Literature lives here and is celebrated here. Yes, that is the introduction for the Jaipur Literature Festival. It is important to note that it is a festival and not a symposium, a conference or a seminar. Be prepared to enjoy literature the way most other Indian festivals are enjoyed, with fun, food and music. Yes, that makes it a great combo and precisely the reason this festival has grown to be one of the most celebrated and talked about literary events in the world.

The festival is gaining in stature and as a result of it, the scale at which it is being organized is also consistently growing. This year #JLF has a new title sponsor and all the venues have individual title sponsors too. Looks like funds are flowing in and brands are always keen to be seen where action is. With Zee TV taking title sponsorship, there is bound to be much more television and media coverage; on the other hand, aligning with one channel does put other channels on a tangent at times.

Setting the pace for the event is none other than Bharat Ratna & Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen with his Keynote at 10:00 AM on January 17th. There are more than 140 sessions and 5 of them would be happening concurrently at all times. It is definitely a tough calling – which ones to attend and which ones to let go.  The website is live and can be accessed at http://JaipurLiteratureFestival.org and one can either choose by authors one would like to follow or venues one would like to be stationed at. My personal experience says it has to be a mix of both, venue hopping done wisely is great, but it is easier said than done. Sessions do run late and a few begin on time, so it is important to slice and dice well in advance and enjoy.

I look forward to specifically the sessions where these authors would be on panel – Amartya Sen, Amish Tripathi, Anand Neelakantan, Barnett R. Rubin, Irrfan Khan, Javed Akhtar, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Elliott, Navtej Sarna, Pavan Varma, Prasoon Joshi, Dr. Reza Aslan, Vamsee Jaluri and Vikram Chandra.

See you there.

***More to come***