Abdulrazak Gurnah in conversation with Alexandra Pringle
Presented by Hawthornden Literary Retreat
Abdulrazak Gurnah fled Zanzibar as a teenager following the Revolution of 1964. After facing prolonged poverty and alienation in England, he began to write, and the experience, motivated by the “idea of losing your place in the world” and understanding his own displacement, gave rise to his first three novels - Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, and Dottie. Gurnah was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2021 for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”. His novels are striking and formidable; they refuse colonialism’s erosive histories and stereotypes. They include Paradise, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994, By the Sea, Desertion, and his most recent, Afterlives, which examines the German colonial force in East Africa and the lives of Tanganyikans - as they work, grieve, and love - in the darkening shadow of war. British publishing legend Alexandra Pringle is in conversation with the brilliant Abdulrazak Gurnah; a session on a life in writing.
The alluring Himalayas have for centuries beckoned travellers in search of spiritual awakening. Harley Rustad’s gripping new work, Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas, chronicles the fate of Justin Alexander Shetler, his enthralling expedition across the globe, and the mystery of his disappearance in the remote and storied Parvati Valley - at once dark, dangerous, and source of enlightenment. In conversation with Anisha Lalvani, Rustad discusses the spiritual journey from which Shetler never returned and the universal human quest for fulfilment.
Vishwas Patil in conversation with Archana Mirajkar
Vishwas Patil’s novel, Zadazadati, is based on the plight of people displaced by the construction of a large dam. It chronicles the strife between residents of Jambhulvadi, the indifferent administration and greedy proponents of development. Written in a fluid and picturesque style, the novel explores the rights of indigenous people and the human cost of development. In conversation with Archana Mirajkar.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Erica Dhar
Advocacy for 50+
05 Mar | 01:30 PM - 02:15 PM
05. First Edition: What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?
Bestselling author, actress and creator, Lilly Singh, has always sought to create honest, inclusive and inspiring spaces through her work. In this spirit, Lilly’s Library is her newly launched virtual book club, dedicated to celebrating South Asian imagination, writing and writers, uplifting and empowering them, and enlivening the literary sphere with abundant, colourful worlds. Singh’s second book, Be a Triangle: How I Went from Being Lost to Getting My Life into Shape, is a vulnerable, charming, wise and empathetic confession of her own struggles, the power and limits of the mind, and a guide to befriending, and always returning to your truest, most fulfilling friend - within. In conversation with Supriya Dravid, Singh discusses the shapes of life, its lessons, and the spaces which nurture them.
Writer Hannah Kent's recent novel, Devotion, is a stirring story of girlhood and friendship, faith and suspicion, and the impossible lengths we go to for the ones we love. An impassioned tribute to both love and the land, the narrative follows a family’s escape from religious persecution to South Australia and the consequential bond that is formed between two young girls. In conversation with Anisha Lalvani, Kent discusses the roots and inspiration behind her latest work and its melodic celebration of place and persistence.
Patrick Radden Keefe in conversation with Sanjoy K Roy
Intertwining corporate avarice and the intergenerational empire behind the opioid crisis in America, behold a gripping and foreboding session that unravels the infestation seeped into the pharmaceutical industry. Writer and journalist Patrick Radden Keefe’s explosive new book and winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for 2021, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, traces the family's aspirations and ruthless methods and their role in the OxyContin epidemic. A disturbing narrative on American morality and ambition, the saga investigates the owners of Purdue Pharma and their complete disregard for human health. In conversation with Sanjoy K Roy.
Celebrated writer Colm Tóibín's latest novel, The Magician, is a complex yet empathetic tribute to one of the 20th century’s most intriguing literary figures- Thomas Mann. Painting a remarkably intimate portrait of Mann's personal and creative life, Tóibín, in his trademark style, unravels the duality of the larger social, cultural and political dynamics of Pre and Postwar Germany along with the parallel narrative of a man burdened by his own repressed sexuality and rich inner life. In conversation with author Sandip Roy, Tóibín pays homage to Mann and the wonders, tragedies and sacrifices of his life.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Sri Sabyasachi Sarkar
Joker, Screensaver, Revolver
05 Mar | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
10. Opening Kailasanatha: The Temple in Kanchipuram Revealed in Time and Space
Padma Kaimal in conversation with Anirudh Kanisetti
The historic Kailasanatha temple is among the oldest surviving monuments in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Adorned by exquisite figures and symbols of divinity and the everyday alike, the temple is a complex, visual feast and a vivid frame, past centuries, to the ancient Indic south. Writer and professor Padma Kaimal deciphers the intricate Kailasanatha temple and illuminates its history and makers, both warriors in earthly engagement and ascetics in spiritual quest, in her book Opening Kailasanatha: The Temple in Kanchipuram Revealed in Time and Space. In conversation with Anirudha Kanisetti, historian and author of Lords of the Deccan: Southern India from the Chalukyas to the Cholas, Kaimal discusses the aesthetic key to life, longing, and civilisation in the ancient south.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Happy Ranajit
A Straight Proposal
05 Mar | 03:30 PM - 04:15 PM
11. Encounter With Kiran: Fragments From A Relationship
Celebrated writer Nayantara Sahgal's recent book, Encounter with Kiran: Fragments From a Relationship, is an intimate record of shared journeys through writing, politics and history, controversy and personal tragedy, and the consultation of friendships. Covering the correspondence between Sahgal and the renowned novelist, playwright and screenwriter Kiran Nagarkar, united by their love of books and their beliefs, it provides deep insight into two powerful writers who drew strength from each other's battles. Together in conversation with her daughter, writer and journalist Gita Sahgal, the legendary Nayantara Sahgal explores the strength and courage of friendship and family.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Shalaka Kulkarni
Orenda – Farmaish
05 Mar | 03:30 PM - 04:15 PM
12. Xuanzang: China’s Legendary Pilgrim and Translator
Benjamin Brose in conversation with William Dalrymple
Benjamin Brose is a specialist in the history and culture of medieval Chinese Buddhism. His most recent work of nonfiction, Xuanzang: China’s Legendary Pilgrim and Translator, chronicles the astonishing history of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang, his study of authentic Buddhist doctrine and practice at Nalanda, and journey across thousands of miles, monasteries and monuments - where he learned with the leading teachers of the day. In conversation with historian, writer and festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, Brose discusses the legacy of Xuanzang and the trove of Buddhist teachings he returned with to China.
Understanding colour allows us to see works of art in a new way, from Bronze Age gold-work to Turner, Titian to Yves Klein. It helps us relate to the characteristics of different eras, whether the blue horizons which framed the Age of Discovery; the pristine aspirations of Enlightenment or the technicolour innovation of the Industrial Revolution, and the colour which most embodies the environmental crisis which now faces us.
In conversation with writer and art historian Yashaswini Chandra, BAFTA-nominated broadcaster and art historian James Fox explores humankind's extraordinary relationship with colour. Going deep into the primary colours of black, red, yellow, blue, white, purple and green, he ranges across the world and throughout history to reveal the meanings that have been attached to the colours we see around us and the ways these have shaped our culture and imagination.
Award-winning author and activist Elif Shafak's latest novel, The Island of Missing Trees, is a delicate tribute to the agony of war, displacement and undying hope. The novel follows the journey of two displaced Cypriot lovers and a fig tree which remains the only connection to their lost home, the only symbol of their inherited identity, which they may pass onto their child. In conversation with Nandini Nair, Shafak explores the essence of identity, memory and generational trauma.
Kim Stanley Robinson in conversation with Raghu Karnad
The Urgency of Borrowed Time
Kim Stanley Robinson is considered as one of the greatest science fiction authors. Beginning with a deadly human-induced heatwave in India, his recent cli-fi novel, The Ministry for the Future, is a roadmap on which life on earth can survive. Written through fictional eye-witness accounts, despairing yet hopeful in equal measure, it masterfully lays bare the challenges our planet faces. In conversation with Raghu Karnad, journalist and author of Farthest Field, Robinson shares his vision of the not-too-distant future.
