environmental changes. Desmond also has a number of theoretical essays on folkloristics pertaining to the North East to his credit. He is on the executive board of the Belief Narrative Network of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research and is the vice-president of the Indian Folklore Congress.

A senior journalist, Gurbir edits the Business World magazine, and is known for pioneering business writing in the spheres of entertainment and media and more particularly film and television. He is also credited for bringing real-estate writings on to the front pages of pink dailies when he was with the Economic Times.

During his career spanning over 25 years, Gurbir has also worked with leading publications like the Hindustan Times and the Indian Express. As the president of the Mumbai Press Club for several terms, he has taken several innovative initiatives in different realms from journalist welfare to expanding knowledge, from technology upgradation to recreational facilities.

One of the pioneers of feminist writings in Konkani, Hema’s name resonates with the essence of feminist thoughts in this part of the land. Since her mother tongue Konkani has had a long-drawn history of fighting a battle for its survival, Hema has always been on the forefront of leading the battle for language promotion. Hema began her carrier in banking and quit the job after two decades to dedicate more time to writing and arts. Over the past four decades, Hema has been dabbling in several fronts as a writer, publisher, dramatist, film-producer, translator, columnist, social activist among others.

Married to leading Konkani author Pundalik Naik, she has two novelettes, one novel and two collection of short stories.

Hemant is a globally recognized Marathi poet, editor, publisher and translator. His poems are available in English, Spanish, French, German and many Indian languages.

Hemant’s second book of poems Thambtach Yet Nahi, billed as a pathbreaking work in the Marathi literary landscape, has fetched him the Yashawantrao Chavan Puraskar for the best poetry in 2009. Its English translation is available as A Depressingly Monotonous Landscape. He is also the founder-editor of the Marathi magazine Abhidhanantar, which is credited for giving a solid platform to new poets and for enriching the post1990s Marathi literature.

Ibomcha is one of the leading Manipuri poets and short-fiction writers, as well as translators. Most striking feature in his poems is his own indomitably unique way of responding to a crisis with a spirit of exuberant comedy rather than lamentations or grim despair. In a region stalked by insurgency and terror, both with active and passive support of people, the poet in him asserts his right to play witness sometimes turning the victim himself. Yumlembam has won various awards, including the Manipur State Kala Akademi in 1974, Sahitya Akademi in 1991 and the Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize in 2008. His first volume of poetry came out in 1973 and since then he has published three more collections.

Jerry has proved his mettle not only as a well-known journalist and English poet, but also in prose and children’s fiction. His first novel and the latest work, Em and The Big Hoom was published in 2012 and fetched him the Hindu Lit for Life Award and the Crossword Award for Fiction. Jerry’s previous works include Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb (2006) which won the best book on cinema award at the 54th national film awards, Surviving Women (2000) and Asylum and Other Poems (2003) among others. He also co-edited Confronting Love (2005), a book of contemporary Indian love poetry in English. He has translated Sachin Kundalkar’s Cobalt Blue and recently, Daya Pawar’s seminal autobiography, Baluta.
Koushiki, a Bengali poet and academic, currently teaches history at the University of Gour Banga in West Bengal. A recipient of the England-based Charles Wallace Research Grant in 2014, she has so far authored two books on late colonial Bengal politics. Her first book of Bengali poems ‘Meao` was published in 2015. Koushiki regularly writes literary essays in online publication Muse India and in other academic journals. She has presented papers in different international programmes like the IFSSO Conference in Istanbul in 2012 and took part in different literary fests in the country.


Raman is a freelance journalist and a Malayalam writer. He was the editor of Balarama and Balabhumi, the two prominent children’s magazines in Kerala. He has worked on narratives from areas of conflict like Bastar in Chhattisgarh. He now heads the Bhashabharatam Trust which works for the promotion of regional language literatures and cultures.

