Once again the twelfth edition of Zee Jaipur Literature Festival has come to an end. Yet again this year’s festival was an upgraded version of the previous year. Starting off with well-organized things like no on the spot registration for any day thus, resulting in fewer crowds on the weekends and second, putting up the sign boards to guide people with the sessions being held in which area. The rest was the same like dressing up the Palace with colors, Book Store- to buy books that are being launched at the festival, Food Stalls- to munch on your favorite dish and Bazaars- to add more stuff to your closet. Now without further ado let’s talk about the sessions and the speakers and give you a brief summary of what all happened at 2019’s JLF.
Day 1- As per the rituals, this year started off with Shruthi Vishwanath’s Morning Music of a wonderful rendition of spiritual poet Tukaram. The inaugural session opened the Festival’s Session with Sanjoy K. Roy, the Managing Director of Teamwork Arts; accentuated the need to respect the writers in today’s world.
Right after the inaugural session Sachin Pilot was in conversation with Sreenivasan Jain and was asked questions on the recent nature of politics and also shared his views on freedom of expression. Germaine Greer talked about her book On Rape and Nirbhaya case in a session Beyond The Female Eunuch. After the lunch hour, AJ Finn expressed his stirring journey of writing his bestseller The Women in the Window.
Day 2- With the melodious voice of Usha Uthup, the second day of the festival kick-started the power packed sessions. In the session, Adi Shankracharaya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker, Pavan K. Verma spoke about Shankaracharya in the context of understanding the complex form of Hinduism. Egypt’s profound writer and cultural lecturer Ahdaf Soueif in a session The Battle of Egypt: Dispatches from the Revolution, talked about how people protested to end the Governance of President Hosni Mubarak.
Venki Ramakrishnan shared his views about the human side of science and also of his recent book Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome.
Day 3- Saturday morning started with an uplifting performance by Vidya Shah followed by a thought-provoking session where Rajdeep Sardesai discussed the number of issues on journalism and how its nature is changing in India. Moving on to the next session of the bestselling novel Call Me by Your Name, the American Writer Andre Aciman talked about writing and romance.
In a book launch of Every Vote Count: The Story of Elections in India, Navin Chawla stated that why it is a prime concern to take immediate action in increasing the number of women Members of Parliament.
Day 4- Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, in conversation with Jerry Pinto, shared his thought of how he wrote this book in an attempt to understand the curious phenomenon called faith. In a book launch of Ria Sharma’s Make Love Not Scar, she discussed the dreadful phenomena of acid attack with her partner and acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi, who shared her painful story of the attack.
In an inspiring session of Women and Power that brought together, feminists from around the world and each talked about the relation of women with power.
Day 5- The last day of JLF was also packed with powerful sessions. A session on Kumbh: the Greatest Gathering on Earth, where Deshna Mehta said that no other place than Kumbh to understood the importance of life. Nigerian poet and author Ben Okri talked about how reading Rabindranath Tagore changed his life. He also said that the freedom to ask the question and examining reality in depth will make people more aware.
Manisha Koirala shared her views on how people expected her to look beautiful all the time in the session Breaking Free: A New Kind Of Beautiful. There were two or more sessions that talked about politics and the battle between Congress and BJP for the 2019 election.
To sum up this year’s Literary Festival, which was partly heated discussions, inspiring sessions but most importantly to bring together people from all over the world under one roof in the name of Literature.