"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
As the year 2013 is coming to an end, here I am with my blog trying to relive the complete year once again and getting myself ready for the one that’s arriving.
Last year too, it was an emotional moment when I bid adieu to the year 2012 and entered 2013 with new resolutions, challenges, expectations and a few fantasies. But as it is said, life isn’t going to give us what we want; instead it gives us what we deserve. Well, the two resolutions that I took for the year 2013 went down in the first 10 days but this year there are no resolutions. Because I know that this year’s going to be different; full of surprises and beautiful moments.
People who know me very well also know that fact that I am very very very bad at saying thank you or wishing people back when they wish me. I know this is a bit late now but before this year comes to an end, I would like to take a moment and thank everyone who made the year 2013 worth cherishing.
First and the foremost thank you goes to the almighty for giving this life and giving me such wonderful family. Mom & Dad, you are the best parents on this entire planet and my dumbo brother Shubham; yes I love you too.
Sunny Bhaiya & Neetu Bhabhi, I don’t know how to thank you for the happiness that you gave to our complete family. Thank you for giving birth to such a sweet baby boy. Trust me, we will get a wonderful name for him soon. Rukku di & Jeeju, you too have filled our lives with equal joy & smiles, bringing Darshi into our lives. Thank you for everything.
Shilpa & Hitakshi, thanks a ton for being the angels of friendship in my life. Thanks for listening to me when I was depressed and down, for guiding me through difficult times, for giving valuable comments when I sought advice and making me laugh with your silly talks. You two have played a very important role in making me what I am today. Hitakshi, I don’t have words to describe what you mean to me. You are a lifeline, not only to me but to every single friend you have out there, be it Prasan, me or anyone else. Shilpa, you are and will always be the best girl I have ever met in my life; a gem of a person; talented and on the top of it an awesome friend. Thanks for being just a call away for me!!!
Bhavya, the cute innocent guy, who listens to everything I say and nods his head in approval. Dude you are one hell of a guy. Don’t give up your simplicity and innocence for anything. Sorry for all those moments when I shouted at you or talked in a rude manner.
Himani & Dipali Di, you two have always been there for me with your blessings and valuable suggestions whenever I am down, feeling low or don’t know which path to walk on. Thanks for being there in my life and guiding me in the journey.
My friends that I got in touch on Facebook, Ankita, Gaurav, Neoni, Prerna, Prashant, PD, Umakant, Priyanka, Ashwina Ma’am, Ishita, Ila, Pulkit, Diksha, Shalini, Radhika, Nitin, Swagnikaa, Sunill, Arpita Ma’am, Nitin, Rishab, Vinod, Nehali, Shrutee and many more guys whose name I am unable to recall as off now. Some of them I have already met and looking forward to meet the rest. You guys changed the whole conception of social networking and it feels like one big family when we are together. Sorry if I missed someone’s name. I am trying to recall all the names but my memory is just all messed up coz of work, work and work.
Preeti Maa, I just can’t go on without thanking you. No matter what people said to me about you, the first time we met in Jaipur, I knew you are a pure and wonderful soul with a sense of motherly care for everyone you meet. There is a reason I call you mom. I love the way you take care of me, worry if something doesn't seem right and always advice me for my betterment. I love you mom and will always love you the way I do now.
My friends here in Jaipur Anu, Neha, Radhika, Rohit, Pooja, Anant, Nitin, Mehul. Thank you guys!!!
Also, a big and a heartfelt thanks to my colleagues at my workplace, the team I am working with, the Genhoos! Its been 8 months now and has been an awesome journey so far. Thank you to each one of you, Yogesh, Avishek, Kamal, Digvijay, Neeraj, Vikas, Vikram, Nikhil, Aruna, Neha, Tanuj, Yogi, Anand, Gaurav, Irshad, Manish Da, Umesh, Alok sir, Aditya Sir, Jatin Sir and everyone else I missed mentioning here. Thanks a ton for giving me memories worth cherishing.
