Sundeep Bhutoria

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fest fatigue

January 26, 2016. Jaipur: Today is the Republic Day and I plan to go to the Raj Bhavan for tea.
Yesterday I did not attend the Writer’s Ball as I was too tired. Also since last year, the Writer’s Ball has lost its charm because it was attended by everybody else other than the writers.
With Ila Arun
I hosted a dinner on Sunday to celebrate the month of January in Jaipur. This is one month which full of events and happenings. There is this polo season going on full swing; there was the Kite Festival; the Vintage Car Rally, music festivals, film festivals and what not. It was this joyous and festive spirit of January that I wanted to share with selected guests, friends and some authors and writers.
With Shashi Tharoor and Kiran Shaw Mazumdar
Filmstar and politician Shatrughan Sinha, former Minister Praful Patel, industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Shashi Tharoor and his son Kanishk, Singer Ila Arun, Madhu Neotia, brand consultant Suhel Seth, transgender rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Teamwork head Sanjoy Roy and many other authors of Lit Fest were present at the dinner.
With Suhel Seth
Among my friends who were in Jaipur but couldn't make it were Pavan K Varma, Amish Tripathi, Javed Akhtar and Girish Karnad although they had confirmed their presence in advance.
Varma said that he was dog-tired after having spent the entire day at the JLF and earlier he had attended the Lit Fests at Hyderabad and Kolkata. Tripathi sent me a text early morning today saying that he could not make it for the dinner since he was unable to cope up with the hectic schedule that he had had at the JLF.
Javed Akhtar, who had promised to come, caught the evening flight to Kolkata rather than the early morning flight. This saved him from getting up early once again for catching a flight.
The JLF and other festivals had made him weary. Girish Karnad
With Madhu Neotia
said after his readings of poetry at the
Amer Palace the other night he was suffering from vertigo.
It is surprising that the Kolkata Lit Fest was also organized on the same dates as that of Jaipur Lit Fest. While the Hyderabad Lit Fest was organized a few days earlier. Some well known authors who are in demand have to flit from one festival or the other. Speaking and interacting at the JLF can itself be very demanding with crowds and packed schedules. It seems that the JLF schedule is taking its toll as more and more guests seem to suffer from fest fatigue.
Meanwhile, a diplomat friend informed me that they prefer the foreign authors coming to the festivals one after another since it saves them, as sponsors, from spending twice on their international fares.
As the 2016 Jaipur Literature Festival draws to a close, there is this public interest litigation (PIL) in the court. Hopefully the legal hassles would be sorted out soon so that the festival is held at the elegant Diggi Palace again.
ess bee

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