The magical letters enlightening the world of words…
Here are the highlights of the JLF 2015 in 26 letters charismatic to the writer’s universe.
Let the journey begin…
A for Amish Tripathi:
Tagged as ‘India’s First Literary Pop-star’ by world renowned film director Shekhar Kapoor, Amish has become an ideal for pool of budding writers. The way he blend all the emotions without hitting any controversies is commendable.
Amish’s Shiva Trilogy has been the heart throb in recent past. His books have been translated in 14 Indian as well as International languages.
Amish, one of the, most influential celebrity, has announced the topic for his next series in this festival.
‘Lord Ram – depicting his journey from a tortured prince into a great king and then a God’
B for Bettany Hughes:
An award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, specialised in ancient and medieval history and culture.
She was named amongst BBC 100 global woman and asked to launch a scheme for Woman Mentoring.
Bettany is currently working on a series for BBC with the topics Socrates, Buddha and Confucius and also associated in writing ‘New History Of Istanbul’ Publishing in 2015.
C for Chiki Sarkar:
Chiki Sarkar, publisher of Penguin Random House India, a graduate of Oxford University and past experience with Bloomsbury Publishing in London.
After working there for a while, she stepped in India and started working with newly set up Random Publishing House as their first Editor in Chief.
Further, In July 2011, she moved to Penguin Books India, the country’s largest publishing house, to be their publisher.
D for Dilip D’Souza:
Graduate of BITS Pillani with technical understanding of Computer Sciences, Dilip was always circled with software’s.
One fine day tried writing and won several awards, thereon. He has written for several newspapers and magazines followed with a mathematics column for mint.
“Final Test: Exit Sachin Tendulkar” is his fifth book.
E for Esther David:
Esther David, Winner of Sahitya Akademi Award and a marvellous author of 7 novels.
She is onto a search on French ethos in India after getting accustomed to the languages French, Gujrati and Marathi.
Her upcoming work in recent future is:
“A city with a past – Ahemdabad”
F for Fady Joudah:
Fady Joudah, a Palestinian American Poet, a Translator and a Physician, receiver of several awards (internationally) and Guggenheim Fellowship.
Also, he has received a Griffin International Pottery Prize in recent past.
‘Textu’ is his latest poetry collection, composed on a Cell Phone and based on character as meter.
G for Gautam Chintamani:
Gautam Chintamani, a Bollywood enthusiast, write all the things on Indian Cinema, very popular amongst some leading Indian Publications.
His session was based on his first book describing the darker side of name and fame.
A fascinating conversation where the life of Jatin AKA Rajesh Khana being discussed, while, having a look at his mesmerizing flashback.
H for Hanif Khureshi:
A novelist, film maker and screen writer, written some of the best books example The Last Word. His work has been translated in 36 languages till date.
He was in conversation for the book ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’ chaired by Farrukh Dhondy accompanied with some other writers having a discussion about VS Naipaul and his works.
I for Indrajit Hazra:
A novelist and well known journalist, was in conversation with Samit Basu during the festival about the book “Novel Cures”.
A book majestically charming in its own thousand ways looks at literary malaises and cures for bibliophiles.
It describes the harmony of mind, heart and soul.
J for Joy:
A platform for all the well-known, existing and budding writers, ZEE JLF serves to be the best treat.
Literature enthusiasts around the world never miss an opportunity to skip the festival.
From all the leading publishing houses to all the new ones, it is one such place where each and every one will get fuel for their respective cars.
K for Kalam:
The former President of India got a rock-star-er welcome at Diggi Palace.
Every syllable he uttered was hung on to by his young fans.
During the conversation when he talked about ‘wings’ was one of the most alluring part of the whole session.
L for ‘Laziz’:
When there is a festival how could food be missed.
From Italian to Indian, Desi to Videsi, each and every needed flavour was found during the sessions.
How could anyone work with empty stomach?
All the delicacies were found at possible intervals from tea to puchka, burger to samosa and pastry to ice-cream.
