Adil Jussawalla was born in Mumbai. He spent most of the years between 1957 and 1970 in England where he studied to be an architect, wrote plays, read English at Oxford, and taught English at a language school. Returning to Mumbai, he taught English at St Xavier’s College between 1972 and 1975. He is an influential presence in Indian poetry in English. He has written four books of poetry, edited a seminal anthology of new writing from India (1974), and co-edited an anthology of Indian prose in English (1977).
Ahdaf Soueif is the author of The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1999. She writes regularly for The Guardian in London and has a weekly column in Al Shorouk in Cairo. A collection of her essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground was published in 2004. Her translation of Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah was released in 2004.
A.J. Thomas is an award winning Indian English poet, fiction writer and translator. He was a former editor of Indian Literature. His publications include the collection of poems Germination. He also translated Paul Zacharia’s stories in Bhaskara Pattelar and Other Stories and Reflections of a Hen in Her Last Hour and Other Stories. For more on the author and his work, see ajthomas.in.
Ajay Joshi is a theatre journalist. He has translated numerous Marathi plays into English, and has written two books on theatre. He lives in Pune.
Akhil Katyal is a writer and translator based in Delhi. His first book of poems, Night Charge Extra was published by Writers Workshop in 2015. He has a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and currently teaches literature at the Shiv Nadar University in Uttar Pradesh.
Alok Bhalla is a visiting professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia. He is the author of Stories About the Partition of India. He has also translated Dharamvir Bharati’s Andha Yug, Intizar Husain’s A Chronicle of the Peacocks and Ram Kumar’s The Sea and Other Stories into English.
Amarjit Chandan was born in 1946 in Nairobi. He has published seven collections of poetry and five books of essays in Punjabi, and the bilingual collection Sonata for Four Hands prefaced by John Berger (2010). He has also edited and translated over thirty anthologies of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction by Brecht, Neruda, Ritsos, Hikmet, Vallejo, Cardenal and Berger into Punjabi.
Anand (P. Sachidanandan)
P. Sachidanandan is an award-winning Malayalam writer. He is the author of short stories, plays, essays and novels. His novels include Aalkkoottam (The Crowd), Samharathinte Pusthakam (The Book of Murder) and Apaharikkappetta Daivangal (Stolen Gods). Two of his works, Desert Shadows and Vyasa and Vighneswara are available in English translation.
Ananya Vajpeyi is a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi.
Animikh Patra’s poetry collections include Patanmoner Kursi (2016), Kono Ekta Naam (2013), and Jatadur Boidho Boli (2009).
Anjana Kothamachu is a visual artist based in Bangalore. She has a degree in fine arts and has also studied animation. She has participated in several residency programs including Khoj and ISCP (New York City) in 2015, and Prohelvetia (Zurich) in 2016. Her work has been part of exhibitions and screenings in India and elsewhere, including the Creative India Public Art Intensive and the Changwon Sculpture Biennale, South Korea.
Anuja Ghosalkar is an actor, writer and director based in Bangalore. Drama Queen, her documentary theatre company focuses on oral histories, personal narratives and archival material to extend the idea of theatre that unsettles the status quo.
Anuradha Kapur is the former Director of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. She is the author of Actors, Pilgrims, Kings and Gods: the Ramlila at Ramnagar. She was associated with the theatre group Dishantar from its inception. She is also one of the founder members of Vivadi, a working group of painters, musicians, writers and theatre practitioners.
Aparna Karthikeyan is an independent journalist currently living in Mumbai. She documented a series on vanishing livelihoods of rural Tamil Nadu on a Fellowship from NFI, and volunteers with P. Sainath’s People’s Archive of Rural India. She now wants to tell stories of everyday people: short fiction, set mostly in Tamil Nadu.
Ari Sitas is a South African poet, sociologist and activist. He has published six books of poetry, including Rough Music: Selected Poems (1989-2013) (Deep South, 2013). For a semester he was Bhagat Singh Chair in Historical Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Arpana Caur has had solo exhibitions in museums all over the world, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She won the gold medal at the Sixth International Triennale in 1986, and her work was commissioned by the Hiroshima Museum of Modern Art for its 50th anniversary in 1995. Since 1981, she has worked on large, non-commercial murals in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hamburg and Kathmandu. For more on her work, see arpanacaur.com.
Arundhathi Subramaniam has published four books of poetry. Her prose works include the bestselling biography of a contemporary mystic and yogi, Sadhguru: More Than a Life, and The Book of Buddha. She edited Pilgrim’s India, an anthology on sacred journeys, and Eating God: A Book of Bhakti Poetry.
Ashok Vajpeyi is a popular Hindi poet, essayist and critic. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1994 for his poetry collection Kahin Nahin Wahin. He returned the award in 2015 as a gesture of protest against increasing intolerance in the country.
Ashwani Kumar is a poet and professor of development studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and a senior fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is author of the acclaimed non-fiction work Community Warriors (Anthem Press, 2008). His poems have appeared in Indian Literature, Muse India, Post-Colonial Text, International Gallerie and the Dhauli Review, among other publications. He has published two volumes of poetry, My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter (Yeti Books, 2014) and Banaras and the Other (Poetrywala, 2017).
Atul Dodiya is a highly acclaimed artist. He was trained at the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He has had more than 30 solo shows around the world, including a mid-career retrospective at the Japan Foundation Asia Centre in Tokyo; a solo show at the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; and the Contemporary Arts Centre in the USA. A major survey show of his work was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, in 2013.
Avtar Singh (Pash) Sandhu
Avtar Singh Sandhu was a poet and revolutionary. His first collection of poems, Loh Kath (The Iron Story) came out in 1970, while he was still in jail. After his release, he published Uddade Bazan Magar (Behind Flying Hawks) and Sade Samian Vich (In Our Times). He was assassinated on March 23, 1988.
