Literature: An Escape From Reality

By Ayushi Agrawal, based on the Jaipur Literature Festival

There is no literature lover in the world who has not heard of the great Jaipur Literature Festival. When I first came to know about it in 2014, my very first response was that the tickets must be very high on price. But to my amusement my friend told me, this festival provides free entry.

This was followed by getting registered to witness the world’s largest literature festival. I wanted to attend as many sessions as I could. I decided to go there without tagging my friends along who have no interest in literature and are enrolling just to “visit” the festival.

I was mesmerized by the aura of the place, the place was beautifully decorated. The alluring heritage site, Diggi palace was systematically divided into 6 regions comprising of Char Bagh, Front Lawns, GOOGLE Mughal Tent, BRITISH AIRWAYS Baithak, MAHINDRA Durbar Hall and FORD Samvad. The first few hours were spend figuring out the arrangement of the festival and getting comfortable with it as Diggi Palace is spread in a huge area of approximately 14 acres.

Jaipur Literature Festival presents an unparalleled ground to the readers and writers from all over the globe to come together. It is a complete package covering talk shows, debates, musical events, workshops, art shops, mouth-watering food and collections of books. You can meet new people here and talk about the culture in their country and they would be more than delighted to share their experiences with you. One can find JLF as a fashion hub too as you can see the latest fashion here.

I was looking forward to one particular session of my favourite lyricist from Bollywood, Prasoon Joshi.  I, unaware of the crowd, did the sin to think that entering 15 minutes before the scheduled time to the respective area would fetch me front seats. While I was humming one of his tunes on my way to that area, I could see that the place was full of people. I tried to rush only to get pushed back. I convinced myself that now the better option available is to be satisfied with his voice only or attend some other session.  But the gathering was so courteous that I could hear him without much effort. Everyone maintained quietude and patience.

Nothing in this world comes without food. The food shops at JLF ensure complete hygiene and quality food. You could sit for hours, between sessions of your interest, in the open space and embrace the moment with your favourite food.

There is always some centre of attraction or ‘selfie points’ in JLF. People were clicking pictures around a mini cooper when I came out of Char Bagh. The happy faces made me happier. That was the last session of the day that I had attended. I decided to head home.

When I reached home my mom asked me, what is so special about this festival that makes you so joyful? Instead of answering her, I was lost in my own share of emotions. Earlier, people talking in the metro, the warm temperature and all the other exasperating things became so unbearable and I was searching for tranquillity, I grabbed a book on adventure and sat in one corner. Despite of all those distractions, I was on my virtual ride through the hills, mountains and rivers and experiencing the cool breeze on my face and occasionally a snowfall. Suddenly the heat did not seem to matter; suddenly I was not concerned about the nagging aunties and suddenly the distance turned into the last thing to care about. I was there but still not there. I was far away from the reality.

“Books gives wings to my imagination,” I told her, “And I like to envisage things from someone else’s point of view.”

Literature is like a compulsory diet to me. It brings me confidence, it changes my perspective for good, and it behaves like a best friend during a tough day. I have grown as a person by reading books. It’s an added treat to meet the writer in reality and ask him questions based on your observations in the book. Jaipur Literature Festival provides that opportunity to meet, listen and also getting the book signed by that writer.

It’s heavenly.

 

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