Aman  Sharma
 

"1 City, 5 Days, 6 Venues, 175 Sessions, Over 240 Authors, 700 Books and 2.2 Lakhs of Literature Lovers"


Yes, I am talking about the Jaipur Literature Festival. People have called it “The Biggest Literary Show on Earth” or “A literary melting pot in India’s Pink City” but for me, this festival is no less than heaven, thinker’s paradise, a literature lover’s delight, a pilgrimage for voracious readers & listeners and so on.

It was a place where people from every corner of the world came together to witness 5 days of non-stop debate and discussion on topics varying from history to music and fiction to biographies. The sessions were more interesting this time with the addition of few special theme based sessions like crime and punishment, democracy, women, endangered languages and not to forget the launch of the Crime Writer's Association of South Asia.

The statement of  the festival director and renowned author, William Dalrymple, “A testament that books still matter” was enough to convince me how big this year’s JLF went. This year, the Lit Fest witnessed the presence of over 2.2 lakh visitors and a record single day unique visitor count of 75,210 on Sunday. Though the Weather Gods were not on the Festival’s side and it was a bit damp this year. The festival  started with chilly winds blowing across the venue, forcing people to wrap themselves up like little babies and when the festival ended, God made sure everyone surviving was carrying an umbrella. The last day rain changed the venues of the sessions from large lawns to small rooms of Diggi Palace – which reminded us of the early years of the Lit Fest, yet it failed to stop the flow of visitors to the festival as there was an 25% increase in footfall this year; all thanks to the festival coordinators and organizers for increased capacity & arrangements. 

Though big guns like Javed Akhtar, Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt, Mary Kom, Katherine Boo and Bina Ramani didn't make it to the Fest; there were personalities who gathered a hell lot of audience and applaud. The literary program included two Nobel Prize winners, Amartya Sen and Harold Varmus as well as Man Booker, Pulitzer, Crossword, Samuel Johnson, Commonwealth, Hawthornden, Orange, Neustadt, Sahitya Akademi, Padmashree, Costa and DSC Prize long listed, shortlisted and winning authors.

One of the most amazing addition to this year’s list of speakers was Jhumpa Lahiri & 'The  Great American Novelist' Jonathan Franzen (as titled by the TIME magazine). The critically acclaimed novelist and essayist who has received numerous accolades, including the National Book Award and was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Jonathan managed to surprise many by being much less of a curmudgeon than most expected him to be while Feminist Gloria Steinem and Amish Tripathi also notched up huge audiences.

Expecting  a controversy free Festival was something organizers were praying for but that was way too much to ask for. The comment of Ved Mehta on Narendra Modi as ‘Danger to India’ on the day 1 of the festival heated up the cold and chilly winter mornings. Considering the last time it turned into a political hotbed, this year's festival was more nuanced as there were no controversies that came up later, except when a few members of the Rajput Karni Sena made some noise about an Ekta Kapoor’s serial on Day 4.

So, once again, the big & free literary festival gave a tremendous show to the public, where they get to see their literary heroes up close at no extra cost as we conclude the Seventh Annual Jaipur Literature Festival 2014.


- Aman Sharma
 
 
 
 
Uff Ye Emotions 2 was no doubt one of the most awaited sequel for me. Finally, the book came and was an instant hit, all credits to its authors and most importantly the one person who bought the emotions out, VINIT BANSAL. 

The book is a collection of 11 short stories, each by different author trying to express the emotions in one or the other way and to some extent most of them were successful in doing that. There were stories that were different, interesting and touching while few were there that disappointed me to a great extent. The stories "THE WOMAN WHO WAITED" and "NCERT OF LOVE" where the shining stars of this book. "THE CLIENT" was my favorite before I read the last couple of pages. With a flawless beginning and an awesome story line, the story went flat as it reached the end. I guess that was because of expectation of something interesting that kept on developing as we read on with the story. Also, the cover of the book was a let down for me as after the huge success of UYE-1 I expected it to be different and more attractive. 

Overall, UYE-2 is a wonderful book and I would recommend it to the readers. It is like a Santa's gift that brings out the best of emotions & smiles Some stories will make you laugh while others will touch the cords of your heart. 

I will be giving it a ☆☆☆/2 star rating. Buy it from Homeshop18: http://tinyurl.com/UYE-2-HS

Aman Sharma

About the Book

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Like the lyrics of an old song, which keeps repeating themselves in our mind or a fever dormant in the blood or an importunate lover impossible to get rid of, the memories of love or 'love' itself keeps returning in our lives again and again at the oddest of times and the strangest of places.

Randomly, beautifully, haphazardly or passionately, love lives up again—for it has been waiting for you, waiting for this union, waiting to merge with YOU at last.
So, keeping the trend alive and after the roaring success of our novice, Uff Ye Emotions, we are back once again with Uff Ye Emotions-2.

With Love, comes many emotions—some of them being pain, betrayal, hatred, hope and friendship. We fall IN and OUT of love time and again, but we can never be tired of it—because it is one of the only few aspects of life we can’t keep ourselves away from, isn’t it?

Selected and edited by Vinit K. Bansal, this time again 11 touching stories from authors across the country, will be delighting the readers who swear by love stories. And for those who don’t read love stories much, come and discover why they are so engrossing.