Balagopalan is a sculptor and painter based in Delhi. He also collaborates with theatre productions and curators. His work, he says, 'engages with metaphysical and philosophical ideas combined with traditional and contemporary poetic tradition'.
Bama Faustina Soosairaj
Bama (born 1958) is a Tamil, Dalit feminist and novelist. She rose to fame with her autobiographical novel Karukku (1992), which chronicles the joys and sorrows experienced by Dalit Christian women in Tamil Nadu. She subsequently wrote two more novels, Sangati (1994) and Vanmam (2002), and two collections of short stories: Kusumbukkaran (1996) and Oru Tattvum Erumaiyum (2003).
Basharat Peer is a Kashmiri journalist, scriptwriter, author and political commentator, currently based in New York.
Bhaskar Chakraborty (1943-2005) was hailed as one of the best poets in Kolkata. His first book of poems, Sheetkaal Kabe Asabe Suparna (When Will It Be Winter, Suparna) is highly acclaimed. An entire generation of poets living in the city in the sixties and seventies attempted to write like him, but not one could capture metropolitan isolation with the delicate intimacy of Chakraborty’s poems.
Bolwar Mahamad Kunhi
Bolwar Mahamad Kunhi is an award-winning writer of fiction in Kannada. He was the first to introduce the language, customs and traditions of a small Muslim community of coastal Karnataka into Kannada literature. He weaves the syncretic culture of this region into his fiction. His two major novels are Swatantrada Ota (The March to Freedom), and Odiri (Read), a fictionalised biography of the Prophet Mohammed. The latter went into its second reprint within four days of publication.
Chaman Lal was Professor of Hindi Translation at the Centre of Indian Languages in the Jawaharlal Nehru University. He compiled Pash’s collected poems in Punjabi and translated them into Hindi; the translations won the Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize. He returned the award in 2015 to protest against growing intolerance in the country.
Chandan Gowda teaches at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. He has recently translated UR Ananthamurthy's story, Bara (Oxford Univ Press, 2016) and edited, The Post Office of Abachooru, a book of short stories of the Kannada writer, Purnachandra Tejasvi (forthcoming, HarperCollins, 2018). A Life in the World, a book of autobiographical interviews he did with UR Ananthamurthy will be published later this year (HarperCollins, 2017). He has also edited Theatres of Democracy: Selected Essays of Shiv Visvanathan (Harper Collins, 2016). He is presently completing a book on the cultural politics of development in old Mysore state and a fictional work on the legendary engineer, Sir M Visvesvaraya.
Chandrakant Patil is a Marathi poet, critic, translator and editor. He has also written 15 books in Hindi. He is the recipient of several national and regional awards. He lives in Pune.
Chetana Sachidanandan is a biologist by profession. She is a senior scientist at the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi. She is also the daughter of Malayalam writer Anand, whose works she has translated from Malayalam into English. Her translation of Samharathinte Pustakam (The Book of Destruction) was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Civic Chandran is a poet and playwright. He is also well-known for his powerful street-plays. He was a school teacher in Wayanad. He edits a journal of resistance, Patabhedam which raises significant social, political, human-rights and environmental issues.
Darshan Butter has written seven collections of poetry. He received the Sahitya Akademi award for his poetry collection Mahakambni (The Great Shivering). He returned the award in 2015 to protest against growing intolerance in the country. His poems have been translated into Hindi, Urdu, English and other languages.
Davalsaab is a jogappa (transwoman) who sings devotional songs in Kannada.
Dayanita Singh’s art reflects and expands on the ways in which people relate to photographic images. Her recent works, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, are a series of mobile museums that allow her images to be endlessly edited, sequenced, archived and displayed. Stemming from Singh’s interest in the archive, the museums present her photographs as interconnected bodies of work that are replete with both poetic and narrative possibilities. She has published twelve books: Museum of Chance (2014), File Room (2013), House of Love (2011), Dream Villa (2010), Blue Book (2009), Sent a Letter (2008), Privacy (2003), Myself Mona Ahmed (2001) and Zakir Hussain (1986).
Divya Rajan’s works have appeared in Berfrois, After Hours, Missing Slate, Gloom Cupboard, Silk and Spice – Chicago Anthology , and several others. She has previously served as co-editor at The Furnace Review.
Dona Mayoora’s poetry and art have been published in journals in seven languages. Her first collection of poetry in Malayalam, Ice Cubukal was published in 2012.
E.P. Unny is a well-known cartoonist. He has worked for a range of newspapers, such as The Hindu, the Sunday Mail, the Economic Times and the Indian Express, where he is currently chief political cartoonist. His most recent publication is Business As Usual: Journeys of the Indian Express Cartoonist. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2009.
E.V. Ramakrishnan has published poetry and literary criticism in Malayalam and English. He has three volumes of poetry in English, and several critical works in both English and Malayalam. The latter includes Aksharavum Aadhunikatayum, for which he was awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. At present he is professor emeritus in the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies at the Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.
Farid Mohammed 'Adil' Mansuri
Farid Mohammed Mansuri is a bilingual poet who writes in Gujarati and Urdu. He moved from Gujarat to Pakistan with his family at the time of partition, only to return to the city of Ahmedabad, where he currently lives. His family finally moved to the USA in 1985. He is also an accomplished calligrapher.
Gauri Gill is a photographer based in New Delhi. Her work is widely shown and is in the collections of prominent North American and Indian institutions. In 2011 she was awarded the Grange Prize, Canada’s foremost award for photography. Gill’s book Balika Mela was published by Edition Patrick Frey, Zurich, in 2012. For more information about her work, see gaurigill.com.
Gireesh G.V. is an artist and photographer based in New Delhi. Some of his works are part of private collections in Switzerland, Tokyo, New York, Bangalore, New Delhi and Kerala, with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Library in Hyderabad.
