Why do Indian women even bother starting a career if it’s something they plan to do only until they get married? There are a million other ways women can spend their pre-marriage years—they could volunteer, learn music, start a home business, get a philosophy degree, learn Thai cooking, seek inner peace or do whatever it is that people who don’t believe in a career do.
This is why the men who run the Indian air force can get away with saying that they don’t want women fighter pilots because they have a tendency to leave after they get married and have children. It takes more than Rs10 crore to train a fighter pilot and why should they waste money on someone who’s unlikely to stay in the job, they reason. Women like Mirza just make it more difficult for us to fight this sterotype of the Indian woman. Incidentally, both China and Pakistan have women fighter pilots.
-My favourite audience reaction to the fest? Provided by a glamorous young fashionista in a Paris kitsch outfit and a truly gorgeous hat, who was seen exiting the Baithak tent at great speed. "Is everything all right, darling?" an equally glamorous editor asks. The fashionista grips editor's shoulder. "Darling!" she says. "They're talking about books in there!"…
-Leaving on Republic Day; at the Clarkes Amer hotel, there's an oddly touching flag-hoisting ceremony on the lawns attended by everyone from the managerial and housekeeping staff down to the darwans. It's quite sweet, right up to the moment where we salute the flag–and a local band breaks into a very familiar song. Not Jana Gana Mana, but All Izz Well from 3 Idiots.
The crowds this year dwarf the 200-odd souls who used to make the trek to Jaipur back in 2006 and 2007 to catch what was then a tiny fest. This year, the JLF is probably Asia’s largest literary festival, and has 220 speakers and writers, and about 15-20,000 visitors…But the junta reader is here, too. I meet a contingent of stalwarts from Calcutta, hordes of children from the local schools, corporate friends from Bangalore, and foreign tourists who’ve penciled “Dhzaipore” into their India itineraries…
As Ali Sethi sings Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poems, you can almost see the baton passing from one generation of story-tellers to another. Jaipur 2010 has the slightly insane feel of a festival that became a great Indian wedding, but it remains true to the original promise: this is a festival that’s as much about katha as it is about tamasha, and it delivers both in equal measure.
Of course there was one major fail for me. No it was not the outlandish length of the whole thing…No what was really shocking for me, was despite the theme of the torch being passed on from one generation to the next (hence Prakash Padukone becoming Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan spawning Amitabh Bachchan), there was no room for Jeetendra’s son Tusshar Kapoor and more importantly for Mimoh. I mean come on now. No Mimoh. Remember Mithunda in the original? Remember the elephant also?
was very tall
despite his humble name.
In fact, his height
was quite a sight,
and Shorty's claim to fame.