Akshay Singh received the Mohammed S Farsi Foundation Scholarship for Arts to pursue an MA in Screenwriting from the National Film & Television School, UK. Back in India he wrote and produced the feature films - ‘The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain’ & ‘Mehsampur’. An enthusiast of stories on the fringes, Akshay was born in Varanasi and now calls Goa home.
Usha Alexander is the author of the novels The Legend of Virinara (2018) and Only the Eyes Are Mine (2008); and the novelette, Leaving Idaho (2017). Her writing has been featured in 3 Quarks Daily, Scroll.in, The Punch Magazine, Pangyrus, and White Wall Review. Her life and work have taken her from Vanuatu, a Pacific Island nation, where she taught secondary school science as a US Peace Corps volunteer, to the corporate life of Silicon Valley, where she worked for Apple, and to many points between. She maintains an abiding interest in science, anthropology, and history. Usha grew up in Pocatello, Idaho, a remote little town in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. Though currently residing in the National Capital Region of India (NCR), she carries her home within herself. You’ll find her on the web at www.ushaalexander.com
Tilak Devasher is the author of three books on Pakistan: ‘Pakistan: Courting the Abyss’ (December 2016) that was termed ‘easily the best book on Pakistan’ by a noted Pakistani commentator – Khaled Ahmed; ‘Pakistan: At the Helm’ (July 2018). A Pakistani reviewer in Dawn termed it as ‘a book that any future leader of Pakistan ought to have by their bedside, simply because it is the sum of all that has gone before.’ The third book ‘Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum’ was published in July 2019. Tilak retired as Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India in October 2014. He is currently a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and also a Consultant with the Vivekananda International Foundation. During his professional career Tilak served in J&K, Delhi and abroad. He specialized in security issues, especially pertaining to India’s neighbourhood. Post retirement, he has continued to take a keen interest in such issues with special focus on Pakistan. Tilak has taken to writing after his superannuation. Apart from his books, he has written articles for a host of newspapers, magazines and think tank journals. He also appears regularly on TV talk shows. Tilak is an alumnus of Mayo College, Ajmer and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
Hema Myer Sood released her first book at 29. The Eternal Ocean of Brahma depicts the wisdom of the Bhagavad Geetha imbibed through intuitive perceptions of the waves of the ocean. She received notable reviews and was compared to Newton and Archimedes for her unprecedented perceptions. Another two books successfully followed within a few years.
Two decades later, The Karmic City trilogy was released in the genre of New Age Philosophy. Karmic Cords is a poignant narrative of the author’s personal loss of her only sibling.
Her foray into historical fiction interwoven with New Age Philosophy created a unique thriller - The Crown of Tijara which will be released in 2020.
Astri Ghosh is an actor, writer and translator who has translated twelve plays by Henrik Ibsen into Hindi. In a project initiated by the Centre for Ibsen Studies, Oslo, she collaborated with nine other translators who were translating Henrik Ibsen's contemporary prose plays into Arabic (Classical Arabic and Egyptian Arabic), Spanish, Persian, Mandarin, Japanese and Russian. Astri has translated 20 books into Hindi, English and Norwegian, and her translations have been included in three anthologies. She is currently translating a novel from Urdu to English. A former journalist, she also does poetry performances and has acted in two films.
R. Benedito Ferrão has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, N. America, and Oceania. He is an Assistant Professor of English and Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies at The College of William and Mary and currently a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow at the Xavier Center of Historical Research. Curator of the 2017-18 exhibition Goa, Portugal, Mozambique: The Many Lives of Vamona Navelcar, he edited a book of the same title (Fundação Oriente 2017) to accompany this retrospective of the artist’s work. His scholarly writing appears in various international journals and edited books, including Research in African Literatures and Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism (HKU Press 2017); his fiction and creative non-fiction can be read in Riksha, The Good Men Project, Mizna, The João Roque Literary Journal, and other publications.
Dhruv Bogra is the author of the adventure travel, non fiction book, ‘Grit, Gravel and Gear – Four Hundred days on a bicycle from the Arctic to the Andes’. In 2016, Dhruv undertook a 14 month long transcontinental bicycle odyssey fraught with adventure, exploration and peril when he chose to plunge into the far end of the planet to fulfill a childhood dream of exploring the lands and indigenous culture of the Arctic, the Maya, Zapotec and Aztec in Mexico and Central America and the Inca in Peru. As he cycled alone for 15,000 kilometers across ten countries from the cold and barren wilderness of the unforgiving arctic tundra to the thin air of the Andes at 4500 metres he endured hardship, misery, catharsis, happiness, and unbridled joy. He continues to be an adventure and endurance cyclist who has cycled extensively in the Indian Himalayas in Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarkhand, and Sikkim and the Western Ghats on his mountain bike.
Heta Pandit worked with Dr Jane Goodall on chimpanzee research in Tanzania, East Africa. In 1983, volunteered with an NGO in Bombay advocating heritage conservation. She came to Goa in 1995 and continued writing on heritage. A founder member the Goa Heritage Action Group, she has written 9 books: - Houses of Goa, Hidden Hands, Dust & Other Short Stories from Goa, Walking in Goa, Walking in Old Goa, Walking with Angels, There’s More to Life Than a House in Goa and Grinding Stories-Songs from Goa. Heta is fluent in Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, and English. She also translates Goan literature from the Marathi language into English to enable this genre to reach a wider audience.
Seema Mundoli is a faculty at Azim Premji University. She has worked with NGOs involved in conservation, advocacy on mining, land and forest rights, and education of indigenous communities. More recently her research examines the social and ecological interactions around ecosystems in a rapidly urbanizing India. She has co-edited the ‘State of the Environment, Andaman Archipelago’ (Universities Press, 2006) and authored ‘Cities and Canopies: Trees of Indian Cities’ (Penguin India 2019, with Harini Nagendra).
Aruna Ganu is a retired teacher, Department of Marathi, from St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa. She is also involved in translation of poems from Hindi to Marathi and has also written weekly columns for a Marathi daily, ‘Goan Varta.’