Digvijay, a special thanks to you for being a wonderful friend and an awesome well-wisher. Your suggestions, criticism, advices have helped me groom myself into a better professional. Thanks for everything.
In the end I would once again thank each and every person in my life for being there; praying for me & for their best wishes, suggestions and most importantly filling my life with joy, happiness and wonderful moments.
"The only thing that I did wrong was to do everything that you ever asked for. I just wished that you could have done the same for me."
It happens to people, at times, when they grow up & meet new people; you start to understand things the way they are. And eventually you realize that people you've known forever don't see the things the way you do, nor they try to see it or understand it. All you are left with is the option of keeping the beautiful memories and move on in life.
It's then you understand the true meaning of Life. The lessons taught to us from time to time. There are things in life that we don't want to happen but in the end those things happen and we have to accept them. There are things we do not want to know about but we end up learning them and one of the most important lesson that is taught to us is there are people in our lives we can't live without but eventually we have to let go of them.
Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that it will all be okay, maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but one day. You will have to remind yourself of the fact that the things and people around you have changed and you are left with no option other than letting go and move on. Yes, its going to be a hard decision and you're gonna
feel alone, lonely, in pain, hurt but just hold on to it for a while because that's what is good for you and who knows tomorrow might turn out to be the bestest
day of your life?#AloneYetAlive
Love and Friendship are two different things. It is very true that friendship is initial step to love. But not in all cases. We have some people in our lives that we consider as very good friends. they are always there for you whenever you need them. They wake up at four in the morning to receive your calls. Friends are someone with whom you can share all your secrets with. They help you out, talk to you when you need to talk, share your problems, talk to you about their crushes and hang around. They are the ones who helps you out with your social as well as personal issues.
And love is something not very much different from friendship. Love is a natural feeling which comes when you start to like or love someone from the depth of your heart. When you see them around you start to get cold sweat and when they come to you to talk to you about something, you realize your tongue's tight or may be you are short of words. When they touch you, suddenly you can feel butterflies in you stomach and that is when you realize you are in love.
On the contrary, when you love someone, it is not necessary that you are also a good friend of the same person. But coming to friendship, it is necessary to love your friends. Without loving your friends, you can't befriend anyone. One of the quotes I read recently caught my attention and made me think about Love, friendship and their relation. Her it is:
"It is also said that friends are angels who lift us when our wings are not able to make us fly."
So without coming to any conclusion or favoring any of these, i would say that Love & Friendship are two very beautiful and important relation in one's life. Life can become amazing if you are both a Good Friend and a loving Boyfriend/Husband.
As I sit here tonight and realize, how much so many people mean to me and how much I mean to all of them. I wonder why I want is to die?
Why I feel like no one cares for me, as if I could fall on ground and gone. Why do I hate life so much? Or is it just that life hates me?
As I sit her cry all night until I fall asleep and wake to my life's 'IF ONLYS'...
If only one person cared for me.
If only life could be great and I would be happy.
If only I had someone to hold me.
So I sit here tonight and realize how much so many people love me and wonder if I really want to die???
Some people have it all. They’re talented, motivated, and know exactly what they want out of life. These folks want success so badly they can taste it, and their behavior reflects that drive. And yet, even though they have so much promise and so much to offer, this fairy tale doesn't always have a happy ending.
I’m sure you know people who fit the bill. Every step they take is measured against how they’ll benefit personally; everything they do has a quid pro quo; and every conversation they have is steered to their favorite topic — themselves.
You can rest assured that when they call, it’s because they want something from you; they use people as pawns to get what they want; they feel no compunction about being the first to take, then leaving the scraps for everyone else; they bully others to get more for themselves. Sharing? Giving? Playing fair? Not even on their radar.
In the short term, their charisma, talent, and drive earn them BIG kudos. Long term, they’re disastrous. Their confidence is perceived as arrogance; their go-netter personality comes across as pushy; and their ambition is viewed as uncontrollable. The result is that their ruthless behavior causes them to forfeit the things they want most in life. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way.
