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Abhijeet Kini is an illustrator, animator and comic creator. He is an independent comics publisher, with two titles under his name: Milk and Quickies and Angry Maushi. He has been freelancing since his college days, and his illustrations have been published by magazines and newspapers like MiD DAY, The Times Group, etc. He is a regular illustrator with Tinkle comics, and works on some famous characters like Butterfingers, Defective Detectives and SuperWeirdos. Along with his wife Diksha, he runs his own merchandise line, and the two are regular faces at the Comic Con events in India.
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Arzan Khambatta calls himself an architect by profession and a sculptor by choice. As a young kid he would scout the streets, garages and construction sites for scrap metal, collect the same and weld them into pieces of art he fondly christened “SCRAPTURES” - a word that has become synonymous with Arzan.Now Khambatta’s works are found in corporate houses, hotels, and private collections around the world and in India, the most prominent ones being the Dolphins at Worli and the CEAT Rhino at Nariman Point. Arzan is passionate about his work and takes up challenges which defy his own creativity.
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Reknab Kohsa sometimes spells his name backwards as Ashok Banker . He resides in the universe next door (third door to the left) with a cranky red hound named Wolliw who sometimes spells her name backwards too, barking entire novels which he then transcribes into published bestsellers.
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Music, for Avinash Lamba , is the compass that guides him through life. Born into a family of musicians through the generations, it was no surprise that a young prodigy was in the making. Under the tutelage of his father, Satish Lamba, as well as Eknath Pimple, Vivek Kulkarni and Sadanand Nanipali, Avinash had a well-received debut. Dabbling in multi-percussion instruments like the table, dholak and side rhythm, he is currently a full-time accompanying artist, and has to his credit several students, whom he has trained and prepared for competitive music forums.
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Chatura Rao started her writing career with the Times of India, and in 2003, turned to telling stories. She wrote the children’s fantasy novel Amie and the Chawl of Colour (Puffin Books, 2004). Subsequently her short stories appeared in several Puffin and Scholastic collections. She co-authored Growing Up in Pandupur (Young Zubaan, 2010) with her sister Adithi Rao. She has also co-produced an audio book and directed two short documentaries. At her workshops, children learn story-making, so they may continue to spot the magical in the ordinary, even after they grow up.
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Deepa Balsavar writes and illustrates books for children. For over 25 years she has also been involved in developing, writing and illustrating material for schools and organizations on education, adolescent health and sexuality, and child rights. Deepa’s The Seed was selected as one of the outstanding books of the year 2006 by the White Ravens Children’s Library, Germany. She has developed scripts for UNICEF’s animated series on the girl child – Meena, and been a core member of the organization Abacus that has developed ‘Sangati’- a programme that is being used in all the upper primary BMC schools in Mumbai.
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Deepa Kiran is a professional storyteller, an education consultant, a voice-over artist, host (MC) for cultural events, and a freelance writer who works with children and educators. With a background in Indian classical dance, soft skills training and voice training at All India Radio and glider pilot training, she brings in all of her learning and interests into her storytelling. Deepa has been holding storytelling performances and workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, libraries, cultural centers, publishing houses, corporates and NGOs as well as at storytelling festivals. She weaves in music and dance to bring alive the story time.
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Deepak Dalal chucked up a career as a chemical engineer to write stories for children. He currently lives in Pune with his wife, two daughters and several dogs and cats. He enjoys wildlife, nature and the outdoors. The Sahyadri Hills of Pune are a short journey from his home. When not at his desk writing, he is either trekking their slopes or cycling their valleys.
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Dhaarini Suryanarayanan , a student of Smt. Vijayalakshmi Suryanarayanan- Nartaki, has been learning the classical art form of Bharatha Natyam since the tender age of five. She has performed at the Natyanjali Festival held every year at the Thirchembur Murugan temple for the last 5 years, the Annual Cultural Event held at the Naval Headquarters, Navy Nagar, and the South Indian Bhajan Samaj as part of the Ramnavami celebrations. Recently, Dhaarini danced at the National Literature Conference on Mysticism –“Anugoonj” hosted by the Sophia College for Women, Mumbai.
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Dr Swati Shome received her undergraduate degree at Sophia College, Mumbai, during which time she completed several credit units from Harvard University, USA. She also spent a summer doing research at the Max Plank Institute fur Strahlenchemie, Germany on a DAAD fellowship. She completed her Masters and PhD degrees at Yale University, USA and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA.
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Jai Ranjit is a self-taught artist with 3 solo and 9 group art shows in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru. He was part of the Kala Ghoda Festival team in '08 and '09 and has been teaching art since '09.
