Monday, January 16, 2012

An Unexpected Invite

It had to be spam. Why else would someone send me an e-invite for the largest literary festival in Asia- pacific, the Jaipur Literary Fest? I deleted the mail.

The following day, I received another one. It essentially said, “You have been invited to represent thousands of Bloggers in India. Please confirm your presence.”

Delete again.

The next day, I received a phone call. Someone was speaking on behalf of the organizers. “Madam, please confirm your presence so that we can register you on the panel of speakers and issue security passes. You are a part of our interactive session, immediately after Salman Rushdie where he replies to questions on his book, ‘Midnight’s Children’.”

I was not so imagining this. I cleared the lump in my throat and mumbled, “Yes, I will be there.”
Diggy Palace, Jaipur. Wow!
There was so much to be done. Air tickets, speech, dress, bookings etc…After all, I was on a panel, representing esteemed bloggers in an interactive session.

Finally, years of writing paid off. So what if I earn zilch from blogging. The pride of being a part of a festival widely acknowledged as the Kumbh Mela of Indian and international writing, was a definite high. And what’s more? I could rub shoulders with celebrities like Oprah, apart from reputed writers like Amitav Ghosh, Fatima Bhutto, Gulzar, and Jhon Elliot who are going to be a part of the festival.

Okay. Stop right now.

Tell me what are you thinking?

1. Why her? I have noticed typo-errors and grammatical mistakes in her posts. Plus, she is not even a published writer.
2. If this is the quality of writers being invited to the literary fests, thank God I was not invited. What has the world come to? Mediocrity is being applauded all around.
3. Someday, even I will be a part of the festival. There is hope for bloggers.
4. Why is she bragging about the invitation? Anyway, who is she to represent me?

Gotcha! Okay, I was fibbing. Apologies for that imaginary ride!

I am NOT an invitee at the Jaipur literature festival. I am simply a fence sitter who is watching all the brouhaha over Rushdie being a part of the literary festival. When every third malnourished child in the world is an Indian, the media and the neta log are busy discussing Rushdie’s presence on Indian soil. Misplaced priorities?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Alka, Frankly, I would not have been surprised that you got the invitation!With your prolific style it is not too distant....:)At least attend the 'tamasha' if it is for real!

  3. LAI.. not fair there was me ready to say click pictures ..
    and I was getting prouder and prouder that I could say out loud, someone I know is going ot be in that elite group ..

    phussss kar diya na .. Not good and that too april is far away yet ...

    forget about these NETA log what do they know haaaan...


  4. Alka,

    I was feeling so thrilled and then you had to puncture it. But I do hope that you will one day. And you are right about our respected NETA LOG. What is few malnourished children to them when they have bigger problems like quotas or how to garner votes to solve.

    Take care

  5. When I came to the fibbing portion I could not contain my laughter.Really witty you are but at the end you touched my chord when you mentioned about malnourished children and misplaced priorities.

  6. Ok so that was Mid January's fool :) :) nicely put together Alka :)

  7. Blah! You blew my hopes.
    I wish you were called to represent the "bloggers". I'd asked you to plug my blog link there, of course after convincing you on some emotional grounds.

  8. Loved the imaginary ride. And set my dreams alight.

    And yes you are right, we indeed are possessed with misplaced priorities. Be it Rushdie or banning Google, they come in tons.

  9. I do not know how many book-old one has to be to get to JLF. And, more importantly, what good does it do someone who is there. Never been to one but would like to- some day ! But more than that, I would want to be at those Kavi Sammelans that happen every now and then... And maybe those plays in NSD. Art galleries ? Yes that too. Ahhh... So much to do and so little done :)

    Of all the people I read ( which is quite a bit ), you definitely have my vote :). I have seen people become celebrity on blogger without even meaning a thing. I have seen them write nonsense while others applaud. Having endured all that for 6 straight years, I believe you are a fair candidate :)

    Misplaced priorities- ahhh :) EC's draping campaign is the latest episode in that series :P So much energy in doing something as superficial as that while booze flows free in UP :D

  10. I absolutely agree with you ... I happen to stumble upon NDTV debate over Salman Rushdie attending the festival and the media people trying to link it up with the elections and blah ... blah.. long story short I wondered why all the unecessary attention...

    But this was pretty well written and you made a major point in subtle way..while you peeped in the reader's mind ... :)

  11. This will come true...will power and determination will make it happen. And misplaced priorities are what we all have...hence the media too is gaga over Rushdie and fatwa and two drops of ink.

