A Revolution is Brewing

This was a high-octane discussion about the revolution of gender identity and equity that is shaking the foundations of established patriarchy worldwide. The panel of women, who hail from various spheres of feminine thought, discussed the roots of this revolution in mythology and delved into themes of female marginalisation and emancipation, sexual exploration, and the… Read more »

Book Launch: Travelling In, Travelling Out, Ed. Namita Gokhale

Travelling In, Travelling Out is ‘a book of unexpected journeys’ that sews together a collection of twenty-five stories, some journeys into the mind, others journeys across lands. Namita Gokhale, Festival Director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival and Editor of the collection, introduced the book as a “patchwork quilt of stories about internal journeys and outward ones.” The book… Read more »

The Living Goddess: Isabella Tree Introduced By Vidya Dehejia

A huge procession surrounds a silver chariot as it slowly makes its way through the busy streets of Kathmandu. In the chariot sits a living goddess, in real life, a four-year-old child. Noted journalist and travel writer Isabella Tree enthralled the audience with this as yet unknown story about the Kumari worshipping tradition in Nepal. Tree said she… Read more »

Prisons Of The Mind: Rani Shankardass, Margaret Mascarenhas, Preeta Bhargava & Vartika Nanda

“We live in an atmosphere of utmost fear. What do we actually know about the attendant circumstances surrounding a crime and the people involved in it, about our criminal justice system and our prisons?” Dr. Rani Shankardass, historian and social scientist focused on women in custodial environments, setting the mood for the discussion with hard-hitting questions… Read more »

Words Without Borders: Ananda Devi In Conversation With Urvashi Butalia

Ananda Devi gave the audience an insight into her Indian origins, and what it was like to grow up in Mauritius. Devi, who published her first book at the age of 12, is considered one of the most important authors writing in French. The prolific writer speaks Telugu, Creole, French, English as well as Bhojpuri and Hindi,… Read more »

The Essential Gloria Steinem

The first in a series of sessions under this year’s theme Women Uninterrupted was a thrilling encounter between two icons in the women’s liberation movement: American feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem, and Ruchira Gupta, Indian sex trafficking abolitionist, journalist and activist. Their conversation was a complex exploration of female identity and the feminist movement in India and the wider… Read more »

Restless Women: Cheryl Strayed & Robyn Davidson, Moderated By Gaiutra Bahadur

Two bold women, two different demeanours, two different continents, two similar journeys of self-discovery, almost two decades apart. In 1977, Robyn Davidson wandered the deserts of Western Australia with four camels for nine months “forging the individual” she is today, leaving behind the unnecessary bits in the Outback. Around 20 years later in 1995, Cheryl Strayed changed her last… Read more »

Giving Her Write Arm To Be Heard

Validation. Recognition. Edification. An author is compelled to write for many reasons. She may stop at nothing to have her voice heard. But establishing oneself in an endless sea of literature, in the great slush pile, is a daunting ordeal. One recalls Harold Bloom’s famous “anxiety of influence” – the theory that writers fear forever… Read more »