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Amidst the splendour of Jaipur’s royal past and the flamboyance of India’s rich cultural heritage, the city will witness what is undoubtedly Asia’s foremost literary festival. The five-day literary gala held at the Diggi Palace promises to bring together the very best of Indian and International authors, poets and journalists and truly this festival does not fail to impress. The annual event is a haven for literature enthusiasts and music lovers and this world’s largest free festival witnesses thousands of such people every year. The pink city plays proud host to the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 for the 6th consecutive year since its inception. The dates 21st to the 25th have something special lined up for each and every one.

A literature festival wouldn’t be complete if the ardent readers weren’t allowed to interact with their favourite authors. The Jaipur Literature Festival encourages vigorous question and answers from the audience and heated debates amongst the luminaries. In fact, the festival in its past has witnessed authors like Vikram Seth, William Dalrymple, and many others, seated on the floor during their sessions and this very gesture contributes to forming a strong bond between the author and his reader. This year, the festival has rather interesting speakers lined up. With what appears to be a perfect balance, the festival will focus on popular faces as well as serious literary authors.

Amongst the noted sessions to look out for on the first day will be A House for Mr. Biswas which will have Hanif Kureishi, Amit Chaudhuri, Farrukh Dhondy and Paul Theroux on the panel, The Power of Myth by Devdutt Pattanaik, And Then One Day will see Naseeruddin Shah and Girish Karnad in conversation. The second day has an interesting line up with Mujhe Jeene Do: Conversations with Waheeda Rehman and Hamlet’s Dilemma with Vishal Bhardwaj, Basharat Peer, Tim Supple and Jerry Brotton. Day three, four and five will see sessions such as India Shastra with Shashi Tharoor and Mihir Sharma in conversation with Amrita Tripathi, The Mother I Never Knew with Sudha Murty, The Visionary: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam with the man himself-APJ Abdul Kalam, Granta on India with Amit Chaudhuri, Samanth Subramanian, Deepti Kapoor, Raghu Karnad and Sam Miller.

Alongside the literary fiesta, music lovers have an extravaganza in store for them. Local Rajasthani musicians Nathoo Solanki, Chugge Khan and the Jaisalmer Boys are lined up to mark the start of the five days of festivities at Diggi Palace. Other performances include Vocal Raasta and Sonam Kalra and her Sufi Gospel Project. Sufi and ghazal singer Rashmi Agarwal is set to enthral the audience on the last day.

The Jaipur Literature Festival is so much more than just mere literature. It is the coming together of knowledge and culture to create what is indeed an amalgamation of the best of both worlds.

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The Penguin India Blog

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