38 of our girls along with 5 Teacher escorts attended the opening day of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2014 held at the Diggi Palace, Jaipur. We attended sessions by eminent personalities ranging from expertise in the Middle East, mythology, films etc.
We first attended the session “Gatte Jayye Banjaara” featuring Javed Akhtar at the Char Bagh.The world renowned writer and lyricist said the Indians are known for their talent all around the world. When he was questioned about the transition in the field of music and poetry, he interestingly blamed the older generation for the decline in the quality of music and lyrics. He ended by saying that lyrics are what make a song immortal.
The next session held at the Rajnigandha Front Lawn had Physician turned Author Devdutt Patnaik talk about “The power of Myth” .He correlated Greek to Indian to Chinese mythology and explained how Ram and Krishna are poles apart with Ram being the rule follower and Krishna the rule breaker.’ We are all obsessed with the truth’ and ‘we want to understand the truth on our terms not their’ is what he taught us while explaining Indianness with his all powerful myth.
This was followed by Lunch at the Garden Café where a cultural program put up by the Government of Meghalaya entertained us.
Post lunch was a session where stars fell to the earth literally, ”Taare Zameen Par” where famous Bollywood writer Prasoon Joshi was in conversation with Yatindra Mishra. He beautifully recited some pieces of his poetry like ‘Maa’. He also conversed about the play of words in ‘Sasuraal Genda Phool’ and ‘Masti Ki Pathshaala’. Simultaneously, Amrita Tripathi and Maria Chaudhari introduced their new books in a session called “Readings: The incredible strangeness of being” held at the Durbar Hall.
Last but definitely not the least, we witnessed the great actors Naseeruddin Shah and Girish Karnad in conversation share their ’frenemy’ phase. He read excerpts from his memoir,’ and then one day’ mirroring his state of mind on hearing of his father’s passing away with whom he shared a rather difficult relationship. They recounted the tales of getting his first role in Manthan through his guru Karnad’s grace. He also mentioned that people had hesitation not to cast him because of his unconventional looks. The day ended with the actor entertaining questions ranging from acting tips, film choices to Bachchan being overhyped.
Overall, the entire day was a literary feast with a festival of wonderful personalities and beautiful words.