For how long have I wanted to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival? I don’t even remember that anymore. This was the first time I was least interested in going but the only time I had everything conducive towards making me go and, so, it happened.
I planned to attend it alone, because it did not work out with one of my friends, she did not feel like going although previously whenever I planned for JLF, it was with her. I am happy to report that it’s actually pretty darn good to go to such places alone, because you are flexible to attend different sessions then and you have the chances to explore more as you are the only decision maker for which session to attend next.
I cannot even begin to tell how awesome it was. I attended the LitFest for only two days and I could totally sense that I would have loved attending the sessions for all five days. It was so enriching to attend the different sessions by so many learned people. Even if you haven’t read the authors attending the festival ever or you don’t even read generally, there’s still quite a lot of chance that you are going to love the experience because the sessions are very, very enriching. Mostly, the sessions are around the books that are getting launched by the speakers of that session but they try to make it relevant to some current topic or a topic that always interests people. Listening to these enthralling sessions and witty one-liners is pure pleasure.
The only thing you should know as someone who is willing to attend it the next year is that it is an extremely crowded affair, especially on weekends. The thing is that JLF is a free entry festival for regular people (people other than delegates or writers or publishers) because it started off with a concept that LitFests should be easily accessible for people to reach or listen to their favourite writers, or on a broad level, literature or liberal arts should be easily accessible to people. The crowds at the JLF also end up including a lot of people who are just there for the lack of a better weekend plan and these people are mostly willing to attend sessions by popular people who are somehow related to Bollywood. Now nothing wrong with that but the point is that sessions can get extremely crowded and, therefore, exhausting. One strategy that I applied was leaving my ongoing session around 10-20 minutes before and reach the venue of my next session as soon as possible. Usually, I left the ongoing session as soon as the question answer part started.
One of my favorite sessions was by Neelesh Misra who is a lyricist and writes stories, he is pretty popular because of his radio show where he reads out stories, and I also loved the fact that the session was hosted by Rahul Pandita, one author whose work I admire. I attended two different sessions in which Shashi Tharoor was one of the speakers. I was pretty exhausted and bored in one of them, still I could sense that he is such an amazing speaker. The next day next session proved that completely! I don’t read as much as many people think, therefore I did not know many authors, but still attending their sessions was amazing. If any of you know the YouTuber Mallika Dua, she also had a session and it was so fun just like her videos and personality.
I would love to go back someday to attend the JLF but this time definitely along with the evening musical events!