Student visit to the Jaipur Lit Fest

Posted by on Feb 6, 2020 in School News | Comments Off

Inviting bibliophiles, book lovers and literary giants from around the world under one roof, it won’t be wrong to call the Jaipur Lit Fest one of the great lit shows on globally. The show that is held every year in the pink city of India-Jaipur, is a sumptuous feast of ideas. The festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers on one stage to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue. It is an eagerly awaited fiesta for thousands of literary fans from across the world, to take a plunge into the sea of knowledge and wisdom and also have some fun while doing that!

On 23 and 24 January 2020, 12 students of classes IX and XI, received the golden opportunity to visit the fest. We were fortunate to attend the sessions of many prominent personalities just as we enjoyed the company of thousands of fellow ardent readers. The fest was a buffet of knowledge that one could literally grab from any stage, stall or room that one entered, at the Diggi Palace, the venue for the grand event. From colourful umbrellas, lanterns, bangles, glass bottles, drapes, to Rajasthani dolls adorning the walls and ceilings of Diggi Palace, the ambience of the fest was a riot of colours and Rajasthani heritage.

Festival co-host and popular author, William Dalrymple, hosted a riveting session titled ‘Akbar and Dara’, where the audience was given an honest insight into the life of the Mughal prince, Dara, who people believed embodied the values propounded by Akbar and Jahangir. The session saw Dalrymple in conversation with author, Supriya Gandhi, the writer of ‘The Emperor Who Never Was’ and journalist and author Manimugdha Sharma, who wrote ‘Allah u Akbar: Understanding the Great Mughal in Today’s India’.

Writer Ashwin Sanghi inaugurated his much awaited book ‘The Vault of Vishnu’. The session was conducted by actress and author, Ms Sonali Bendre Behl. Mr Sanghi acquainted young writers with his secret of writing. The session was particularly remarkable as it engaged the audience in some food for thought. He shared his perspective on God and various mythological theories. We remained on the edge of our seats owing to the veracity of the session.

We attended Ms Sonali Bendre’s Book Club where she highlighted the importance of reading and how the young generation need to make the time to read. She mentioned that reading took one away from grief and helped one travel and see the world while sitting at home. She explained how the Book Club helped her deal with and overcome the low times in her life. She also mentioned how one can use social media in a positive way to reach out to people and to know their interests and opinions.

‘Manto and I’, with Nandita Das and Shubha Mudgal in conversation with Kaveree Bamzai, was a powerful session, where Ms Das talked about the concept of ‘Mantoiyat’, a term coined from the name of the famous writer Saadat Hasan Manto. She shared how she found the writer relevant in today’s times. Ms Das quoted some famous dialogues or lines of Manto and talked about the power of truth and conviction with which Manto wrote.

The second day at the Jaipur Literature Festival saw the famous elocutionist, politician and writer, Mr Shashi Tharoor. He was co-speaker along with Ms Namita Gokhale who spoke about her book ‘Jaipur Journals’ where Mr Tharoor appears as one of the characters in the book! It was an excellent exchange of words between two literary giants.

In ‘Shashi with Shashi’ another session by Mr Shashi Tharoor, he talked about his book ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister’ and discussed the current political scenario with an eager audience.

The two days at the festival were a great learning experience, teaching us about stage presence, oratory skills and the art of not giving up. It opened our minds to think beyond books and texts and have an in depth understanding of our reads. Most importantly it drilled into us that the key or solution to life’s travails can most of the times be found in reading.

Twisha Kacker XI -C

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