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JWB @JLF Day 1

  • IWB Post
  •  January 22, 2015


Well it is a known fact that how big a part of Jaipur is the Jaipur Literature Festival. As JLF 2015 kicked off, JWB was present there to witness this kumbhmela for literature and what it had in store for the women of Jaipur. So, let’s have a look into the main happenings of the Day 1 of JLF 2015.

The Inauguration

Guess who inaugurated the festival by lighting up the lamps? VasundharaRaje, none other than our very own chief minister! In her speech she wondered that how every year the walls of the Diggi Palace magically fit the lakhs of literature lovers who grace the festival. It was a fresh breath of air for us when we heard her saying that JLF captures the age old essence and history of Jaipur in a very beautiful manner.

Women Authors are the most sought after for

One of the first sessions emphasizing on women was the session which had the youngest ever winner of the man booker prize, Eleanor Catton. Catton won the prize in 2013 when she was only 28! Can you imagine? A man booker prize in her kitty and she is yet to turn thirty! Accompanying her was another renowned woman author, Eimear Mcbride.



Mcbride’s novel is known to have a new age feminist angle to it which has broken many taboos. Her book, A girl is a half formed thing explores the POV of an unnamed protagonist who goes through many trials and tribulations in her life. It is a dark look inside a young girl’s mind, with a prose that is supposed to sound just like the words inside a person’s heads – with no necessary cohesive nature, rather a mixture of feelings, impressions, thoughts and the sounds outside. Speaking to the audience, she accepted the fact that when she started writing the story, she didn’t expect it to be feminist, but by the time she completed it she had become one. It was also the fact that because of its feminist content, she had extreme difficulty to find a publisher and she had to wait for nine years to get it published.

Eimear Mcbride

Eimear Mcbride

Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton


The audience was captivated by Eleanor Catton, as she spoke about her booker winning book ‘The Lumaniries’ which has a unique structure. In the book every character is aligned to an astrological chart and she has also used the position of various stars to depict different situations in it. In her own words,’ it was really fun to write the book, even they it took five years of her life to complete It.’

73.Eleanor Catton-The Luminaries

The Bollywood Flavor

Our very own Bollwood power-couple Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi were present at Diggi Palace right from the start of the festival and were being madly chased by their star struck admirers, who were hounding them for autographs and selfies. In his session Javed Akhtar surprised everyone by saying that the new craze with fusion music in Bollywood is nothing new because he could remember songs that would have use of classical music along with pianos back in the 1950s.

Sonam Kalra’s Magical Voice

Sonam Kalra writer nd musician 22Pubjul2009

Sonam Kalra and her band The Sufi Gospel Project left the audience absolutely awestruck from their rendition of Sufi music and American folk songs. As her beautiful voice echoed through the lawns of the diggi palace, it seemed that everyone present at the venue fell in love with the soul stirring tenor of the music.

The Bigwigs @ JLF

The first day of JLF 2015 saw the presence of some literary bigwigs whose very presence gives the title of ‘The Kumbhmela of Literature’ to the festival. In a session dedicated to VS Naipaul, the entire venue burst into applause as they caught a glimpse of the literary legend, now fragile with age but still an artist with words. The glamor quotient was escalated to a level of frenzy as Vikas Khanna went on to launch his new book, Masterchef India Cookbook as countless fans of the handsome chef cheered continuously and hurried to get a glimpse of him.

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