Opera brought crowded chaos.
It was a big day or I must say the most glamorous day of Jaipur Literature Festival. Oprah Winfrey, Fatima Bhutto, Shashi tharoor, Chetan bhagat , Anupam Kher ,David Remnick , David Hare, Tom Stoppard were few to name among many other influential people, who graced JLF with their presence.
Morning saw baffled and puzzled crowd both inside and outside the venue as American media proprietor, talk show host, actor, producer, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey was here for a session. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011,Oprah also, according to some assessments, is the most influential woman in the world.
As obvious due to security reasons entry in the venue was closed after a specified time, and people waited for hours to get in, before the entry gates reopened. But visitors who were here to attend other sessions also suffered, as they had to wait long for the entry.
Oprah, talked about bad Indian Traffic, and beautiful Indian culture of marriage, however she stated she herself is not a kind of woman who wants to get married. She also talked of the value of education so that people have choices, and her work in building a Leadership Academy for girls in Africa, saying how important it is to give whatever you have, so that the energy of yourself goes out into the world. She also talked about how she had been inspired to start a Book Club, because ‘I love to read’ . Her book club promotes both modern literature and the classics that Oparah personally recommends.
Fatima Bhutto, a Pakistani poet, writer and journalist and granddaughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the niece of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and daughter of Murtaza Bhutto was seen in conversation with Karan thapar along with Ayesha Jalal, in the session named ‘On Pakistan’. She spoke about changing circumstances in Pakistan since 1960. She came to fame after the appearance of her first book – , a collection of poems, titled Whispers of the Desert.
Session ‘War, Revolution and the writer as Exile’ saw Kamin Mohammadi, Thant Myint-U, Fatima Bhutto and Hanan al-Shaykh in conversation, moderated by William Dalrymple. They talked about how they left their country and lived in Exile and produced some of the great literary works.
Philip Gourewitch,David Remnick, Joseph Leyveld,Katherine Boo and Jason Burke held a talk on ‘journalism as Literature ‘moderated by Samanth Subramanian.
Session ‘Survival Strategies in the Time of Twitterati’ brought together Suhel Seth, Chetan Bhagat and Shahsi Tharoor on the same stage, Sahshi who is famous for his anytime tweets said, ‘sometimes he wish his finger would have slipped before making some controversial tweets’ and Chetan commented that ‘he use tweeter for gaining publicity by making negative tweets’.
Shashi Tharoor , who also moderated the session ‘The Superpowers of the 21st Century ‘said in a press briefing, that he personally like Salman rushdie as he grew up reading some of his controversial works, but in political context, it is not certain whether it’s right or wrong to ban his works. Later Shashi Tharoor launched Anupam Kher’s book ‘The Best Thing about You is…You!’
Evening ended with delightful performances of poetry reading by ‘Jeet Thayil,Tishani Dosh and sudeep sen’, Classical music by renowned musician ‘Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’ and fusion musicful by ‘Dub Colossus’.