The pink city, wrapped in the warmth of sunshine, welcomed the book lovers for the five days literature festival.
The venue was the Diggi Palace situated in the heart of the city and it played a perfect host to the writers. Amid portraits of Raja, Maharajas, the authors and poets read their creations to an enthralled audience.
I was fortunately in Jaipur and enjoyed every bit of it. What was wonderful about the event was, people could easily interact with their favourite authors. There was no artificial attempt to keep the celebrities at a distance. The men of pen were openly meeting their fans. Moreover all the events were free, which brought a large number of students and youngsters to the venue.
Wole Soyinka’s readings from ‘The Road’ were something I found really interesting. How many thoughts can the roads evoke and how those thoughts can be conceptualised philosophically and emotionally. Soyinka’s words reveal the character of the roads and its meaning for the traveller.
From the UK, Hanif Kureishi and Amit Chaudhuri attended a few sessions and shared their views. Lord Meghnad Desai was there too. Chaudhuri’s prose and music both were impressive. After the sessions, there was a large crowd for book signing around him. Some of his books were soon out of stock.
The festival of books has two distinguished directors, Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple. Gokhale was present at most of the discussions and was involved every bit, not only providing the ideational inputs but also taking care of the nitty-gritty.
The popularity of Indian author, Chetan Bhagat proved to be an enigma for many. As he has sold more copies than many of the literary geniuses, Chetan Bhagat phenomenon intrigued some.
All the main India publishing houses were represented by their CEs. They discussed the future of publishing industry but there was no insight into the working of these houses or how heavy is the slush pile.
The five days filled me with new insights and fresh inspiration to write, write and write.
Visit Jaipur Literature Festival here.
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