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A group of eight students along with a teacher escort, Ms Anindita Sinha attended the Zee Jaipur Literary Fest 2020 for two days which took place at the royal Diggi Palace from 23 January to 27 January 2020.

They flocked to grab seats at the NEXA Front Lawn of the Diggi Palace Hotel, which itself was dressed in its colourful best and reverberated with heady beats from dhaaks and nagadas with its extravagant way of presentation. The life-sized puppets paved the way to the NEXA Front Lawn. Gandhi’s message was showcased by a renowned puppeteer, Dadi Pudumjee as he presented an excerpt from his celebrated production, ‘Images of Truth’. 

The Mumbai-based classical vocalist, Nirali Kartik took the stage by storm with Raga Gurjari Todi. She sang two bandish – Meri Akhiyaan Lage and Bhor Bhayee, followed by Mero Allah Meherbaan in Raga Bhairav – one of the masterpieces of the Legendary Pt. Jasraj Ji.

Music led the way to the inaugural session of the iconic Festival’s 13th edition which was graced by the Honourable Chief Minister, Shri Ashok Gehlot, Key Note Speakers Marcus du Sautoy, Shubha Mudgal and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple and Sanjoy K. Roy.

The session after the inaugural took us to the world of theatre in New York City of the 1940s, a story of showgirls, playboys, actresses, and dancers. Bringing literature lovers face to face with some of the best-known names in writing in 15 Indian and 35 international languages and public speaking, the 13th annual edition of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival kicked off on 23 January 2020.

The Festival’s first day focused on sessions that explored a woman’s right to be free of every societal stereotype including sexual freedom and finding her identity in non-conventional lifestyles. In the session titled “From Eat, Pray, Love To City of Girls”, Elizabeth in conversation with her long-time friend and editor, the British publisher, Alexandra Pringle talked about her life as an author; from Eat, Pray, Love to City of Girls, her experiences as a seeker and a storyteller, her chaotic experiences with the ‘strange’ institution of marriage and her intimate connection with shame. The conversation began with a discussion on Gilbert’s experiences as a married woman, with a reference to her second novel, Committed.

One of India’s highest-selling English fiction authors, Ashwin Sanghi, launched his book The Vault of Vishnu through Sonali Bendre Behl at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2020. Keeping in line with his exciting amalgamation of m


yth and history, Ashwin unveiled the book as the sixth addition in his Bharat series.

Sonali Bendre Behl in her conversation with Meru Gokhale spoke about her book club which is basically a social media club for all the book lovers. She felt it to be a good platform to connect with diversified people and it was her only source of inspiration while she was battling with cancer.

In a session titled “Adele”, Leila Slimani in conversation with Avni Doshi spoke about her ideas on feminism. She talked about the freedom that a woman needs in her life. A very aesthetic view of hers expressed, “It’s absolutely okay 

for a 

woman to have secrets and she has all the right not to reveal them.”

She spoke about the lives of the stereotype orthodox society of Morocco, her hometown where the women being suppressed hand over their bodies in the custody of their father, husband and children. Slimani said that the book ‘Adele’ was written out of the fascination that she had towards the phenomenon of addiction.

Satish Gupta in his conversation with Sushma Behl spoke about his book ‘Zen Inklings’ which he wrote to give peace to its viewers and readers.

In the session ‘Pahar’ Shekhar Pathak in his conversation with Manisha Chaudhry spoke about the C

hipkoo Movement and how the Britishers started destroying the Himalayas.

In the session ‘Twice Alive’ Forrest Gander in his conversation with Chandrahas Choudhury said that he is an active environmentalist and he composed many poems on environment. He said that composing a poem is deep listening and a poet needs to be careful with his presentation and culture. He also said that the most fascinating thing is that India has many languages and literature can expand the language we use.

In the session “Darjeeling Express: Of Food and Friendship”, the well-known chef Asma Khan said, “Cooking was traditionally undervalued and considered inferior because it was the women who undervalued herself.”

In the session ‘Thinking Aloud’ Prasoon Joshi  in his conversation with Vani Tripathi Tikoo told very beautifully, “When you are writing for self-gratification you are very true to what you want to write.” He said that excellence in art ca

n be but condescends in art should not be there. He said that the biggest tool of democracy is Debate.

The session ended with his quoted words, “The source of energy comes from what you do.”

We extend a heartfelt gratification to Principal ma’am and Puja ma’am, who allowed us to avail the opportunity to interact with a diverse mix of renowned writers, thinkers, leaders, entertainers and all the eminent personalities from around the world. 




Anindita Sinha.

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