Sunday, 06 March - Online
06 Mar | 12:00 PM - 12:20 PM
06 Mar | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
17. In A Flight of Starlings: The Wonders of Complex Systems
Giorgio Parisi in conversation with Priyamvada Natarajan, introduced by Vincenzo de Luca
Presented by Embassy of Italy in India and Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Stellar Italian physicist Giorgio Parisi received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”. His phenomenal work, In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonders of Complex Systems, is a journey across pioneering studies on particles, state transformations and ‘spin glasses’. It asks fundamental questions like, how are ideas born and what is the meaning of science in society? In conversation with Priyamvada Natarajan, Parisi discusses his exceptional research and book.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Kiran Manral
More Things in Heaven and Earth
06 Mar | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
18. Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters
Bette Dam and Christina Lamb in conversation with William Dalrymple
Presented by Rajasthan Patrika
Though the primary enemy of Western forces for two decades, the Taliban was a force of which they knew little, and their founder and leader, Mullah Omar, one even less. Dutch investigative journalist, Bette Dam, had decided to track down the reclusive Taliban chief. In the course of which, she learnt the Taliban inside-out, made a startling discovery regarding Omar’s whereabouts, and unravelled the misinformation plaguing global forces. Her book Looking for the Enemy is the culmination of a five-year-long pursuit, the story of Afghanistan’s mountains, war-ravaged valleys, and the Taliban, now once again at the helm of one of the world’s most fragile states. Christina Lamb is among Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and bestselling author of Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan To A More Dangerous World, Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women, and I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. In conversation with historian, author and Festival Co-Director, William Dalrymple, pioneering journalists and voices in the discourse surrounding Afghanistan come together for a necessary session on an urgent state of current affairs.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Piyush Singh
History of Indian Diaspora
06 Mar | 01:30 PM - 02:15 PM
20. Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Western Domination
Academic and writer Robert Bickers’s latest work, Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Western Domination, masterfully depicts China’s 20th-century interactions with the outside world, thus unravelling the complex nature of their developing idea of Nationalism vis-à-vis their painful encounter with western imperialism. Interweaving political and cultural history, Bickers intricately lays bare China’s internationalised landscapes with all its contradictions, violence, cosmopolitanism, and ambitions. In conversation with academic and writer Rana Mitter, Bicker discusses the nuances of these narratives that form China’s outlook of itself and the world at large.
Tarun K. Saint, Vandana Singh and Manjula Padmanabhan in conversation with Arunava Sinha
The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction Volume 2 unfolds the new truths and realities, fears, fantasies and infinite possibilities of the hyper accelerating change around us. Curated and edited by writer and scholar Tarun K. Saint, it has a preface and afterword by the iconic writer, playwright and graphic artist Manjula Padmanabhan.Science Fiction writer Vandana Singh's recent work is Ambiguity Machines: And Other Stories. In conversation with the versatile scholar, writer and translator Arunava Sinha, who has two translations in the anthology, they speak of the interfaces of science and speculative fiction, myth, legend, fantasy, and the future.
Member of Parliament, author and lawyer Manish Tewari's recent book, 10 Flashpoints; 20 Years, is an insightful examination of the challenges that have characterised Indian foreign policy over the past two decades. In conversation with the senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Milan Vaishnav, Tewari discusses reform, re-evaluation and the way forward to meet the demands of the 21st century’s regional and global security environment.
Marc David Baer in conversation with William Dalrymple
Presented by Hawthornden Literary Retreat
Marc David Baer’s radical retelling of the Ottomans challenges traditional notions of the vast Ottoman Empire, illuminating a cultural domain that was not the antithesis to the Christian-European West but its equal. In conversation with William Dalrymple, Baer unravels Western notions of sexuality, orientalism, genocide, and history itself, through the chronicles of a formidable world empire.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Jhilam Chattaraj
Noise Cancellation – AlooPoshto
06 Mar | 02:30 PM - 03:15PM
24. Geet Gata Hoon Main: Songs, Lyrics and Poetry in Cinema
Raj Shekhar in conversation with Anu Singh Choudhary
Cinema and 'gaana' have been intertwined forever. Screenwriter and author Anu Singh Choudhary will be in conversation with poet-lyricist Raj Shekhar for an in-depth analysis of the songs of Bollywood, which has by now been home to almost all forms of poetry, including sonnets, dramatic monologues, ballads, blues, folk, ghazal and even adaptations from other languages and cultures. A riveting session on the creative process of the lyricist - the craft of melding words with poetry, nurturing a narrative, and bringing song to life.
Omar Sakr in conversation with Karuna Ezara Parikh
Presented by Australian High Commission
An estranged father, an abusive mother, a fierce army of relatives, and a wide tapestry of violence, woven across generations and geographies, is the grand inheritance of a young, queer Arab boy in Western Sydney. Son of Sin is award-winning Arab-Australian, queer poet Omar Sakr’s debut novel. His acclaimed poetry includes the collections These Wild Horses and The Lost Arabs. Both explore complexities of identity, such as race, nationality, gender, faith and poverty, at the heart of which are notions of ‘belonging’ and not. Son of Sin is a lyrical, honest, at once tender and striking coming-of-age novel. It is a portrait of Jamal Smith and the threads which constrict and also conflate to form his experiences - love, friendship, faith, and self-discovery. In conversation with writer and poet, Karuna Ezara Parikh, Sakr discusses his extraordinary, brimming, and inherently human, debut novel.
Sonali Bendre Behl in conversation with Meghna Pant
Presented by LIC
Indian actor, writer and public figure Sonali Bendre Behl describes the culture and community of reading as a passion-turned-lifeline. She pivoted to writing and self-expression with The Modern Gurukul: My Experiments with Parenting and credits books and the conversations they inspire with helping her emerge from the toughest phases of life. She has created ‘Sonali’s Book Club’, a nurturing space for dialogue, mentorship and book-lovers across the globe. In conversation with Meghna Pant, Bendre discusses the power of books through the vicissitudes of life.
Jonathan Franzen in conversation with Anindita Ghose
Award winning-novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen is celebrated for his roster of vivid characters and thoughtful examination of the condition of contemporary America. Crossroads is the first in a trilogy intended to depict three generations of shifting cultures. Beginning in the early 70s, it is the story of a midwestern family in the middle of a historical moment of moral crisis. Franzen joins writer Anindita Ghose for a conversation about his vivid portrayal of the political and social crosscurrents of the last fifty years in America and a family in the midst.
Suyash Dasgupta and Arshiya Gaur in conversation with Ranu Bhattacharyya
What began as a project for school, for a class designed to allow students the space to explore their respective passions, has become 17-year-old Suyash Dasgupta’s unique and multi-sensory debut novel, Chosen. Dasgupta chose to explore the less spoken aspects of teenage mental health, pertinent subjects such as physical, emotional and substance abuse, and weave original music, rap and hip-hop, with his sensitive narrative. Chosen has pages with QR codes that lead to songs which partner the story of a boy named Mason, who loves poetry, but is regarded as the school ‘bully’. Arshya Gaur is an author, mental health advocate and entrepreneur, at only 18. Her collection of poetry, How to Open a Parachute, is about her own struggles with depression and anorexia, an honest dialogue around mental health and “the turmoil” she experienced. She is also the founder of Read Together, a platform that provides unique audio-visual educational resources to children that cannot otherwise access them, or that struggle with reading and learning. In conversation with educator and author, Ranu Bhattacharyya, young, pioneering writers and mental health advocates discuss their remarkable work and creative approaches.
Rupert Everett in conversation with Siddharth Dhanavant Shanghvi
An element of drama has always attended Rupert Everett, even before he swept to fame with his outstanding performance in Another Country. He has spent his life surrounded by extraordinary people and witnessed extraordinary events. He was in Moscow during the fall of communism, in Berlin the night the wall came down, and in downtown Manhattan on September 11th. By the age of 17, he was friends with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, and since then he has been up close and personal with some of the most famous women in the world: Julia Roberts, Madonna, Sharon Stone and Donatella Versace. Everett discusses fame, drama, life and love, with author Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi.
