Reshma Krishnan Barshikar

Five events spread across five venues over six time slots. Don’t bother doing the math, there’s no way you going to catch everything every day. So here are our recommendations for Day 1 (21st Jan) and Day 2 (22nd Jan) as well as pre-reading so that you go prepared. We are nothing if not nerds here at

Day 1:
Ditch the Key note and head straight to Charbagh if you are a Bollywood music buff as Javed Akhtar takes you on a journey of discovery of film music and poetry linked to Urdu, Hindi and Hindustani traditions (Starts at 11:15 am). After which an EPIC buff should head to Rajngandha Front Lawns to catch the one and only Devdutt Pattanaik discuss the power of mythology. A more controversial and debate fuelled session would probably be the session hosted by Girish Karnad on whether commerce is killing good literature. I say no, but many say ‘Yea’. There is a special ‘Delegates Only’ session (I told you the ticket was worth it) where Salima Hashmi and Shabana Azmi discuss Faiz and Kaifi poetry.

Pick of the day: Jung Chang’s session on Dowager Cixi is our pick of the day, but others might want to head to watch the legendary Naseeruddin Shah discuss his autobiography- ‘And Then One Day’ with Girish Karnad. It’s one or the other I’m afraid; life is so unfair.

Pre- Reading: Jung Chang’s Empress Dowager Cixi and/or Nasserudin Shah’s And Then One day.

Evening Music: Catch the Alim Qasimov Ensemble: Spiritual Sounds of Azerbaijan at Clarks Amer Hotel at around 8:00 pm after the first act.

Day 2:
Start the day with the Capella Choir at the Rajngandha Front Lawns after which I would head to Charbagh for what is sure to be an entertaining session- “The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher”. Watch Kate Summerscale untangle the facts behind a most curious murder case. After that you must catch Dave Goulson discuss A Sting in the Tale, his award-winning book on bumble bees which will be introduced by Valmik Thapar. Munch on some celebrities for lunch or save your seat at British Airways tent to watch Peter Frankopan, Jessie Childs, William Pinch, Ahmed Rashid and Llewelyn Morgan discuss the linkages of Terror and Faith in literature.

Pick of the day: Women Uninterrupted: Sahar Delijani, Kamila Shamsie, Meena Kandasamy, Eimear McBride discuss what it means to be a female writer in a patriarchal world at 3:30 pm at Charbagh.

Evening Music: The night begins at 7:00 pm with Still Dirty, Jeet Thayil’s ongoing music project. That is followed by author/Singer/song-writer Tanuja Desai Hidier who will launch her new book, Bombay Blues, and her accompanying ‘Booktrack’ Bombay Spleen. Her first book Born Confused was considered one of the best young adult novels of all time. We end the evening with Transglobal Underground & Fanfara Tiran, a London-based music collective who will have our feet moving to their fusion of western, oriental and African music styles.

If you are planning on visiting Jaipur Literature Festival 2015, then do check out our page for the event.

Reshma Krishnan Barshikar is a travel writer and contributes to National Geographic Traveller, India Today Travel Plus and Helter Skelter. When in Mumbai, she can be found at the NCPA library researching her next novel. Her debut novel, Fade Into Red, is a romantic ode to wine and Tuscany and was published by Random House India in August 2014. For more details visit her website

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