When I was in the third year of my B.A English course, St. Xavier’s College (Goa) surprised us with a fantastic opportunity – The Jaipur Literature Festival. An array of colour, odour and all things literary, the festival was an amalgamation of artistically adroit persons – prose, poetry, theatre, film and so much more. The festival showcased scores of such affluent speakers, writers, artists and the like and we felt like the chosen lot – the luckiest 14 students in the entire college.
A five day event encompassing sessions pertaining to poetry writing and reading, talks on individuals like Jack the Ripper and Anne Boleyn (King Henry the Eighths second wife whom he beheaded), and even included historical and political discourse – Shashi Tharoor and Bharka Dutt claiming the stage for this one. Even the founders of TTT (Terribly Tiny Tales), an Instagram sensation, conducted a session on poetry writing, drawing crowds like a swarm of bees.
Debates, theatrical performances (Kate Tempest absolutely rocked the stage!) panels and songs (including a tid bit being sung by our very own Rishi Kapoor during his session) graced the stages on numerous occasions ensuring the audiences were gripped to the chair and their eyes, glued to the stage (there being more than just one stage).
What’s interesting is that this festival is not a youth fest – it caters to all ages – from young to old – ensuring there is something for everyone. People of different age groups from all over the world make it a point to be in Jaipur during these five days – to experience the beauty of free speech and unbelievably broad minds – very uncharacteristic in today’s society.
So why is this fest one of the bests?
Firstly, it gives you an opportunity to explore beyond – knowledge is power and the amount of knowledge you can obtain from these five days will assure you’re thoroughly enriched with words and experiences that go way beyond the classroom.
Please remember: You don’t need to be an avid reader or anything of that sort. You just need to be someone looking to make and take the most out of the experiences of others – a learning curve of sorts.
Secondly, there is no entry fee for students, so if you’re a student looking to attain enlightenment, this is the place for you.
Thirdly, there’s delicious food all around! So if you’re a hungry book worm, you just have to find your way to Jaipur and let your taste buds feast on all the delicious aromas.
Other than focussing on academia and speech, the fest also exhibits beautiful objects d’arts, many of which are for sale. Trinkets are in abundance and books? Innumerable. So whether it’s fiction or historical, thrillers or politics, hardcover or paperbacks, they have it for you. And the best part is, if an author or poet or any such published individual is making an appearance at the fest, his or her works will inevitably grace the stands allowing you to obtain a signed copy from your favorite.
An experience of a lifetime, this fest is a must for any artistically inclined enthusiast. Rather, for any individual looking to learn. So if you’re interested, and I hope you are, the festival will be taking place in January – 24th (Thursday) to the 28th (Monday), 2019. Please make time to attend. I assure you, it will change your life. Or atleast, your perspective towards life.