Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jaipur Literature Festival 2012



By the time I was into the fourth day of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 (JLF), my alienation with this one-of-its-kind festival was complete. I was going to stay for one more day for only two reasons:

1. My train back to Pune was only the next day

2. I wanted to catch a session where one of the chief guests was Rahul Bose.

JLF 2012 was a fair. A massive one. It boasted of many literary figures.

At the same time, it was also flooded with many socialites. These people gave the festival a very 'modern' look and feel.

However, it was also diluting the literaryness of the festival. The whole festival had become a caricature of itself.

And the other irritating part was the incessant crowd of school-going children. Not that they were present there just to enjoy, but a considerable percentage was out there only for a party.

At the end of every day, you would heave a sigh of relief than a score of satisfaction, yearning to go back to your hotel room and order some warm food.

I believe it would be much more prudent if the festival starts charging a certain entrance fee from next year in order to filter the crowd.

The JLF boasted of an army of thinkers, writers and intellectuals. However, the above mentioned reasons made it searingly painful to enjoy their company.

In retrospect, the music program held every evening after the end of the festival was a much better experience, since it had an entrance fee and had a filtered crowd.

Hope William Dalrymple has better ideas next time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do Women need a man to Live in this world?

I recently watched Agneepath. A solid entertainer. Amazing performances by the entire star cast. And really loud, ear shattering background score.

But this post isn't a review of the Karan Johar film. While watching the film, I came across a point where Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor) has kidnapped Vijay Dinanath Chauhan's (Hrithik Roshan) sister.

He is holding his sister ransom in front of a huge crowd and running an auction to sell off the girl. There is a loud  drama all round with cries of evil laughter. People are increasing the amount of money they want to pay for the girl.

In the midst of all this, out of the blue - drums start beating, chorus gets louder and Vijay Chauhan bursts on the screen. He is seen killing people coming in his way. He finally reaches the place where his sister is being held. A fight ensues and (spoiler alert!!) he kills Rauf Lala.

The point here is - What would have happened to that girl, if she did not have the muscle wielding Hrtihik as her brother?

She would have easily become a prostitute.

And the sad part is, countless girls become victims of this trade every year, disappearing never to be seen again.

So, what do girls do? How to "save" themselves in this cruel world? Why is power seen as some body who can kill others without any fear?

A documentary Pita, Putra Aur Dharamyuddh presents some more questions on this.