Under swags of rainbow-hued chiffon, Mughal tents and unbridled sunshine, an international array of literary stars gathered for the sixth DSC Jaipur Literature Festival. Junot Diaz, Candace Bushnell and Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk and J.M. Coetzee were among the 50,000 to attend the five-day celebration this month at the Pink City’s Diggi Palace, a haveli-style mansion dating back to the 1860s. The packed program touched on everything from contemporary politics to industry insider jokes, with Trainspotting
author Irvine Welsh undermining his trademark grit by revealing that he enjoys “gardening, Jane Austen and George Eliot,” and Martin Amis teasing novelist Jay McInerney for describing cocaine as a metaphor: “You were just snorting a metaphor, were you?” As the moon rose each night on the proceedings, attendees enjoyed Indian food at communal tables set on the palace’s elegant lawns, with strains of Rajasthani folk music providing the soundtrack. “The festival is a showcase to the world,” says British writer and historian William Dalrymple, the event’s founder. “It's an incredibly rich scene.” Photographer Bharat Sikka was there to capture the cultural mosaic for NOWNESS in the series of photos above.