I rarely travel with an agenda. But last weekend I did. I went to Jaipur to attend the Literary Festival. This was the second time I attended that and like last time , I again wished I had stayed all five days.
The fun began with the train journey through some sleepy and yet refreshing green countryside , the breakfast served , enjoying my favorite music till I finally landed there and back with a huge smile on my face and lot of expectations.
The very air at the venue is so infectious. Be a book lover or not , whether you write or not , or even if you are a random stranger walking in there to catch a glimpse of some celebrity you heard would be there , if you pause and listen to some one for even ten minutes , chances are you would be listening to many more people soon. The whole spectrum of ideas people write on , the research they do , the impressions and the authority they command when they step on the stage , the way some of them handle questions from the public, the stories , the doubts that crowds share with each other , every single moment of the fest is worth recording and re living. Words for me is a mean of worship. but never before I realized , there was so much more to read and do than just read the books I currently am interested in. Nothing mattered much while I was at the venue – people , food , calls or even friends. I wandered free , letting words soak into my subconsciousness , and hoping I will be able to relate to them for weeks to come.
I began my journey by listening to a conversation on folk songs and their importance in today’s society , where in I realized the evolution of these songs and how much meaning they hold for women folk of our country residing in small towns and cities alike. Later in evening , there was an amazing session about Morals and Money – the place of morals in economic society and what exactly drives the society today. The highlights of next day include a Question and Answer round on “hindi-english bhai bhai” , an impacting session on Chanakya and his manifesto in today’s times , a really open talk on “not heterosexual” love and writing about it, some poetry reading and lastly the talk about epic imagination including one of my favorite author.
Add to this experience , the joy of conversation I had when later in the hotel room, I sat with three of my best friends and shared our notes from the day. And I was amazed as always, how many gems of information each of us store in our minds. JLF was an awesome way of releasing locks from that kind of information and ideas. It was a trigger for each one of us to re-think few of our notions.
I can list the sessions I attended while there, but that will not help you much. I can quote the speakers too or provide you bullet points from each sessions, but even that would be like just five percent of the magic I witnessed there. The interactions on-stage and on-off stage and some off-stage ones are what make JLF such a brilliant event to witness.
As I left the venue for the last time , I saw the banner “See you next year from 16-20 Jan,2014”
I am so eagerly awaiting that. And this time I swear I am going to gift myself one more day of the awesomeness there.
I do not really know what I was expecting out of the weekend except some everlasting memories maybe. And I am glad to say I came back with more than I thought. I even bought a book based on the reading by its author.
All of you, who missed it this time , I hope you attend next year.
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