Is it Jaipur Learning Festival? I think so.

Jaipur Literature Fest
Is Storytelling worldwide fighting for its survival?
Jaipur Literature Fest
Is Storytelling worldwide fighting for its survival?

I came here to attend Jaipur Literature Festival and found myself attending Jaipur Learning Festival instead. There is so much to learn and the zeal of the panelists towards teaching the participants is awesome. I am totally floored by the learning options available to everyone. I attended this session on storytelling around the globe and gained an insight into the split between images and narration. Are images and their excessive usage killing story telling? Is narration dying and losing its significance? Storytelling is a craft and it has the ability of turning a story into a saga and that is where the split happens between image based media and storytelling as a conventional way of carrying folklore through centuries.  Storytelling evolves as an art in the hands of its patron, most stories are all about sin, sacrifice and redemption, it is the patron who brings out the flavour in it.  Technology is pushing immediacy of the visual medium of storytelling and making it very powerful. Good storytelling requires lot of research and integration, forms of storytelling must evolve for the craft of storytelling to survive.

Sabrina Dhawan
Sabreena Dhawan did the screenplay for Monsoon Wedding +++

You know what you missed, right? Yes, you missed a lot and I learned a lot on the pearls and perils of screenwriting. Sabrina Dhawan was so animatedly immersed in the session that every word she spoke traveled to the audience unhindered and exactly the way she wanted it to. Screenplay writing is an act of constant negotiation, at every stage you negotiate with the producer, director and accommodate actors. At times screenplay writing can be all about picking your battles and the writers who choose their battles wisely do good.  The power of expression and ability to transfer it to an acceptable execution script is the bottom line.

Bhasha Paribhasa
Is there something called as Indian literature?

In this excellently moderated session by diplomat, author and well-known translator Navtej Sarna, the  focus was on Indian language writing. How it is challenged by English dominance and perception of English being mainstream and local language writing being somewhat on the periphery. Is there anything called “Indian Literature” what unifies writing in different Indian languages? Good questions, and these were handled by the panel in an exceptional manner, linking mythology and cinema as connects to the diversity and their influences. Sachin Kundalkar made an interesting comment and I have said it several times and I am sure, thousands of us who write say the same thing, he said, “Whenever I speak in English I am thinking and making it up in Marathi and translating it to English”. That’s so true. C.P. Davel talked about straight language to language translations without using English as a bridge language. He talked about translating from Marathi to Hindi and so on.  Gajra Kottary, the writer of popular TV serial Balika Vadhu made an interesting observation that when writing for pan-Indian audience, one has to build in components which can be acceptable across the nation.

Kabir Bedi
Kabir Bedi is Kabir Bedi – Glow and Glory

Glow and glory, aging gracefully,looking dashing as always, whichever way you say, Kabir Bedi is Kabir Bedi and there are no parallels. He is one of the most sought after celebrity MCs and for good reason. His presence ensures an extremely high degree of dignity and decorum. Kabir Ji was here to oversee DSC Literary Prizes and Cyrus Mistry got this year’s (not in picture).

Diggi Ki Chai
Diggi Ki Chai

Diggi ki chai, hot masala tea is a big-time festival favourite. Extremely reasonably priced, at Rs 20/- it looks subsidized by the event organizers. It is not unusual to see people keeping the counters in their pocket for their all-day consumption. It is as hot as hot as it gets and gets you ready for session after a session.

Jaipur Lit Fest
Jaipur Lit Fest – The Music

Music has always been an integral part of the Jaipur Literature Festival, the events and bands participating are getting bigger and better. Music for the soul happens every morning and music tuned to unwind happens every evening. The stage literally moves a few miles away as “Music Nights” are now held at the Clarks Amer.

The show goes on…