It's that time of the year again when literature enthusiasts from around the globe flock together to the state capital Jaipur to attend the World’s largest free literature event- Jaipur Literature Festival, which is also celebrating a decade anniversary this year. Having marked its beginning in the year 2008, the literature fair has bloomed into one of the most prestigious literature program on Earth.
The festival began with a moving performance by the Shimla Chamber Choir and an inspiring keynote session by celebrated poets Gulzar and Anne Waldman in the front lawn of Diggi Palace hotel. Thence, begun a memorable journey of the first day of the event that brought a series of interesting events hosted by fascinating speakers like Meru Gokhale, Tishani Doshi, Nandana Sen, Sanjoy K. Roy, Jonathan Shainin, Rob Schmitz, Sudha Sadanand, Keki Daruwalla, and Ruth Patel.
These speakers introduced many renowned celebrities from myriads of spheres. Jaisal Singh and Ruth Padel where addressed the universal issue of ecology against infrastructural development, the Indian Yogi and mystic Sadhguru introduced his newly published book ‘Inner Engineering’. He even shared some of his own life experiences, enthralling the people by giving glimpses of the life of a mystic. He ended the session by addressing the growing yet largely ignored issue of depression and anxiety, and how these conditions re gradually taking over the world making use of drugs and ‘chemicals’ imperative for the survival of mankind.
The festival also commemorated the recently deceased chief minister of Tamil Nadu- Jaylalitha, also one of the most revered politicians of the nation, in a session named ‘The enigma of Amma’ that was led by the former’s biographer Vaasanthi. Later in the day, John Guy gave enlightening insights on the enigmatic kingdoms of south-east Asia including Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Keeping in tradition of the previous years the event also hosted launches of some page-turners that include Miles by Vinita Bakshi, Sari of Surya Vilas by Vayu Naidu, Manas by Gulab Kothari, EKAM:The Supreme Oneness by Sangeeta, and Living With Tigers, a lively description of Ranthambore tigers written by Valmik Thapar and released by honorable CM Vasundhara Raje.
The last sessions of the day glorified ‘Poetry’ for the most part, including an inspiring session held by Anne Waldman, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Ishion Hutchinson, Kate Tempest, Tishani Doshi and Vladimir Lucien, all renowned poets from around the world. The parting evening musical performances by Rajasthan Josh and Kabir Cafe was as phenomenal as one would come to expect from a festival as grand as Jaipur Literature Festival 2017.