I am here at Diggi Palace and I must share with you what all it takes to get something of this magnitude going. Jaipur Literature Festival is getting bigger and bigger and the way things are we would have almost 200,000 + footfalls this year. That is a huge logistics challenge, and the big question is, is #ZEEJLF geared up for it? The way things are I can say confidently that everything is set and the event should be able to withstand this kind of people interface. The numbers really get serious and managing teams to work on all aspects a mammoth task.
Jaipur Literature Festival relies heavily on volunteers and an international ensemble of consultants and agents to put together the act. This year there would be over 500 volunteers plus crew ensuring that the fest is nothing but the best. The festival has over two dozen independent teams working at this moment here in the Diggi Palace complex and there is no chaos. It looks more like everyone knows the drill and has perfected it and is a closure about “unknown/ unseen other.” The man who “owns” the success and failure of the show is Sanjoy Roy and Sanjoy looks calm and totally in control of the situation.
Every number has a story to tell and there are a lot efforts being put to ensure that each number is met and is made to serve the purpose it is meant for. This year Jaipur Literature Festival is going to celebrate over 240 authors and amongst them, two are Nobel Laurate, Professor Amartya Sen and Harold Varmus. It is interesting to note that Harold Varmus has worked in a missionary hospital in Bareilly. Getting back to numbers, hosting 240 authors requires a whole lot of room nights, at the last count #ZEEJLF had already booked over 1,800 room nights and were all set to provide for over 14,700 meals to authors and delegates. For those who are not delegates and are attendees there would be 10 food stalls ensuring that they don’t need to step out to feed themselves. Of course, it would be largely English literature what would be talked about, but there would be 13 other languages and authors taking an active part too. There are sessions planned across languages and mediums.
Many of us who have been around associate Jaipur Lit Fest with music and this year is no different, every night has a music night and the highlight would be a performance by Grammy Award winning band, Tinariwen.
I had a good first day, looking at preparations and was counting types of birds tweeting away, I am sure Diggi Palace is home to over 20 different kind of birds who make over 500 trees in this complex their home.