"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
About the Book
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.
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.
"When I recall my past, I realize that I have a history of making prompt decisions when it comes to girls, either being friend with her or fall for her. I have always fallen in love with them without measuring potential risks and outcomes.
It's just because it's been my tendency to assume that everyone I meet is emotionally and mentally capable of giving their best rather than seeing and assessing what's best in them. I have fallen in love more than I can count not for the girl herself but on my assumption of her giving her best in the relationship. At the same time, I have hung on to certain relations for a long time, sometimes far too long, waiting for her to ascend to her own greatness. Many a times I have been a victim of my own optimism when it comes to relations with girls.
But finally I realized that no matter what you do, how you look like, most of the girls you will meet wont be worth it. Its not that they are bad, but its just that they have their own priorities, their own decisions, their own favorites due to which they wither ignore you or keep you as a back up option which is quite obvious. They might talk to you as if they know you for years, discuss their life, your life and even call you one of their best friends. But after a time, things changes and the long hour talks are reduced to minutes and then silence. That is when one should realize if hanging onto the relation is fruitful or not. I, in the past, have taken wrong decision, most of time at this moment, hanging onto them and finally getting hurt.
Though I repeated such instances on a constant basis but finally I can say that I have learned from my past. Though it was hard to change from a desperate guy, looking for attention from female community, trying to make an impression on them (a good one which usually ended up as a bad one). My decisions have become more mature, clear, and thoughtful than they used to be couple of years ago. I am still in the learning phase as everyone is different and who knows one odd day you might face a new and different scenario altogether."
How ironical it is that we get up and motivate ourself when we don't meet our expectations, but go crazy, depressed and angry when others don’t meet our expectations.
And at times, when they do meet our expectations, we don’t feel much happier and the usual term used is, “I expected it that way!”. How simple and beautiful like would be if we could just stop expecting things and save ourselves from the suffering and unhappiness.
Why do we expect? This is one important question, one should be able to answer to avoid expecting and getting hurt over and over again. The answer is quite simple, we expect because we believe that people will do what they say they will do - We expect people to keep their word.
Now, instead of writing about why we expect and other shit things about expectations, I will directly come to the point on how we can control our expectations and live much more happily.
- Know what you want.
- Accept yourself as you are.
- Be specific with your objectives, what you want from people and your life. In short, set your priorities straight.
- Directly ask the person you are expecting from about what you want and make sure that you get the answer in either ‘YES’ or ‘NO’.
- Develop the art of reading feelings, both self and of others. It helps us to decide or find what we actually need and will we get that or not.
I don’t know if these things will help you or not; no one can but all we can do is give it a try. At-least is is better than sitting and wasting any more of your time waiting, hoping, and expecting. I am trying this and it is helping me. So there is a chance that it might help you too. J
Be happy, keep smiling and stop expecting.
July 5, 2013
I didn’t expected this day to come over or at least any day sooner but as we all know, life is full of surprises and shocks. I have finally decided to quit writing in the future and this will be my last attempt at it, as of now and I hope I will make this last one count.
It’s been 23 years (will be 23 this month), I’ve been in this world and the journey has been no less than a roller coaster ride. Well, I won’t be writing down all that history here but would like to mention my journey for last one year.
It’s been a year since I came in the literature fraternity, as a reader of course and very soon became an integral part of it. My journey took a beautiful turn when I turned into a publisher. Ina field where everyone dreams to be an author, I took an extra step and risk and started a publishing venture. It was a dream come true, standing at a place where people look up to you. But as I came up in this journey, I learned that there are more people who want you to fail compared to those who appreciate your success. I got over them and everyone else who didn’t like me because I just can’t please everyone.
During this time, I met some people, to be exact some wonderful, beautiful and exquisite people who held my hand, listened to me and talked to me all this while. It was them who helped me took important decisions and made me what I am today. I won’t be writing any specific names because unknowingly I may miss few names and this will be become more of a controversial post for me. I was in a relationship for a short span of time which gave me numerous beautiful memories and I don’t regret a moment but unluckily I had to let it go.