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Jeeva's storytelling style leaves her audience spell-bound. She believes that she herself is the best prop for her storytelling. Her repertoire of stories includes a wide range of Indian and Asian folk-tales, European tales, Family stories, true-life incidents, and cross-culture and modern stories. Jeeva’s workshops are highly interactive and based on time-tested storytelling ideas. They have proven effective for varied groups and ages.
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Having been exposed to Indian classical music from early childhood, Kala Ramesh believes all art forms feed into one another, enriching the root source of one's creativity. Neck-deep in haiku, tanka, haibun and renku, she is currently occupied with the 60-hour module for the undergraduates of the Symbiosis International University. At the KATHA-CBSE initiative for Creative Writing - Kala will be the students’ haiku mentor.
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Kanika Dhillon is a screenwriter and author of the bestselling novel, Bombay Duck is a Fish. An alumnus of the London School of Economics and St Stephen's college, she currently resides in Mumbai. She is always on the lookout for live stories, which she loves capturing in words. She makes frequent trips back to her hometown, Amritsar, to gorge on her favourite food, soak in the city she grew up in, and get away from the bustling madness of Bollywood!
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Karadi Tales was born a few years ago when a group of young educationists and musicians decided to recreate the joy of bringing alive Indian stories for children through the medium of Talking Books, and it is now India's leader in audio books. Children have taken to Karadi books like desert-weary travelers to water, and parents continue to be grateful for a wonderful alternative to television.
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Katie Bagli is passionately fond of nature. She shares this love through her writings – in story books as well as children’s magazines. The interesting tidbits included in her books are enjoyed and appreciated by adults as well. Besides writing, Katie enjoys her role as a nature volunteer too, taking people for trails and revealing fascinating facts about nature. To spread awareness she conducts Tree Appreciation Walks once a month in various green pockets of the city, along with five other friends.
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Kavita Singh Kale is a versatile award-winning media professional. With a decade of experience in content creation in the publication and film industries, she has handled broadcast design, writings and illustration for picture books, music videos as well as short films.
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Lovleen Misra wears many caps-actress, dialogue writer and story teller. She has been active for the last 25 years in theatre, television, radio plays and films. She has been regularly taking both drama and story-telling workshops for children, over the past 20 years. She has recently also written two short stories for children published by Scholastic. She is currently writing dialogues for a daily soap being aired on television; touring with Ismat Chughtai’s stories directed by Naseeruddin Shah and is also writing the screenplay for her first short film.
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After pursuing his MBA in e-commerce in Indore, Mayur Sethi entered the vast field of media and marketing and worked for ace companies like Genessee and Media Contacts.Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug of late, he gave his home state its first full-service digital agency, MP09. Creating experience in user journey with his digital and social expertise, Mayur is an integral cog in the Liqvd Asia machine. Besides shuttling between Indore and Mumbai, he is pursuing his PhD in Search Anatomy and Social Mania. Reading, teaching, travelling and exploring takes up much of his free time.
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Nalini Sorensen loves writing in rhyme. She sometimes even speaks in rhyme. That’s her excuse for the nonsensical bits coming out of her mouth. She lives in Mumbai with her husband, two sons and their very lazy cat.
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Natasha Sharma's childhood featured many crazy episodes around dogs, rabbits, chickens, horses, buffaloes and even the occasional squirrel. Having considered being a veterinarian and an architect among other things, she went on to do an MBA and work in the corporate sector. With five books for children published and more in the works, Natasha can happily claim to have finally found what makes her heart sing – writing books for children.
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A self-taught musician, Neeraj Arya draws inspiration from the music of the band, Indian Ocean, and the philosophy of Sant Kabir, which are discernible in his folk and fusion compositions. He has been a faculty and music facilitator with Music Basti (an NGO that engages with children-at-risk through music). His beguiling smile, tousled locks and energetic music wins the hearts of young brats and stern adults alike.
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Nilum Jijodia is a professional storyteller and trainer, having trained in storytelling at the renowned academy, Kathalaya, in Bengaluru. She considers herself a natural storyteller and enjoys telling stories to people of all ages, in a variety of locations and surroundings. She also conducts regular storytelling workshops for children. She regularly trains teachers in the use of stories as a teaching aid. In the process of storytelling she relies mainly on her voice, body language, gestures and her easy and conversational narration which makes her sessions lively and interesting. Nilum is also a professionally-trained librarian.
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Nina Sabnani is an artist and storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to tell her stories. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, and pursued a master's degree in film from Syracuse University, NY. Her doctoral research at the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) focused on Rajasthan's Kaavad storytelling tradition. Nina taught for two decades at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and is now an Associate Professor at the IDC, IIT Bombay. Her research interests include exploring the dynamics between words and images in storytelling. Nina’s work in film and illustrated books, seeks to bring together animation and ethnography.