Maniraj is a notable voice among the young generation poets in Malayalam. He has been connected with the Mumbai-based cultural organization Daridra Samskarika Koottam, and part of its poetry publication wing. Maniraj was instrumental in establishing the socioliterary-cultural organisation Iruppu in Mumbai which has conducted several events based on poetry and literature. His poetry collection, Veezhcha, has been received well by poetry lovers in Malayalam. He regularly writes in Malayalam mainstream journals. The Kozhikode-born Maniraj is settled in Mumbai for the past 20 years and works as an Area Manager with the Professional Couriers
As a leading Tamil poet and filmmaker, Leena’s movies and writings are deeply driven by her social commitment. All her movies, which count a dozen now, deal with the dynamics of caste, gender, globalization in the contemporary society, art, student politics and environmental issues among others. Leena’s films across genres such as My Mirror is the Door, Goddesses, Sengadal (The Dead Sea) and Whitevan Stories deal with eco-feminism, rights of the indigenous/fishermen/refugees and enforced disappearances in the background of Tamil ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka, have been critically acclaimed and awarded at national and international film festivals. A recipient of the Charles Wallace Art award, the European Union Fellowship and the Commonwealth Fellowship, Leena has published four poetry collections and her film in production is Rape Nation that traces rape survivors and their fight for justice across the Indian Subcontinent. She is currently promoting her film “Is it too much to ask” that follows the journey of two trans-women friends hunting for a rented house in the city of Chennai.

Madhavi is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit, University of Mumbai and co-ordinator of the Comparative Mythology Course. She is the founder of ‘Aakhyaan’ the mythology platform. She worked in the capacity of research head for Mahabharat aired on Star Plus. She specializes in the areas of Veda and Religious studies. She has about 25 publications to her credit including a book titled Epics and Mahapuranas on The Vedic Sacrifice.

Madhupal is a Malayalam actor, director, and screenwriter, who debuted in the movie Kashmeeram in 1994 and has since then acted in over 90 flicks in Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi. His directorial debut came in 2008 with Thalappavu, a story revolving around the Naxalite leader Varghese and it won several Kerala State Government film awards. His second movie was “A Document of Separation”. The movie portrayed about lives that are caught in the complexities of that period of transition from the matrilineal to patriarchal. It won several State, National and international film awards and participated in various film festivals too. His love affair with cinema began during his childhood days in Palakkad where his father ran cinema hall in his home village. He was the assistant director under Rajeev Anchal’s film Guru, which fetched many national awards and was the only entry to Oscar from our country in 1997. As a short story writer, his books have been translated into English, Hindi, and Tamil. He also has seven collections of short stories and two novels.


Born in Quetta, Balochistan in the present-day Pakistan, Maya is a Mumbai-based Sindhi writer who has many award winning books to her credit. Maya took time to write short stories and poems during her busy life as a Hindi teacher for almost four decades. Her published books include Muhabai Jo Menhun, Moksh, Aur Vah Udas Ho Gaie, Ahsas (poems), Dhaal and Mahangi Murk. She won the Kendra Sahithya Akademi award in 2015.

Having spent over three decades in journalism, Radhakrishnan is currently the editor of the leading Malayalam news channel Asianet News, based in Thiruvananathpuram. He has also worked with the India Today Group, the Mathrubhumi which is the second largest Malayalam daily, and specializes in politics, business, media, cinema, sports, and popular culture. He has been awarded for his writing on cinema, and development journalism by the Kerala government. Father of two daughters, he is married to Isro space scientist Jayasree. He has written three books– Vayichu Theeratha Achan (2014), Bhayam Premam Sangeetham (1997) and Damrshtayum Nettikkannum Theliyumbol (1994).

A teacher of architecture, Mustansir is a Mumbai-based poet, short-story writer, novelist and translator and writes in English and his leading poems include the ‘Peabody’ and ‘Choosing Trains’ among others. Mustansir has been associate editor at the online poetry workshop Desert Moon Review and editor of their bi-annual e-zine The Crescent Moon Journal. His most recent book is `Struggles with Imagined Gods’. His poems are published in the e-zines are Bakery of the Poets, Can We Have Our Ball Back, The Crescent Moon Journal, etc.

Paresh is a leading Marathi film-maker, producer, actor and also a theatre director. Paresh’s directorial debut came in 1999 with the Marathi play, Sangeet Debuchya Mulee. He continued to work for theatre for a decade more and the film directorial debut came in 2009 with the Marathi feature film Harishchandrachi Factory, a film about the how Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913 made the country’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra. It was such a successful movie that the movie was India’s official entry to the 82nd Academy Awards in the best foreign language category. Paresh, a Pune native and the grandson of the noted Marathi writer DB Mokashi, is married to theatre actor-writer Madhugandha Kulkarni. He also runs production house Mayasabha Productions.
Madhavan is a leading Malayalam writer of short fiction and novel, a columnist and football and travel writer, who enjoys a wide readership in Kerala. The Kochi-born Madhavan began writing during his college days while doing his Masters in economics by winning top prize for his short story ‘Sisu’, in a contest organised by the Malayalam literary magazine Mathrubhumi. His first story collection, ‘Choolaimede Savangal’ (Corpses of Choolaimedu) was published in 1981. Thereafter he lapsed into a decade long silence. His come-back story in 1991 was hugely popular and critically acclaimed ‘Higuita’, which weaved around the unconventional playing style of the eponymous Colombian goalkeeper for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Since then, he has published four more collections of stories, a novel, a collection of plays, a collection of travelogues and a book of literary criticism. Madhavan’s contribution to the short-story genre, which is dying in most parts of the world, is reckoned by critics to be unique and finely crafted. Some of his stories like ‘Thiruthu’ (The Correction; on Babri Masjid demolition), ‘Van Marangal Veezhumpol’ (When Big Trees Fall; on the 1984 Sikh Riots) etc. are widely read and discussed for their sharp political content and literary finesse. His only novel ‘Lanthan Batheriyile Luthiniyakal’ came out in 2003 and traces the story on the life of the Latin Christians of coastal Kerala. The novel’s English translation ‘Litanies of Dutch Battery’ came out in 2010 and subsequently won the Crossword award for Best Indian Fiction in translation. He joined Indian Administrative Service in 1975 and retired as a senior bureaucrat.

The Assamese poet and writer Pranay is a surgeon by profession and works as an Associate Professor of Gynaecology at the Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh. He started writing poetry during college days and now has five poetry collections in Assamese. Pranay has also published a few novelettes and short-stories. As a poet, Pranay is known for his lyrics of emotional intensity and his favourite form is conversational or ‘talk poetry’. His works are available in Hindi, Bengali and English.
The 2011 Jnanpith awardee, Pratibha is an academic and an Odia novelist. Began writing at the age of nine, her first novel Barsha Basanta Baishakha, published in 1974, became a best-seller for its social issues and readability among semi-literate and literate readers. Her writings overflow with boldness, revolt and humanism and each searches for a social order based on equality, love, peace and integration. Over the years, she has penned 21 novels, 25 short story collections, 14 travelogues, two poetry books, three essay collections. Her novel Jajnaseni has gone 90 editions in Odia. She is the only woman writer till date to win the Moortidevi award by Bharatiya Jnanpith for 1991. An eminent educationist, Pratibha has a PhD in educational psychology and a postdoctoral research on tribalism and criminology focused on the Bondos – one of the most primitive tribes of Odisha. This resulted in a masterpiece “Aadibhoomi” (The Primal Land) in 1993. As a writer, she is a rebel and social reformer. In personal life too, she took active interest in social reform. She is a household name in Odisha.

Purnachandra is a Santali/ Odia writer with a focus on the tribals. A native of the tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, Purnachandra has an MBA from IIT Madras and is currently working as a senior vice-president at the PFC Consulting, a New Delhi based central PSU and is proficient in Santali, Oriya, Bengali, Hindi and English. He regularly writes in Santali and other magazines and has published three Santali books.

The Baroda-based Marathi writer Sachin is a bilingual writer, translator, editor and critic, and has a collection of poems both in Marathi and English. Apart from translating and editing an anthology of Marathi poetry, titled Live Update, he has also translated short stories and poems from Gujarati and Marathi into English. Sachin holds a doctorate in translation studies and is currently a Professor in the English department at the MS University, Baroda. He has worked as a contributing editor to the New Quest, a journal for participatory cultural enquiry being published from Mumbai. His style of poetry is hailed as “unusual and paradoxical” as his poems are both too self-centred and others-centred at the same time. Mostly his works reflect on the world in an exceedingly personal way and the topics are mostly mundane and ‘un-poetic’ objects but written in an exceptionally imaginative way.

Salkhu is a Mumbai-based Santali language specialist and a writer, and originally hails from Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. A civil engineer by profession, he is working with the state-run oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation. He joined the company in 1988 and is now a manager at the BPCL Refinery in Mumbai. He is active in the Odia and Santali cultural and literary circles in the megapolis apart from organising literary, cultural and social activities particularly for Santals. He is a life-time member of the All-India Santali Writer’s Association and Santali Engineers’ Welfare Association.

Sampurna is a poet, novelist, translator and children’s author. Her 14 books include the novels –Rupture and Land of the Well–, poetry books-Absent Muses and The Fried Frog–, as well as her collection of short stories about Bombay/Mumbai, Dirty Love. Her translation of the selected poems of Joy Goswami was shortlisted for the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial prize for poetry. Her fifth poetry Book Space Gulliver: Chronicles of an Alien is just out.

