Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 hosts curtain raiser in Mumbai

With the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival just a week away, a special evening was hosted in Mumbai to mark the countdown to the world’s largest free literary gathering. The organisers of the festival along with partners Avid Learning hosted a soiree dedicated to music and poetry in literature.


After a welcome speech by Asad Lalljee, SVP, CEO Avid Learning, the Essar Group, the evening featured a special panel that explored music and poetry within the context of literature. Aptly named ‘Blowing in the Wind: Voice Music and Lyric Poetry, it addressed the public spaces for literature and brings together the voice and the word. Following Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, this session looked at eminent poets and their interactions with popular music with the panel comprising poet lyricist Gulzar along with lyricist, poet and playback singer Swanand Kirkire. To mark a grand finale to the event, singer and songwriter Geetu Hinduja entranced the audience in a power packed musical performance.

Both Gulzar and Swanand Kirkire are slated to attend the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 which runs from January 18 – January 23 at the Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Festival Speakers from Mumbai set to attend this year include one of India’s most popular film stars Rishi Kapoor; writer Ashwin Sanghi; writer and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik; poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar; writer, playwright, actor & director Manav Kaul, lyricist, poet & advertising professional Prasoon Joshi; director Sudhir Mishra; and director & screenwriter Imtiaz Ali among others.

The festival programme includes winners of the Man Booker Prize Paul Beatty, Alan Hollinghurst and Richard Flanagan; Laurence Olivier award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Sir David Hare, who makes his first visit to the Festival; internationally acclaimed poet Anne Waldman; one of the India’s significant writers and philosophers S.L. Bhyrappa; bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; 2016 Emerging Voices Award winner Eka Kurniawan; yogi, mystic and New York Times bestselling author Sadhguru; Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who predicted the 2008 global financial crisis; writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Winchester, OBE; the ‘literary institution of one’, Italian writer and published Roberto Calasso; Neil MacGregor, past director of the National Gallery London and the British Museum and author of A History of the World in 100 Objects; American Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning Dexter Filkins; Alex Ross, the music critic for The New Yorker and the author of the books The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century and Listen to This; Ha-Joon Chang, whose books include 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User’s Guide, which will have been translated into 40 languages and published in 43 countries; and Linda Colley, award-winning historian, academic, author and broadcaster who specialises in post-1700 British history and author of Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 and Acts of Union and Disunion.

With around 30 languages represented from India and across the world, the Festival will feature authors writing in Indian regional languages including the popular Volga in Telugu, S.L. Bhyrappa and Vivek Shanbhag in Kannada, Kaajal Oza Vaidya in Gujarati, C.P. Deval and Hari Ram Meena in Rajasthani, Kanak Mani Dixit and Binod Chaudhary in Nepali, Dhruba Jyoti Borah in Assamese, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar in Urdu, Jatindra K. Nayak in Oriya, Naseem Shafaie and Neerja Mattoo in Kashmiri, Arunava Sinha and Radha Chakravarty in Bengali and Arshia Sattar, A.N.D. Haksar, and Roberto Calasso in Sanskrit. Writers in Hindi include Ajay Navaria, Anu Singh Choudhary, Manav Kaul, Mrinal Pande, Narendra Kohli and Yatindra Mishra.

The programme for the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 will touch upon a multitude of ideas and themes including a look at the nation, Freedom to Dream – India at 70, which explores India today in the context of its history as well as its future, Translations and World Literature, Women and Marginalised Voices, Sanskrit, and Colonialism and the Legacy of the Raj.

Sanjoy K. Roy, Director of Teamwork Arts, Producers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival said “We’re delighted to present this evening in Mumbai as we make the final preparations for the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival. We’re barely a week away and look forward to welcoming Mumbai speakers as well as audiences in Jaipur next week. The Festival has always aimed at showcasing the brilliant literary talent of India to the world, in return bringing some of the world's greatest writers home. The Festival offers a unique opportunity to hear some of the world’s contemporary literary stalwarts at a platform that’s all-inclusive and democratic, brings together diverse thought and opinion, and upholds freedom of thought and expression”

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