Crowds, controversies and chaos. That, in a nutshell, was day three of the Jaipur Literature Festival. It kicked off at 10 in the morning with political psychologist Ashis Nandy's remark about India's backward classes being flamboyant in their corrupt ways.
For this year's edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, South Asia's largest, most egalitarian and intellectually formidable gathering of writers, the organizers have assembled an equally formidable lineup that's under the radar for an Indian audience.
I certainly understood that Mr. Verma was held in high esteem in the town full of accomplished artists, not simply because of his artistic accomplishments, but also because he had never wavered from his vision of self-respect and dignity. This is success earned in the right way.
Jaipur is the gem-cutting center of the world, and to say there are hundreds of jewelers tucked amongst the city's lively streets would be a pitiful understatement. At the top of Jaipur's immense jewelry pyramid perches The Gem Palace.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the kind of movie they seldom make anymore -- except in England. When they try to do it in America, you wind up with something like Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve -- or worse.
Most literary festivals are placid affairs in which writers exchange ideas and autographs and occasionally get tanked. But these two festivals were overshadowed by the political contexts in which they occurred.
Bigotry. Intolerance. Censorship. Not words that you would normally associate with a literature festival. Yet, over the last six days at the Jaipur Literature Festival, they've dominated panel discussions, been whispered during readings, and littered furious debates around tea stalls.