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JLF 2015, Day 1, behind the scenes: Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna has a new catchphrase, Vishal Bhardwaj's unassuming ways

Shomini Sen | http://shominisen

Updated: January 22, 2015, 1:02 PM IST
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JLF 2015, Day 1, behind the scenes: Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna has a new catchphrase, Vishal Bhardwaj's unassuming ways
Here's a quick lowdown on the interesting events and tidbits that happened on DAY 1 of the ongoing literature festival.

Jaipur: Most of the audiences at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival were really eager to connect with the authors and attend the erudite discussions taking place on several stages. But we spotted a horde of eager ladies, waiting in breathless excitement for the arrival of a certain celebrity chef. 'MasterChef India' host Vikas Khanna launched his 18th book at the event yesterday.

Surrounded by hordes of ladies, Khanna chatted with the members of press easily. Even when many of them chose to comment on his fitness, his good looks and charming manners.

Blushing slightly, Khanna responded to all the embarassing questions with, "Yaar, aapne toh emotional kar diya yaar." (Your words have made me emotional.) After a few repetitions of this phrase, we were left wondering if that's the chef's new takia kalam.

Khanna also spoke about his humble roots and about his passion for cooking. He added that the book launch was set to coincide with the airing of the fourth season of MasterChef India, on January 26.

The session with Girish Karnad and Naseeruddin Shah was absolutely packed. There was hardly any place at the enormous front lawn of Diggi Palace as the two stalwarts took center stage. While Shabana Azmi, Dalip Tahil, Waheeda Rehman managed to get seats somewhere in the front- we spotted director Vishal Bhardwaj standing near the rear speakers, listening and chatting up with journalists. The director of his stature did not make a fuss about his seating even once and was seen mostly sitting in the last rows, quietly, unassumingly listening to the speakers.

JLF has young college student volunteers working overtime with the PROs to make the functioning of the festival smooth. From directing lost participants to the correct venue, to helping you out the press get their interviews, to even arranging for a bottle of water for the authors- these kids are doing it all and always with a smile on their face. We overheard one of them running around looking for a pair of scissors as one of the author's had had a slight wqardtrobe malfunction. Emergency situation absolutely, we'd say! But on a serious note, we laud the effort they are putting in.

One of the main organizers of the festival and well known author William Dalrymple was seen shuttling from one venue to the other making sure everything was running smooth. And inspite of a horrid network at the venue, Dalrymple kept his followers updated thoughout with news from the festival. He was even spotted tweeting while sitting on the stage during one session! No we are not pointing out which session that was!

First Published: January 22, 2015, 1:02 PM IST
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