jaipur literature festival 2014 & why i loved it

it’s been around for around 7 years now, but this was my first visit to the jaipur literature festival. on hindsight, i don’t know why i didn’t go earlier! i think it’s because it was too expensive and almost indulgent, when i didn’t know what literature festivals were. having gone for the last two HT lit festivals in mumbai and thoroughly enjoyed it, i was ready to take the plunge in 2014 and spend the money, time and energy to go to the jaipur literature festival.

why do i love literature festivals? 

it’s not like i have read all the authors who speak at these festivals but it is the exchange of ideas and thoughts that excites me. it is the lure of conversation. the thrill of even one new thought, a different perspective coming my way… and with no pressure on me to have a brilliant idea, i can be a non-participatory, sponge-like listener and not have to feel left out of the conversation either. (when i am surrounded by brilliant people i often feel a lot like joey from friends, inadequate and unintelligent.) a literature festival with its cloak of anonymity makes it a peaceful experience.

secondly, i like that you could bump into an author and they could be rather sweet and not as snobbish as you expected! i like the kind of people you tend to meet. those who genuinely like books, ideas and conversations. (same pinch, cross – like school!)

you get to know a whole new bunch of authors whom you didn’t know about before you went there… i came back with 8 books, of which 6 are by authors i’d never heard about.

and lastly, i feel so optimistic at literature festivals… inspired that so many people are at such a fest which doesn’t have the entertainment of a music fest, not the star power of film festivals… inspired that so many people like books. and incredibly inspired to write, write and write. inspired that i can also have a book one day. inspired that one day some literature festival might ask ME to be on stage.

i don’t want to tell you about each session but just leave you with a few quotes that i really appreciated. all the sessions are available at http://www.youtube.com/user/JprLitFest

a few quotes to leave you with.

vikram chandra on writing… “make the echo happen beneath the surface of language”

vikram chandra on fiction… “the emotions you feel in fiction are your own emotions… “

ru freeman… “the point of writing fiction is the inaugurate a truth”

from the storytelling session… “the power of images can steal your sense of history, your picture of the past…”

and a lovely quote, but i cannot remember who said it.. “without language i am nothing”

leaving you now with glimpses of the festival through my instagram pictures. if you like the pictures do follow me @merrytogoaround

you can now follow merrytogoaround on facebook @ fbl.me/mtga.

4 thoughts on “jaipur literature festival 2014 & why i loved it

  1. 🙂 heard a lot of skeptics and a lot of cribbing. and i kept wondering what they were so upset about… yeah it was crowded, and yes not every session was brilliant. but so many people coming together peacefully and openly to share thoughts and ideas is lovely. and what a democratic forum it was.


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