It's not everyday that a politician sheds the baggage of two powerful portfolios, puts on a poet's hat and indulges in some candid recitation. Kapil Sibal did exactly that at the third day of the annual Jaipur Literary Festival on Sunday.
The venue of the session was shifted from the imposing Durbar Hall to the Front Lawns owing to its ability to accommodate more people. An electrically charged audience planted itself firmly on the seats long before the session formally began.
The excitement in the air was palpable as the human resource development and telecom minister made his way to the stage.
The session, "Kis Kis Ki Jai Ho", saw him sharing the stage with Hindi poet Ashok Chakradhar, who specialises in satire. The poet wittingly translated the minister's poems and recited them in equal measure.
Sibal recited a total of 14 poems in the one-hour session that saw him touching on love, politics, bureaucracy, and women power, among others.
"Kis Kis Ki Jai Ho", the only poem he recited in Hindi, touched the right chords. He made lots of eye contacts with the audiences, gave some measured silences, raised the pitch at an emotional high, modulated to a sombre mood where needed and rightly earned himself a roaring applause from the jam-packed crowd.
The session would have very well crossed its stipulated time had not one of the organisers intervened, leading to its abrupt end.
This is the sixth edition of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.