Acclaimed novelist and playwright Damon Galgut’s The Promise, sharp and meditative and longlisted for the Booker Prize, conveys the play of power in relationships - with self, society, state - against the backdrop of post-apartheid South Africa. A White family, nettled by changing society, wrangles over a farm and a delayed promise; South Africa churns with a violent past, turbulent politics and the rubbles of change; Galgut weaves the stories and struggles of relationships from both. His other works include A Sinless Season, The Good Doctor and Arctic Summer. In conversation with Maya Jasanoff, Galgut discusses his writing style, process, inspirations and the essence of his latest work.
Shekhar Seshadri, Neerja Birla and Aparna Piramal Raje in conversation with Shelja Sen
Blu One lnk, Mind and Soul Series
We live in an age of accelerated anxiety, and the prospect of loss stares us in the face in the times of the pandemic. A deep session that examines the constantly evolving and overlapping nature of the pandemic with our mental health and the public need for and response to general well being in the midst of the largest medical crisis of recent times.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Mohammad Hasan and Sudarshan Shidore
I am Nobody; Cold Worries; All the Lonely People
07 Mar | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
33. Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir
Author, historian and mythographer Marina Warner’s latest Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir resurrects the fraught union and unrequited hopes of Warner’s parents. A memoir that is at once historical and imaginative, evocative as both, follows Warner’s mother Ilia’s voyage from southern Italy to London. With her husband away at war in the East, she begins to learn how to be an Englishwoman. Vivid recollections, that of cricket and riding, war-ravaged England, and Cairo in the 40s and 50s, lace this beguiling memoir of post-war childhood, adventure and loss. In conversation with historian, biographer and publisher Jenny Uglow, Warner discusses this account of the past, born from memory and imagination.
Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein in conversation with Mihir S. Sharma
Wherever there is judgement, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organisations are overtly unaware of it and neglect noise. But with a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias to make far better decisions. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman joins professor Olivier Sibony and legal scholar Cass R Sunstein in explaining how and why humans are so susceptible to noise in judgement and what we can do about it.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Pawan Dhall
Out of Line and Offline
Presented by Embassy of the United States of America in India
Rising literary star Neel Patel’s debut novel Tell Me How to Be is by turns heartbreaking and warm, both soft and striking, intimate as it is immense. The inaugural pick for ‘Lilly’s Library’, Patel’s story is one of reflection, revelation, reconciliation and choice; that of a mother and her son chasing those elusive questions - how, and what, to be? In conversation with bestselling author, comedian and actress, Lilly Singh, Patel discusses his remarkable debut and the questions and cornerstones of the human condition, that is, quite simply, being.
Irving Finkel in conversation with Nayanjot Lahiri
British philologist Irving Finkel’s latest book, The First Ghosts: Most Ancient of Legacies, takes us back to the very beginning of ancient times. A world-renowned authority on cuneiform, the form of writing on clay tablets that dates back to 3400 BC, Irving Finkel has embarked upon an ancient ghost hunt, scouring these tablets to unlock the secrets of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians to breathe new life into the first ghost stories ever written. In conversation with historian and archaeologist of ancient India Nayanjot Lahiri, Finkel uncovers practical details of how to live with ghosts, how to get rid of them and bring them back and how to avoid becoming one, as well as exploring more philosophical questions: what are ghosts, why does the idea of them remain so powerful despite the lack of concrete evidence and what do they tell us about being human?
Charlie Jeffery, Shailendra Raj Mehta and Sandeep Sethi in conversation with Malashri Lal, introduced by Rashmi Sharma
As societies evolve, so must systems of learning; education and innovation are indispensable to realties present and in-wait. Experts in education, and its many, shifting frameworks, come together to discuss abundant possibilities for ‘higher’ learning. Professor Charlie Jeffery is the Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of York. He is interested in the optimal service research and education can render to social and economic welfare. Shailendra Raj Mehta is an Indian economist, President and Director at MICA, Ahmedabad, and a member of the Mission High-Level Committee (MHLC) of the Indian Knowledge System. Sandeep Sethi is Director of Education at MSMS II Museum Trust, Jaipur. He has conceptualised educational models which challenge societal barriers and are grounded by inclusivity and ideation. In conversation with esteemed writer and academic, Malashri Lal, they discuss the fundamental and forward-looking dimensions of learning.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Farhana Zia
Strengths of the Indian Diaspora
Presented by Embassy of the United States of America in India
07 Mar | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
38. Better to Have Gone: Love and Death in Auroville
Akash Kapur in conversation with Mukund Padmanabhan
Journalist and writer Akash Kapur’s book on the intentional community of Auroville, an international township of thousands located in South India, is at once a haunting personal quest and an erudite study in the history of utopias. Better to Have Gone: Love, Death and the Quest for Utopia unravels a personal tragedy, the mysterious deaths of John Walker and Diane Maes, parents to Kapur’s wife, Auralice. Kapur returns to Auroville, where both he and his wife were raised, and in confronting the ghosts of those distant deaths, reveals an astonishing history of faith, idealism, extremism, and the quest for perfectionism. In conversation with author Mukund Padmanabhan, Kapur discusses Auroville, the opportunities and perils of utopia, and the nature of memory and personal grief and how they intersect with history.
Donatella Lippi and Shekhar Seshadri in conversation with Roger Highfield
Presented by Embassy of Italy in India and Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Academic and author Donatella Lippi and academic and psychiatrist Shekhar Seshadri take a deep dive into the history of denialism within pandemics throughout world history. Weaving together a historical and psychological narrative, the two critically examine the reasons for which we react the way we do, whether it be in the 14th century with the Bubonic plague or now in the 21st century with COVID-19. Lippi is a Professor of History of Medicine at the University of Florence. Seshadri is a Former Senior Professor and Former Head of the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Former Dean of the Behavioural Sciences Division, and Former Director at NIMHANS, Bangalore. In conversation with Roger Highfield, they discuss the past, present and future of the pandemic and the human response to this calamity.
“I mark my passage with words that smell life - that’s all”, writes K. Satchidanandan. One might ask, then, what is the language of life? What is the language of my life, its articulation, that inspires a sense of resonance so? Or, does the human condition transcend language? K. Satchidanandan is a pioneer in modern Malayalam poetry, a bilingual literary critic and writer, and the most translated Malayalam poet in Indian and European languages, celebrated by diverse cultures and critics alike. His remarkable anthology, I am Language, features the translations of one hundred, distinguished poems originally written in Malayalam. He also writes extensively on the art of translation, linguistic discoveries, and the language question. In conversation with Malayalam poet and translator, Anitha Thampi, K. Satchidanandan discusses the language of art and self amid “a babel of voices”.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Santa Khurai
Presented by Embassy of the United States of America in India
Nandini Das in conversation with Jonathan Gil Harris
Presented by Amar Ujala
Written in 1616 in Goa, Thomas Stephens’ Kristapurana is a poetic retelling of the Christian Bible in Marathi, one of the first retellings of the biblical narrative in a South Asian language. Academic and writer Nandini Das, and Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford, takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of this forgotten jewel in Anglo-Indian heritage, and the life and travels of Thomas Stephens. In conversation with academic and writer Jonathan Gil Harris.
Bestselling author David Mitchell’s spectacular new release is a definitive rock and roll novel and a love letter to the greats. Utopia Avenue follows the titular, emerging band through the Summer of Love and a much darker end to the Sixties - the collision of youthful idealism and jaded reality. Through Soho clubs and draughty venues to the promised land of America and glittering Los Angeles, Mitchell takes the reader through a flamboyant, psychedelic era. In conversation with author Samit Basu, he discusses his bewitching novel and the celebration and power of music.
