No, I am not talking about an orgy of making cattle fodder here, but of the world-famous literary event that is currently being held in Trivandrum.
Some of the world's who's-who in the literary, arts and cultural spheres. Some of the attendees include Mani Shankar Aiyar, Rosie Boycott, Gillian Clarke, William Dalrymple, Tishani Doshi, Sonia Faleiro, Sebastian Faulks, Bama Faustina, Bob Geldof, Namita Gokhale, Nik Gowing, Sister Jesme, Manu Joseph, NS Madhavan, Jaishree Mishra, Anita Nair, Vivek Narayanan, Michelle Paver, Basharat Peer, Hannah Rothschild, K Satchidanandan, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Schama, Vikram Seth, CP Surendran, Miguel Syjuco, Tarun Tejpal, Shashi Tharoor, Amrita Tripathi, Pavan Varma, Jorge Volpi and Paul Zacharia.
Impressive, eh?! Oh yes! Too bad that I am on the other side of the world but I hope those of you lucky enough to be in Trivandrum right now would spend some time listening to some really interesting people interact with each other and with the enlightened citizens of our city.
Trivandrum has had no peers in terms of cultural and intellectual achievement in Kerala, be it the printed word or the silver screen (IFFK is now widely considered as India's premier film event). The fact that the Capital City has been chosen to host such a prestigious event on an annual basis is yet another testimonial to how cosmopolitan the city has become, with its packed calendar of cultural events which have been drawing people from across the world.
The only thing I hope that the organizers mull about and modify next time is to brand the event as the Hay Festival, Trivandrum instead of Kerala. The folks in Trivandrum are happy to let their State benefit from the branding of most of the city's achievements. Sadly, not many other places are so broad-minded and it is high-time we learned how valuable geographic branding can be on a global scale.