Jaipur Lit Fest swamped by humanity on Day 3

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    By Madhusree Chatterjee

    Jaipur, (IANS) Nearly 7,000 people waited patiently outside the venue of the Jaipur Literature Festival Sunday morning to get a glimpse of Oprah Winfrey.

    The entry points at the Diggy Palace Hotel were locked. Oprah arrived amid tight security and was kept at arms length from the sea of humanity.

    Oh! the power of reality talk shows!

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    Penguin India’s 25th birthday celebrated

    Penguin India celebrated its 25th birthday with a bash at The Hotel Raj Palace in the outskirts of the Pink City overlooking the Amber Fort.

    The guest list was a staggering 600 and the publisher unveiled its new business bouquets including a Penguin merchandise range and a brand Ambassador – an old ambassador automobile painted in the Penguin colours of orange and white.

    It will be the publishing house’s mobile publicity machine – travelling to various literature festivals across the country. It ferried writer Shobha De around the city on its inaugural run.

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    Bollywood in Jaipur

    Literature connected to Mumbai’s movie town in Jaipur. A small group of known faces like Vidhu Vinod Chopra, wife Anupama, the kids, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and adman-turned-lyricist Prasoon Joshi clung together to recreate a mini comfort zone of B-town.

    A familiar face – Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s daughter, Nandana, an off and on Bollywood persona – put in a surprise appearance late Saturday. Attired in black with sombre glasses, she cut a rather unassuming figure.

    Anupam Kher, who was around to release his book, “The Best Thing About You is …YOU!”, added to the list.

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    Drama on Twitter

    The Jaipur Literature Festival has competition this year – on Twitter. A parallel drama is being played out on the microblogging site with writers trading charges, airing their opinions and even criticising its power.

    Twitter is a very noisy place, said writer Chetan Bhagat and Nigerian legend Ben Okri could not disagree. “I have friends whom I call tweety tweet… they are great communicators.”

    Salman Rushdie is drawing the spotlight on Twitter with his angry outburst against Rajasthan Police. And so are his fans who have ripped the festival and the government apart for keeping him away.

    (Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)