Indra Nooyi in conversation with Aparna Piramal Raje
Businesswoman and former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi's memoir, My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future, follows her journey of grit and determination as she broke through several glass ceilings and the barriers of gender and race to become a global business leader. The first woman of colour and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company, Nooyi lays bare her trailblazing corporate journey while also providing us a glimpse into her role as a working mother and her attempts to lay out a blueprint for 21st-century prosperity. In conversation with Aparna Piramal Raje, Nooyi discusses her life, her philosophy of 'Performance with Purpose' and the importance of a care infrastructure that benefits both women and men.
Charlotte Higgins in conversation with Arshia Sattar
Presented by Hawthornden Literary Retreat
Charlotte Higgins' new book, Greek Myths: A New Retelling, intricately captures the raw, magical originality of Greek myths. With original drawings by Chris Ofili, Higgins takes us on a journey through the myths of creation, Heracles and Theseus, Perseus, and the Trojan war, while giving female characters such as Athena, Helen and Circe centre stage. In conversation with Arshia Sattar, Higgins brings forth a fascinating new take on age-old narratives of love, magic, desire and dispute.
Munizae Jahangir and Radhika Ramaseshan in conversation with Jyoti Malhotra
The fracture of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, into India and Pakistan, and subsequently in 1971, the further division of Pakistan and formation of an independent nation, Bangladesh, continues to cast a shadow on the present. As India and Pakistan enter the 75th year of their independence, they remain hostile twins, while Pakistan and Bangladesh are barely able to tolerate each other. And yet, despite the inability of their governments to come to terms with their past, the people of India and Pakistan -- less so, between Pakistan and Bangladesh -- seem to still be able to summon up the reserves for some normalcy. The world offers several models for resolving conflicts-- Germany and Ireland come to mind. In the divided Indian subcontinent, though, the past is not just always present, the present is often a crutch for the pain of remembered memory. How, then, can the Indian subcontinent achieve its full human and creative potential? Perhaps the 75th anniversary of its fracture is a good start for an honest conversation.
Kulpreet Yadav, Shiv Aroor, Kota Neelima and Namita Waikar in conversation
Presented by LIC
The Soldier and the Farmer - together, they uphold the cornerstones of our society and nation. Writer Kulpreet Yadav's latest book, The Battle Of Rezang La, is a retelling of a courageous true story of 120 Indian soldiers who faced 5000 Chinese troops in 1962. Author Shiv Aroor's co-written book, India’s Most Fearless, is a riveting account of the extreme bravery and selflessness shown by military personnel on a daily basis in the line of duty. Writer, translator and Managing Editor at the People's Archive of Rural India, Namita Waikar's novel The Long March explores the continued fallout of the Indian agrarian crisis. Author, researcher and political commentator Kota Neelima's work specialises in rural distress, gender and the condition of women farmers, farmer suicides and peripheries of democratic societies. Together, they explore the multilayered paradoxes and challenges faced by these two groups that are inherent to the functioning of the country.
Jaipur BookMark; Presented by Goethe Institut, Max Muller Bhavan
Award-winning German writer Friedrich Ani’s gripping crime novel, Killing Happiness, is wrought with melancholia and revelation. A devastating case, the chain of grief, cold trails of evidence and haunting memories plague inspector Jakob Franck, the protagonist of Ani’s The Nameless Day. Retired inspector Franck must convey news of the death of a young boy and signal the flood of mourning for family and friends. Driven by the need for clarity and memories of unsolved murders past, Franck buries himself in the special technique of ‘thought sensitivity’ to unravel the fossils and truth of the case. In conversation with the acclaimed publisher, poet and photographer Naveen Kishore, Ani discusses his thrilling, contemporary noir.
This session presents a deep conversation with Booker Prize-longlisted writer Anuradha Roy and her evocative body of work. Roy's recent novel, The Earthspinner, is a searing exploration of the fragility of peace. Based on the intertwined lives of a student and her pottery teacher, the tale oscillates between India and Britain and observes how the East encounters the West and the nuances of creative freedom in the face of religious extremism. Roy's other celebrated works include All the Lives We Never Lived, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, The Folded Earth and Sleeping on Jupiter. In conversation with Ameena Hussein, Roy explores the roots of this tale of immigration, prejudice and love and discusses the context and inspirations of her fictional world.
Himanshu Prabha Ray and Andrea Acri in conversation with William Dalrymple
Presented by Rajasthan Tourism
Between the 4th and the 8th centuries, large swathes of South East Asia took on the Hindu and Buddhist religions, Sanskrit as a court and sacred language, and Indic-influenced forms of art and architecture and ways of living. Two leading experts discuss how and why this happened and ask if the influence was entirely one way.
Nandan Nilekani and Tanuj Bhojwani in conversation with Mihir S. Sharma
Veterans of the digital world, Nandan Nilekani and Tanuj Bhojwani unravel the toxic relationship we share with technology in this unprecedented digital age, and offer optimistic yet pragmatic strategies to healthier, more mindful engagement, in their new book The Art of Bitfulness. In an approach that is not “anti-tech” but “pro-you”, they help reverse the blurred lines between work and home, recreation and repetition, and our lives and our screens; the boundaries necessary for time, privacy and attention. In conversation with economist and writer Mihir S Sharma, Nilekani and Bhojwani discuss their book and the question - if impractical to live without, how can we flourish living with technology?
Writer Nadifa Mohamed's book The Fortune Men, shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021, is an unsettling account of postcolonial prejudice, injustice, and the fight for dignity. Based on the real events surrounding the imprisonment and execution of a Somali man in Cardiff in the 1950s, her vivid narrative style humanises the accused's aspirations and vulnerabilities. The book observes the process of his slowly fading belief in the British justice system that is subsequently replaced by spiritual contemplation and urgency. Brutal and equally compassionate the compelling novel shines an essential light on a neglected period of British history. In conversation with author Tahmima Anam, Mohamed explores the nuances of bringing this haunting tale to life and gives us a glimpse into her writing process.
Vinod Khanna and Malini Saran in conversation with William Dalrymple
Presented by The Week
Vinod Khanna and Malini Saran survey the Ramayana traditions of Indonesia and the astonishing ways in which Indian cultural elements were absorbed and moulded to “perhaps the most important and impressive overseas re-telling of the Rama tale” in their extensively researched and comprehensive book Ramayana in Indonesia. In conversation with historian, writer and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, they discuss the spheres touched by the Ramayana traditions in Indonesia including literature, performing arts, philosophy and vibrant regional traditions.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Tekendra Parmar
The Indian Diaspora
Presented by Embassy of the United States of America in India
Ilan Pappé is considered one of Israel’s most groundbreaking, outspoken and incisive historians and thinkers. His book Ten Myths About Israel examines contested ideas that comprise the discourse of the contemporary state of Israel, the oppression of the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation, and explains why the two-state solution is no longer viable. It was published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation. Pappé is also the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, The Idea of Israel, and two projects with Noam Chomsky, On Palestine and Gaza in Crisis. In conversation with journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief for The Economist magazine, Max Rodenbeck, Pappé discusses his work, and the truth behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, worsening each day.
Anushka Jasraj, Nisha Susan, Paul McVeigh, Sonal Kohli and Indira Chandrasekhar in conversation
The brevity of short fiction, illuminating transformative moments in life, eliminating all that is unnecessary, takes it to the heart of the reader. A session that investigates and celebrates the form and function of the short story. Conversations and contextual readings featuring Indira Chandrasekhar, author of the short story collection Out of Print, Ten Years: An Anthology of Stories; Paul McVeigh, director and co-founder of London Short Story Festival; Sonal Kohli, author of the collection The House Next to the Factory; Anushka Jasraj, author of Principles of Prediction; and Nisha Susan who has written The Women Who Forgot to Invent Facebook and Other Stories.
Writer and academic Amitava Kumar’s latest, The Blue Book, is an intimate diary submerged in watercolours and words, a look into his artistic response to our present times. A fascinating amalgamation of the personal and political, this writer's journal presents a panoramic portrait, both intimate and public, as a means to a recorded history of our times. In conversation with journalist and news anchor, Ravish Kumar.