Coming back to the present, I am quite happy yet not satisfied with my life. It seems like something is missing; something important. I am still trying to figure it out that what’s lacking that could make my life perfect. But that’s the point I think; you need to have something missing in your life for which you crave, you fight day and night just to have it. Or else we won’t realize the worth living.
For now, I have decided to quit writing for undecided span as I too am not sure when will I be back; will I be back or not. So this is it from my side.
#Thanks #AuRevoir #Aloha #AloneYetAlive
"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
"The Lost Paradise" is the debut novel of Anjali Vaswani & Vikas Bansal published under the banner of Mahaveer Publications in the month of April 2013.
The book looks very promising at the first sight, credits to its wonderful cover. Coming back to The story line of the book, its fresh, intriguing, compelling you to read more and more. The story is not just one story but at times, its just a beautiful compilation of stories inside one big story.
The fact that impressed me a lot was that it was not just a love story. It covered a lot bigger picture and Riya and Vivaan's love story was a part of it. Being debuts, writing on such a mature topic is commendable.
The beginning of the book is a bit slow and boring but from the second chapter it takes the highway and engages the reader pretty well. I really loved the way Anjali & Vikas has described the love bond between Riya & Vivaan. A reader can actually feel the scenario building around him.
Also, the story gives a social message to the young generation about the darker side of the society where teens and youngsters are getting dragged into the world of drugs and sex rackets. The way authors have portrayed Riya's effort to help her friend Kamini to live a normal life. The protests and marches at the India Gate for the victims reminded me of a similar event happened to a rape victim couple of months ago. The climax of the book is one of the best part and I loved reading it.
(P.S. I am an emotional guy and was good enough to give me some goosebumps while reading it.)
Overall its a wonderfully written book with simple yet effective writing skills by the authors. The subject is mature and compelling and keeping the fact that the authors are debutante, they have done justice to it.
I would rate the book ☆☆☆☆ (4) stars out of 5. A refreshing story, not only portraying a wonderful love story but also taking the bigger picture into consideration. Recommended for everyone. Do read it. Links to buy the book are below:
About the Book
Riya was in a dilemma. Should she help her hostel-friend Kamini, who was involved in a sex-and-drugs racket and was depending on her to get her out of the mess? Riya had always dreamt big of becoming a politician someday -- so this was her chance to really help out innocent girl-victims and bust a racket...
Or should she just concentrate on her studies and enjoy the attentions of her handsome boyfriend Vivaan with whom she soon planned to tie the knot?
More important, could she help Kamini without getting into really dangerous waters herself and risking her own life and the lives of all those whom she loved?
'Some love....' unravels the rare path taken by a gutsy, urban collegian and the repercussions it has on her life.
One popular saying that’s always struck me as particularly stupid and harmful is, “People don’t change.” Although everyone has ingrained personality traits, we aren't held captive by them. Believing that we can’t encourage ourselves to accept our weaknesses. How many people with substance problems claim they aren't capable of stopping? It’s much easier to continue a harmful behavior when responsibility is placed on an outside force like genetics or an “addictive personality”.
Saying people can’t change is the same as saying people can’t learn.When you learn something new that knowledge fundamentally changes you. Each piece of information adds to your personal database, creating additional resources to draw on when interacting with the outside world. We face the same temptations to engage in negative behavior, but we also build a body of experience that tells us the reward isn't worth the penalty.
In a sense we’re always changing and always staying the same. When I compare my self of today with my self from a few years ago, I observe that I’m the same but more. I’m the same in how I think and process information but experience has changed the way I interpret everything. Every day adds a new layer of character.
"We should anticipate aging with optimism rather than dread. As we grow old the beauty steals inward (Emerson)."
The saying “people don’t change” is harmful because it denies the possibility of redemption. There is something profound about the redeemed. The man who’s experienced the lowest rung of existence and conquered his personal demons has an empathy that’s lacking in more saintly people. In a society supposedly built on the doctrine of forgiveness, it’s remarkable how eager we are to label people as permanent degenerates. Circumstances and hardship leads many good people to do foolish things. To say those mistakes are irredeemable is hypocritical. If the world considered only your most depraved moments, how would you be judged?
People do change. We make every decision for the first time with no obligation to the past. If we control anything, we control our own thoughts and behavior. If can improve anything, it should be ourselves.