After two days of star-struck celebration, aam aadmi sneaked into the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). The infectious jingoism that has caught the fancy of a nation hurtling towards general elections found its match in a poet and a lyricist who without making any noise got the janta at his feet.
The loudest and perhaps also the most talked about session was the final one at the Front Lawns titled Raj Aur Samaj: Democracy featuring columnist Kalyani Shankar, former bureaucrats Navin Chawla and Pavan Varma along with journalist Ravish Kumar. But it was the audience which got the momentum going by asking the panellists questions on politics, Aam Aadami, NOTA and lot more. The crackling arguments on stage, the cheering crowd during the proceedings and the applauding panellists when issues like NOTA, high voting percentage and aam aadmi were being discussed turned the session into an interesting one.
Taking a dig at the latest trend among the political parties to attract the common man, Ravish Kumar said that the parties have started giving missed calls to the people urging them to join them. Without naming any particular party he said that democracy today is like a museum where there are sculptures of various types of metals and amidst these there is one that of Plaster of Paris. And, it was not lost in the audience as to which party he was pointing at. This later lead to a lot of questioning from the curious audience who wanted to know more about the Aam Aadmi and their future!
If Day 3 belonged to one man it was poet, lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi, who like a pied piper got the adulating fans following him wherever he want.
Frantic voices ask, “Are there any empty seats?” as we make our way to the lyricist Prasoon Joshi’s session at the ongoing literary fest in Jaipur. And much to the pleasant surprise, the session was jam-packed with enthusiastic people, who gladly hit the road on chilly Sunday morning just to make it on time to the venue. Known to weave magic into the words, Joshi, was here at the festival to speak about his book Sunshine Lanes: Poetry in Life that offers rare glimpse into the mind of one of India’s most loved poet-lyricist. And guess, that clearly answers why such huge crowd gathered together at his session.
“He weaves magic into the words. I couldn’t give it a miss despite being it bitingly cold,” said Ankur Mishra, a theatre artist. Delighted to hear him, Mishra along with many others felt that the poems recited by Joshi, created an aura full of positivity. “His every song is a story.
His poem Lo Mashalon Ko Jaga Dala Kisine really touched my heart. I am feeling so good,” said Tarang Jain, student. Joshi’s recital comprised of Mai Kabhi Batlata Nahin from Taare Zammen Par, Roobaroo from Rang De Basanti, Itna kyu sote hai hum, Baabul (recited last year as well) and many others. “What a positive person he is. And his attitude towards his life reflects in his work, which is great. To an extent, his work motivates us,” said Indu Sharma, govt. employee.
Another literary enthusiast Poonam Kapoor on the other hand got emotional after hearing Babul. “Every time I hear Baabul, I get emotional. And hearing the man, singing it live, made me cried,” she said. “I have been following his work since long. He writes with his soul. His simplicity reflects and this session was no different. However, I feel the session could have organized at a bigger place so that more people could be accommodated,” said Ankit Revo, architect.