By: Ayush Jain (LT MHPS)
We keep hearing of the Sunburns and the NH7 Weekenders making the news all the time, but all through this another kind of festival has been carving a niche for itself and drawing its own set of followers and admirers.
Yes Indeed! I am talking of none other than the “Jaipur Literature Festival“. What most describe as The Greatest Literary Show on Earth, this 5-day extravaganza has a life of its own.
It is like “The Tomorrowland” of world literature. A carnival with a brain if you will.
The festival is held at the Diggi Palace (which has an interesting history of its own) against a backdrop of the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan in the capital city of Jaipur. The festival hosts some of the world’s most renowned thinkers, authors, journalists and leaders in their respective fields to discuss and debate on captivating ideas and issues.
Interaction with best-selling authors, book launches, a stage where some of the world’s brightest minds debate and of course scores of books to choose from, the festival is like a fantasy plucked out of a dream and brought to life for anyone who appreciates the written word.
The festival mostly attracts a young audience that is bold and wants to be heard. Such a crowd is not afraid to pepper some of the world’s greatest thinkers with thought provoking questions which stimulate a healthy exchange of ideas and brings forth an amazing display of wit. One would think that such an audience would be limited, but to my amazement I witnessed throngs trying to grab every nook and corner just to hear what the panelists had to offer.
The festival is no short of an enigma and for me, the USP was the fact that I was able to gain access to so many different points of view (which, normally one would not even think of) on the same topic of discussion. Funnily, the major dilemma for me was to choose from events taking place simultaneously. In that moment, I wished I had a clone to help me out!
The festival venue is itself decked up in eclectic colors with an enchanting visual appeal. Contests encouraging storytelling, witty tiny tales and photo blogging are also in plenty.
This edition of the festival was home to the likes of personalities (among others) like:
a) Amish Tripathi enlightening the audience on his ever appealing books which have a unique take on the Hindu Mythology,
b) James Shapiro discussing the relevance of Shakespearean works in today’s modern times,
c) A panel consisting of Shashi Tharoor, Javed Akhtar, Marie Brenner and Nandana Dev Sen discussing the role of Cinema & Literature in giving shape to the definition of beauty.
d) Sidin Vadukut, Suhel Seth and Meera Syal have a discussion on “What Makes South Asians laugh”
All in all, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a never to miss spectacle which one should make a point to visit.