109. Those Were The Days

The celebrated columnist and novelist Shobhaa De’s most recent book, Shobhaa at Seventy and to Hell With It, is replete with her trademark candour, wit and insight. In conversation with editor, food critic and television icon Vir Sanghvi, she excavates the past and interrogates the present, from the swinging seventies to our own surprising times…. Read more »

131. Cleopatra: Queen, Lover, Legend

Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had… Read more »

137. The Songs of the Heart

Two accomplished writers speak of their latest works of fiction and the context and inspirations of their books. Indo-Canadian writer and playwright Anosh Irani has published several critically acclaimed novels, including The Cripple and his Talisman, The Song of Kapunshu, Dahanu Road and, most recently, The Parcel. Writer and poet Janice Pariat, from the northeastern… Read more »

123. Badla Zamaana, Badli Kahaani: Changing Times, Changing Stories

Gaurav Solanki and Satya Vyas both represent a pathbreaking new creativity in Hindi writing. Solanki writes short fiction and has brought a new idiom to his work, which has been targeted for its frankness and unconventionality. Vyas has written two highly regarded bestselling novels, Banares Talkies and Dilli Durbar. He has an enormous on-campus following… Read more »

117. The Last Wave: Islands in Flux

Pankaj Sekhsaria has chronicled the fragile ecology of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, writing and recording consistently on the environment, wildlife conservation and the indigenous communities whose way of life is threatened in the name of development. In conversation with writer and environmentalist Amita Baviskar, he speaks of his passion for the islands, its vulnerable… Read more »

111. Vagabond

A session on the craft of writing across emotions, languages, countries and timelines. Cécile Rischmann is an Indian linguist and author who used her perception of Indian and French culture to write East-meets-West romantic comedy The French Encounter. Per J. Andersson is a writer and journalist whose book, The Amazing Story of the Man Who… Read more »

140. Performance

Six of the most dazzling performance poets let loose on the stage. Expect fireworks.

134. The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life

An award-winning Harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how ancient ideas—like the fallacy of the authentic self—can guide you on the path to a good life today. Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern… Read more »

125a. Andhakar Kaal: Colonialism and its After Effects

Bestselling author and politician Shashi Tharoor discusses the history and after effects of colonialism. In a significant session based on the Hindi version of An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India, Andhakar Kaal: British Samrajya Bharat Mein, he speaks with journalist and writer Anant Vijay and editor and journalist Saurabh Dwivedi of the… Read more »

128. Main Aur Woh: Conversations with Myself

Acclaimed poet, lyricist, screenwriter and advertising professional Prasoon Joshi is also chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification. In a freewheeling conversation, he speaks of the power of words, the relationship of poetry, music and literature, the platform for popular poetry through cinema and the merits and perils of public culture in the age… Read more »

120. Vita and Virginia: The True Love Story Behind Orlando

The love affair between two of the great women writers of the early 20th century, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville West, produced one of the century’s greatest novels, Orlando. This gender-bending masterpiece was inspired by the tumultuous family history of Woolf’s lover and close friend, the aristocratic poet and novelist, Sackville West. It is arguably… Read more »