February is known as the month of love and togetherness and what better way to sign it off in the city of love, Agra. We know Taj Mahal is itself a reason enough to visit this city but there is another one as well, the Taj Literature Festival. A 3-day literary extravaganza is set to host writers, authors, celebrities, speakers and all book lovers from February 26 to 28.
The third edition of the festival was officially announced in New Delhi recently at the Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place which is also the knowledge partner for the event. It will bring together the best of nation’s literary talents at The Clarks Shiraz, Agra.
Welcoming all to the festival, Harvijay Singh Bahia, Chairman, Taj Lit Fest said “Agra is a heritage city, known across the world for its iconic Taj Mahal. It is also recognized as the cynosure of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and the nurturer of poetry and prose. Poets like Mirza Ghalib, Nazir Akbarabadi and Mir Taqi Mir enriched the city with their verses. Taj Lit Fest is an attempt to rejuvenate the embers of that aesthetic spirit which smolder in this culturally and historically rich city.”
Adding to his thoughts, Anshu Khanna, Festival curator added,”Agra lays out the red carpet to its speakers. The enthusiasm of both the organizers and the audience is infectious and Taj Lit Fest is surely one of the favorite destinations of the literary world.”
Touching upon topics ranging from crime writing, music, cinema, Gandhian philosophy, women’s rights and development this fledgling platform has emerged as the preferred destination for some of India’s most respected authors. This year the speakers list includes Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Rauf Ahmed, Shatrughan Sinha, Avirook Sen, Sudhir Mishra, Kabir Bedi, Maria Goretti, Sathya Saran, Rakhshanda Jalil, Punam Sabbas Joseph, Hindol Sengupta and Acharya David Frawley to name a few.
The other dignitaries from various other cultural spheres to grace the platform are as follows: – Chef Kunal Kapoor, Chef Manisha Bhasin, Muzzafar Ali, Suhel Seth, Lady Kishwar Desai, Lord. Meghnad Desai.
Some of the talk sessions to look out for include:
• Hinduism for the modern mind- Hindol Sengupta in conversation with David Frawley and Sanjeev Sanyal.
• Gandhi today: Pramod Kapoor in conversation with Pushpesh Pant and Tara Gandhi.
• The Golden Era: Mohammad Rafi’s son Shahid Rafi shares memories of that glorious era with Sujata Deb and Rauf Ahmad.
Images by Supriya Aggarwal