What to look forward to at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024

Jaipur literature festival 20024
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Team P3 is at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024 as they share notes on what to expect.

Purple Pencil Project is at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024 for the third time this year. Amritesh and I have been busy the last few days preparing for it – going through the speaker’s list, highlighting the sessions we want to attend, drawing up the list of authors we want to interview, research that will help us take the most insightful interviews, making sure we have equipment ready, processes set to be able to capture the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024 and keep to the plan we have discussed internally.

Jaipur Literature Festival 2024 – The Magic Unfolds

Jaipur Literature Festival 2024

So what is it about the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024, that brings one back? Is it the authors you get to hear in person? Is it the warm camaraderie that people share when they find out they have a common favourite author? Is it the friendships you make with faces and people that become familiar after attending similar sessions over the five days? Is it discovering world literature at the festival bookstore or simply the weeklong routine you create, checking out the day’s sessions, circling the ones you want to attend, waiting in queues for author signings (or in our case, the media lounge for author interviews)?

It’s probably a little bit of everything, but above everything, it’s the celebration of the creative pursuit, that knowledge that art is enough. For five days a year, you invest your hard-earned money to attend this environment designed to talk about the things you might not share with your friends and family too regularly or conversations that get lost in the balance sheets of our daily rigmaroles.

Read all our reviews, posts, and interviews from the Jaipur Literature Festival

Excitement Galore

Will I listen to Gulzar Sahab reciting nazams live, not three feet away from me, as he did at Front Lawn on February 1, talking about his new book Baal-O-Par, translated by Rakshanda Jalil?

At the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024, will I get to understand with nuance the position and circumstance of our country and my role in it, when S.Y Quraishi talks about his book, The Great Experiment: Democracy, Elections, and Citizenship?

Or be inspired by the likes of the powerful writers Devika Rege and Bonnie Garmus talk about First Novels (February 2, Front Lawn) or Urvashi Butalia, Clare Wright, and Marta Breen talk about the Many Feminisms (February, Front Lawn), discuss India’s place in the world, step into a world not just of books but of fashion, cricket, economics, and art?

Japur Literature Festival 2024

At the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024, we look forward to talking to the likes of Abhay K., B. Jeymohan, Chitra Banerjee Devakurni, Naveen Kishore, Tejaswini-Apte Rahim, Devika Rege, Pavan K. Varma, Rakhshanda Jalil, Divrina Dhingra, listening to Arundhathi Subramaniam who has won this year’s Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Poetry Award.

The standout sessions will undoubtedly be by two categories of speakers – the eloquent ones who know how to hold the crowd’s attention and those with something truly powerful, insightful, and brave to say.

Our Recommendations at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2024

From this year’s schedule, here are the ones I think will fit the bill and the ones you should circle in on your Jaipur Literature Festival 2024 schedule:

  1. Between Russia and China: The Amur River and China’s Ever Extending Borders. Colin Thubron in conversation with Peter Frankopan. February 2, Front Lawn, 2:00 pm
  2. The Escape Artist: The man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World. Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Roger Cohen. February 2, Charbagh, 11:00 am
  3. The New India: Between Hope and Despair. Rajeev Bhargava and Parakala Prabhakar in conversation with Mohit Satyanand. February 2, Durbar Hall, 3:00 pm
  4. Gender, Equity, and Empowerment: Leaders and Change Makers. Kantha Singh, Chetan. Sinha, and Harini RNA in conversation with Urvashi Butalia. February 2, Baithak, 3:00 pm
  5. Oppenheimer, The American Prometheus. Kai Bird in conversation with Jonathan Freedland. February 3, Front Lawn, 10:00 am
  6. How the World Made the West. Josephine Quinn and Peter Frankopan in conversation with Mary Beard. February 3, Charbagh, 11:00 am
  7. Banned, Burned and Censored. Mridula Garg, Kalpana Raina, Merve Emre, and Navdeep Suri in conversation with Nilanajana S. Roy. February 3, Durbar Hall, 11:00 am
  8. Fiction, Faction and the Spaces Between. Vivek Shanbhag and Raj Kamal Jha in conversation with Anil Aneja. February 3, Baithak, 3:00 pm
  9. Aphorisms for our Age. Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Nidhi Razdan. February 4, Front Lawn, 2:00 pm
  10. Audacious Hope: How to Save a Democracy. Indrajit Roy. And Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Nidhi Razdan. February 4. Charbagh. 1:00 pm
  11. Parenting in the Digital Age. Neha Hiranandani, Shivani Sibel and. Marcus du Sautoy in conversation with Priyanka Khanna. February 4. Mughal Tent. 2:00 pm
  12. Multilingualities: Literature Across Languages. B. Jeyamohan, Ibrahim Waheed and Shumona Sinha in conversation with Suchitra Ramchandran. February 4. Baithak. 5:30 pm
  13. Shadows at the Noon: The South-Asian 20th Century. Joya Chatterji in conversation with Pragya Tiwari. February 5, Front Lawn. 4:00 pm
  14. Photography and the Emergence of Image Culture. Rahaab Allana in conversation with Sabeena Gadihoke. February 5, Mughal Tent, 1:00 pm

These discussions, not for their glamour but their nuance, these interviews not for byte-sized content but to hear the interior lives of creative minds – that’s what brings the charm to Jaipur Literature Festival 2024. You begin to think about subjects you never engaged with, find wonder, and marvel at the newness of it.

For five days, you are in a little village, where you bring in the mornings with the music of the maestros, you spend the afternoons discussing craft and art over chai, and in the evenings, unwind with the loud, deafening melodious cacophony of the birds that envelopes the venue completely.

It’s a bubble. And I am sure every creative festival builds a version of it. But the charm of any event is when you return, year after year, scan the crowd for the old familiar faces, smile and nod and wave at those you recognize, and become so familiar with the various little nooks of the venue that it begins to feel like home.

The Jaipur Literature Festival is like that home now. And it promises to be great for me this year too.

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Prakruti Maniar

Prakruti Maniar

Prakruti Maniar is editor and partner of Purple Pencil Project, and hustles as a writer, researcher and more. She is deeply invested in cultural heritage, especially stories, and is committed to saving the literary heritage of India. She has a Master of Arts in Digital Humanities from Loyola University Chicago.

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