In the evening, on our first day in Jaipur, we went to a bazaar. ‘Main Market’, we told Banwari, and he drove us there. These were taken after we’d shopped. Jai and I posed with the building in the first photograph serving as a background, which Chandrahas (second photo) took the photo. I bought comfortable mojari’s from a vendor on the street. Bargained down from Rs.650 to Rs.160. They are now bedroom slippers. Moral: when in Jaipur, bargain.
We walked back towards where we had entered the market, pausing briefly for Chandrahas to buy mojari’s. Banwari, Jeeves of Jaipur, was ready with the car. The above photograph was taken in the shop where Chandrahas bought his mojari’s. We’d been up since 4am, so we slept. I missed half of the Liverpool-ManU game, which seemed to be heading for a draw. I was wrong, and missed Ferdinand’s goal.
We had tea in the courtyard at Nirbana Palace in the morning (top view was taken from the terrace in the evening), and quickly skimmed through the newspaper before leaving for Diggi Palace.
Hotel Nirbana Palace had ornate sills, and as Anita Roy had mentioned – windows that served no purpose.
After Anita Roy’s discourse on books for children (though I felt it applied to adults too), Jai interviewed Vivek Narayanan. The photo has been edited, since Vivek prefers it that way.
A few shots of Diggi Palace. More here.
Author Namita Gokhale read from three of her books. Entirely in first person, and not particularly interesting (for me).
After lunch, we tried a new sport – extreme lazing. We only managed 20 minutes, but it was fun.
The first was taken before Hari Kunzru’s reading. The second was taken after Jai had interviewed him (Kunzru is on the left, Chandrahas on the right. Another angle is on Jai’s blog, here). During Kunzru’s reading, a bevy of college going beauties walked in and sat on the mattresses, right in front.
Shobhaa (aaaaa) De’s reading saw maximum attendance, which surprised me. Of all those who spoke, she managed to hold the audience’s attention. Maybe it was the extra bit of lipstick she put on before the reading, maybe it was the subject of her talk, or maybe it was the fact that she was very modest about her writing. If you haven’t read it yet, a middle aged man claimed that he felt humbled by her. Since there was no space to sit inside, we stood at the door and passed comments. Good fun. The second photo is of the Shobhaa De giggly fan club. They waited until Ms.De finished posing for photographs, and then went over to her.
The last section was of author interaction, after a rather boring book launch that had several people yawning. Quite a few authors had left already, but Anita Roy, Namita Gokhale, Shobhaa De and Vivek Narayanan, among others, stayed on. Everyone was tired, but probably nobody was as tired as Mita and Pramod who had managed to pull off a pretty successful event. Mita (standing, second picture) was kind enough to suggest a few places to eat. Banwari took us to Chawla’s, where we feasted.
It was cold when I took at auto for home. I heard a man complain that it was a cold morning (it was 4:30am). Capture it and hoard it for summers, the other responded.
I shall probably blog about the trip in detail tomorrow, if possible. Still, I don’t expect to remember as much as Jai did, even though I took more notes than he did. His posts: