The Jaipur Literary Festival 2012 was a delight to the senses not just for the avid reader but also for those who were new to the world of literature. Youngsters from all over India and even beyond came in throngs to attend the event that was held at Diggi Palace between 19th and 24th January. There were those of us who knew exactly what talk to attend when, what writer to follow around like a lost puppy, what place to be at and had the schedule memorised to the T. Then there were those of us who were a little less interested, a little lost, and socializing in a corner.
There were some speakers that I knew would simply sweep me off my feet (AND THEY DID!) and there were also those who happened to be pleasant surprises. I went there as a fan waiting to hear some of my favourite authors and came back with a huge list of writers I’d love to start following after I got back. And the first question my mum threw at me was “Did you see Oprah???” with a tone so eager to hear a “YES! She was awesome!” I should add here that Sunday was the busiest most crowded day at the fest. Oprah’s fans had lined up hours before the festival began just so they could get in. And sadly, I was not among them. So I got a sad glimpse of her from a distance. However, thanks to that, I had the chance to attend Fatima Bhutto’s talk which had us all enthralled.
The festival allowed for all of us to walk among some of the most renowned authors in the world. It was decorated beautifully and organised rather well! The weather was perfect, the people made for some great conversation, the food was great and most authors were surprisingly humble winning the festival a place on my list of yearly pilgrimages.
Written and photographed by: Marukh Budhraja