I just got back after attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, Rajasthan and here I am trying to write something about it, wondering where to start. Where to start? Where to start? There is nothing, nothing at all that I don't like about the Jaipur Literature Festival. It is currently the largest literature festival in the world. But be that as it may it is not at all sophisticated or reserved for the privileged few, and that is what I love about it. Spend one day at the JLF and you will get the chance to meet some of the most brilliant minds in the world today - from Nobel laureates to critically acclaimed actors to Pulitzer winners and personalities who have graced the cover of TIME magazine over and over again, world renowned journalists and lawyers, brilliant professors from the top universities of the world, all there to discuss their personal quests, social problems and even answer to your questions!
Diggi Palace - the venue itself was exotic yet humble. Kudos to the organizers for keeping the festival simple, clean and friendly. Personally I loved the crowd and the bohemian vibe of the festival. I've even made plans for next year's festival which will commence on the 21st of Jan, 2015. Fly in or take a train and ride into Jaipur if you can next January. Who knows, we'll probably end up crashing into each other.
P.S. Here are some pictures I took on the first day of the festival. I've uploaded them just to give you a taste of the festival.
|The 11:15 session at Char Bagh tent - Jonathan Franzen in conversation with Chandrahas Choudhury.|
|The 12:30 session at the Google sponsored Mughal tent - Emma Rothschild (Professor of History at Harvard University) and Galutra Bahadur in conversation with William Dalrymple.|
|Participants taking a break between sessions.|
|Nobel laureate and economist Amartya Sen in conversation with John Makinson, Chairman of the international publishing company Penguin Random House. It was a great session.|
|Restless Women: The sublime Cheryl Strayed and Robyn Davidson in conversation with Gaiutra Bahadur.|
|I'll never forget this girl.|
|Me with Cheryl Strayed. Getting my book autographed.|
|Well this wasn't the best seat in the house but it was a good session nonetheless. |
Homi Bhabha, Martin Puchner and Suhel Seth (introduced by Namita Gokhale) discussing morality and guilt complex in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
|Classic Homi Bhabha and Suhel Seth moment.|
|End of Day 1. Coming back to life.|