Sugata Bose is the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University, and has served as Director of Graduate Studies in History at Harvard and as the Founding Director of Harvard’s South Asia Institute. He is the author of the definitive biography, His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle against Empire; A Hundred Horizons: the Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire; and, most recently, of The Nation as Mother and Other Visions of Nationhood. In 2015 he was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar for his corpus of works with a special mention of his book, His Majesty’s Opponent. He was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, and is currently a Member of Parliament.
Ruskin Bond is an award-winning Indian author of British descent, much renowned for his role in promoting children’s literature in India. He has written over 500 short stories, essays and novellas and more than 50 books for children. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, written at 17, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. In June 2017 Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography was published. He has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar.
Dash Benhur is the pen name of Jitendra Narayan Dash, a well-known writer of children’s stories in Odia. He is the author of more than 100 books, including 15 collections of short-stories. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2014 Sahitya Akademi Bal Puruskar, the Odisha Vigyan Academy Popular Science-writer award, NCERT Prize for Children’s Literature,1989, and the Odisha Sahitya Akademi award, 1987. He retired as the Principal of Samanta Chandrasekhar (Autonomous) College, Puri, and is a founder member of Aama Odisha.
A journalist and former civil servant based in Itanagar, Mamang Dai has written extensively about the culture and history of Arunachal Pradesh. She is a member of the North East Writers’ Forum, and has published several short stories and poems. Her books include: Arunachal Pradesh: The Hidden Land; Mountain Harvest: The Food of Arunachal; Stupid Cupid, The Legends of Pensam; and The Black Hill; and two children’s books, Once Upon a Moontime and The Sky Queen. She was conferred the Verrier Elwin Prize in 2013 for her Arunachal Pradesh: The Hidden Land, and received the Padma Shri in 2011. The Black Hill won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2017.
Prajwal Parajuly is a Nepali-Indian author whose works focus on the people and culture of Nepal. His first book, a short-story collection called The Gurkha's Daughter, was shortlisted for the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize. His second, Land Where I Flee, was also an Independent on Sunday book of the year and a Kansas City Star best book of 2015. He was educated at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and the University of Oxford. He was the first writer-in-residence at The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in 2013. In 2016, Parajuly was invited to be a judge for the Dylan Thomas Prize.
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, and Will You Still Love Me? He has edited and compiled two crowd sourced anthologies named Love Stories that Touched My Heart and Tell Me a Story. He spent most of his life in Burla, a small town in western Odisha, and is currently based in New Delhi. He has an MBA from the Indian School of Business. He has also started a publishing venture called Black Ink (www.BlackInkBooks.in), to publish debut authors. Beyond his love for words, Ravinder is a fitness freak.
Ileana Citaristi is an Italian-born Odissi and Chhau dancer, and dance instructor based in Bhubaneswar. She was awarded the 43rd National Film Awards for Best Choreography for Yugant in 1995 and became, in 2006, the first dancer of foreign origin to be conferred the Padma Shri for her contributions to Odissi. Ileana turned to Indian dance after years of experience in traditional and experimental theatre in Europe. Citaristi, who has been awarded the Padma Shri, has been living in Odisha since 1979 and her mentor is the renowned Guru Padma Vibhushan Kelucharan Mohapatra. In Bhubaneswar, she trains local as well as visiting students at her institution, Art Vision.
Rajesh Patil has completed Mechanical Engineering from East Point College of Engineering, Bengaluru. Currently he is working in Pune. He writes poems and loves travelling. Kurfi is his debut novel.
Rekha Bhardwaj is an Indian singer and live performer. She has received two Filmfare awards and one National Award. In addition to Hindi, she has also sung in Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, and Malayalam. Bhardwaj was born in Delhi and moved to Mumbai when she married the noted film director, composer and playback singer Vishal Bhardwaj in 1991.
Abijit Ganguly has been performing as a stand-up comedian for over six years now, and is presently over 2000+ shows old. His humour tackles the most mundane Indian problems, like parents, pressure of getting married, and buying condoms, in the most unapologetic way. Abijit performs in both Hindi and English, and NDTV has repeatedly named him as one of the Rising Stars of Comedy in India. He has performed all across India including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. The Delhi School of Economics graduate is also a brand consultant to major multi-corporations, and a freelance writer. He has appeared on various TedX Talks.
