Jaipur Literary Festival, Day One

It all started with tremendous excitement, a packed room, festive music and energetic speakers welcoming everyone, from Mayor Jones of Boulder to the Queen of Bhutan.

The Queen spoke for an hour, interviewed by an old friend, and read from her book about home, which is called The Dragon Kingdom.  She is a great, lively, charming storyteller, and in the short span of time she told of having an experience in which she felt herself to have been reincarnated, how her grandson is indeed a reincarnate of a 13th century monk (and who is now, at age three, a monk), of a war that her husband and son fought at their borders (and won), of her daughters attending high school in the U.S., and how the king lives in a log cabin.  All quite magical.

The panel I was on was moderated brilliantly, and everyone had a chance to speak with clarity.  I learned a lot, the audience was very enthusiastic, we all spoke of the immigrant experience.

I missed the timing of the remarkable farmers’ market, just down the street, and that made me sad.  But later I walked in downtown Boulder, a long and lovely walking street, past many shops and bars and cafes and restaurants, all seemed new.

“Black Lives Matter” was a talk I attended that afternoon, and two of the panelists were familiar.  One was on my panel previously, and one had been in the van from the airport.

That evening it was a little gathering in the Japanese garden, and then some went to hear music from Rajasthan.


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