Githa Hariharan has written fiction, essays and columns over the last three decades. Her most recent book is Almost Home: Cities and Other Places. For more on the author and her work, see githahariharan.com
Gopika Jadeja is a poet and translator. She publishes and edits a journal as well as a series of pamphlets for a performance-publishing project called Five Issues. Her work has been published in Asymptote, The Wolf, Indian Literature, Vahi, Sahcharya and elsewhere. She is currently engaged in translating Gujarati poetry into English.
Gopika Nath ia a textile artist and craftsperson. She works towards redefining the value of hand-crafting in India. She is a Fulbright Scholar and alumnus of the Central St Martins School of Art and Design in the UK. She is also an art critic, blogger, poet and teacher.
Gorakh Pandey (1945-89) was a popular Hindi poet from Uttar Pradesh. He is known his collections Bhojpuri ken Au Geet (1978), Jagte Raho Sone Walon (1983), and Swarg se Bidai (1989).
Inderpal Grewal is professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. She is the author of Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel (Duke University Press, 1996) and Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (Duke University Press, 2005).
Indira Chandrashekar is a scientist, fiction writer, and the founder and principal editor of Out of Print, an online platform for short fiction from the Indian subcontinent. Her own stories have appeared in literary journals across the world; a collection will be published in 2017. She is co-editor of the anthology Pangea (Thames River Press, 2012).
Jaswinder is the author of six collectons of poetry. He received the Sahitya Akademi award in 2014 for his collection of ghazals Agarbatti. He returned the award in 2015 in protest against growing intolerance in the country. He lives in Canada.
Jitish Kalat is a well-known contemporary artist. His solo presentations include 'Circa' at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012); 'Fieldnotes: Tomorrow was here Yesterday' at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2011); 'Likewise' at Arndt, Berlin (2010); 'The Astronomy of the Subway' at Haunch of Venison, London (2010); 'Aquasaurus' at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Paddington, Australia (2008) and 'Lonely Facts' at the Kunsthalle Luckenwalde, Luckenwalde, Germany (1998). He was a curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2014.
K. Satchidanandan is a widely translated Malayalam poet and a bilingual writer, translator and editor. His most recent works available in English are While I Write and Misplaced Objects and Other Poems. For more on the author and his work see satchidanandan.com.
Kanchan Chander studied painting and printmaking and at art colleges in New Delhi, Santiago, Berlin, and Paris. She received the International Print Biennale Award, Bradford, UK, in 1986. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions all over the world. For more on her work, see kanchansartworks.net.
Kanji Patel’s published works include novellas, short stories and poetry. He is editor of Vahi, a journal of poetry, ritual, and the multilingual expression of society. He has also edited the Gujarat volume of the People's Linguistic Survey of India (Orient BlackSwan, 2016) led by Ganesh Devy.
Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Kareem James Abu-Zeid is an award-winning translator of poems and novels from across the Arab world. He is currently completing a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on spirituality and modern poetry. He is also translating Najwan Darwish’s second book.
Katherine Culver is a linguistic anthropologist studying at the University of Pennsylvania.
Keerti Ramachandra is a teacher by training, aptitude, and inclination. She is also a freelance editor and translator by virtue of being multilingual. Her translation of a Marathi novel, A Dirge for the Damned was shortlisted for the Crossword Award in 2015.
Keki Daruwalla writes poetry and fiction. He lives in Delhi. His novel Ancestral Affairs was recently published by Harper Collins. He won the Commonwealth Poetry Award (Asia) for his poetry volume Landscapes.
K.K. Muhamed did his M.A. in visual arts from Kala Bhavan, Viswabarati University, Shantiniketan. He has had eight solo exhibitions in India and more than 45 group shows in India and abroad. He has received several awards, including the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy Award in 1990; the India International Arts Centre Kolkata Award; the Working Artists Association Award from Orissa; and the Bombay Arts Society Award.
K.M. Madhusudhanan is an Indian film maker and artist, born 1956 in Alappuzha. His artistic practice flows seamlessly across various mediums in art and cinema, including video art and narrative feature film. His work confronts India’s film history, the colonial period and contemporary war politics. He is deeply concerned with war, colonisation, and man-made borders. Marxism and Buddhism have been decisive influences on Madhusudhanan’s art.
Krishna Mohan Shrimali
Krishna Mohan Shrimali was professor of history at the University of Delhi. He has written several research monographs and papers on ancient Indian history and archaeology. He was President of the Ancient Indian History Section, Indian History Congress; General President of Numismatic Society of India; and History Congresses of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal. He was also Secretary of the Indian History Congress from 1992 to 1995.
Krishna Sobti is a prominent Hindi novelist. She was born in West Punjab (present-day Pakistan) in 1925. She received the Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel Zindaginama. She also received the Shiromani Award in 1981 and the Hindi Academy Award in 1982. Her well-known novels and short stories include Dara se Bichuri, Mitro Marajani, Surajmukhi Andhere Ke, 'Nafisa', 'Sikka Badal Gaya', and 'Badalom Ke Ghere'.
Labhshankar Jadavji Thakar
Labhshankar Thakar, also known by his pen names Lagharo and Vaidya Punarvasu, was a Gujarati poet, playwright and short story writer. He had a modernist approach to literature, and was heavily influenced by the theatre of the absurd and other traditions of experimental literature. He received the Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak Award, the Narmad Suvarna Chandrak Award, the Kumar Chandrak Award, and the Sahitya Akademi Award.
Lal Singh Dil
Lal Singh Dil (1943-2007) was born into a dalit family in Ludhiana district. He was part of the Naxalite movement and was arrested by the police. His first book of poetry is Bahut Sare Suraj (Many Suns), published in 1971. He then wrote his autobiography Dastan. His poems have been translated into Hindi, Urdu and English. A selection of his translations and memoirs, Poet of the Revolution, was published in English in 2012.
Latha Viswanathan is the author of a collection of short stories titled Lingering Tide, which received honorable mentions at the Southern California Book Festival and the New York Book Festival. The story 'Brittle' appeared in this collection. Her stories have won several awards including the Goodheart Prize for fiction and two Pushcart nominations.