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Parinita Shetty thinks the world is made of stories. She hates pigeons, posing for photographs and low ceilings. She loves bookstores, balloons and her teddy bear hat. She accidentally wrote a children's book called The Monster Hunters which was published by Duckbill Books in 2013.
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Prabha Hari is a Special Educator and Child Counselor with more than 18 years of experience working with children in both regular and special-needs school settings. She works with children on issues related with behaviour and learning, viz. reading and thinking skills. Besides, Prabha is also a trained musician (Carnatic Vocal) and dancer (Bharata Natyam), and performs and teaches these art forms.
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Pravin Nair is Deputy Resident Editor of Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He has spent more than 25 years as a journalist with three major newspapers in three cities across India. He has a deep understanding of the processes -- reporting, editing and designing – involved in bringing out a newspaper day after day.
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Preeti Vyas is the Chief Fun Officer & Founder of FunOKPlease Publishing India, a start-up children’s publishing house focusing on contemporary Indian content for children. The company was founded in 2011 and has published 13 books so far. FunOKPlease supports and has raised funds for NGOs such as the Vatsalya Foundation and Cuddles for Cancer Babies. A voracious book lover since her childhood, Preeti has spent over 19 years with books and retail, organising scores of children’s book events in the process. She loves travelling, music and photography and enjoys making up new stories with her husband Amish and son Neel.
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Priya Kuriyan is an illustrator and animator, based in Delhi. She has directed educational films for the Sesame street show (Galli Galli Sim Sim) and has also co-directed a short animation film for the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI). Over the past five years, she has illustrated a number of children’s books for publishers like Tulika, Penguin, Hachette, Pratham and Scholastic. She has most recently illustrated ‘Rooster Raga’ for Tulika books.
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Random House India is committed to promoting the love of reading through both contemporary fiction and the classics which bring timeless favourites to a whole new generation.
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Rakhee Iyer is an avid book and loves telling stories. Mom to a 5-year old, she has done book reading and storytelling sessions for friends and family and has recently started volunteering at Project Crayons. In a parallel universe, she works as a petrochemical analyst for a consulting firm.
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Ramendra Kumar (Ramen) , ‘a writer by passion’, loves to write and tell tales. Twenty-three books written by him for children and young adults have been published by well-known names, and translated into several Indian and foreign languages. School capers and sports action, problems and pranks, madness and mirth, and lots more, make his books an exciting and enjoyable read. The tales woven by him have found a place in textbooks and anthologies, both in India and abroad.
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Ratnabali Bhattacharjee has been a regular on the Mumbai theatre stage, and has been fortunate to have worked with several inspirational directors. Over the past four years, Ratnabali has taken steps to move towards a personal goal- that of making theatre a source of joy for children. She has conducted workshops for children at schools and with Prithvi Theatre and Junoon. She has also directed over 80 ten-year olds in plays adapted by herself; like Alibaba and Premchand's Idgah. She hopes to light that spark of mad joy in theatre, in as many children as she can, for as long as she can.
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Revathi Suresh has nothing much to say for herself. She does a lot of housework and chores and ho-hum humdrum stuff and stares vacantly at walls and ceilings waiting for inspiration to strike, though it mostly misses the mark. She has written a bunch of small books which have a tragic history. She lives in Bangalore with her husband, two children and a dog.
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Roopa Pai is the author of Taranauts, India’s first fantasy-adventure series for children in English. Apart from writing for children, she also leads them on history and nature walks in her native Bangalore. She is a science enthusiast, crime-fiction addict and trivia junkie.
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Ruchi Mhasane is a freelance illustrator who spent two years at the Cambridge School of Art for her MA in Children’s Book Illustration. She is now committed to a lifelong study of theform of a picture book, and to developing the way a book talks to a child (or even adult!). She has recently created illustrations for Tulika; Lion Hudson, Oxford and Heryin Books, USA. She hopes to write and illustrate her own picturebooks for children soon.She spends most of her time drawing, listening to music, writing, traveling to quiet forests and most of all, dreaming! You can see some of her drawings at http://ruchimhasane.blogspot.in/
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Sangeeta Sethi , an award-winning writer, is a storyteller who finds most pleasure in bringing stories to children. She has been a jury member on various forums and has broadcast on Akashvani, Bikaner.
