THE BLOG

What Not To Do At The Jaipur Literature Festival

26/01/2015 7:50 AM IST | Updated 27/06/2016 9:54 PM IST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
ASSOCIATED PRESS
A visitor reacts when he hears the news of Indian born British author Salman Rushdie's video conference being called off at the Jaipur Literature Festival, in Jaipur, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. The organizers of the Indian literary festival called off a video conference with British author Salman Rushdie following protests by Muslim groups who considered his 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" blasphemous. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup)

1. Do not go without the all-access delegate pass: You are a nobody if you don't sit in the special delegate zone, sip your wine under the sun, and treat eminent authors like a nobody while they share your table during lunch. Even better if you don't offer them a chair. After all, you paid for this chance at being exceptionally mean.

2. Do not be caught dead in all-Indian groups: If you can't mix with the foreigners, you surely have not imbibed the global spirit of literature. The longer and deeper your conversations with a foreigner runs (never mind who or what) the higher your 'visibility' and 'status' at the fest.

3. Don't gawk at celebs or authors: The literature fest is the great Indian leveller. You do not make the authors, speakers, celebs feel important. Let them bask in their own glories. After all you don't want to seem like lesser mortals.

4. The forbidden question - What do you write?: It's a festival celebrating the great writings that have been churned out by 250 odd writers. So if you don't recognize each and every one, please do not ask them what they penned. Unless of course you love the wily looks. Or crumpled egos.

5. Don't stalk the writers: Beyond the esteemed walls of the Diggi Palace venue, many of these authors are normal people found in normal places. You can very well make contact over email or social media. This is not the zoo to harass the untamed.

6. Don't ask the authors for a selfie: It's hot in Jaipur during the day. Both you and the authors are out in the sun. Close encounters for the selfie can be hazardous to your olfactory senses.

7. Do not dress normal: I mean if you wear the sensible shoes for the marathon standing you need to do for the sessions, then you are definitely not 'it'. Please wear high heel boots, long skirts and top it with overcoat and extra large glares. Yes, as extra as you have.

8. The banal question - Is there a queue? Yes, as you can very well see, there is. By proclaiming this sentence the queue will not magically disappear. Every one in the queue will not shout out an unanimous 'no' and step aside for you. Nor will such statements make the experience of standing in a queue anymore glorified. A queue is a queue. If it's beneath you, then hard luck.

9. Do not be the red carpet for the filmstar to step on: Ok so you know so and so. It is great to be seen with him or her for a session or a lunch. But please do not stick like a shadow all day, and even worse all week. Except of course if you are the paid bouncer.

10. Do not dismiss the fest as one for pseudo-intellects: If you attending, reading or writing about the Jaipur Lit Fest then you are as much a part of the 'pseudo-intellectuals' as you profess them to be. Admit it, some good stuff is happening out there, some good thought leaders are speaking there, and if nothing else then the place itself is inspiring many to pick up a book. Much needed in the times we live in.

Here's to the Jaipur Literature festival. May your tribe increase!

More On This Topic