The rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan will come alive at the Jaipur Literature Festival, beginning January 21.
The literary event will have a number of sessions on the tradition, culture and writers of Rajasthan. For instance, the session ‘Meera Bai: Jeevan Ki Kavita’ will explore the life of the celebrated 16th century poet and devotee of Krishna.
Madhav Hada, author of a widely acclaimed book on the life, time and social environs of the Bhakti poetess; Alpana Mishra, a young Hindi novelist and associate professor; and singer Suman Yadav will give audiences a glimpse of the beautiful musical settings of Meera Bai’s work in this session.
Organisers of the festival informed that another session – Rajasthali: Katha aur Kathakaar – will explore the unique cultural and linguistic heritage of the state, with its rich diversity of ballads, epics and oral traditions finding echoes in readings by well-known writers and poets from the state. Dr Satya Narayan Soni, writer of Ghamsan and Dhan-kathava, well-known and award winning short story writer Reena Menaria and Manohar Singh Rathore, a Rajasthani and Hindi writer, will speak in the session, moderated by Nand Bhardwaj.
The rich, oral Kaavad tradition will be celebrated and explored in ‘Kaavad: The Itinerant Storytellers of Rajasthan’.
The Kaavadiya Bhats of Mewar and Marwar use a portable shrine of multiple unfolding panels to bring to life, myths, histories and lineages. Rituals, symbolism and narratives converge in a unique space in a virtual pilgrimage, leading from the external to the innermost shrine.
Nina Sabnani will discuss the dynamics between words and images that are the essence of the Kaavad repertoire, while Kojaramji and his accompanist will demonstrate through a compelling performance.
Former Udaipur royal Arvind Singh Mewar will launch ‘Rajasthan on a Platter/ Rajasthan Ka Khana Peena’, an informative cook book on the wide and delicious variety of traditional culinary items.
Dr Suman Bhatnagar and Dr Pushpa Gupta, both professors at Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology in Udaipur, have written the book.
Other authors from Rajasthan who will appear at the Jaipur Literature Festival include Prem Chand Gandhi, poet, playwright, translator and columnist; Harish Karamchandani, recipient of the Rajasthan Sahitya Akademi Award for his poetry collection Samay Kaisa Bhi Ho.
Others include poet Ravindra Prabhat whose work often touches on human suffering and social issues; Om Purohit Kagad, well-known author and poet in both Hindi and Rajasthani; and Mithesh Nirmohi.