Laxman Guru is a jogappa (transwoman) from Nipani who sings devotional songs in Marathi.
M. Mukundan is a novelist and short story writer. He won the Sahitya Akademi Award for Daivathinte Vikruthikal (God’s Mischief) in 1989. Four of his novels have been made into feature films, with God’s Mischief winning the State Award for best film. He was President of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi for three years. His stories and novels have been widely translated into various Indian languages as well as French.
Madhavikutty (Kamala Das)
Kamala Das (1934-2009) was an iconoclastic award-winning Indian poet in English and a fiction writer in Malayalam, besides being famous for her autobiography My Story in English, and her memoirs in Malayalam. She wrote six collections of poetry in English, and three novels and 11 collections of short stories in Malayalam.
An architect by profession, Makarand Sathe has been writing plays, novels and articles in Marathi for the last three decades. His plays have been performed in many national and international festivals. His works have been translated into English, French, Russian and many Indian languages. His three-volume socio-political history of Marathi theatre was published by the Oxford University Press in 2015.
Mala Dayal has long worked as an editor and publisher of books for children. Her work includes the Puffin Treasure of Modern Indian Stories, Nanak: The Guru, and The Story of Krishna.
Mallikarjun B. Katakol
Mallikarjun Katakol is a Bangalore-based photographer. He has worked as a freelancer with advertising agencies and print media for the past 15 years. He was born in Dharwad, Karnataka, and studied at the CAVA Art School in Mysore. He then worked as a graphic designer in Bangalore for a couple of years. Following a stint as an assistant photographer in Mumbai, he set up his own company in 1993. In addition to commercial photography, he has pursued the craft of image-making in projects that explore the aesthetics of tradition in contemporary India.
Mamang Dai is a poet and novelist from Arunachal Pradesh, and a former journalist. She was president of the Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists. Her poetry, fiction and articles have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. She also worked with the World Wide Fund for Nature in the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspots programme. She lives in Itanagar.
Manas Acharya is an inter-disciplinary visual artist and curator. He earned a diploma in fine arts from the Indian College of Art, Kolkata, and a postgraduate diploma from Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan. His work spans across various media and art practices, including drawing, painting, installation, video, performance art, documentary film, popular art and craft, and design and collaborative art projects. He is also engaged as a curator-coordinator of Studio 21, a multi-disciplinary art space that serves as a creative platform for young artists in Kolkata.
Manash 'Firaq' Bhattacharjee
Manash Bhattacharjee’s poems have appeared in The London Magazine, the New Welsh Review, The Fortnightly Review, the Elohi Gadugi Journal, Mudlark, Metamorphoses, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Postcolonialist, and The Indian Quarterly. His first collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013) was published by The London Magazine. He teaches at the School of Culture and Creative Expressions in the Ambedkar University, New Delhi.
Mangalesh Dabral is a celebrated Hindi poet. He has published five books of poems, two collections of literary essays and socio-cultural commentary, a book of conversations, and a travelogue on his experiences in Iowa, where he was a fellow at the International Writing Program in 1991. He has received numerous awards, including the Shamsher Sammaan (1995), the Pahal Sammaan (1998) and the Sahitya Akademi Award (2000).
Manohar Shetty has published seven books of poetry, including Domestic Creatures and Living Room. His poems have appeared in Shenandoah, The Common, Chelsea, the Atlanta Review and The Baffler in the USA; and in The London Magazine, Poetry Review and Poetry Wales in the UK. His poems have also been widely anthologised. He lives in Goa.
Meena Kandasamy (born 1984) is an Indian poet, fiction writer, translator and activist. Most of her works are centred on feminism and speak out against caste. As of 2013, Meena has published two collections of poetry, Touch (2006) and Ms. Militancy (2010). Two of her poems have won accolades in all-India poetry competitions. From 2001 to 2002, she edited The Dalit, the bi-monthly alternative English magazine of the Dalit Media Network. She lives in Chennai.
Meena Alexander has recently published her eighth book of poems, Atmospheric Embroidery. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry, and her works include the PEN Award-winning Illiterate Heart. In 2014, she was a National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She is Distinguished Professor of English, Graduate Centre, Hunter College, CUNY. To no more about the writer and her work, see meenaalexander.com.
Merlin Moli is a Delhi-based artist. She has three decades of sculpting experience with various materials. She has participated in exhibitions both in India and elsewhere.
M.K. Raghavendra is a film scholar and critic. He received the National Award (the Swarna Kamal) for Best Film Critic in 1997. He has authored three volumes of academic film criticism: Seduced by the Familiar: Narration and Meaning in Indian Popular Cinema; Bipolar Identity: Region, Nation and the Kannada Language Film; and The Politics of Hindi Cinema in the New Millennium: Bollywood and the Anglophone Indian Nation. He has also written two books on cinema for the general reader, 50 Indian Film Classics and Director’s Cut: 50 Film-makers of the Modern Era.
M.M. Somashekharan is a theoretician of Marxist politics and a cultural theorist. He was a student at Government College, Madappally, when he was arrested in connection with the Naxalite attack on Kayanna police station. He was then jailed in the Central Prison, Kannoor.
Mourid al-Barghouti is a Palestinian poet. His works include Collected Works (1997), I Saw Ramallah (2003), A Small Sun (2003), Muntasaf al-Layl (2005), and Midnight and Other poems (2008).
The late Muhammad Ali was a voracious reader, poet and activist.
N Kalyan Raman
N Kalyan Raman is a Chennai-based translator of contemporary Tamil fiction and poetry into English. He has published nine volumes of Tamil fiction in translation, with two more books forthcoming in the near future. He has also translated over 200 poems by leading contemporary Tamil poets, published in journals and anthologies in India and abroad. He also regularly contributes essays, reviews and articles on literature, culture and public policy. In February 2017, he received the prestigious Pudumaipithan award for the year 2015, given by Vilakku, for his contribution to Tamil literature through his translations.
