Jaipur Literary Festival: First 18 Hours

Steve picked us up at the airport, a lanky, calm, kind person, originally from Missouri, who said that he moved to Boulder in 1985 and stayed.  In our van was a scholar of gender in Indian myths, who’d flown in from Mumbai; a Vanity Fair writer, best known for her remarkable memoir about her brother; and, a writer, now based in Louisville, Kentucky, by way of both coasts, who writes about race, identity, and environment.

Along the way, we saw dry prairie grass and, of course, the big sky.

A huge shopping mall is across the street from the hotel, divided from it by a six lane road, and here I found many stores and restaurants, some local and some international.

That night, we gathered at a reconstructed tea house, meant to look like one from Central Asia, and beneath its marvelous, colorful wooden roof, snacks were provided and people drank beer and wine.  Then Anne Waldman, a great Beat poet, performed and read poems.  Still dramatic, still driven.  Afterwards, an Indian-American woman sang Appalachian folk songs.  The Queen of Bhutan was introduced.

A buffet of delicious vegetarian food was next, and people gathered at a number of tables and talked about their work and asked questions about other people’s work.

It was difficult sleeping that night because, perhaps, the high altitude.

Then this morning, I ran along Boulder Creek, two miles, and as I went by, homeless kids were waking, filthy and adorable.

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