Where there are people, there has to be the Aam Aadmi Party. Having declared its intent to go national and fight elections all over India, the Aam Aadmi Party’s desire to be visible to everyone, everywhere got them camping outside the Jaipur Literature Festival Venue at Diggi Palace. They had their donation box and “topis” all in place and membership drive in full action.
An extra large wall painting announcing the Jaipur Literature Festival has become an ideal spot for getting your photograph clicked. There are people from all walks of life standing in front of this interesting work and taking home proof of their participation in the lit fest. Participating in the Jaipur Lit Fest for many has become like showing off their intellectual side and for them this is a great spot.
If there is space, we will sit. Sunday got in more than 50,000 people to the venue, it was people, people everywhere. There were 36 sessions yesterday and the max one can attend if you are attending a complete session were 7, including the misc one at 9:25. The Front Lawns venue looks like a public park, where anyone who can’t find a chair or would rather relax for a while, comes down and settles on the ground. The sound systems are so good that no one needs to strain themselves to hear.
Over a million photographs would be taken over these 5 days and I am discounting the number by at least 1 million. I moved around the ground counting people with DSLRs hanging around their necks and gave up after making a note of over 500 people moving around. With at least one celebrity within your 10-feet radius, no wonder cameras are always being clicked.
I saw Sanjoy Roy, who makes the Jaipur Lit Fest happen, coolly standing on the sides watching Salman Khurshid and Amar Singh launch a set of 6 books on “Foreign Policy” together. There is always a lot happening in his head, but he never shows a sign of panic. Now Sanjay himself is a celebrity, standing smart, if not tall, amongst those whom his companies get to this festival from all over the world.