The Visionary: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

The charismatic former Indian President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, was received with a rock  star reception as he took centre-stage in conversation with Bibek Debroy on day 4 of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. Dr Kalem drew the biggest crowd at this year’s festival so far, with the Rajnigandha Front Lawns thronged with people of all ages and cultures, eager to listen to… Read more »

Dance Like a Man: Refiguring Masculinity

A heated discussion erupted in the chilly morning on the Rajnigandha Front Lawn, as a distinguished and diverse panel debated gender constructs and questioned typical masculine stereotypes. Everyone present was itching to contribute to this dynamic conversation about male values and roles, male stress, and the changing power dynamics between the sexes. Articulate moderator Ashok Ferrey launched the discussion… Read more »


The evening session of day 2 of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival witnessed a fascinating discussion about Adaptations on the Rajnigandha Front Lawns. The discussion revolved around films adapted from books, referencing several examples that ended disastrously, exploring the reasons for this, and how that could have been avoided. The panel also explored examples that… Read more »

Lawrence of Arabia, War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

A beautiful sunny morning set the stage on the Rajnigandha Front Lawns for a scintillating conversation about the man and the myth, T.E.Lawrence. Veteran war journalist and author of Lawrence in Arabia, War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Scott Anderson and the vibrant Jonathan Shainin sought to debunk the myths around T.E. Lawrence, understand British Imperialist policy during… Read more »

My Other Life: A Novelist’s Affair with Nonfiction

On the Rajnigandha Front Lawns this evening, eager listeners had the chance to live out a rare backpacker’s fantasy. Sitting in the front row at Paul Theroux’s session, the legendary travel writer’s casual canter and inviting discourse made the audience feel like they were sharing an intimate conversation. Like all good chats at travellers’ haunts, Theroux began by swapping travel… Read more »

And Then One Day

Crowds had already gathered on the Rajnigandha Front Lawns half an hour before the event was due to start. This time, it wasn’t Naseeruddin Shah the actor they were waiting for, but the Naseeruddin Shah the writer. Nasreen Munni Kabir introduced the film star by saying that we are here to talk about the journey from ‘have you seen his amazing film’… Read more »

We The Drowned – Writing The Sea: Carsten Jensen, Samantha Weinberg, Nayomi Munaweera, Moderated By Samanth Subramanian

The distinguished panel aptly took refuge from the wet weather to discuss their fascination with the sea and what it holds. Carsten Jensen, the author of the novel We, the Drowned, explained that he never wrote about the ocean using romantic language. The novel, which was voted best Danish Novel of the last twenty five years, revolves around… Read more »

Conquering The Chaos – Empowering The Future: Yashwant Sinha, Ravi Venkatesan And Naveen Chawla, Moderated By Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

With the country preparing to contest the 16th General Election, the discussion efficiently captured the spirit of politics in the air. The session started with Ravi Venkatesan, former Chairman of Microsoft India, describing the ‘chaos’ in India in his critically acclaimed book Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, WinEverywhere. Venkatesan described ‘chaos is everything that makes life difficult,’ whether it be poverty, the absence of basic amenities,… Read more »

Coleridge And The Ancient Mariner: Richard Holmes Moderated By Rupleena Bose

It was “water, water, everywhere” on the final day of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival but a little rain wasn’t going to stop Richard Holmes from sharing his passion for Coleridge at the relocated Front Lawns. The respected British academic welcomed the morning rain, recognizing the importance of this resource to the Rajasthan state, and went on to link this preamble… Read more »