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  Newsmakers   20 Jan 2017  Asia’s biggest literary festival kicks off in style

Asia’s biggest literary festival kicks off in style

Published : Jan 20, 2017, 6:54 am IST
Updated : Jan 20, 2017, 7:26 am IST

JLF has always attracted hordes of teenyboppers trying to catch a glimpse of Bollywood celebs who have become regulars here.

Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)
 Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

Jaipur: The 10th Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, filled with five days of unadulterated fun, and of course, books and ideas, kicked off in a different style with Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje joining hands with lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and mystic Sadhguru at inauguration of the event on Thursday.

Beginning with the soothing music of Shillong Chamber Choir, the overcrowded Diggi Palace, which hosts the event, turned into a mela as Gulzar’s voice reverberated on the Front Lawns. Marked by the presence of several literary heavyweights and book lovers, JLF has always attracted hordes of teenyboppers trying to catch a glimpse of Bollywood celebs who have become regulars here.

In his trademark style, Gulzar’s keynote address in his gentle and baritone voice began was full of metaphors that he is known for using in his lyrics and poetry. He spoke about his fear to give speeches, emphasised about need to remain grounded, dropped subtle hints about what he thinks about today’s politics and most importantly why he writes.

“Being a guest of honour is a tough job. “I am used to recite my poem and leave but this time organizers have made me guest of honour and I dread it because delivering speech is difficult,” he said. “Phool kitni nhi oonchi tehni par khila ho lekin tabhi tak khila rahta hai jab tak ki jade mitti se judi rahti hain,” he said. Similarly, he noted that if one’s feet are not firmly placed on the ground, the ink in one’s pen gradually runs dry. Therefore, he said, it is necessary to connect with the society.

Sadhguru, in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, focused on actions to stimulate one’s mind and exploration of contemporary thought and vision. Paul Beatty, the first American writer to win Man Booker Award for his novel, The Sellout, a comic genius in the category of satire of US racial politics, drew the loudest applause from the large group of audience. Witty, caustic, funny and self-effacing at the same time, Beatty dispelled all myths about labels associated with books and authors.

Hailed to be the largest literary festival in the world, JLF continues to evolve and innovate. As William Dalrymple said, “Festivals, like children, have their own lives as one, chooses the best location and time of year, plans and designs with the bright, the brilliant and the beautiful from across the world.”

Tags: jaipur literature festival, vasundhara raje, gulzar
Location: India, Rajasthan, Jaipur