  12. Wow! I wouldn't be surprised if you were invited for the panel / speaker along with those big names! You don't have to be a published writer! Your command over language has always made me go awe struck! You hit the bulls eye right - everytime!
    And that imagination - just like this post!

  13. I really thought all that was true and was getting ready to call you and all and then like Bikram said, 'Phuss kar diya na.' :)

    As for misplaced priorities that is the order of the day, isn't it? When Rome burned....Neta log are no different, being netas.

  14. Ok, I was going to ask you to share pics soon :). Come on, we encourage our blogger friends, Alka, and you are a talented blogger! As far as Rushdie is concerned, it is more to do with looming assembly elections and sucking up to a certain segment of people in the hope that their votebank will not be disturbed.

  15. Uff, I would have loved it if they along with you would have called in Irfan Saheb, Purba, Adhikari Sir and Anshul. You all form the cream of Indian blogging.

    And, blogging with engineering got me a job :) Yipee

    Weakest LINK

  16. @Rahul..Thanks.

    @Bikram...I wanted to check how many readers read the entire post....If you go through the comments you will realise some are congratulating me....And knowing you, I am aware that you will always be happy for others.
    @Jack...I knew you would be happy for me.Thanks.

  17. @Purvi...Thanks dear.

    @Prateek..U dont have to play any card....I would have done it happily for you.TC


    @Mishraaji...Thank you. Coming from you I take it as a lovely compliment. And yes EC's draping of jumbos was a classic case of misplaced priority.

  18. @Elixir of life....That is such a lovely and apt comment.


    @Vaish...Thanks dear. Your words mean a lot.

    @Zephyr...sorry for phusssing the hopes. I am sure you would be very happy for me if it were true.

  19. @Rachna....Thank you Rachna. Your words mean a lot.

    @Rachit...Congrats, I am so happy for you. Which co?

    @Purba....I am not sure why your comment is not showing. I know that you would encourage and feel happy for me if it were true.

  20. Alka I was like vow..unless until I came to

    Well yea u right misplaced priorties n wt i ws thinkin dat salman rushdie has been banned to be in india..well...phew!

    Anyhow, wish u all d best fr futre..:D


  21. If you can dream it, you can achieve it :)

    The day is not far i am sure. we all are keeping our fingers crossed!

  22. I really thought invite was for real till I came to end, anyways with your lucid writing style won't be too surprised if you rub shoulders with Rushdie and all

  23. Alas, only if all this was true, I'd have said, 'Upar waale ke ghar der hai, andher nahi' :P

    Writers write, and those who think they have nothing significant to do, make propaganda. SO, you continue writing, someday, the sun will shine just right. :)

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  24. I thought its true! and kept on saying WAH waH!!
    then came NHIIIIIIIIIIII yeh nhi ho sakta "Hmari Pyari Alka "why is she left out...
    since you really have that command over the language so why not!

    SAD...but wud love to hear this good news frm you!

  25. Oh..i thought it was true:( Okay, all of us are terrific bloggers and we don't need some Lit Fest to catapult us to fame;) We already are! And have to agree with the last line- Very true, why all this brouhaha about a man's visit???

  26. Well. You should be invited. You are damn good.


  27. If you were to be invited, I wouldn't be surprised.

  28. You got me there...why on earth would anyone who's read you be surprised at you getting the invitation?

    You are amongst the best and most informed bloggers around:-)

  29. Thank you Mani, Aabha, Pesto, Anshul, Harman, Cloud Nine, Amrit, BK Chowla and Suru dear.....

    I feel blessed to know you guys who are always encouraging.Every word means a ton. Thanks.

  30. ohh girl but i wasn't surprised that you were invited :)
    well someday you might be :)

  31. cool post
    majority are using it as a publicity stunt.

  32. awww there I was about to update my status with - my blogpal has been invited to JLF!
    chalo maybe next time! :)
    regarding misplaced priorities - well it is a lit fest, a time for all the lit giants to form a mutual admiration society. grant them that.
    regarding the media well wonder why they were concentrating on oprah duh at the litfest!!!

  33. @Rajlakshmi......Some day...

    @Sanjay Bhaskar....? I hope you read the entire post.Thanks anyway.


  34. Hey..I just read the first para of your blog that day, my eyes were popping out and I commented, then later I just thought maybe I didn't read it properly and came back..OMG! Have I made a fool of myself or what!!..SHIT!..My mom always says that I have absolutely no patience, this is the best example!

  35. To an 'unpublished writer' like me, JLF sounds like JKLF....