Popularly known as Sethu, this Malayalam novelist, has published more than 35 books including Adayalangal in 2007 which got him the Kendra Sahitya Akademi and Vayalar awards, while his other works Pandavapuram and Pediswapnangal have fetched him the Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards in 1982 and 1978 respectively. Born in Ernakulam district, Sethu began his professional career in the Meteorological Dept at a very young age and the job took him to various parts of the country. This phase of life was instrumental in shaping his literary sensibilities at a pan-Indian level and created reflections in many of his important works. He joined the banking industry as a Probationary Officer in the State Bank Group and retired as the chairman and CEO of the Kerala-based South Indian Bank. In 2012 September, he replaced eminent historian Bipan Chandra as the chairman of National Book Trust, New Delhi. Sethu wrote his first short-story in the cramped attic of a Karol Bagh lodge in central Delhi in 1967, after a visit to drought-hit Bihar, “without knowing anything about the craft of writing”. Since then he wrote 18 novels and 20 collections of short stories and many of which are available in English and other Indian languages. Pandavapuram has been translated into 8 languages including Hindi and Marathi and four of his works have been made into films including the much acclaimed Pandavapuram, which was also made into Bengali titled Nirakar Chhaya
Shaji started his career with the Indian Express, Chennai in 1988. It has been a homecoming of sorts for him when he took over as the Resident Editor of the paper in Mumbai in 2014. He was part of the editorial team that launched Hindu Business Line in Mumbai. Earlier, Shaji spent 12 years with the Economic Times in Mumbai and New Delhi covering and writing about economic policy and financial markets. He has a deep interest in public policy and economic history. Shaii writes a regular column on economic history in the Indian Express.

Shefalika is a Sahitya Akademi award-winning Maithili poet (in 2012 for her poem Kist Kist Jivan) and is known as the Mahadevi of Maithili. Her poem My Village was translated into English by a Chicago University professor and has been included in the syllabus of the British board exam. She was the first Indian woman to represent the Maithili Cultural Society in London in 2011 as the chief guest, and also the recipient of the first World Women Award in 2015. Recipient of the Umesh Mishra Memorial Gold Medal for being the best Maithili writer in 1973, she was nominated for the Woman of the Year award by the Biographical Institute of North California. Compared with the famous English writer Jane Austen for her style and tone, her poems and stories have been translated into Hindi, Gujrati, Marathi, Konkani, Tamil, Telgu, Oriya etc.

One of the pioneers of the new cinema, Benegal shot into fame with his maiden feature film Ankur three decades ago. Since then he has been a towering guiding post in the Indian and global cinema. The core subjects of his films have been varied in nature but mainly dwelt on contemporary Indian experience. Apart from fiction features, he has also made a number of documentaries on different subjects ranging from cultural anthropology and problems of industrialisation, to music et al apart from many television series, including a mammoth 53 part series on the history of India based on Nehru’s book Discovery of India. He chaired the Film Television Institute of India, Pune during 1980-83 and 1989-92. For his contribution to the nation, he was honoured with a Padma Shri (1976), Padma Bhushan (1991) and the Indira Gandhi National Integration Award in 2004 and the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 2005. He was recently appointed as the head of a panel to revamp Censor Board.

The Jnanpith winning Odia poet and critic, Sitakant is at his best when he portrays the ethos of Odiya traditions. His scholarly writings on the ‘little traditions’ of the various tribal societies testify his range of interests and erudition. More interestingly, one has to keep in mind that he has written these books while discharging his official duty as a civil servant, mainly serving for the Central Government. With over 15 collections of poems, five collections of essays, a travelogue, and over 30 contemplative works, apart from the numerous translations, Sitakant is an erudite writer in every sense of the word. His poems are translated into several Indian languages and his notable works include Sabdar Akash (The Sky of Words) that has fetched him the Sahitya Akademi award in 1974. His first collection of poetry was published in 1963.The nation honoured him with the highest literary recognition in 1993 bestowing the Jnanpith on him “for his outstanding contributions to literature.

