Having served for 36 years in the Indian Foreign Service, Navdeep Suri is a noted diplomat who has been on India’s diplomatic missions to Cairo, Damascus, Washington, Dar es Salaam and London, and has served as India’s Consul General in Johannesburg.
The word ‘economics’ inspires in our minds the names of revered economists like Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh, Raghuram Rajan and, more recently, Abhijit Banerjee. What it also invokes are myriad images of scholarly books and articles dealing with concepts which lie beyond the layman’s ambit of understanding. The scope of the subject condenses the everyday stories of the lives of the people into statistics, which only a select group of people can comprehend. However, Shrayana Bhattacharya, in her book, Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India’s Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence, moves beyond the academic jargon of economics and tells the stories of India’s working women through their understanding of the Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan, in a way that they become at once riveting and impactful. Prabha Khaitan Foundation organised another session of An Author’s Afternoon with Shrayana Bhattacharya at the Taj Bengal.
Rituparna Chatterjee is an award-winning author, journalist, editor and columnist. A former correspondent and columnist for The Economic Times, her first book, An Ordinary Life, was about the life of acclaimed actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Published in 2020, her second book, The Water Phoenix: A Memoir of Childhood Abuse, Healing and Forgiveness is a magical realism memoir on how she dealt with childhood abuse. The book was recognised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and awarded the Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for gender sensitivity.
Onir is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, editor and producer. Some of his critically acclaimed works include his debut film My Brother… Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal and I Am. Onir came into the limelight right after My Brother… Nikhil, as the film dealt with the stigma attached to AIDS and showed how the Goan government treated HIV-positive patients in the 1980s. The award-winning I Am, which is reportedly the first film in South Asia to have been crowdfunded through social media, deals with child abuse, LGBTQ rights and single motherhood. Onir is also a columnist for The Hindu and has written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Times of India and the BBC. Prabha Khaitan Foundation hosted a special literary session of An Author’s Afternoon with Onir to learn more about his book, I am Onir and I am Gay. Esha Dutta, Ehsaas Woman of Kolkata, introduced the guest and the moderator, author Sandip Roy.
Makarand R. Paranjape’s contributions to the world of literature and philosophy are well known. He is a poet, novelist and columnist, and has also been a professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Prabha Khaitan Foundation hosted Paranjape at a special session of An Author’s Afternoon at the Taj Bengal in Kolkata. In conversation with Paranjape was Harsh Gupta ‘Madhusudan’, a public investor based in India whose columns on politics and finance appear regularly in leading publications. The conversation centred around Paranjape’s recently published book, JNU: Nationalism and India’s Uncivil War and what drove the author to write the book.
Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan wears many hats. She is an award-winning children’s author whose works have been published in India and the United States. She is also a poet, a translator, an editor and a voice-over artist. As a former non-profit development professional, she worked tirelessly to advocate and raise funds for the disabled. Her voice-over work has involved documentaries, educational programmes, journalistic initiatives and audio books. Prabha Khaitan Foundation recently invited Srinivasan to An Author’s Afternoon to discuss her book: The Extraordinary, Ordinary Life of Lily Tharoor, and to celebrate mothers and their contribution to our lives. Srinivasan was in conversation with Nilisha Agarwal, Ehsaas Woman of Kolkata. Both Srinivasan and Agarwal were introduced to the audience by Esha Dutta, Ehsaas Woman of Kolkata.
“The disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chanda Bose has bothered generations of Indians. Eighteen years ago, in 2004, a few friends and I decided that we needed to find out what happened to Netaji—something that nobody has been able to conclusively establish. Did he die in a plane crash? Did he survive? If he did, what happened to him after that?” These were some of the questions and points raised by best-selling author, researcher and commentator on history, Chandrachur Ghose, as he talked about his book, Bose: The Untold Story of an Inconvenient Nationalist, at a session of An Author’s Afternoon, organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation at the Taj Bengal. Ghose was in conversation with educationist Mohua Chatterjee, and the speaker and moderator were introduced to the audience by Shefali Agarwal, Ehsaas Woman of Kolkata.
Ghazala Wahab has been a prominent voice, that over the years has brought into the mainstream, the deep sense of insecurity faced by Muslims in India. As a renowned journalist and Executive Editor of Force magazine, she has written articles on homeland security, terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, left wing extremism, religious extremism, communalism and human rights. Her book Born A Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India, is a riveting account that seamlessly brings together a blend of journalistic, legal, academic and philosophical discourses. More importantly, it brings forth an engaging narrative that involves personal stories from her own life as well as the experiences of many others with whom she has interacted within the Muslim community.