Jaipur Literature Festival
I recently shifted to Jodhpur, so it was a perfect opportunity to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival, 2015 as it was only a 4 hours journey by train from Jodhpur and the extra long Republic Day weekend was an added bonus. As this was my very first experience at the festival, friends and family had me prepared for large crowds, but the event was very well organized.
Jaipur Literature Festival is the world’s largest free literary festival and this year it took place from 21st – 25th January, 2015. The festival brings the best minds from across the globe for one of the greatest literary gatherings. This year the festival witnessed Nobel laureate Sir V.S.Naipaul, 2013 Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton, acclaimed novelist Hanif Kureishi and celebrated American travel writer Paul Theroux take center stage. Some of India’s leading authors, including Neel Mukherjee, best selling novelist Amish Tripathi and towering figure of dramas, Girish Karnad also attended the festival.
The Jaipur Literature Festival is an annual literary festival held in Jaipur, Rajasthan during the month of January. The Diggi Palace Hotel serves as the main venue of the festival. I stepped into a carnival like atmosphere at the Diggi Palace, welcomed by rows of multi colored paper lanterns hanging over the front entry way completely exhibiting the festive-like aura. There were five venues – Front Lawn, Char Bagh, Mughal Tent, Baithak & Durbar reading rooms – each had events and discussions going on simultaneously. The audience was well looked after – a sound system at each venue ensured that we could hear with clarity and huge screens brought the speakers closer. However, despite ample seating, the crowds far outnumbered the chairs and it was standing room only at most events. The crowd was a mix of college students, young professionals, a few school students and many foreigners.
I quite liked the enterprising Rajasthani women selling coupons for diggipuri ki chai, pyaz ki kachauri, dal ki kachauri and pedas, and the chai wallahs in traditional costume serving hot tea in kulhads from brass vessels that further added the charisma to this literary festival. It was a whole new experience finding myself amidst that intellectual environment.
About the Author
Afreen Hashmi hails from Mumbai, the financial capital of the country and is currently pursuing B.A.LLB(Hons) from National Law University, Jodhpur.
She believes that travelling introduces one to different values, cultures and traditions and helps to see things from a different perspective. She thinks that a person grows and develops at an intellectual as well as an emotional level as he travels. The adventures (good or bad) experienced while travelling have a lasting impact on a person.