Jaipur Literary Festival Houston Returns In Person, Features Local Authors

The entrance to JLF Houston at Asia Society featured a large illustration of a Rajastani belle.

HOUSTON: With bated breath, the literati of Houston awaited the in-person return of JLF Houston, September 9-10 with events at the Asia Society and India House.

This year, JLF celebrated the unique culture, diversity, and energy of the Bayou City- on-ground in partnership with Asia Society Texas, Inprint, University of Houston, India House and Pondicheri restaurant.

The Houston edition featured author Manil Suri, whose latest book is The Big Bang of Numbers. Houston’s Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni spoke about The Writer’s Life with Rice University professor Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan.

The mission of Inprint is to inspire readers and writers in Houston and beyond. Since the organization’s inception, Inprint has provided more than $4 million in fellowships and prizes to emerging authors.

Sujoy Roy, producer of JLF Houston, introduced Houston Chef Anita Jaisinghani and her cookbook Masala: Recipes from India, the Land of Spices

The University of Houston is the largest public research university in Houston and the third largest university in Texas, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. UH is recognized as an R1 institution by the Carnegie Foundation for its high level of research activity, and is home to a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

The mission of India House is to unite cultures, create bridges, and help the community by bringing in resources, education, services, and Indian culture to Houstonians.

The community-support programs include bi-monthly free food distribution through which we serve 400 families every month, a charity volunteer clinic every Saturday treating about 350 individuals each year, free family law & immigration law consultations and free relationship coaching to individuals and families.

Author Chitra Divakaruni spoke about the ‘Writer’s Life’ with Rice University Professor Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan.

Author Mani Suri’s latest book is The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe using Only Math.

Author Varsha Bajaj spoke with Andrea White about her book Thirst.

Pondicheri Restaurant offers the complexities of Indian cuisine with leanings toward the ancient body of wisdom of Ayurveda, the magic of spices & the goodness of fresh, local ingredients. Award-winning chef Anita Jaisinghani’s cookbook Masala: Recipes from India, the Land of Spices, is an ode to India’s rich culinary history. Chef Anita Jaisinghani – founder of the famed Pondicheri restaurant in Houston – paid homage to the wisdom and techniques
of Indian cooking at a session that evoked food, memory and a platter of cuisines. She was in conversation with Festival Producer Sanjoy K Roy.

The festival also featured a session of Music and Remembrance with academic, historian, writer and classical singer Dr. Reba Som. Dr. Som took the audience on a melodic journey through Vivekananda’s life and also spoke of one of his most cherished disciples, Margaret Noble, known to the world as Sister Nivedita. A chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda’s path breaking speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 introduced Hinduism to America.

Author Varsha Bajaj’s recent book, Thirst, is a poignant take on class, wealth and equity around the disparity of water in the suburbs of Mumbai, India. In conversation with writer and civic leader Andrea White, Bajaj discussed the asymmetrical patterns of resource access in a parched world. It was a session spanning continents, looking at the repercussions of climate change and the misuse of water.

The closing ceremony of JLF Houston was held at India House.