Master storyteller Ken Follett’s latest novel, Never, an action-packed thriller with heroines, villains, false prophets, jaded politicians and opportunistic revolutionaries, is steeped in cautionary wisdom for our times. In conversation with author Zac O’ Yeah, Follett explores the world of this globe-spanning drama and gives us a glimpse into his inspirations and writing process.
Shruti Kapila and in conversation with Faisal Devji
Behold a session that examines influential political thinkers that form the foundational roots of modern India while intricately observing their impact on South Asian political thought and action. Academic Shruti Kapila's latest book, Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age, explores how a sovereign India's foundational questions of politics were addressed in the shadow of imperialism. In conversation with historian Faisal Devji, she takes a deep dive into the diverse culture, politics and history of the Indian subcontinent and its resulting impact on the rest of the world.
Megan Nolan’s taut, provocative debut novel, Acts of Desperation, tells the story of all-consuming love, longing and obsession, in the throes of which is a divided consciousness. In a kind of unflinching confession and critique, Nolan offers the reader reflection and revelation, a portrait of perhaps their own, and indeed inherently human, dreams, desires, and insatiability. In conversation with writer Elaine Canning, Nolan discusses her literary debut and the convulsions of desire and desperation.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Saattvic
About the Community
Presented by Embassy of the United States of America in India
Amish Raj Mulmi and Ranjit Rae in conversation with Suhasini Haidar
Even though Nepal and India remain bound by ties of history and commonality of cultural heritage, the relationship is an increasingly fraught one. In a timely session with retired diplomat and former Indian ambassador to Nepal, Ranjit Rae - the author of Kathmandu Dilemma - Resetting India Nepal Ties, and Amish Raj Mulmi, author of All Roads Lead North: Nepal's Turn to China, they speak with journalist Suhasini Haidar, examining Nepal’s shifts in policy towards India and China, the economic and geopolitical realities of the region, and the need and impetus to reinforce the ties of friendship between the two nations.
Lisa Taddeo’s debut novel, Animal, is a provocative exploration of female rage fuelled by male violence and savagery. A tale of trauma and revenge, it viscerally takes us through the protagonist's attempts to understand her present while coping with the abuse of her past. In conversation with Supriya Dravid, Taddeo discusses the raw embers of female rage in a male-dominated society and the precarious intertwining of violence and memory.
One of the only things that remain constant amongst humans is change. Global strategist, futurist, and best-selling author Parag Khanna’s newest book, Move, nudges readers to introspect about the unabating pattern of mobility that our species has followed. Presenting a daring and intriguing narrative, Khanna aims his wide lens at the emerging trends of mobility that the human race is setting into motion with climate change, economic collapse and political destabilisation. In conversation with Chinmay Tumbe, Khanna illuminates the new realities that we will face in the future and explores the nature of this relentless motion in his customarily authoritative and thought-provoking manner.
Sudhir Hazareesingh in conversation with Vincent Brown
Academic and author Sudhir Hazareesingh’s latest work, Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, is an authoritative biography of Toussaint Louverture, a former slave who went on to become the leader and face of Haitian independence. Digging deep into archival material, Hazareesingh’s work gives us a unique insight into Louverture's modern views that are an amalgamation of not just Enlightenment ideals but also a hybrid heritage of fraternal slave organisations, Caribbean mysticism and African political traditions. In conversation with celebrated writer and academic Vincent Brown, Hazareesingh gives us a vivid portrait of a complex, captivating and sometimes contradictory leader.
Rahul Munjal and Amitabh Kant in conversation with Siddharth Singh, introduced by Srivatsan Iyer
Presented by Hero Future Energies
Perhaps the most crucial response to the climate crisis, the focus on clean and renewable sources of energy is a step in the direction of a new future of environmentalism. Rahul Munjal is the Chairman & Managing Director at Hero Future Energies, one of India’s leading Independent Power Producer, committed to positive environmental impact by increasing the share of renewables. Amitabh Kant is the CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and has been a key driver of initiatives such as Make in India, Startup India, Incredible India and God’s Own Country. He is the author of Incredible India 2.0: Synergies for Growth and Governance, which presents unique and focused ideas for the transformation of the country, and The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India, a crucial compilation of strategies and solutions for sectors key to India’s sustainable growth. In conversation with academician Siddharth Singh, author of The Great Smog of India, Munjal and Kant discuss the future of clean energy and climate action. Introduced by Srivatsan Iyer, the global CEO of Hero Future Energies.
Usha Uthup and Srishti Jha in conversation with Vidya Shah
Usha Uthup is India’s undisputed pop icon and a powerhouse of her generation, enthralling listeners even now, as she has always. Vikas Kumar Jha had captured her colourful and inspiring career in the evocative Hindi biography, now translated into English by his daughter Srishti Jha: The Queen of Indian Pop: The Authorised Biography of Usha Uthup. From Uthup’s childhood days in Mumbai, to her first gigs and then meteoric rise to stardom, through strife, celebration and intimate musings, Jha’s work is engrossing and a testament to the still-growing legacy of the brilliant songstress. In conversation with musician and writer, Vidya Shah, Usha Uthup and Srishti Jha discuss music, memories, milestones, and the book that captures it all.
Gandharan art, often regarded as the epitome of cultural exchange in antiquity, boasts extraordinary ties with the artistic traditions of Asia and the Mediterranean. The Graeco-Roman associations of this Buddhist visual form have generated much scholarship and infinite intrigue since the nineteenth century. Peter Stewart is a leading scholar of classical art and archaeology and author of publications Statues in Roman Society: Representation and Response and The Social History of Roman Art. Much of his research concerns the relationship between Gandharan art and Roman sculpture and has co-edited the remarkable volume The Global Connections of Gandharan Art: Proceedings of the Third International Workshop of the Gandhara Connections Project. In conversation with Naman P Ahuja, Stewart discusses the cross-cultural influences on Gandharan art and the form’s role in the evolution of Buddhist tradition.
Himanshu Prabha Ray and Vidya Dehejia in conversation with William Dalrymple
The Pallava and Chola dynasties of southern India were the dominant cultural, religious and political forces in medieval Southern India. Leading historian, archaeologist, Sanskrit scholar and prolific author Himanshu Prabha Ray will talk about the achievements of the Pallavas, the remarkable court of Kanchipuram and their monuments at Mahabalipuram. The great art historian Vidya Dehejia will then bring the Chola dynasty, its history, culture, societies and religion to life through the intricate study of bronze statues. Her latest work, The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855–1280, is the first book to place these sacred and sensuous statues in a social context. In conversation with historian and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, pioneering scholars discuss the Pallavas and Cholas and their extraordinary history.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Nisha Luthra
09 Mar | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
69. Conversations Across Languages: Sanskrit, Persian, Hindi and Prakrit
Tracing fascinating links across four languages, the session discusses legacies, translations and innovations in poetry. Balram Shukla has undertaken extensive research on the commonalities between Sanskrit and Persian, and he translates from both languages into Hindi. He has translated one hundred Ghazals of Rumi and written on the poems of Hafez Shirazi. A versatile linguist, Shukla has unravelled new material in Prakrit, showing its amazing grace and convinced about the modernity of these ancient languages, claims that contemporary compositions in them are impactful and relevant in our times. Alka Pande, art historian and author with significant work on mythology and culture, will be in conversation with Balram Shukla.
Indrajit Roy and Harsh Mander in conversation with Natasha Badhwar
Since its inauguration in August 1947, a time of extraordinary fervour and hope, India has presented an enduring puzzle. How do you establish and consolidate democratic citizenship in a society with mass poverty, social inequality and illiteracy? For decades, India has challenged conventional ideas of democratic citizenship, that it is only attainable after a certain degree of economic and social development. However, our civil and political liberties are at stake owing to the decline of democratic citizenship in India and other parts of the world. Is this the end of the road for the world’s largest democracy? Or, is there yet hope for renewal? A panel exploring the politics of hope amid growing anxieties, and questions for the future of democratic citizenship in India.
