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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 opens amidst folk tunes of Rajasthan and sufi music

Shomini Sen | http://shominisen

First published: January 21, 2015, 1:24 PM IST | Updated: January 21, 2015
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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 opens amidst folk tunes of Rajasthan and sufi music
The opening ceremony started with mesmerizing tunes by Delhi based artiste Sonam Kalra and The Gospel Project.

Jaipur: The morning of Jaipur Literature Festival started rather early as eager festival goers, dressed in thick layers of woollens queued up to register at Jaipur Lietrature Festival. In the background, drums played out ethnic beats heralding the eight season of the festival which has become a literary mecca for South-Asian authors and book lovers in the past couple of years.

The opening ceremony started with mesmerizing tunes by Delhi based artiste Sonam Kalra and The Gospel Project. The young singer's enchanting voice set the tone for festival perfectly. From an Indianised version of 'Hallelujah' to chanting 'Allah Hu'- Kalra along with her fellow performers made the environment mystical.

Next up was percussionist Nathulal Solanki and his group who presented a powerful performance. Music was churned out of beating drums which was upbeat and had the audience rooting for them.

But perhaps the loudest cheers and smiles came when the young Jaisalmer Boys took to stage to perform Rajasthan's folk music. They presented folk tunes from the dunes and lit up the winter morning at Diggi Palace's front lawns with their enthusiasm.

The organisers, Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple addressed the audience and thanked members of the audience for making the festival bigger and better. Gokhale informed that the festival would focus on poetry and literature in cinema this year while Dalrymple congratulated the young members in the audience and appreciated the interest they show in Books in these changing times. Pointing out that more than 10,000 copies of books were sold last year, Dalrymple exclaimed, "Who says we are not reading anymore?"

The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, lighted the inaugural lamp and congratulated the organisers on the amazing footfall the festival has every year. "More and more people come to the festival each year, and magically this little Diggi Palace fits every one in. It is simply amazing."

The five day literature festival will have 440 authors participating in 239 events. With focus this year being on cinema, stalwarts like Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad and others will be seen interacting with the audience.

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