I love my work bay. More so, because of the little pinboard I totally take over and adorn it with colors and things that make me happy. These are little bit of sunshine that gives me incredible energy the first thing in the morning. This was more than a year back. I’m back with some new decor, at a new place, same firm. Intend to post it soonish!
Ever since I am back from it, I’ve been only daydreaming about Jaipur Litfest.
While the first thing that struck me was the swarm of people, I became immensely comfortable in what is touted as the Maha Kumbh or the Grand Fair of Literature in Southeast Asia!
A literature festival of this magnitude deserves a standing ovation, irrespective of what the naysayers speak.
It’s finally time to shut the trap and pen down the key takeaways from the fest. Here you go:
Morning Music is Soul Stirring
Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would enjoy classical music to this extent. There was the band called SubraMania and I joined them as they performed a jugalbandi of sorts and then, Peacock. Then I realized I don’t have a bone of music in me. Followed by a quick fantasy of what if I had? You never know 😉
Stay Away from Stampede
When the speaker is a famous “social media” personality (also other credentials), there are bound to be fanboys and fangirls. Those are the sessions, which will crush you like snails in the ground. Take my advice and don’t blend with the crowd. If you don’t want to photograph, there are screens at the venues. Else, just stand at the edge so that you can leave whenever (and wherever) you want to!
Plan Your Sessions
It helps to draw a concrete plan of the sessions you want to attend. And spend the rest of the time in loo breaks, food breaks and shopping. There are some overpriced stores, but you can also get some good souvenirs at a good price tag!
Going Solo is a Plus
Imagine having to attend a session at Samvad, which is in a good few hundred meters away from other venues and your companion wanting to attend a session elsewhere. It will result in chaos. Until and unless you are peas in a pod and can agree on everything, don’t do this with anyone else. For Literature’s sake, you will not have one dull moment, make several friends, the people won’t bite! And you can always leave or come at your own pace!
Hire a Cab or Walk the Distance
There are no autos allowed in the vicinity I guess. Until and unless you’ve hired a cab, you need to walk some and get an auto/tuktuk/battery rickshaws. Also, Uber can be a real pain if you’re leaving at the time when everyone else is leaving. Better leave half an hour before the crowd starts filing out.
Carry Cash and Don’t Carry Cash
Sounding the hypocrite that hypocrites often think I am, the fest was completely digital-currencied this year. If that is a term! You either have to buy a card, then pay 100 for security and get that back. A lot of hassle if you ask me! But that’s how you can pay for food, books, souvenirs at the stalls. The other option is to shell out your debit and credit cards.
I first traveled alone in 2013, when I had to attend two practical seminars in Chennai. Post that, I’ve traveled alone twice more. While traveling alone has certain disadvantages, it does come with its own sets of benefits, which include:
Not having to plan your vacay according to everyone’s timetable
Getting up as early or as late as you want
Planning your itinerary according to your interests
Walking on foot or taking a mode of transport you find suitable
Skipping meals in pursuit of sightseeing
Observing and talking to as many people as you want
Spotting quaint cafes and spots you would never have spotted otherwise
Finding the time to contemplate
Bumping into strangers and making new acquaintances
Gaining perspectives by going out of the comfort zone
Learning to improvise every second of the day
Getting more things ticked off from your travel bucket list