Mamta Kalia and Mridula Garg in conversation with Rekha Sethi
Presented by Rajasthan Tourism
Two stalwarts of Hindi Literature, Mamta Kalia and Mridula Garg take us on a journey through the essence of their inspirations, words and text. Writer Mridula Garg's celebrated books include Chittacobra, Anitya and Kathgulab. Her Sahitya Akademi award-winning part fiction-part biography, Miljul Mann, revolves around the lives of two sisters in post independence India, as they observe and evolve in tandem with a fast changing country and society.
Academic and writer Mamta Kalia's critically acclaimed works include Beghar, Prem Kahaani, and Daud. Her award winning novel Dukkham-Sukkham, focuses on the intergenerational and transitional relationships within a middle class family. In conversation with academic and writer Rekha Sethi, they explore the interface of novels, memory and narratives.
British writer Monica Ali’s debut novel, Brick Lane, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, was an international phenomenon. She returns with her first new book in a decade, Love Marriage- a story about two very different families thrown together by a whirlwind engagement. It is a social comedy but also a gripping tale of the social and cultural strains of love and the institution of marriage. In conversation with Bee Rowlatt, Ali discusses “who we are and how we love in today’s Britain”.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Sharika Esther Sharma
Monkeys in My Garden
09 Mar | 03:30 PM - 04:15 PM
73. Dakshin - South Indian Languages to the World
Kannan Sundaram, Anitha Thampi and DW Gibson in conversation with Jayapriya Vasudevan
In the last few years, a glass ceiling has broken for South Indian languages. The number of works in Indian languages, translated into English, have increased and been recognised internationally. A most steady and remarkable stream is that of South Indian languages to the world, empowered by brilliant writers such as Vivek Shanbhag, Perumal Murugan, and Jayant Kaikini - winner of the American Literary Translators Association’s National Translation Award in 2021. Malayalam titles have also won the JCB award for three consecutive years. A powerful session on the increased visibility, appreciation and scope of South Indian languages and emerging literature.
Jaipur Writers' Shorts: Ruth Vanita
Memory of Light
09 Mar | 04:30 PM - 05:15 PM
74. Voice of Rebellion: How Mozhdah Jamalzadah Brought Hope to Afghanistan
Mozhdah Jamalzadah in conversation with Jyoti Malhotra
Presented by the High Commission of Canada
Afghan-Canadian singer, media personality and women’s rights activist Mozhdah Jamalzadah is among the most powerful voices of her generation. Having realised the power of music in conveying political messages, she started singing “to remind the Afghan people that women are a very big part - they’ve always been a big part - of society”. Voice of Rebellion: How Mozhdah Jamalzadah Brought Hope to Afghanistan by Roberta Staley is the first-ever biography of the formidable singer and champion of women’s rights. Though threatened for her work, she continues her protest, speaking boldly on the rights of women, pertinent subjects and taboos. Her words resonate deeply with Afghan women and families. Mozhdah Jamalzadah discusses the voice of rebellion with journalist Jyoti Malhotra.
09 Mar | 04:30 PM - 05:15 PM
74a. The New Communication
Pragya Sharma and Pragya Tiwari in conversation
09 Mar | 05:30 - 07:00 PM
75. Festival Directors' Roundtable: Literature in the Times of Conflict
Bioarchaeologist Cat Jarman’s investigative historical work, River Kings: The Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads, follows a carnelian bead from 21st century England to 8th century Baghdad and illuminates a new history of the Vikings. It proves that the Norse warriors had established complex trade networks and travelled much further than originally believed. Her forensic techniques also offer new perspectives of life in the Viking Age and the cultural roles of women and children. In conversation with writer and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, Jarman discusses her innovative approach to the reassessment and writing of a riveting Age.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, emerging data from those on the front lines have shown that all types of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, has intensified dramatically. This phenomena categorised as the 'Shadow Pandemic' comes at a time when the health and essential services have reached capacity. A panel that evaluates the mobilisation of domestic violence shelters, organisations, helplines, and the governmental and social response to this insidious threat.
Historian Rana Safvi is passionate about the unique, diverse and syncretic civilisational legacies of India. She has published several books on culture, history, and the monuments of India - Tales from the Quran and Hadith, Shahjahanabad: The Living City of Old Delhi and Where Stones Speak: Historical Trails in Mehrauli, the First City of Delhi, to name a few. Her most recent work A Saint, A Folk Tale and Other Stories: Lesser-known Monuments of India journeys into the veiled, yet equally glorious parts of the country, which boast brilliant architecture, history, scenery, and a traveller’s must, stories. In conversation with Anirudh Kanisetti, Safvi discusses her fascinating project on India’s often overlooked monuments and the myriad worlds, of even secrets, fables, and poetry, they solemnly possess.
The momentum of the beginning and the sense of an ending define the circumference of a story. A panel of accomplished writers read from and context beginnings and endings in the structure of their work.
Yameer Adhar’s book, Voices in My Head, captures his challenging journey that deals with emotional and physical obstacles in his daily life. In conversation with Puneeta Roy, Adhar discusses ways to move beyond daily struggles and live a fulfilling life.
Words are legacy. Three eminent figures from the literary world are in conversation about the words they have imbibed and nurtured, from parents, grandparents and histories varied - this myriad inheritance. Writer and former diplomat Navdeep Suri has translated his grandfather Nanak Singh’s profound works, including Khooni Vaisakhi, a scathing and heart-wrenching poem on the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, and A Life Incomplete. Navtej Sarna, writer and former diplomat, has written several books across diverse genres which include translations of his father Mohinder Singh Sarna’s remarkable writing, among which are the powerful partition stories in Savage Harvest. In conversation with poet and translator Nirupama Dutt, a session on the heritage of words and the weight of all they represent.
Three women wait on the Libyan shore, hoping to reach safety, a life across the Mediterranean Sea. In a dilapidated and overcrowded boat, the diverging lives of these women become unified in the struggle to escape violence, poverty and famine, and in dreams of a better life in Europe. Award-winning Haitian poet and novelist Louis-Philippe Dalembert’s The Mediterranean Wall paints journeys of equal hardship and hope in the midst of a forbidding escape by sea. Dalembert is an incisive, empathetic chronicler of the African diaspora and among the most powerful voices of his generation. His acclaimed debut novel, The Other Side of the Sea, was a striking portrait of unyielding ancestral wounds and the many shores of life. Already a legend of both French and Haitian-Creole literature, Dalembert is in conversation with publisher and writer Naveen Kishore. He discusses his sweeping novel and “the radical uprootedness of people everywhere”.
Neutrality in news media is ironically the most polarising debate among practitioners and audiences alike. Yet, it is still brandished as a testament of credibility and relevance. Modern developments have also proliferated systems of news gathering and broadcasting. With unprecedented viewership, heightened stakes, and shifting sands and systems, how long can neutrality linger? What is the purpose of contemporary news media - conveyance alone or compulsion? An illuminating session on the principles of modern reportage. Renowned journalists Laxmi Prasad Pant, Mukesh Mathur and Shirish Khare are in conversation with Tasneem Khan.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Ranjan Kumar Das
10 Mar | 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM
85. First Edition | Soumitra Chatterjee: A Film Maker Remembers
The rich oral, linguistic and literary traditions of Rajasthan find their voice in a variety of dialects, although Rajasthani still awaits official recognition in the schedule of Indian languages. A poet, translator and distinguished literateur, C.P. Deval, discusses languages, literature, poetry and music of the desert state in conversation with writer and poet Anukrti Upadhyay.