Najwan Darwish was born in Jerusalem in 1978. He is a poet, journalist, editor and cultural critic. Currently he is chief editor of the cultural section of the Al Araby Al Jadeed newspaper. He serves as literary advisor to the Palestine Festival of Literature. Since the publication of his first collection in 2000, his poetry has been translated into several languages.
Naushil Mehta is a writer, translator, director and producer. His play Atyare (Now), staged by Sabira Merchant’s Studio 29, is a cult production. He is the founder of Vikalp (The Alternative), a group dedicated to theatre. A collection of his short plays was recently published as Leela Laghu Natako.
Nilanjan Das graduated from the Rabindra Bharati University with an M.F.A. and B.F.A. from the Graphics Department. As a printmaker, he uses the reproductive possibilities of print, choosing objects and formats for his work that are common, popular, witty, interactive, communicative and commercial, often manipulating their marketable characteristics to connect to people.
Nilima Sheikh studied history at Delhi University and painting at M.S. University, where she later taught between 1977 and 1981. She began exhibiting her work in 1969, and has had 12 solo exhibitions. She has participated in several artists’ camps and residencies, both in India and elsewhere. Her interest in theatre has led her to design theatre sets for several productions. She has also illustrated books for children, and written essays for journals and art books.
Nirban Bandhyopadhyay was born in 1974 and raised in Hooghly, West Bengal. His first book of poems, Ei Janmo, Jaduprabanata was published in 2011. His second collection titled Mangsashi Medhar Trapeze was published in 2013, and was awarded the Krittibas Award in 2015.
Nirupama Dutta is an established figure in the field of Punjabi poetry and short fiction. Her poems have featured in various anthologies. They have also been translated into English, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Urdu. In 2004, she co-edited with Ajeet Caur an anthology of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) poetry titled Our Voices. A seasoned translator of poetry and fiction, she has translated and edited Stories of the Soil, an anthology of Punjabi short stories published by Penguin India.
N.S. Madhavan is a Malayalam writer, commentator and columnist. He has published six collections of stories, two plays, a travelogue, a book of literary criticism, and a novel. The English translation of his novel, Litanies of Dutch Battery, won the annual Crossword award for best Indian fiction in translation. His most recent work is a collection of stories, Pancha Kanyakakal (Five Virgins).
Om Prakash Valmiki
Om Prakash Valmiki (1950-2013) is one of the most important voices in Hindi literature. He was a Dalit writer and poet from Uttar Pradesh. His autobiography Joothan (1997) is considered a major milestone in Hindi and Dalit writing.
Orijit Sen is a graphic artist, cartoonist, muralist and designer. He is author of the graphic novel River of Stories as well as many other works of graphic fiction and non-fiction. He is one of the founders of People Tree, a collaborative studio and store for artists, designers and craftspeople. Sen is also Mario Miranda Chair Visiting Professor at Goa University.
The late P. Udayabhanu regularly contributed poems to periodicals and also published a book of collected poems. He wrote the introduction to the first edition of Thadavarakkavitakal. He also worked with All India Radio. Udayabhanu was arrested when he was a student of history at the Government College, Madappally, and spent more than 500 days in the Central Prison in Kannoor.
Perumal Murugan is a well-known Tamil novelist, short story writer and poet. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show, and One Part Woman. He has received awards from the Government of Tamil Nadu as well as from Katha Books.
Pinky lives in Kolkata. She was a participant in the Kolkata Women’s Dialogue, a series of social art events initiated by artists Joan Marie Kelly and Shikah Das in the brothels of Kolkata.
P.K. Parakkadavu has published story collections, children’s literature, essays, memoirs, and translations. He received the S.K. Pottekkad Award for Maunathinte Nilavili (The Wail of Silence); the Abu Dhabi 'Arangu' Sahitya Award for Parakkadavinte Kathakal; the Vaikom Muhammad Basheer Award of the Kerala Language Institute for the collection Aval Peyyunnu (She Rains); and the Kuttamath Award for the poem 'Sneham Kaaykkunna Maram' (The Love-bearing Tree).
Pratheesh is a poet and artist. He has published three poetry collections in Malayalam. He lives and works in Kerala.
Priya Kuriyan is a children’s book illustrator, comic book artist and animator. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has illustrated numerous children’s books for various Indian publishers. She has also directed educational films for the Sesame Street show (India) and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI). She currently lives in New Delhi, filling her sketchbooks with caricatures of its residents. To know more about her work, see here and here.
Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Priya Sarukkai Chabria has a novel, two poetry collections, speculative fiction, and a work of non-fiction in collaboration with the photographer Christopher Taylor to her credit. She has also co-translated the eighth century Tamil poet Andal, in Andal: The Autobiography of a Goddess. She edits poetry at Sangam. For more on her work see priyawriting.com.
Pushpamala has been called 'the most entertaining artist-iconoclast of contemporary Indian art'. She seeks to subvert the dominant discourse through her sharp and witty work as a sculptor, writer, curator and provocateur. She lives in Bengaluru.
Ra Sh’s poems have been published in various national and international online journals. He has translated works from English to Malayalam and vice versa. His poems were included in the anthology A Strange Place Other Than Earlobes, and in a collection called Architecture of Flesh, published by Poetrywala, Mumbai.
Radwa Ashour is an Egyptian writer and translator. Hajar Dafi is her first novel. Her trilogy Gharnata was declared 'best book of the year' by the General Egyptian Book Organization in 1994. She co-edited the Encyclopedia of Arab Women Writers: 1873–1999 (2005). She also supervised the translation of the ninth volume of the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism (2006) into Arabic.
Rahman Abbas’ novels include Nakhlistan ki Talash (In Search of an Oasis), Ek Mamnua Muhabbat ki Kahani (The Story of Forbidden Love), Khuda ke Saaye mein Ankh Micholi (Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God) and Rohzin (The Melancholy of Souls). He has also written a collection of essays called Ekkiswin Sadi mein Urdu Novel aur Digar Mazameen (The Urdu Novel in the Twenty-First Century and Other Essays). He was awarded the Fiction Award in 2011 for Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi by the State Academy of Maharashtra.
