Flashback

When I recall my past, I realize that I have a history of making prompt decisions when it comes to girls, either being friend with her or fall for her. I have always fallen in love with them without measuring potential risks and outcomes.

It’s just because it’s been my tendency to assume that everyone I meet is emotionally and mentally capable of giving their best rather than seeing and assessing what’s best in them. I have fallen in love more than I can count not for the girl herself but on my assumption of her giving her best in the relationship. At the same time, I have hung on to certain relations for a long time, sometimes far too long, waiting for her to ascend to her own greatness. Many a times I have been a victim of my own optimism when it comes to relations with girls.

But finally I realized that no matter what you do, how you look like, most of the girls you will meet wont be worth it. Its not that they are bad, but its just that they have their own priorities, their own decisions, their own favorites due to which they wither ignore you or keep you as a back up option which is quite obvious. They might talk to you as if they know you for years, discuss their life, your life and even call you one of their best friends. But after a time, things changes and the long hour talks are reduced to minutes and then silence. That is when one should realize if hanging onto the relation is fruitful or not. I, in the past, have taken wrong decision, most of time at this moment, hanging onto them and finally getting hurt.

Though I repeated such instances on a constant basis but finally I can say that I have learned from my past. Though it was hard to change from a desperate guy, looking for attention from female community, trying to make an impression on them (a good one which usually ended up as a bad one). My decisions have become more mature, clear, and thoughtful than they used to be couple of years ago. I am still in the learning phase as everyone is different and who knows one odd day you might face a new and different scenario altogether.”

Seventh Jaipur Literature Festival, 2014

1 City, 5 Days, 6 Venues, 175 Sessions, Over 240 Authors, 700 Books and 2.2 Lakhs of Literature Lovers.

Yes, I am talking about the Jaipur Literature Festival. People have called it “The Biggest Literary Show on Earth” or “A literary melting pot in India’s Pink City” but for me, this festival is no less than heaven, thinker’s paradise, a literature lover’s delight, a pilgrimage for voracious readers & listeners and so on.

It was a place where people from every corner of the world came together to witness 5 days of non-stop debate and discussion on topics varying from history to music and fiction to biographies. The sessions were more interesting this time with the addition of few special theme based sessions like crime and punishment, democracy, women, endangered languages and not to forget the launch of the Crime Writer’s Association of South Asia.
The statement of the festival director and renowned author, William Dalrymple, “A testament that books still matter” was enough to convince me how big this year’s JLF went. This year, the Lit Fest witnessed the presence of over 2.2 lakh visitors and a record single day unique visitor count of 75,210 on Sunday. Though the Weather Gods were not on the Festival’s side and it was a bit damp this year. The festival started with chilly winds blowing across the venue, forcing people to wrap themselves up like little babies and when the festival ended, God made sure everyone surviving was carrying an umbrella. The last day rain changed the venues of the sessions from large lawns to small rooms of Diggi Palace – which reminded us of the early years of the Lit Fest, yet it failed to stop the flow of visitors to the festival as there was an 25% increase in footfall this year; all thanks to the festival coordinators and organizers for increased capacity & arrangements.

Though big guns like Javed Akhtar, Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt, Mary Kom, Katherine Boo and Bina Ramani didn’t make it to the Fest; there were personalities who gathered a hell lot of audience and applaud. The literary program included two Nobel Prize winners, Amartya Sen and Harold Varmus as well as Man Booker, Pulitzer, Crossword, Samuel Johnson, Commonwealth, Hawthornden, Orange, Neustadt, Sahitya Akademi, Padmashree, Costa and DSC Prize long listed, shortlisted and winning authors.

One of the most amazing addition to this year’s list of speakers was Jhumpa Lahiri & ‘The Great American Novelist’ Jonathan Franzen (as titled by the TIME magazine). The critically acclaimed novelist and essayist who has received numerous accolades, including the National Book Award and was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Jonathan managed to surprise many by being much less of a curmudgeon than most expected him to be while Feminist Gloria Steinem and Amish Tripathi also notched up huge audiences.

Expecting a controversy free Festival was something organizers were praying for but that was way too much to ask for. The comment of Ved Mehta on Narendra Modi as ‘Danger to India’ on the day 1 of the festival heated up the cold and chilly winter mornings. Considering the last time it turned into a political hotbed, this year’s festival was more nuanced as there were no controversies that came up later, except when a few members of the Rajput Karni Sena made some noise about an Ekta Kapoor’s serial on Day 4.

So, once again, the big & free literary festival gave a tremendous show to the public, where they get to see their literary heroes up close at no extra cost as we conclude the Seventh Annual Jaipur Literature Festival 2014.

-Aman Sharma

Cover of my upcoming Book – SYAHI 2

Cover of my upcoming anthology -SYAHI 2

Syahi 2 is a promising second installment of the SYAHI anthology series, composed with mixed emotions. Unlike other anthologies, we didn’t make it ‘a genre’ story book. It is a blend of heart touching stories and poetry and it is a first anthology that comes with a unique blend of short stories and poems together. It’s not a book that you should compare; it’s rather more than that. At times, when words fall short to express, some short stories say it all. The book does not illustrate any real story, but many of them are based on real life incidents.