When people asked me if I was going for the GLF. I would reply,
“Nope, I got the chance to attend the JLF”
Most people thought I was attending a literature festival in Jaffna.
I made time to visit the Jaipur Literature Festival where the headliners were Oprah and the controversial Salman Rushdie who eventually didn’t come. Other writers and personalities were also attending such as Simon Sebag Montefiore, Tom Stoppard and Fathima Butho to name a few. Sri Lankans such as Romesh Gunasekera, Micheal Ondaatje and Shehan Karunatilaka who later went on to win the DSC 2012 prize for South Asian Literature.
The Jaipur Lit fest for one is really crowded. It’s not like Galle which has its space. Its mainly cause the whole event is free. All that’s required is registration prior to the event. If you didn’t make it you can always register on the first day. But that’s always risky. It’s hosted in a Hotel which used to be the Diggi Palace. Now its called the Hotel Diggi Palace. Its quite common to see large palaces around Jaipur which have now been converted into hotels since the Royal families were slowly going broke after democracy kicked in.
Jaipur is in Rajasthan which is a desert state. You see Camels around the more rural areas and it gets quite chilly in the night. And in Winter it gets worse. A lot of people have no idea that some parts of India has seasons. A lot of them think its like Sri Lanka; Its either burning or not.
I prefer the crowd in Jaipur. 99% of the attendants are people who actually came for the literature. Unlike in Galle where most people I know came to attend the after parties at Happy Banana or King Fisher. The group I was with are all students doing their Masters in English Literature. They’re also my age and made me feel quite stupid.
Its well organised and the sessions happen in 5 venues which are close to each other. So if you don’t like one, you go for another. Plus a bookstore which housed all the visiting authors books and more. Food and Chai could be purchased at various locations, while water was available freely.
I have no digital pictures of the JLF since I shot if all in film. If you want to pictures of JLF I suggest you look at it on my sisters Facebook profile and maybe later it may come up on her flickr. If you can’t see the pics, ill erm try to fix something out.