Award-winning author, journalist and speaker, Meghna Pant’s new, gripping novel, Boys Don’t Cry, takes its readers along the secret, sordid chambers of a modern Indian marriage. It is a thriller with intention, a horrifying reflection of a culture of gender and marital violence, “the 200 million women abused in our country”, and also a striking message, a call for courage, conversations on mental health, and the “ending that every woman deserves”. In conversation with novelist, psychotherapist and presenter, Lucy Beresford, Pant discusses her gripping new work; the threads of gender, power, perspective, and freedom, woven together.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Tapesh Mathur
10 Mar | 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM
90. Geopolitics for the End Time: From the Pandemic to the Climate Crisis
Bruno Maçães is a leading global advisor on geopolitics and technology. His book, Geopolitics for the End Time: From the Pandemic to the Climate Crisis, is a sharp study of an emerging world order that is competitive and driven by the need to adapt and survive in increasingly hostile natural environments. In conversation with former diplomat and author Navtej Sarna, Maçães discusses the future of the world’s political landscape.
Numbers often become the currency of conviction. Data-journalism pioneer Rukmini S presents nearly two decades of on-ground reporting experience in her book Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India to challenge some of the most deeply-held notions of politics and society in India, the half truths that data and numbers tell, and signal the need for increased and improved qualitative research. Lakshmi Puri is a former Indian Diplomat, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and former Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. She is an advocate for human rights, sustainable development, environmentalism, gender equality, peace and security, and supports multilateral discourse and action. In conversation with economist Shailendra Raj Mehta, experts discuss interpretations of data and pieces to the larger puzzle.
Contemporary artist Olivia Fraser moved to India in 1989. Initially she was a travel painter before apprenticing herself to miniature and pichwai artists from Jaipur. There she learnt the language of a fabulously rich, rigorous and intricate painting tradition which she has deeply drawn on. Combined with her great interest in yoga and meditation, Olivia has produced profound works – paintings that could be considered spiritual road maps to reflect a journey within. The Lotus, a defining motif, brings alive worlds of sensation in her paintings. Olivia’s striking forays into the Indian art world find luminous expression in her book, A Journey Within – an artistic journey with stunning works of meditative calm and beauty.
This thought-provoking session examines the paradoxes of returning a work of fiction to the language of its geographical and emotional location. Renowned writer Namita Gokhale, winner of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for 2021, is the founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and its international editions. Two of Gokhale’s recent, acclaimed novels, Jaipur Journals and The Blind Matriarch, have been translated into Hindi by distinguished literary figures, Pushpesh Pant and Prabhat Ranjan. Pant speaks of the challenges of rendering a story set against the cosmopolitan into the vocabulary of the mother tongue. Ranjan tells us how he returned the narrative of The Blind Matriarch to the matrix of its milieu when retold as Aandhaari. In conversation with acclaimed writer, translator and literary historian Rakhshanda Jalil, they discuss the intimacies and distances of translation.
Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka’s DSC Prize-winning novel, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, celebrates ten years while he returns with the beguiling story of a renegade war photographer and highlights the documentation of the Sri Lankan conflict in Chats with the Dead. It is a ghost story, a dark comedy of life and death, and a thoroughly researched portrait of the plight of a country in a civil war. In conversation with Chandrahas Choudhury, Karunatilaka discusses the broad canvas of his radical novel.
Dazzling theatre personality Dolly Thakore's autobiography breaks all barriers and vividly describes her life with searing honesty. Co-written with Arghya Lahiri, who carries twenty years of theatre experience, Regrets, None is humorous, witty and candid as it discusses the glitz and glamour of her eventful life. Thakore traverses continents and encounters a motley assortment of people from all walks of life. Feminist, publisher and author, Ritu Menon’s biography of the remarkable actor and dancer Zohra Sehgal, who lived a full life until the age of 90, Zohra: A Biography in Four Acts, is uniquely structured in theatrical style. Menon puts into context how the creativity of dancer Uday Shankar and actor Prithviraj Kapoor impacted Sehgal. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, Thakore, Menon and Lahiri discuss the essence of theatre, its genius, its magic, and its pervading misogyny.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Devashish Makhija
Slipping the leash
10 Mar | 04:00 PM - 04:30 PM
97. First Edition | A Hundred Love Songs of Krishna
Every great literature is rooted in geography, in music, in the intangibles of identity . Cultural and socio-political changes triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union led to a new and evolving literary sensibility. Academic and National Film Award winning film critic Rashmi Doraiswamy examines the literary landscapes in Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, Belarus in Soviet and post-Soviet times .
Four decades since the inception of India’s finest and best-known publishing houses, Seagull Books, Naveen Kishore’s vision of global literature and cultural confluence across diverse media, has been awarded the Ottaway Award 2021. Under his direction, Seagull Books has published more than 500 books by major European, Latin American, African and Asian writers, including works by Nobel Prize winners Mo Yan, Herta Müller, and Man Booker International Prize winner László Krasznahorkai. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the house has curated a special imprint- Seagull at 40, a tender salute featuring the works of extraordinary writers.
In conversation with Pragya Tiwari, Kishore discusses a pioneering legacy in arts and culture publishing born in an office in Kolkata.
Remo Fernandes is an icon for a generation of music lovers. His personal and professional triumphs and tragedies come together in a kaleidoscopic memoir. From distributing home-produced albums on a scooter in the 80s to becoming a national sensation, Remo: The Autobiography of Remo Fernandes offers a window to the musician’s exhilarating life and compelling story. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, Remo discusses his life in pursuit of his greatest loves: music, art, writing and his homeland, Goa.
The vast history and many interpretations of Sringara, from ancient tradition and theatrical presentations to modern dance dramas, are immeasurable. Sringara is an aesthetic peak, believed to be the mother of all nine rasas in Indian dance. Amorous love serves a simple definition, but it embodies the most intimate, universal and diverse aspects of the romantic union - passion, desire, fear, separation and even sickness. Performing Arts legends Sohini Roychowdhury, an exponent of Bharatanatyam, and Sharon Lowen, one of Odissi, Mayurbhanj and Manipuri dance, join Manjari Sinha for a fascinating conversation about the evocative and evolutionary form.
Premchand, the defining pseudonym of beloved writer Dhanpat Rai Srivastava, transcends time to cradle the voices of Indian literature even today. An emperor among novelists, he wrote in Hindi and Urdu, galvanised social commentary in fiction and pioneered the merging of Indian themes with experimental literary styles. His legacy is incalculable but shared in many ways. After his death, his two sons Sripat Rai and Amrit Rai, published their father's works and kept them in circulation. Amrit Rai authored the definitive biography, Premchand: Qalam ka Sipahi, for which he won the Sahitya Akademi award. He also published over ten volumes of Premchand's works which lay scattered and unknown. In this birth-centenary year of Amrit Rai, Harish Trivedi, who translated Qalam ka Sipahi into English and knew Amrit Rai well, discusses his contribution to a refashioning of Premchand and his reputation, in a conversation with author, historian and academic Pushpesh Pant and editor and publisher, Aditi Maheshwari Goyal.
A series of multivocal poetry readings where different languages, rhythms and styles converge in a joyous celebration of imaginative possibility.
10 Mar | 07:00 PM - Onwards
JAIPUR MUSIC STAGE
Friday, 11 March - Onground & Online
11 Mar | 08:40 AM - 09:00 AM
Breathing with Sumit Thalwal
Blu One lnk, Mind and Soul Series
Pranayama is the control of breath. "Prana" is the breath or vital energy in the body. At the subtle level, prana represents the pranic energy responsible for prana or life force, and "ayama" means control. Therefore pranayama is "breath control".
So in this session of Pranayama (breathing exercise) we will learn how we can use our breath to relieve stress and anxiety and how breathing affects our mind and how it helps to relax our mind.
Sholay (1975): Gabbar chops off Thakur's arms with a sword in each hand. Karz (1980): Kamini murders her husband by ramming him repeatedly with a jeep. Mr India (1987): Mogambo kills hundreds of innocent citizens.
No, you don't want to meet these Bollywood baddies in a dark alley; you may not escape with your life if you do. In Pure Evil, Balaji Vittal examines, in delicious detail, the misdeeds of the gangster, the sly relative, the corrupt policeman, the psychopathic killer and the likes of such in a rollercoaster ride, looking at the changing face of the Hindi film villain. Manoj Bajpayee and Balaji Vittal, in conversation with TBC, discuss the trajectory of the cinematic Hindi villain.