One of the most important lessons I've learned is that people who care about the needs of others and give of themselves go much further in life. “Are you kidding?” may be what you’re thinking. “That’s the most important lesson?”
Yes. Some people may believe that this philosophy is simplistic, naive, sappy, pie-in-the-sky, while others consider that it’s only a nicety. You may be thinking, “While that sounds great in theory, it doesn't work in the real world.” The assumption people make is that you have to be ruthless to win. I’m here to tell you they’re dead wrong.
Would you consider an egotist to be your role model? Would you choose a self-centered person as a good friend? Would you form a partnership with a greedy person? Would you recruit a selfish person for your team? Would you marry and spend your lifetime with a greedy person? I thought not.
It really doesn't take much effort to show others that you care. For example, treat them with dignity and respect; “make someone’s day” with a few kind words; provide encouragement; show concern; spend quality time; listen with interest; share half; put their needs before your own; reach out to someone in need; share your wisdom and experience; pay them a compliment; teach them how to fish for a lifetime; thank someone for an effort well done; ask for or share an honest opinion; show gratitude; remember a special event; instill a strong set of values; provide encouragement.
Remember . . . give because you want to, not because you must. That way, it’s from your heart. Believe me, it will come back to you in ways you’d never imagine — but don’t give because you’re expecting something in return.
Some people may look at you cross-eyed after you make a kind gesture. “C’mon,” they’ll think, “why are you really doing this? No one does something for nothing.” Then, when they realize there’s no catch, something magical will happen. You’ll be viewed in an entirely new light.
Just think how far your kindness will go toward building trust, strengthening your relationships, developing teamwork and camaraderie, enhancing your reputation and sense of self-worth — not to mention, adding to your karma.
Things aren't always black or white. They aren't always right or wrong. There isn't always an evident answer; there is always that gray area. What we fail to realize is that people work the same way. Our thoughts and feelings are similarly complex like us. So half the time we spend just trying to figure out how we feel or what exactly we think without realizing that there is rarely a clear-cut answer. Sometimes it's difficult, sometimes impossible, to put a name onto these feelings. Some feelings are not meant to be expressed into words.
It's okay to have mixed feelings or a combination of thoughts. However, things start getting a little messy when the feelings begin to conflict one another or when the combination of thoughts is simply irrational. Love and hate or annoyance and admiration for example, two opposing extremes; still we find ourselves loving and hating something or getting annoyed by yet admiring them at the same time.
They say that the people we dislike most are usually the ones that remind us of ourselves, of our flaws. That's not always the case, but it seems to be true quite often. Other times, negative feelings arise from our own insecurities. When such negative feelings are directed toward us, it's okay to be a little sympathetic. It's important to still be ourselves and not let it be an excuse to act like anything less.
And then there are times when find ourselves with extremely positive and extremely negative feelings toward one person all together. I can't help but think even the most extreme negative feelings must stem from some kind of passion. With time, one feeling will most likely overpower the other, but then again, who wants to wait for things to unfold? Especially when you keep finding yourself in the same position weeks, months, or even years later.
Can writers/authors be blinded by their own success? You bet…While success is what all writers/authors strive for, unless you’re prepared to handle it, success can quickly complicate your life. As strange as it may sound, success can often times be the precursor to failure. So my question is this: Is your success serving as a springboard toward significance, or is it merely a temporary state, precariously positioned and ready to implode with the slightest change in circumstance? Success without perspective, purpose, and focus can actually cause more harm than good. In today’s post all I am trying to discuss is how writers/authors can either leverage success into significance, or if they’re not careful, have it serve as a catalyst for a rapid downward spiral…
While not often discussed, nothing dulls the senses like a taste of success. A chance encounter with success can often lead to a feeling of being indestructible, which in turn can lead to arrogance, and the belief that success itself will breed success in any situation. Once a leader starts to believe their own rhetoric, trouble is not far behind. The reality is that past success, in and of itself, does not necessarily serve as an indicator of future success.
