Jaipur Literature Festival 2020 completed its 13th edition on Monday and promised to come back next year on 28th of January.
Over the past decade, JLF has turned into such a massive affair, particularly for the city of Jaipur, that the 5 days of the festival keep everyone enamoured with a traditional Indian festival-like vibe. Diggi Palace becomes a routine destination, and starts to feel like home.
On Monday, this year’s edition observed its final day. From Company-era paintings to urban legends like Jack, the ripper, the last day offered sessions on a plethora of subjects. The focus of the day was set very early on with a morning session on ‘Climate Change’. The subsequent talks on Renaissance, Archaeology of ancient Egypt, and the art of biography too offered a great deal of insight into the particular subjects.
All that is Art
From live painting at the Diggi Palace grounds to recognition of one’s life’s work, JLF offered a great deal of support to the artists. A whole lot of stuff was up for display, and the participants looked equally, if not more, interested in the offerings.
Audio books and the lessons in inclusivity
This year, the Penguin stall, which is a recurring feature at the JLF, offered two listening pods for the people to step away from the bustle of the festival, and enjoy a nice 5 minute listen of their latest audiobooks. Naturally, kids put their firm foot forward and took turns to listen to the fascinating audiobooks. JLF 2020 also tried to create an all-encompassing atmosphere by displaying a Braille book at the bookstall to increase the understanding about the needs of the visually challenged.
The Perfect Palette and Hospitality Heaven
All the struggle to reach the desired venues and listening to the panellists can leave one wanting more from food than just satiating the hunger. This year, the food stalls were spread more evenly about the venues with the Diggi Puri stalls holding on to the commanding front lawns. And the pool side food court offered fusionistic, exotic food. Also, the hospitality and support staff worked relentlessly to make sure people don’t encounter any type of problem, and get treated like royalty at the royal grounds of Diggi Palace. Volunteers worked harder than most and celebrated the successful completion of each session. Rajasthan Police provided impeccable security and also kept a tight grip on the traffic around Diggi Palace to make life easier for those who were heading to the festival from all directions.
Like every year, this edition too came to an end with a rather sparkling closing debate, that attracted the biggest crowd, like it usually does. Before signing off, the organizers of the festival announced the dates, and the names of the authors and celebrities to appear in the next edition.
Given the literary value and the line-up for the next year, January 28th of 2021 can’t come early enough.
Signing-off from the Diggi Palace is not easy as I write this piece in a rather emotional state. But the excitement for the next edition is already counterbalancing it. See you on the other side!