The Write to Laugh

A surprise session on cartoons, freedom of expression, and ‘The Fundamental Right to Offend’ was conducted over tea at the British Airways Baithak. Referencing the recent atrocities in Paris against the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, CP Surendra, Editor-in-Chief of Daily News & Analysis (DNA) and cartoonist Manjul engaged the audience by asking members of the packed hall to voice… Read more »

Book Launch: Curtain Call – Celebrating Indian Theatre

Coffee table book Curtain Call: Celebrating Indian Theatre, encapsulating ten glorious years of Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), was released at the British Airways Baithak, Hotel Diggi Palace, Jaipur on the second day of the ongoing ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. Festival producer Sanjoy Roy, actors and theatre personalities Shabana Azmi and Girish Karnad all gathered to launch the book. Girish Karnad confessed that he has always… Read more »

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

Even the rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of book lovers at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival on Day 2. British Airways Baithak played host to Kate Summerscale, award-winning English journalist and author of the number one bestselling nonfiction work, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2008 and the Galaxy British Book of the… Read more »

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 Award Ceremony

Jhumpa Lahiri was announced as the winner of the 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for her novel, The Lowland. The British Airways Baithak played host to the presentation of the prize ceremony. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was instituted in 2010 and aims to celebrate the best writing emanating from the rich and diverse world of South… Read more »

God’s Traitors: Religious Terrorism in Elizabethan England

This was a revealing session that explored the historical association of terrorism with religious fanatics, as author Jessie Childs took the audience through to another side of history, to facts unknown, or rather, not made known: ‘We’ll never be sure of the shift in the narratives.’ Childs discussed discrimination and injustice committed against Catholics in Sixteenth Century England… Read more »

The Language Of Laughter: Indrajit Hazra And Shovon Chowdhary, Moderated By Bachi Karkaria

What tickles India’s funny bone? The packed ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival session was alive with people seeking to answer that question. Bachi Karkaria, popular columnist and author, opened up the discussion by differentiating between humour, satire and irony. However, the whole idea of scrutinizing and categorizing ‘comedy’ quickly fell to pieces, much to the amusement of the audience,… 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 »

Poetry Wallahs: Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Margaret Mascarenhas, Salma, Bejan Matur, C.P.Surendran, Moderated By Rahul Soni

What good fortune it was to listen to five wonderful poets, each one distinct in the content, language, style and rhythm of their work. Salma began the session by reading her work in Tamil with such delicacy that a young guy sitting next to me whispered, ‘Dammit I gotta learn Tamil’. She read from her poem Contract, The… Read more »

Savage Harvest: Navtej Sarna In Conversation With Urvashi Butalia

The sensitive subject of the 1947 Partition of India has long been approached as a source of agony and anguish. Curiously, it is the “element of humanity” in memories of the partition that has been omitted. It is precisely this element that is so beautifully portrayed by writer Mohinder Singh Sarna in his collection of short stories, Savage… Read more »