Life is full of seemingly successful people who regularly fall from the ivory tower for no apparent reason. We’ve all witnessed the lottery winner who hit the big one only to have their new found wealth derail their life, as opposed to solve all their problems. We’ve seen the same thing happen to young politicians who dream of changing the world only to find themselves corrupted by their own ego once they arrive at the Parliament. How about the professional athletes who sign multi-million dollar contracts out of school? They all too frequently end-up running with the wrong crowd only to find themselves out of the league only a few years later with nothing left to show for their success. And finally, how about the executive or entrepreneur who rises to the top, gets the title and the paycheck to go along with it, only to later run their company into the ground and eventually lose their position and all the perks that went with it.
Are success and significance the same thing? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Sure, for those “who get it” success and significance are one in the same, but for most professionals success begins and ends with the achievement of a certain list of personal goals with little regard to the impact on others. These people confuse success with significance, and regardless of their wealth and professional accomplishments, they won’t accomplish the true greatness which only comes through making significant contributions to something other than one’s self. I don’t care how your resume reads or what your net worth is…what I care about is your motivation, and what you do with what you have.
‘Opportunities knocks at all doors but only few of us have the courage to open it, welcome it and then revolutionize our lives.” The question that arises first in mind is why we regret change? It’s because we are so busy in comfort zone. It is because how change might change course of our life for which we aren't prepared. Is it because we are lazy or are we just boring? Actually it is a bit of everything.
Surprisingly most existing thing in our life is change. It is that constant force that let us live; not just exist. But it is the fear factor that torpedoes every time. Fear of failure, fear of unknown, fear of what others will say, fear of whether it will be worst than present or fear of shaking our lives. Unless we get rid of fear, we can’t be a catalyst to change.
We stick to our daily job due to fear. We do not fall in love although we love someone due to fear of unknown and failure. We are afraid that what will happen with us if we say our feelings. We do not do anything because the risk is too much. But it’s the risk that changes the way we look life. When we take risk, there is new energy, new light in our eyes, new surge of confidence, new smile on our face and a new song in our heart. All of these work as neutralizer for fear factor.
Failure is the first step to success, a discovery. And when we take this step, we have to tell ourselves that world won’t end if we fail and new windows will open with new opportunities. There is no one on earth who hasn't failed. Students in exams, scientists in experiments e.t.c. All achievers have failed before succeeding. Thomas Edison was told that he failed 100 times before inventing a bulb. He calmly replied that he didn't failed. Actually it took him 100 steps to make a light bulb.
If we have same kind of attitude we will never fail. Those who want to experience change must be prepared to live with some amount of loneliness. If you fail there won’t be anyone around you but if you succeed others will surround you…
We have shared laughter,
We have shared tears,
Love lost, Love found,
Though it all we have stayed together,
From heart breaks to soul mates,
From life's hardships to life's happiness,
Our stupid fights, our silly talks,
Now that you're gone,
We don't share each others time,
But you're still with me everyday and night,
No matter how far you are from me,
I'll always love you Sis...
I still remember the first time we spoke, the first time we fought, the first time you cried keeping your head on my shoulder, the first time you held my hand, the first time you hugged me, the first time you came to my home and the first time you called me your BROTHER.
Its been over 3 years since you first called me brother and started treating me like one, sharing each and every moment of yours, sending Rakhis and never ever forgetting to call me on every auspicious occasion. Though, I had no real sister, you never let me feel the emptiness of her in my life. It's been more than a year we have met or seen each other and despite knowing each other boundaries our love, respect and relation never lost its essence. You understood my complications in life and never blamed me for not giving you time. You never complained for not messaging you or calling you.
But I never expected or thought that this would arrive where I will standing all alone watching you leave me. i know its my fault to let go you but trust me I never wanted this. I feel guilty and will carry this guilt of losing a sweet and caring sister like you for a lifetime. All i wanna say is I am really very Sorry..... Please Come Back... I don't wanna Lose you... not now... not ever...