Geeta Gopalakrishnan is the author of My Grandmother's Tweets: Stories Inspired by Avvaiyar's Ancient Wisdom (2018). She has around thirty-five years of experience in advertising. Now, she channels her energy into two causes – children with special needs and underprivileged ones. All the author royalties from this book will go towards the treatment of underprivileged children with cancer at the Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata.
Dr Jatindra Kumar Nayak is a translator, literary critic, columnist, editor, and educationalist from Odisha. He has translated several works of Odia literature into English, including Yantrarudha, an Odia language novel by Chandrasekhar Rath, Astride the Wheel. The book won the Hutch Crossword Book Award 2004 for Indian Language Fiction Translation, and established Nayak's reputation as a notable translator in India. He has also won the Katha Translation Award for his English rendering of Tarun Kanti Mishra's short story as The Descent. He is the founder of Rupantar, which is devoted to the cause of translation. Nayak was educated at Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, and Oxford University. He teaches English literature to post graduate students of Utkal University at Bhubaneswar.
Debashish Mitra is the founder and CEO of PACT, an organisation focused on creating sustainable livelihoods in the remotest parts of eastern India. He is an avid reader, writer, and a frequent speaker at seminars. Based out of Bhubaneswar, Debashish brings his experience in the corporate and agricultural sectors into fundraising. He is a member of the fundraising committee of Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata. With novel out-of-the-box ideas, he has added huge value to collecting funds for the most underprivileged children with cancer at the centre.
Waheeda Rahman was born into a Tamil and Urdu-speaking family in Chengalpattu-Tamil Nadu. Her father was a district magistrate which led him to be posted in several places. Waheeda has appeared mainly in Hindi films, but has acted in Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali ones as well. She is noted for her contributions to different genres of films from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. She has received the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality, the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Film Award for Best Actress and two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress. She was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2011.
Gurcharan Das is a commentator and public intellectual. He is the author of a number of best-selling non-fiction works, The Difficulty of Being Good, India Unbound, and India Grows at Night. His latest is Kama: The Riddle of Desire. He has also written a novel, A Fine Family, and an anthology, Three Plays. He writes a regular column for the Times of India and six Indian language newspapers and occasionally for the Financial Times, the New York Times and others. He studied philosophy at Harvard and was CEO of Procter & Gamble India before he became a full-time writer. He is general editor for Penguin’s 15-volume ‘Story of Indian Business’.
Aatish Taseer is British-born writer-journalist, the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer. He has worked as a reporter for Time Magazine and has written for the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times, Prospect, TAR Magazine and Esquire. He is the author of Stranger to History: A Son's Journey through Islamic Lands, which has been translated into more than 14 languages; Manto: Selected Stories, a highly acclaimed translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories from the original Urdu; Noon; The Temple-Goers, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa First Novel Award; and The Way Things Were. He divides his time between New Delhi and London.
S.N. Sahu served late K.R. Narayanan, President of India, as Officer on Special Duty and Press Secretary between 1997 and 2002, and had a tenure as Director in the PMO when Dr. Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister between July 2004 and December 2009. He has served Parliament in various capacities including Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. Author of several articles on diverse subjects, he has written articles on Mahatma Gandhi and brought out the enduring significance of his ideals to address contemporary issues such as global warming, health, sustainable development, and so on. Currently, he is a guest faculty in several universities including National Law University, Delhi, where he teaches LLM and LLB students.
Rajmohan Gandhi, author of more than a dozen books, is a historian and biographer. He has written widely on the Indian independence movement and its leaders, Indo-Pakistan relations, human rights, and conflict resolution. He is a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and former President of Initiatives of Change International (IofC). From 1990 to 1992 he was a member of the Rajya Sabha. In 2002 he received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his Rajaji: A Life (biography of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari). He is also a scholar-in-residence at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.
Vineet Bajpai is the author of the mythological trilogy Harappa: Curse of the Blood River, Pralay: The Great Deluge, and Kashi: Secret of the Black Temple. Bajpai is a first-generation entrepreneur who has founded and built a multi-million dollar global digital company. In 2014, he was ranked among the 100 most influential people in the country’s digital ecosystem, and was perhaps the youngest ever CEO of a multinational advertising-agency in India. He has won several prestigious corporate awards. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed The Street to the Highway, and the best-selling Build from Scratch (his first book).