Rahul Rai is a poet and playwright. He has worked with theatre groups such as The Players in Delhi, and Motley in Mumbai. He is co-founder of the theatre company T for Theatre. He is an editor and contributor to Kachhikavita, an online journal of poetry in Hindi. His plays include Kaali Ghadi, Shoony Batta Sannata, Daalmot, Virah and most recently Outer Dilli.
Rajesh Joshi is a Hindi poet, playwright and a journalist. He was the recipient of the 2002 Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi for his collection of poems Do Panktiyon ke Beech (Between Two Lines). He returned the award in 2015 in protest against growing intolerance in the country. He lives in Bhopal.
Rajesh Vangad is a Warli painter from Ganjad, Dahanu, an Adivasi village in coastal Maharashtra. He has exhibited his work at Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Bhopal in India, and London and Barcelona in Europe and through the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited, as well as the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.
Rakhi is a jogappa (transwoman) who sings devotional songs in Marathi.
Ranbir Kaleka's work reflects a view of the world that is highly internalised and appears to place much reliance on the juxtaposition of improbabilities. In iterations of figurative painting and sculpture the relationship with the metaphysical and surrealist imagination is oblique rather than direct; he incorporates personal experience with wider and more general issues. A later body of work sees him as a painter of expressionist fabulism. The artist’s movement into video art, in which he projected video onto a painted canvas, has been an essential endeavour in his further exploration of the ‘psychological event’, one which can take place only outside the physical confines of the frame of the painting, through the use of light to create the image and the subsequent aura of the image. Kaleka has also created and exhibited constructed photographs, sculptures and installations. The artist’s work has been widely exhibited in India and abroad.
Randi L. Clary
Randi Clary is a doctoral student focusing on Sikh studies in the Religious Studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed her M.A. in religious studies at Rice University.
Ranjit Hoskote is a poet, cultural theorist and curator. His collections of poems include Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 and Die Ankunft der Vögel. His published translations of the poems of the fourteenth-century Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded is called I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded. He is the editor of Dom Moraes: Selected Poems, the first annotated critical edition of a major Anglophone Indian poet’s work.
Rita Kothari is an author and translator who writes in both Gujarati and English. She has translated several Gujarati works in English. Her works include Translating India: The Cultural Politics of English (2003), The Burden of Refuge: The Sindhi Hindus of Gujarat (2007), Unbordered Memories: Partition Stories from Sindh (2009) and Memories and Movements (2016).
Ritu Menon is a feminist publisher and writer. She was convener of a multi-language project on 'The Gendered Nature of Censorship in India' from 2000 to 2005. The project worked with over 300 writers from more than 10 Indian languages. She has written extensively on censorship and dissent in newspapers, magazines, and periodicals.
Robin S. Ngangom
Robin Ngangom is a bilingual poet and translator who writes in English and Manipuri. He describes himself as 'a politically-discriminated-against and historically-overlooked poet who, nonetheless, believes that poetry cannot do without love in all its outlandish manifestations'.
Rollie Mukherjee is an artist and critic based in Baroda. She studied at Visva Bharathi, Shantiniketan, and the Maharaja Sayyaji Rao University in Baroda. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in India and abroad.
Romila Thapar (born in 1931) is an Indian historian whose principal area of study is ancient India. She is the author of several books including the popular volume A History of India, Vol. 1. She is currently professor emerita at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Rupalee Burke heads the English department in a college in Ahmedabad and uses her writing/ translation/ editing/ research skills for cultural activism. Her translations of works by writers of the Dalit, Adivasi, and denotified nomadic communities have been published as anthologies, and in journals such as Indian Literature and Muse India.
S. Vijayaraghavan holds an M.F.A. degree with a major in painting from the College of Art in New Delhi. He has participated in various shows, festivals and residency programmes in India and elsewhere. For more on the artist and his work, see here.
Saba Hasan is a multidisciplinary artist. She has worked on book installations, photographs, paintings, videos and sound since 1998. She has an M.A. in cultural anthropology with certification in art/ art history from the Ecole d’Arts Visuels, Lausanne, and Cambridge University. Her work was showcased at the 55th Venice Biennale at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, as part of the Imago Mundi Collection (2013). She received the Raza National Award for painting in 2005 and international fellowships for the 'Book of Disquiet' from Syracuse University, New York; the French Cultural Ministry, Paris (2006); the George Keyt Foundation (2002) and the Oscar Kokoschka Academy, Salzburg (2010).
Sabika Abbas is a poet, short-story writer, and translator. She is a graduate in history from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), New Delhi. She did her postgraduate work in conflict transformation and peace-building from the ASSK Centre for Peace, LSR. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in modern Indian history from the Department of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi. She has worked with the Youth Forum for Foreign Policy, Adhay and Pehchan, Chehel, and Sandrishti.
Sagar Bhaskar Walke
Sagar Bhaskar Walke is a jogappa (transwoman) who sings devotional songs in Marathi.
Sajitha Shankar was a member of the Lalit Kala Akademi, Kerala, and was on the governing body of Vyloppilly Sanskriti Bhavan. She has served on the award juries of several art exhibitions. She has had numerous solo shows around the world. She is also founder-director of an innovative centre for art in Kallar, the Gowri Art Institute. She works at the Garhi Studios of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
Salil Chaturvedi writes short fiction and poetry in English and Hindi. He lives in Chorao, an island in Goa, with his wife, a cat, and a dog.
