Our Friends

Frankly, what helped us take this project forward from being a germ of an idea to a full blown project was the support from our friends across the spectrum. Friends of the Collective are accomplished writers, thinkers, poets or just evolved readers. Often, we approached them to become a mentor, but they felt they were pressed for time and joined as friends instead! We hope that conversations about Indian novels will continue to grow and be enriched.

Chandan Gowda

Social Theorist

Chandan Gowda’s research interests include social theory, Indian normative traditions, caste, and Kannada literature and cinema. In addition to his academic publications, he has written for newspapers and published translations of Kannada fiction and non-fiction in English. Before moving to APU, he was Associate Professor of Sociology at the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion, National Law School of India, Bengaluru, between 2008 and 2011.

Danish Husain


Danish Husain is a poet, actor, filmmaker, theatre director, one of the people who helped revive the lost art form of Urdu storytelling, Dastangoi, and a columnist with India Today opinion site Daily O. He runs his own theatre company ‘The Hoshruba Repertory’. Among other varied projects, his ongoing and upcoming projects include a multi-lingual theatrical storytelling project Qissebaazi; a multilingual poetry performance Poetrification with Denzil Smith. He deploys innovative storytelling & theatre technique for coaching. He has conducted workshops with the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, UNICEF, Novozymes, Polaris, Computer Associates et al. He won the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award (META) for Best Supporting Actor in 2008, and Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar from Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2010, which he returned subsequently. He is also a trustee at the Remember Bhopal Museum.

Darab Farooqui


Darab Farooqui is the writer of many critically acclaimed movies, most famous of which is Dedh Ishqiya. He regularly contributes to websites like TheWire.in.

Dipika Roy


Dipika Roy is a theatre professional, her last production ”Take Me In Your Hands” won the Audience Award for the Best Play of 2015 at the 45th International Festival of Drama in Slovenia. She enjoys creative writing and working on original scripts with playwrights. Dipika is co-founder of Banyan Tree Communications, a production company committed to creating innovative audio programmes for education and entertainment on mobile and internet.

Dolly Thakore


Dolly Thakore is a veteran Indian theatre actress and casting director. She came into the limelight as News speaker in English for Mumbai Doordarshan at 8PM on TV. Most of her career has been spent on the stage, acting in plays by master playwrights including Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She appeared in the 2005 film Page 3 and in White Noise.

Durga Prasad Panda

Bilingual Poet & Critic

An accomplished bilingual poet and critic in English and Odia, his poems have been anthologized thrice in British Council’s ‘Poetry India’ and have been included in the Little Magazine’s ‘India In Verse’, ’99 words’. Some of them have been translated into Hindi, Bengali and Kannada. ‘Unreal City and other Poems’ is his English translation of Odia poet J.P. Das’s poetry. He also has three collections of poems and a book of ‘absurd’ short stories in Odia titled ‘Dhuaan’.