Monday, January 23, 2012


For last two days, I was surrounded by an elite crowd, some winsome personalities, and of course a felicitous ambiance at Jaipur literature festival – 2012. Though I could attend only two days out of five, yet it was quite wholesome sojourn to be there.

Right from the beginning, this fest came into focal point, courtesy- Salman Rushdie.  Which in turn, made it quite equivalent to an academy award ceremony. Well, indeed, the whole gathering couldn’t be said less than the academy award ceremony. This year I was spellbound, by the magnified presence of JLF-2012 in itself unlike previous years, because of its widespread eminence across the world as- “the greatest literary show on earth”, termed by Tina brown.

 Also, as in previous years we could go in without any hustle-bustle and without any registration. This year, it stepped up in terms of entry to the venue (because all possible entry was through online registration) and gathering places, where all discussions were to be held.

 Despite of, handling the overcrowded and extremely avid crowd, the entire event was going on with its extreme feasibility.  Where one could find oneself quite in proximity of their most worshipped writers, poets and celebrities.  And being the part of the same crowd, I could easily understand the  stark difference of seeing and listening their views on  idiot box( television) and interacting with them live, no matter whether  you are  at  considerable distance from them.

Here I would like to share what I saw, enjoyed and most importantly learned in these two days, being there-


 Well ! as I entered the venue, I could see and hear the discussions which were on full swing. Before I could get the real mood of the entire milieu, Gulzar was waving his hand from the terrace, to make an informal interaction with his fervent fans. My feet refused to take any further steps, just for the fact that my eyes could see a legendry whose songs, poetry, dialogues gave the real soul to our cinema. Further, as the event went on I attended his unique session on-“love story”, shared by Prasoon Joshi, who was an eminent personality in himself.

The entire session was quite enthralling as Gulzar and Prasson Joshi poured all the eternal romance of life through their Nazm ( A poem fully dealing with a single subject or thought)And one of them recited by Prasoon Joshi was as-

Babul jiya mora ghabraye,
Bin bole raha na jaye.
Bin bole raha na jaye.
Babul jiya mora ghabraye,

Mohe , sunaar (goldsmith) ke ghar na deejo,
Mohe , gahne na bhayen,
Babul jiya mora ghabraye.

Mohe lohar (blacksmith) ke ghar deejo,
Jo mere janjeeren( iron bar) pighlaye..
Babul jiya mora ghabraye…

As, this poem ended with its last beautifully sung-note, the entire audience offered an unmatchable applause to both legendry duo.

After this, I attended few more sessions which were carrying the utter seriousness. Candidly if I say,, I  had exploited my entire intelligence and wit to grasp the entire dialogues by intellectuals, but I just landed in no -man’s- land, which perplexed me up to an extent.  But, despite of my limited level of understanding, I succeeded in getting their meta-message, behind their discussion which was-“your work speaks itself effectively, without bothering the beauty of speech”. Finally the day ended leaving a unique experience for me.


Again, I was ready to attend one more day at JLF-2012, but with some delay, as I reached to the venue quite late. Therefore, I missed one important session of
O’prah Winfray. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to the two substantial sessions; first one was the discussion on- “survival strategies in the age of tweetering”. Which was discoursed by-Shashi Tharoor, Sohail Seth and Chetan Bhagat? The entire premise was overly jam-packed and no one was in the mood to withdraw his presence from there, .I was well versed with the invincible style of speech of Shashi Tharoor, but was listening first time to Chetan bhagat and Sohail Seth live. The session  had carried all possible wit and humor by speakers.


But, beyond this, I was waiting for the most awaited session. A book launch of Anupam Kher-“the best thing about you is you”. By the evening the entire front lawn, where the said event was to be held, packed itself  to hear one more wizard of film industry.

Finally, as he proceeded towards stage, along with Shashi Tharoor, the audience couldn’t resist itself to give a warm welcome to him. Formal dialogues, ended soon. And he delivered what it makes him special as a well known distinct face in industry. In the context of promoting his book, he shared his personal experience to his mesmerized audience which was as-

“My father was a Clark in forest department in Simla, and he had to take care of 14 members of his family.  For, once in a six month we used to go to a most expensive restaurant for having our patent food.

When I was in my 10th standard, I got failed, to which I was unaware of initially. My father took me to the same costly restaurant. And I asked him why now?, he said,” you have failed in you exam”. I was shocked because, if I was failed then why  had he  brought me here,  where we used to go for once in a six months. He replied,” I just wanted to make you understand that whenever you fail in your life for any reason, do not get afraid of it”
“This was the priceless lesson given to his son by an ordinary father who was just a Clark in forest department”, said Anupam Kher to his listeners.

“ When a middle class person from small city  opt his way to big city, one feels inferior and smaller before the gaudy glitz and excellence of big city, so what more important , is to keep true belief  in oneself. I am a B.A.  38% pass guy who is now considered as an author and his book became bestselling book”, he said. He enlightened his audience in best possible manner and  in short and concise words.

 For me, it was something virtual which was turning out to be real, as I never saw any celebrity in real, let alone to hear some words of wisdom from them.

Shekhar kapur, Kabir Bedi, and many more were listening to him attentively. It was almost the end of the day for event and it grew darker, which reminded me to get back to my work place.

By and large, such events reminds us that there exist, one more dimension of human nature which is far more creative and real if we give a break to our superficial way of living , which entirely resort to profit and loss.

Mark Twain quoted it immaculately, “the person, who can read but does not read good books, has no advantage over the person who cannot read”.