Shakti is divine energy, omnipresent, all-powerful, and in its essence, feminine. Where this is divinity, there is the feminine. Award-winning author and poet Arundhathi Subramaniam’s remarkable book Women Who Wear Only Themselves: Conversations with Four Travellers on Sacred Journeys depicts the spiritual journeys of four extraordinary women. She assumes the role of the ‘seeker’ as readers glimpse the path to intimacy with the universe, as carved by women - spiritual travellers and the feminine embodied. Art historian, curator and author Alka Pande has worked extensively in the fields of gender identity, sexuality, and the traditional arts. Her latest Shakti: 51 Sacred Peethas of the Goddess is devoted to the understanding of the supreme Shakti and her sacred abodes, though an infinite task as the Devi is everywhere and anywhere, elusive as she is all-pervading. Renowned academic and author Malashri Lal has produced defining literature on women, gender, and the interpretations and manifestations of the feminine. Her work includes In Search of Sita: Revisiting Mythology with Namita Gokhale, an exploration of a defining figure of Indian womanhood, Tagore and the Feminine: A Journey Through Translations, an anthology of the laureate’s engagement with the feminine as subject, and Finding Radha: The Quest for Love. Together, they discuss the boundless, sacred feminine.
The Middle East has undergone irrevocable and fervent transitions through time, but perhaps most fundamentally, from the beginning of the 20th century till now. It is a region that embodies shifting sands - changing borders, visions, socio-political structures, and hands of power. As the region and the world align and re-align, most vigorously today, what are the future hopes, challenges, and states of metamorphosis for the vast and dynamic Middle East? Prolific writers and diplomats, Omar Saif Ghobash, Navdeep Suri and Talmiz Ahmad are in conversation with Navtej Sarna. An urgent and enlightening session on the tides of the Middle East and the world stage.
Rajasthan has long been a dynamic cultural centre and home to prestigious art forms. Vandana Bhandari is an author and academician in the area of textile, craft and fashion. Her book on Textiles of Rajasthan at the Jaipur Court showcases the rich Rajasthani textile traditions patronised at Jaipur, from woodblock print and cotton embroidery to gota, and intricate leheriya. Giles Tillotson is a historian with expertise on Rajput and Mughal architecture, who has overseen the publishing programme of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum for a decade. He is co-editor and contributor to Masterpieces at the Jaipur Court along with Mrinalini Venkateswaran. In this book, over 40 scholars from around India and the world, including the Museum team, have hand-picked and written about the objects that make this collection spectacular. They range from well-known examples such as the architecture of the palace and magnificent paintings, to lesser-known, rare and important manuscripts and books. Both join historian Rima Hooja for a session on the magnificent treasures commissioned and collected over centuries by the Jaipur court.
What keeps Indian democracy on the move? This session explores the narratives and counter-narratives of the electoral process and democratic systems with Justice Madan B. Lokur, an eminent jurist and retired judge of the Supreme Court of India; Guru Prakash Paswan, the author of Makers of Modern Dalit History and a National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janta Party and Navin B. Chawla, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India and the author of several books including, Every Vote Counts. In conversation with academic Vijay Tankha, they discuss the political and electoral process, the paradoxes of democracy, and its triumphs and discontents.
Jaipur Writers Shorts: Srijana Subba
11 Mar | 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
110. The Changing Axis: India, South Asia and the World
Emerging Asian nations share vital political, economic, strategic and cultural dimensions. As global architecture continues the shift beyond the West and towards forces in the East, how will India and South Asia evolve? Vijay Gokhale, Bruno Maçães, Mahfuz Anam and Jyoti Malhotra, in conversation with TCA Raghavan, discuss the evolving world order and visions for the future.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s political legacy embodies the vast and kaleidoscopic history of India post Independence. A wise statesman, spellbinding orator and benevolent father figure, Vajpayee became the first non-Congress prime minister to serve a full five-year term and paved the way for the BJP’s political dominance. He also embodied contradictions, he was both Hindutva loyalist and liberal centrist, poet and politician; a faithful member of the Sangh Parivar who led, unapologetically, an unconventional life. Senior journalist Sagarika Ghose, author of the political biography Indira: India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister, presents a deeply researched, revealing personal portrait of Vajpayee in her new book Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The book possesses new insights and anecdotes from the pioneering politician’s closest confidantes, and provides a powerful lens from which to understand him.In conversation with journalist Mandira Nayar, Ghose discusses Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the man and legacy.
Irish writer Jamie O’Connell's debut novel, Diving for Pearls, examines seven lives that intertwine with the discovery of a dead body in the Dubai Marina. A deep take into the fragility of the capitalist world, the narratives crisply shine a light on each character and the turmoils they face. In conversation with Manasi Subramaniam, Executive Editor at Penguin Press India, O'Connell discusses his vibrant and complex tale of human greed, aspiration and inequality.
Humour, for as whimsical and recreative as it is often painted, is also piercing. It holds the power to puncture hypocrisy, vanity, prejudice, and of all human hurdles, even pain. It is a curious and compelling craft which helps us survive, hope, and sometimes surrender. Roy Phoenix is the author of Alphabetica: A Satire On Majoritarianism; Diplomat Soumya Gupta’s latest, MAD(E) IN INDIA, is a funny exploration of India and Indians; and together they discuss the courage to laugh, make laugh, and the impact of doing so. In conversation with writer Saket Suman.
The city of Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, founded by Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501, was the seat of the eponymous princely state in the Bundelkhand region. It is a symbol of shifting, formidable histories and home to a magnificent artistic tradition. Orchha means ‘hidden’, and the resplendent paintings - depicting Puranic stories, regal and quotidian affairs and spontaneous devotional outpourings - are its distinctive treasure, the artistic idiom of Bundelkhand. Narmada Prasad Upadhyaya, among the most significant and respected scholars of Indian art and aesthetics, is in conversation with historian and writer Rima Hooja. An illuminating session on the art and legacy of Bundelkhand.
Ram Gopal Varma’s daring 1998 film, Satya, received widespread critical acclaim and ignited a new age in Hindi cinema - that of grit, gangsters and the treacherous underbelly of urban living. More than two decades since its release, Uday Bhatia’s Bullets Over Bombay chronicles the making of Satya, highlighting the cinematic traditions it reinterpreted, those it sired, and its contemporary cultural influence. Manoj Bajpayee is an acting stalwart who has immortalised diverse characters for over 25 years in film and played Bhiku Mhatre of the Mumbai underworld in the cinematic subject of Bhatia’s book. In conversation with Nirupama Kotru, Bajpayee and Bhatia discuss the legacy of Satya.
The ancient Indian epics are a source of abiding foundational wisdom, renewed through re-telling and re-interpretation across the centuries. This powerful session pays tribute to the women of these great epics, as they argue, plead, reason and assert, rising from the embers of myth, legend, and sacred texts that often focus only on heroic men. Mythologist, bestselling author and screenplay writer Anand Neelakantan’s latest book, Valmiki’s Women: Five Tales from the Ramayana, looks anew at the mothers, the sisters, the wives and the lovers who hold the complex epic together. The versatile writer and entrepreneur Koral Dasgupta is currently engaged in writing the Sati Series comprising interpretative narratives on Ahalya and Kunti, along with books on Draupadi, Mandodari, and Tara. Author and historian Ira Mukhoty's Song of Draupadi is a symphony of Draupadi's voice and those of the other women around her. In conversation with Malashri Lal, writer and academic who has also co-authored iconic works such as In Search of Sita and Finding Radha, they speak of their books and the resonance they find with readers.
We inhabit as many worlds as the languages we speak, read and write. There is a club of gifted writers who can communicate their creativity in both their mother tongues and learned languages, famously including Samuel Beckett and Vladimir Nabokov. In an insightful session, three writers whose lives and writings straddle different worlds and literary cultures, Onyeka Nwelue and Fırat Sunel, discuss their literary endeavours in English and Turkish with Puneeta Roy.