Jaipur Lit Fest and the Cycle of Cynicism

Social Commentary

Jaipur Lit Fest and the Cycle of Cynicism

Illustration: Shivali Devalkar


riting, as any writer will tell you, is a hopeless, Sisyphean struggle just to stay afloat. Publications keep shutting down, low-IQ marketing drones act as “editorial supervisors”, and the need for “content” is championed over the need for good writing. Forget jobs; writers are left worrying if they’ll even have a profession left in five years.

The whole year is spent in this dark pit of hopelessness… except for five days each year in January. These five days are a springtime oasis, a utopian corner of your own in a party of rich, unpleasant lawyers wearing branded pocket squares. For nearly one entire week, the writer community is showered with love, affection, feigned interest, and other feelings that are not indifference/apathy/ridicule by the mainstream. The air becomes thick with the smell of old books, the sky turns the colour of organic ink, and yuppies with poor grammar are put in jail. Social scientists have even come up with a name for this phenomenon. It’s called the Jaipur Literature Festival, or JLF.