Mitra Phukan is a writer, translator and columnist who lives in Guwahati, Assam. Her published literary works include four children’s books, a biography, two novels, “The Collector’s Wife” and “A Monsoon of Music”, both published by Penguin-Zubaan, and a collection of fifty of her columns, “Guwahati Gaze”. Her most recent works are a translation of Jyanpeeth Awardee Birendra Kumar Bhattacharjee’s novel, “KoboraruPhool” , “Blossoms in the Graveyard”, (Niyogi Publications) and a collection of her own short stories, “A Full Night’s Thievery”, (Speaking Tiger) both of which appeared in October 2016. She writes extensively on Indian music as a reviewer and essayist. Her short stories have appeared in various journals worldwide. Her works have been translated into many languages, and several of her books are taught in colleges and Universities of the country. As a translator herself, she has put across the works of some of the best known contemporary writers of fiction in Asomiya into English. Her column “All Things Considered” in The Assam Tribune is very widely read.
Tanaya Patnaik is the Executive Director of the Sambad Group where she heads the Radio, Television and Internet business. She studied management from Warwick Business School and is passionate about new media, food and travel.
Dr.Nivedita Mohanty is a well-known scholar of modern Indian history. An independent researcher, she is recognised today as an authority on Regional Studies and a front-ranking scholar on the subject of Oriya Identity. A PhD from Heidelberg University, Dr.Mohanty’s book, ‘Oriya Nationalism, Quest for a United Orissa (1866-1936)’, published originally as a part of the series on Indology by Heidelberg University has earned wide acclaim. Her other book, The Eloquent Silence published in 2006 provides a biographical sketch of the legendary artist BipinBehariChoudhury as well as an insight into the socio-political history of Orissa in the first half of the 20th Century. She and scholars from Germany and Orissa edited in 2013 two volumes on the history and culture of Orissa, Imaging Odisha, which is a pioneering and seminal work.
PARAMITA SATPATHY TRIPATHY
Paramita Satpathy Tripathy is an influential voice in Odia Literature. So far seven story collections, two novels and one novella have been published to her credit. Her works have been extensively translated to other Indian languages and books have been published in English, Hindi, Bengali and Marathi languages. Among many awards and felicitations, Paramita has received the SahityaAkademi Award in 2016 for her collection of novellas Prapti. She joined Indian Revenue Service in 1989 and is presently working as Commissioner of Income Tax in New Delhi.
Anita Agnihotri is a Bengali writer and civil servant. As a child she wrote regularly for Sandesh, the children’s magazine edited by Satyajit Ray and LeelaMajumdar. Anita has authored 35 books spanning all genres of writing — poetry, creative prose, novels, children’s stories, essays and travelogues, and her works have been translated to several Indian languages, besides English, German and Swedish. She has been awarded the SaratPuruskar, BangiyaSahityaParishadSamman, GajendraMitra Memorial Award and the BhubanMohiniDasi Gold Medal by University of Calcutta. Forest Interludes, The Awakening, Seventeen, and Those Who Have Known Loveare some of her notable works.
Dr. Gourahari Das is an Odia story writer, novelist, and columnist. He has published over 45 works, including 5 novels, 16 short-story collections, 7 vignettes, 5 collection of essays, 2 plays, 1 collection of poems, translations and travelogues. He has translated autobiographies of KuldipNayar, Ruskin Bond, and Malayalam writer Benyamin’s Goat Days. He received the SahityaAkademi Award for the short story collection Kanta O' AnyanyaGalpa. Gourahari works as the Features Editor of Sambad, Editor of the monthly Katha and as Principal of Sambad School of Media and Culture.
SOUMYA RANJAN PATNAIK
SoumyaRanjanPatnaik is the founder and editor of Odia daily Sambad and is a feature film producer as well as a successful business personality. He was elected to the 11th LokSabha from Bhubaneswar (LokSabha constituency) on an Indian National Congress ticket. He floated a new political party AamaOdisha Party' (AOP).
Dr. Nicholas James is the Director of Studies in Social Anthropology at Magdalene College, Cambridge and the Panel Tutor at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge. Dr Nicholas James has conducted research on the archaeology of the indigenous peoples of Latin America for more than 35 years and is author of the book Aztecs and Maya (The History Press, 2009). His current research interests are on three topics: urban cultural heritage management in India; urban and rural social organisation among the Aztecs 500 years ago; and rural conditions north of Cambridge 250 years ago. In addition, he is a consultant for the management and interpretation of historical resources.