Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Event: Jaipur Literature Festival

There was something for everyone in Jaipur Literature Festival

Published: Feb 8, 2010 08:11:00 AM IST
Updated: Feb 6, 2010 12:28:43 PM IST
Image: Peter Griffin

This year, the Jaipur Literature Festival promised to be bigger and better than ever. No small ambition, that, considering it had already cemented its place in the lit calendar in a few short years. I can’t make a comparison to past years, since circumstances kept me away each year, but having curated other festivals and being a certified lit junkie, I can tell you that the organisers pulled off a major feat. There was something for everyone, and plenty of star power, from a Nobel laureate and several Booker Prize winners to popular fiction writers and even the odd film star and politician. The vibe was informal and democratic, the authors were accessible and the discussions were mostly lively and entertaining.

If one had a complaint, it’s not one the organisers will be unhappy to hear. A packed schedule, with three, even four events happening simultaneously, meant that one had to keep making choices, scrambling from one venue to the other, and wound up, at the end of each day, quite exhausted and ‘festivalled out.’

Almost everybody who was anybody in the books business was there. Many a publisher was seen heading for cover as wannabe authors scanned the horizon, manuscripts in hand. It was heartening to see clusters of school children bustle from event to event, greedy for more, seeking autographs from the authors.

Next year, JLF will have an added attraction: the DSC South Asia Literary Prize, with a purse of $50,000. And it will create larger spaces for events.

I can’t wait!

For more on the festival, see our daily reports and tweets on


(This story appears in the 19 February, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)