Vinodhini Vaidhyanathan has triple post-graduate degrees in Human Resources management, psychology and yoga therapy and trained at Koothuppattarai, as a full-time actor, where she worked with theatre personalities from all over India, and from countries such as Israel, UK, Spain, Mexico and France. She has worked as an actor for stage and film, a director (stage) and playwright, acting in over 20 plays over 250 shows. She continues to work with Tamil theatre groups in Chennai and with Clowns without Borders from France. Grand Rehearsal, a Tamil play written and directed by her, was the first Tamil play invited to be performed at The Hindu Theatre Fest in 2015. Since this was well received, she was again commissioned to write and direct another Tamil play the next year. Aayirathiyoru Iravugal, along with a double bill called Nagercoil Expressum Nadaga Companyum, won critical acclaim and appreciation for the humor and subversive perspective, first at The Hindu Theatre Fest and later on tours. She has acted in over 25 feature films, with filmmakers such as Mani Ratnam, National Award-winners Balu Mahendra, among others. She has worked as a part-time theatre faculty at Balu Mahendra’s Cinema Pattarai and conducted workshops for children from all walks of life. She won the Vikatan Award for Best Female Actor in a Comic role 2016, for the film Aandavan Kattalai. Her articles, stories and opinion pieces have been published in The News Minute, The Madras Mag, Anthi Mazhai , a literary magazine, The Hindu Tamil and silverscreen.in among others.
Vivek Shanbhag writes in Kannada. He has published five short story collections, three novels and two plays. He has edited two anthologies, one of which is in English. Vivek was founding editor of the literary journal Desha Kaala. His short stories have been translated into English and other Indian languages. His critically-acclaimed novel Ghachar Ghochar was published in English translation and is available in 17 other languages worldwide. Ghachar Ghochar was among the best ten books of 2017 listed by NY Times as well as The Guardian. He is the co-translator of U R Ananthamurthy’s book Hindutva or Hind Swaraj into English. Vivek was a Fall 2016 Honorary Fellow at the International Writing Program, University of Iowa. Vivek is an engineer by training. He lives in Bangalore.
VV Ramani is an alumnus of the Government college of Arts and Crafts, Madras, has over four decades of experience in the field of art and design exploring various dimensions and media - painting, murals, collages , textile and costume designing, set designing , teaching and writing on visual and performing arts. A versatile artist with a holistic approach the art of collage has been his chosen medium of expression for over two decades. His collages reflect a distinct vocabulary and personal visual expression that sets his work apart. His work Navarasa, inspired by music and dance, won him the State-level Ovia Nun Kalai Kuzhu Award in 1997. He also received the Kalai Nanmani award from the Department of Art and Culture, Government of Tamil Nadu in 2015. His works are in public and private collections in India and abroad
Devika Cariapa is a Delhi-based author with a lifelong passion for archaeology, travel and unearthing stories from the past. She merged these passions into her award-winning book, India through Archaeology: Excavating History (2017), which encourages children to explore a wealth of stories from Indian history through the lens of archaeology. When not immersed in things historical, she battles the digital era with a collection of old fountain pens, antique maps and large batches of homemade chocolate fudge.
VVS Laxman is a former Indian cricketer and now a cricket commentator and mentor to the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad. He received the Arjuna Award in 2002, the Padma Shri in 2011 and was named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year in 2002. He lives in Hyderabad with his family.
Yasser Usman is an award-winning TV journalist and the author of three bestselling biographies - Rajesh Khanna: The Untold Story of India’s First Superstar, Rekha: The Untold Story and Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for excellence in journalism, among many others.
Ziya Us Salam is an associate editor with Frontline. A literary and social commentator, he is involved in building bridges of commonality through a study of the Vedas and the Quran. He has served on the jury of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and been a part of the jury for Best Writing on Cinema in 2008. He has also been on the preview committee of IFFI (world cinema). His books Till Talaq Do Us Part and Of Saffron Flags and Skullcaps were released in 2018. They are being translated into various Indian languages. His book Delhi 4 Shows: Talkies of Yesteryear, a study based on the cinema halls of Delhi, was released in 2016. In 2012, he edited a book titled Housefull: The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema. Adopting a multilayered approach, he writes about literary and cinematic developments regularly and has contributed to anthologies published by the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the British Council, among others. His books, 365 Tales of Islam and Lynch Files, will be released in January 2019.