Salma is a well-known name to readers of contemporary Tamil literature. With two volumes of poetry – Oru Maalaiyum Innoru Maalaiyum and Pacchai Devadai – and a novel – Irandaam Jaamangalin Kadhai – all of which have been translated to several languages, Salma has made her mark as a distinctive literary voice. Lakshmi Holmstrom’s English translation of her novel, entitled The Hour Past Midnight, was recently shortlisted for the Crossword Book Prize. Salma’s poetry and fiction have carved an undeniable place in the Tamil literary terrain for the articulation of desire and sexuality as well as the emotions that animate the domestic space every day, subjects that are often considered beneath literary consideration.
Sanghamitra Haldaer writes poetry and non-fiction. Her collections include Naamaano Rucksack (2010), Deergho-ee (2014) and Hey Ektu Sambodhan (2016).
Sankar Basu is a poet. His collections of poetry include Shudhu Sur Jege Aachhe, E Basona E Nirbason, and Backbencharer Travelogue.
Santanu Mitra graduated in visual arts from the Government College of Art & Crafts, Kolkata. He completed his postgraduate work in printmaking from the same institution in 2001. He has participated in various exhibitions, group shows and art workshops across India. He also likes to illustrate graphic novels.
Sarabjeet Garcha is a bilingual poet, editor and translator. He has published a book of poems in Hindi and two in English, the latest being Lullaby of the Ever-Returning. He received a junior fellowship in Hindi literature from the Ministry of Culture in 2011. Sarabjeet is co-founder and director of Copper Coin, an independent multilingual publishing company.
Savi, as he is popularly known, had to face mainstream modern Indian art and struggled to evolve a space for Dalit art and imagery in the realm of the art gallery exhibiting space. He is the first artist in independent India to address issues of unsociability and the Devadasi tradition through the medium of painting, with highly communicative figures narrating their own existence in the Brahmanical social order. Savi's ideas emerged from the legacy of social struggle of Mahatma Phule and Dr Ambedkar.
S.G. Vasudev obtained his diploma from the Government College of Arts in Chennai. He has won several awards, such as the National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. His works have been included in important national collections, and have travelled widely all over the world. He is a founder member of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village in Chennai. He lives and works in Bangalore.
Sayed Haider Raza
Sayed Haider Raza (1922–2016) was one of modern India's greatest painters and abstractionists. He was born in Babaria, Madhya Pradesh and spent most of his life in Paris, before returning to Delhi in 2010.
Shashi Deshpande has written novels, short stories, essays and books for children over several decades. She has also translated works from Kannada and Marathi into English. Her most recent novel is Strangers to Ourselves.
Shoili Kanungo is a graphic designer, illustrator and visual artist. She has worked on a range of communication design projects in Sydney and New Delhi. She is currently visiting faculty at the School of Planning and Architecture. For more on her work, see shoilikanungo.com.
Adya Rangacharya (1904-1984) was one of India’s most eminent dramatists. He wrote 40 full-length and 67 one-act plays, as well as books and articles on the theatre. He also wrote about the Gita and translated Bharata’s Natyashastra into Kannada and English. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Padma Bhushan. He was the first director of the Kalidasa Academy in Ujjain.
Shubha Mudgal is a singer of Hindustani classical music. She was awarded the 1996 National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction for 'Amrit Beej'; the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music, at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, for her music in the film Dance of the Wind; and the Padma Shri in 2000. Her first guru was Pandit Ramashreya Jha, in Allahabad. She pursued her musical education in Delhi under Pandit Vinay Chandra Maudgalya.
Siddappa G. Algonda
Siddappa Algonda is a jogappa (transwoman) who sings devotional songs in Kannada.
Soibam Haripriya is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. Her writings have appeared in East Wind – The North East Journal, The Telegraph (Kolkata), Alternative Perspective, Indian Currents, The Sangai Express, Eastern Quarterly and Imphal Free Press, to name a few. She is currently engaged in documenting and analysing the changing meaning of 'sites' in the cultural landscape of Manipur. She has a special interest in reading and writing poetry, besides translating Manipuri literary work to English. Her poems have been included in an anthology called Tattooed with Taboos (Loktakleima Publications, 2011). She blogs at Nambul Turel.
Souradeep Roy is a poet, translator and member of the Guftugu editorial collective.
K. Srilata is a poet, fiction writer, and professor of English at IIT Madras. Her collections of poems include Bookmarking the Oasis, Writing Octopus, Arriving Shortly and Seablue Child. She co-edited the anthology Rapids of a Great River: The Penguin Book of Tamil Poetry. Her novel Table for Four, longlisted in 2009 for the Man Asian literary prize, was published by Penguin.
Subhadip Maitra is an author, translator, and journalist. He writes in English and Bengali. His poetry collections include Jadukori Boighar (2014) and Adar Bapari Jabe Armeni Ghate (2016). One of his stories was included in Shunya Doshoker Golpo Sangraha, an anthology of Bengali short stories.
Subhro Bandhopadhyay is the author of four books of poetry, one of which fetched him the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in 2013. Two of his books have been translated into Spanish, and published in Spain. He has also written a biography of Pablo Neruda in Bengali. He received the Antonio Machado International Poetry Fellowship from the Government of Spain.
Sukkanya Ramgopal is India’s first woman ghatam player. Disciple of ghatam legend Sri Vikku Vinayakram, she is one of the foremost exponents of Carnatic percussion in India. She has performed extensively at home and abroad. The ghata tharang, where she plays melody on multiple ghatams, is her brainchild. She leads an all-women’s instrumental ensemble called Sthree Thaal Tharang. She is the recipient of numerous awards and titles, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2014.
Sukrita Paul Kumar
Sukrita Paul Kumar is a well-known poet, translator and educator. She held the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at Delhi University till recently, and has been a fellow of the International Writing Programme in Iowa, USA, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the Hong Kong Baptist University. She is an honorary faculty member of the Durrell Centre at Corfu, Greece. Her books include Dream Catcher, Untitled, Poems Come Home (with Hindustani translations of her poems by Gulzar), Narrating Partition, Conversations on Modernism and The New Story.
