The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 was conceptualized five years ago by New Delhi-based literary tag team William Dalrymple and Namita Ghokale, bringing together an appealing mix of mainstream and fringe Indian and international writers to present their ideas on Indian thought, culture and its global context in relation to their own works, Himali Singh Soin reports for CNN.
This festival is not your average overdose of book readings and panel discussions, brooding authors and a drowsy audience.
For one, it is a free festival.
The informal, celebratory and interdisciplinary atmosphere in the gardens of an old and intimate Rajasthani palace, attracts a diverse crowd of 60,000-odd readers. Actors, directors, fashion designers, economists, travelers, politicians, scientists, students, bloggers and all manner of urban hipsters congregate in the sunny on-site cafe to spend three days “in conversation.”
The Jaipur Lit Fest has expanded in collaboration with producers Teamwork, extending literature into the areas of music, dance, art, philosophy, history — with one or two tense political debates featuring each year.
This year’s highlights include high-profile writers such as Salman Rushdie, Mohamad Hanif, Gurcharan Das, Annie Proulx and Jamaica Kincaid.
At night, the wine flows and the stage bursts with the Dionysian revelry that has historically followed a literary salon.
This year’s world music and dance performances focus on the tradition of Sufi and Bhakti poetry and songs spanning from traditional Rajasthani fire eaters to DJ Cheb I Sabbah and Dub Colussus.
January 20-24, 2012
Diggi House, Shivaji Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur – 302004, Rajasthan; +91 (0)141 237 3091/236 6120; New Delhi office +91 (0)11 2601 1430; www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org
For the original report go to http://www.cnngo.com/mumbai/life/best-of-the-jaipur-literature-festival-977139