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Santhini Govindan is a widely published, award-winning author of children’s literature in English. She has written more than 40 books for children, including poetry, picture books, and short stories. She has received two fellowships in Literature from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
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After travelling through the open-air museum and getting lost in the sea of boulders at Hampi, meeting the mighty Himalayas, and the magic of the misty morning fog of Kodaikanal, the calm of the Konkan and carefree attitude of Goa it became apparent that these extraordinary places deserve to be captured in their true essence and shared with the world. Sanya & Kirti aim to do just that, be it through photographs, stories, movies, art, music or any other means of expression.
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After travelling through the open-air museum and getting lost in the sea of boulders at Hampi, meeting the mighty Himalayas, and the magic of the misty morning fog of Kodaikanal, the calm of the Konkan and carefree attitude of Goa it became apparent that these extraordinary places deserve to be captured in their true essence and shared with the world. Sanya & Kirti aim to do just that, be it through photographs, stories, movies, art, music or any other means of expression.
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A marketing professional, Shyamala entered the world of writing at the beginning of the new millennium. She writes pictorial books and lives in Navi Mumbai reading, writing and doing stuff which catches her fancy.
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Sonja Chandrachud is popularly known as the “Desi Rowling”. She has lived in Africa and USA and currently resides in Pune, India. Her two bestselling series, both with Penguin India, engage and educate the reader about ancient cultures and history by cleverly mixing fact with fiction. Her book, Pearls of Wisdom, was long listed for the Vodafone Crossword Award. DOA Detective Files – Trouble at the Taj, was listed on the YA bestseller list. Sonja remains a committed mother, a die-hard advertising professional, a reluctant columnist, a closet historian and a wishful Indiana Jones who is passionate about children’s literature.
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Writings penned by Soumya Bhattacharya , editor of Hindustan Times (Mumbai), have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Granta, Wisden, the New Statesman and the Sydney Morning Herald, among a host of publications across the world. He has also authored books like You Must Like Cricket?, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and most recently, Dad’s the Word.
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Sowmya Rajendran has written picture books, short stories, chapter books, and young adult fiction. She has also experimented with writing for children in the digital medium. She was previously Associate Editor of Chandamama magazine. Her book Mayil Will Not Be Quiet, which she co-authored with Niveditha Subramaniam, is a Crossword Honour Book (2012). Her titles have also featured in the CBSE's recommended reading lists for schools. Sowmya lives in Pune.
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Suresh Kala's voice evokes memories of the mountains and resonates faintly like a faraway echo. Question him about his music and Suresh takes a trip down memory lane,to when his mother would wake him up every morning to folk tunes narrating stories of his ancestors and their lives in the mountains. Trained in Hindustani Classical Music under Late Shri Vasantrao Kulkarni in Mumbai, Suresh has been a regular performer at the Uttarakhandi association events, in Mumbai. Suresh also has the distinction of being the debutant performer for the National Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA), alongside Jishnu Guha, to a packed and captivated audience at Churchgate station.
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Tanvi Bhat is an illustrator for children's books. She's a self-taught artist and has worked with publications like Karadi Tales, Amar Chitra Katha, Pratham Books, Duckbill Books etc.
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Usha Venkatraman is a trained teacher with qualifications in the areas of education and the performing arts and is a self-taught puppeteer. Usha’s engaging and interactive puppetry sessions, which are filled with strong drama, movement and singing, both educate and entertain her audience. She uses glove puppets and other props as her medium of storytelling and her repertoire includes a range of Indian folktales, stories from Indian mythology, folktales from around the world and true-life incidents. Usha has conducted workshops on storytelling at schools, educational institutions and NGOs and has performed at various events including the International Storytelling Festival, in India and Sweden.
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Venita Coelho is a writer who has written for books, films, television and theatre. She also paints on canvas and glass. She lives in Goa with her daughter, four dogs and two cats. Her work for children includes the book Dungeon Tales, the serials Meri Duniya, Head over Heels, Junglee Toofan Tyre Puncture, and the play Punchatantra.
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Vinitha Ramchandani loves stories. During the day she works as the editor of Popular Prakashan, one of India’s oldest book publishing firms; the rest of her time she dreams up stories, devours books and holds all kinds of workshops for children. A former journalist, this storyteller has written over 18 children's books, including her current book on trees, Vriksha.
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Manju Singh is one of the pioneering media professionals, who have been witness to the growth of television from its infancy to its current remote-button status. Her emphases on a variety of social and cultural content and her relentless creative journeys have enriched her with a vast body of experience, and this has led to the realization of the ' WorldKids Foundation '' with the objective to promote 'Entertainment with a Purpose'. WorldKids Foundation’ runs the ‘Lessons in the Dark’ (LID) program designed specifically for schools to promote universal values and teach life skills through educational content in the visual medium.