ZeeJLF Diaries: Day 5
It was the last day of the festival. We trudged along to the Diggi Palace Hotel one last time to witness some of our favourite writers come alive on stage; some by memory, and some by their speech. Quite a few big names in attendance, the six venues at the festival premises saw the likes of Ram Jethmalani, Rajdeep Sardesai, Anupama Chopra, Madhu Trehan and Shobhaa De in attendance. Sonam Kapoor marked her presence at the festival by launching The Front Row, Anupama Chopra’s new book. The onlookers were a bit hassled. So much to do. Such a veritable treat of sessions. We’ll tell you what we picked.
Writing the Other with speakers Damon Galgut, Adam Johnson and Akash Kapur seemed like a fine choice, followed by Anupama Chopra’s book launch. (Read our interview with her here.) The crowds went berserk at the very sight of Kapoor at the festival. Next came Tim Supple and Jerry Broughton with Shakespeare, which is always a delight to hear about. We spoke with Supple post the session who eloquently elaborated on his fascination with the Bard and his many works. (Don’t miss what he thinks about the Indian adaptations of Shakespeare here.)
By which time, poetry seemed like a reasonably good way to spend the hour and we hastened to the Poetry Hour session. The day ended with a cerebral talk on culture being the new politics. Suhel Seth had some emphatic points to make, as always, and engaged in a sort of verbal brawl with fellow panelist Shazia Ilmi. He spoke of our prolonged intolerance of art and the childishness of an exile imposed on Husain. Object, but don’t exile is what he said. We agree.
The festival ended with a Writers’ Ball (yes, writers can be fancy too) at the Le Meridien hotel. Everyone dressed up in their fineries to enjoy a gregarious wine-and-dine soiree. Ethnic music, abundant food and high spirits all formed an ideal end for an all-too-enjoyable literary festival.