Sitanshu is among the most eminent representatives of contemporary Gujarati literature. A much celebrated poet and playwright, he is also a critical theorist, translator and academic. His creative, critical and academic works have received wide acclaim in the country and elsewhere. He has received the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 1987, the Rashtriya Kabir Samman, Gangadhar Maher Samman from Orissa, Kavi Kusumagraj award from Maharashtra, among others. Sitanshu has been invited to recite his poems at many international literary fora in Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgard, Moscow, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seoul etc and also in Delhi, Jaipur, Shimla, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Guwahati, Patna, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad etc. A Fulbright Scholar and a Ford West European Fellowship recipient, Sitanshu has a Doctorate in comparative literature from US and another Doctorate in Indian poetics from Mumbai. He has been a professor and chair of Gujarati at the MS University, Baroda, from 1972, and has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris, University of Pennsylvania, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and Jadavpur University in Kolkata.

Prasannarajan is an editor and essayist who writes on politics, books and ideas. Having worked with the Times of India, the Indian Express and India Today in the past, he currently edits the Open magazine. He lives between New Delhi and London.

Subhash is a Malayalam novelist, short-story writer and journalist best known for his 2010 novel, Manushyanu Oru Aamukham, which was originally serialised in the Mathrubhumi Weekly. The book was a great critical success and to date remains one of the best-selling books in Kerala. One of the most-read young writers in contemporary Kerala, his stories Vadhakramam, Sanmargam, Parudeesa Nashtam and Guptham have been adapted into films. He is the only writer to get the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for both his debut story collection (2001) and debut novel (2011). Subhash is also a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi, the Odakkuzhal as well as the Vayalar awards. He has penned four memoirs. They are Madhye Ingane, Das Capital (a tribute to the legendary singer Yesudas), Kaanunna Nerathu and Kathayaakaanaavaathe. The Alwaye-born Subhash ventured into the world of letters soon after his Masters in Malayalam literature from the MG University, Kottayam and his first story Ghatikarangal Nilaykkunna Samayam came out in 1994. He is the only Malayalam writer to be featured in the list of the Outstanding Young Writers by The Times of India. Based on his story Vadhakramam, the Pune Film Institute made a short film which won a special jury mention at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival.

A resident of Kolkata, Subodh is a leading Bengali poet, writer and editor. A reader in English literature at the City College, his first book of poems was published in the late 1970s, and since then he has pulled out more than 25 titles, out of which 20 are poems. Most of his works are available in English, French and several other Indian languages. In 2010 he was appointed as the guest editor of the Indian Literature, the flagship journal of the Sahitya Akademi. His works have been recognized by many awards, including the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award.

Sunil is a Marathi playwright, film director and lyricist, with15 feature films to his credit. Some of the movies done along with Sumitra Bhave include Dodhi, Zindagi Zindabaad, Dahavi F, Vastupurush, Devrai, Badha, Nital, Bewaqt Barish, and Phir Zindagi among others and 40 short films, five telefilms. Many of these films have won several international awards, and Rashtrapati Rajat, Kamal awards, among the national and state accolades. Their films have been screened at many film festivals in India, Britain, France, Italy, Norway, Canada, Japan, Austria, Australia, Holland, and the US among others. A native of Pune, Sunil started writing plays during his college days. Sunil and Sumitra have been working as co-directors for all the films
Muralidharan is a Mumbai-based Malayalam poet whose poems have been appearing in the mainstream Malayalam periodicals for the last two decade. He made a transition from textile designing to visual arts painting. His art works have been on display many time in at the Jahangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, the Durbar Hall Art Gallery in Kochi, the Contemporary Art Gallery, in the Kerala capital, and the Pandole Art Gallery in Mumbai.

Udaya, a Mumbai-based film critic, writer and journalist, was the founder editor of the premier film weekly Screen. She headed the Hindi version of the Screen and the Screen awards in 1995. She also headed the national jury for books in the National Film Awards in 1996, 1998 and 2004. She authored the biography of the legendary Hindi actor Dilip Kumar in June 2014 and is currently working on the biography of writer and film maker Ramanand Sagar, who created television history with the Ramayan serial on the DD in 1987.

Zaman is well-known for his creative writings and translations in Kashmiri and Urdu with over 30 titles. He is also an academician and linguist, having headed the Urdu and Kashmiri departments and was the dean of the arts and Oriental learning faculties at the University of Kashmir. His first collection of essays Ghubarikhayal was published in 1973 in Urdu. He has a dozen of collections of creative essays in Urdu and Kashmiri, eight translations and over a dozen edited works. He has also dabbled in films and tele-serials having written scripts for the documentaries like Mahjoor, Gindan Gindan, Gulrez, Zoon, Hum Panchhi Ek Daal Ke, Umang and Mukalma among others.