The 10th edition of the literary melee hosted by the Pink City saw a very appreciative response from the visitors. JLF, since its inception, has had on dais more than 1300 speakers from all across the globe and from all walks of life. It has served as a proud platform to many debut authors to present their works of literature to the world.
Alike the past decade, the primary event venue, Hotel Diggi Palace appeared like an artist’s canvas. Whether attendees or the speakers, everyone was fascinated by the décor and art installments. The festival was a feast for the eyes and imagination of the beholder.
Day 1 of the festival was given a melodious start by Shillong Chamber Choir, followed by the keynote address by Indian poet and lyricist Gulzar and American cultural activist and poet Anne Waldman.
Gulzar in his address, spoke about the inner rumblings of a writer to bring a change through his writing. He said, “What would have happened if I had not written; would it have changed the time I live in? It becomes imperative if you ask yourself what your writing has changed. And to get these answers, you need to look within.” Throughout the address he compared the process involved in writing to a boiling kettle, he used the rattling lid as an analogy for the rumblings within and steam for the writing and poetry.
Activist and poet Anne Waldman talked about how it’s a writer’s task to wake the world. “I think there is a resounding response in the affirmative for creative acts as a daily practice, to help wake the world to itself and that I think is the purpose of art and literature.”
Later, the address was followed by various discussions on books, current issues, and ideas. Sessions which stood out were-
Day 1. Plenty, Jawai: The Land of the Leopard, Murder, Madness and Oxford English Dictionary, Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy, The Enigma Of Amma, The Sellout, Azadi Mera Brand: Walking Free, The foreign Correspondents’ Club, We the People of India, In Search for a Muse: On Writing Poetry, Lady Drivers.
Day 2. Suspected Poetry, Navras: Understanding Indian Aesthetics, Kohinoor, Do Tigers Drink Blood and Other Mysteries of Nature, By Steppe, Desert and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia, Baahubali, Uttara Kanda: searching Sita, The Saffron and the Sangha, Gambits and Game Changers: Relooking the Indian Economy, and Kaljayee Premchand: Timeless Legacy.
Day 3: The Page is Mightier than the Screen, The Biographers’ Ball, Magna Carta, The Spirit Of Justice, Terribly Tiny Tales and Beyond, Brexit, The Street of Eternal Happiness, The Kahaani Connection: Story of My Stories, Olympus, Akbar: Kitna Itihas, Kitna Uppanyas, Dishonourable Company: How the East India Company Took Over India, Dark Night of the Soul: Crime and Literature, At Home in the World. For the first time, ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival General Knowledge Quiz was also held on this day.
Day 4: Napoleon The Great, Lost in Translation, Remembering the Raj, Vikram and Betal, The Colour of Money, Why Future of Free Speech Depends on India, Private Delhi, The Art of the Novel: On Writing Fiction, On Tour with the Rolling Stones, The Girl Who Chose.
Day 5: Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: The Spice Trader Who Changed History, You Got Magic! , Shakespeare’s Restless World, Poetry of the Masses, The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, Debate: We are Living in A post-Truth World.
OJAS ART AWARD: To encourage and celebrate excellence in tribal and traditional art, space was provided to artists to showcase their creations. For 2017, the focus was on Bheel Art, a tribal art form of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Some of the best names in Indian and world music also created magic on the Music Stage venue, Hotel Clarks Amer. They were: Rajasthan Josh, Kabir Café, Bombay Bassment, Inna Mojda, Beth Orton and Sam Amidon, Soulmate, Lisa Hannigan, Aga Khan All Stars and Raghu Dixit.
JLF organizers could have guaranteed an amusing and enlightening event on papers, as a visit to the event was no less than a visit to a literature themed fantasy land.