Sumana Chandrashekar is a carnatic vocalist and ghatam player. She has studied vocal music and the ghatam under Vidushi Rupa Sridhar and Vidushi Sukkanya Ramgopal. She has worked on educational projects that incorporate music, and conducted music/ sound workshops for school teachers. She was project coordinator for a ghatam-making training project supported by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. In 2015 she received a grant from the Sandbox Collective, Goethe Institut to create an experimental performance work titled 'Rendu Ghatam'. She currently works as a programme executive and is responsible for the Arts Practice programme at the India Foundation for the Arts.
Sumona Chakravarty holds degrees in art and design from the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. She earned an M.A. in art and design for civic engagement from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She has worked in the field of community art and participatory design practices in India, the USA, and Mexico. Chakravarty explores the role of participatory art and design practices in creating spaces for civic engagement and reactivating the public domain.
Surjeet Kalsey (born in Amritsar) is a Canadian poet, dramatist, short story writer and translator. He lives in British Columbia and writes in both Punjabi and English.
Surjit Patar is one of the most celebrated Punjabi poets. His first collection of ghazals is titled Hava vich Likhe Harf (Words Written in Air). He was given the Sahitya Akademi award for his poetry collection Hanere vich Sulgadi Varnmala (Alphabets Smouldering in Darkness) in 1994. He returned the award in 2015 to protest against growing intolerance in the country.
Susmit Panda was born in 1996. He began composing poetry at the age of fifteen. Since then he’s been trotting out poems recklessly and his first book, titled 50 Arteries, was published in 2016.
Tamim al-Barghouti is a Palestinian poet, columnist and political scientist. His collections of poetry include Mijana and Al-Manzar. He studied politics at Cairo University and Boston University, where he received a doctorate in political science. His works on history and political thought include Benign Nationalism: Nation State Building Under Occupation, The Case of Egypt, and The Umma and the Dawla: The Nation State and the Arab Middle East. He was awarded a poetry prize in 2000 by the Regional Cultural Foundation in Marrakesh.
T.M. Krishna is a Carnatic music vocalist. He was born in Chennai in 1976. Krishna has been written about extensively by art reviewers and music critics worldwide. He has been featured in several publications, for both his music and his many and growing contributions off-stage. He has received numerous awards and titles from various institutions around the world. In 2013, his book A Southern Music – The Karnatik Story was released by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and the chairman of Kalakshetra, Gopalkrishna Gandhi. It discusses the philosophy, aesthetics, sociology and history of Carnatic music.
T.P. Sabitha is a poet, essayist and art critic. She teaches English at the University of Delhi. She has been a Commonwealth Scholar at UCL, University of London and a Paul Mellon Fellow at the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven.
Uday Prakash is a contemporary Hindi poet, scholar, journalist, translator and short-story writer. He was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for his collection of short stories Mohan Das. He returned the award in 2015 as a protest against the murder of scholar M.M. Kalburgi.
Vanamala Viswanatha, an award-winning translator, has translated into English important modern Kannada writers such as Vaidehi, Anantamurthy, Lankesh, and Sara Aboobacker. Vanamala, who has also served as honorary director of the Centre for Translation, Sahitya Akademi, and member of the National Translation Mission, has taught English language and literature in several premier institutions in Bengaluru.
Varshita Khaitan completed her graduation in visual communication from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore in 2012. Since then, she has been working as a graphic designer at The Free Agency. She is also a junior committee member of Dakshini Prayash, an NGO for the underprivileged in Calcutta.
Vasudha Thozhur was born in 1956 in Mysore. She studied at the College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, and at the School of Art and Design in Croydon, UK. She lived and worked in Chennai from 1981 to 1997 and in Baroda from 1997 to 2013. She is currently associate professor in the Department of Art, Design and Performing Arts at the Shiv Nadar University, Dadri.
Vishnu Khare is a prominent Hindi poet, critic, journalist, translator and film critic. He also writes in English. He is former editor of the Navbharat Times and assistant editor of The Times of India. He has translated two major European epics into Hindi. He has also written six collections of poetry, a book of criticism and over 20 books of translations in Hindi, German, and other German-dominated European languages. He lives in Mumbai and Chhindwada.
Vivan Sundaram is a highly acclaimed artist. He works in many different media, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation and video art. His work is politically conscious and deeply intertextual in nature.
Vivek Narayanan is a widely published poet whose books include Universal Beach and Life and Times of Mr S. Narayanan is a publisher and co-editor of Almost Island, an India-based journal and literary organisation. He has been a fellow in creative writing at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University, and is now a fellow at the Cullman Centre for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.
V.K. Prabhakaran is a poet and playwright. He was a student at Government College, Madappally. He was arrested at the time in connection with the Naxalite attack on the Kayanna police station and spent time in the Central Prison, Kannoor.
Yaseen Ashraf is associate editor of Madhyamam and managing director of Madhyamam Broadcasting. He was associate professor and head of the Department of English in Farook College, Calicut. He has authored several books in English and Malayalam. These include two original books, six translations, and reviews and articles. He has won the Muttathu Varkey Award, the Calicut Press Club Award and the Pandalam Rama Varma Award for the best editorial in Malayalam.
Yousuf Saeed is an independent filmmaker and researcher. He has an M.A. in mass communication from the Jamia Millia University’s A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre. He has worked in educational television and produced documentaries on a range of subjects. His films, shown in several film festivals, academic venues and television, include Inside Ladakh, Basant, Yashpal – A Life in Science, and The Train to Heaven. For more on his work see yousufsaeed.com.
Y.S. Alone is professor in visual arts at the Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of Arts and Aesthetics specialising in ancient and modern Indian art, Buddhist art, and caste studies.
Zai Whitaker is director of the Madras Crocodile Bank, where she also lives. Apart from her interest in conservation, she loves teaching and learning, and has taught at the Kodaikanal International School. She has also been principal of two schools. She plays an active role in the Irula Tribe Women’s Welfare Society in Thandari near Chinglepet.