M for Malashri Lal:
Dean of colleges and professor of English at Delhi University, born and brought up in Jaipur, is inclined towards abiding interest in women writing in cross cultural perspectives.
Malashri Lal introduced Devdutt Pattanaik for the session ‘The Power of Myth’
N for Nils Nordberg:
An essayist, editor, author, dramatist, lecturer, translator and so on, has published numerous anthologies on crime short stories.
He was in a session ‘The Mind’s Eye’ for having a conversation about Nesser’s book.
O for Overcrowded:
Year by year, there’s a drone of contempt among the regulars that the venue should be changed and that Diggi is bursting at seams but this year that drone became really audible.
As much as the event takes pride in being free for all, the maddening crowds that descended to witness Kalam and Sonam Kapoor might just make the organisers think again.
P for Paris Attacks:
With the outrageous act on Charlie Hebdo still blocking the minds, JLF was a perfect place for writers to fade the memory.
Almost everyone, with a sole exception of Will Self, uttered “Je Suis Charlie”.
Q for Queer:
A lyrical talk at JLF revolved around homosexual literature.
Sarah Water, Christos Tsiolkas, Mark Gevisser, Sandip Roy spoke about what it was to be a homosexual.
Another thing that struck the foreign visitors is that Indian visa application has other in the ‘sex’ option, something progressive.
R for Ram Jethmalani:
The eminent lawyer, 92-year-old, gave the packed audience a peek into his life right from Emergency to Indira Gandhi to the controversial he handles on every day basis.
He said that even today 90% of the cases that he takes up are all pro bono.
His words acted as an alarm that age is just a number.
S for Shashi Tharoor:
The Congress MP finally did show up after intense speculations if law and order would allow him, after latest revelations on his wife’s death.
He was skeptical about Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and was scathing about returning home.
T for Theroux:
The adventurous travel writer portrayed about his craft at the Festival, but he will be remembered for is his patch up with friend-turned-foe VS Naipaul.
Paul Theroux said that ‘A House for Mr Biswas’ is the most complete novel he read after Dickens, which moved the Nobel laureate to tears.
U for Ummeed:
The Hindi word for hope was the prevailing sentiment amidst everyone speaking about India.
Everyone thought, even the hawks, that India has a decent chance at making it big on the world stage with a new government at the tiller of affairs.
V for Vijay Seshadri:
The American-Indian poet, who won a Pulitzer, was absolutely brilliant in his meditative, cerebral sessions.
Articulate about every subject he was questioned about: his life in America, about his guardian-ship, why he decided to work for five years in commercial fishing industry, the seventies of America, his favourite poets and so on.
W for Will Self:
The British letters’ enfant terrible was the toast of JLF 2015. All his sessions were sidesplittingly funny and the reading that he did from his Booker-nominated Umbrella in a gorgeously animated tone was the best I ever saw in the five years that I have been to the fest.
X for Xanadu:
Title of the debut book of the festival director William Dalrymple needs to be evoked because JLF is nothing less than a parallel universe’s idea of heaven.
The 2016 line-up has Noam Chomsky, Patti Smith, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Piketty among the big names elated to speak.
Hats off to this man.
Y for Youth:
In Dalrymple’s words,
“The average age of a literary festival in England, like Cheltenham is 70, while in JLF, it’s 21.”
Implied the fest has cracked the demographic code.
Despite the crowding problems, it was a nice sight to see young readers searching for areas where they could mark there presence.
Z for Zia Haider Rehman:
This British novelist of Bangladeshi origin who wrote the best South Asian novel of the last 10 years, left everyone speechless at JLF.
He spoke passionately about his early days in UK, how his teachers refused to believe that his English can be so good, how we was bullied at school for showing a drive towards gaining knowledge.
If there’s one novel that you should read from 2014, it’s ‘In The Light of What We Know’.
Prepare to be floored by its vertigo-inducing magnificence.
Direct from Diggi Palace,