I got back a few hours ago from the excellently organised Emirates Lit Fest in Dubai. It is in its fifth edition this year.... all credit must go to Isobel ( the handsome, dynamic lady pictured above ) for pulling it off with such panache! With over a 100 top drawer international writers present, you'd think it was impossible for any one person to steal the show, right? Well, Ben Okri did it effortlessly! He was just brilliant on stage. And adorable, off it! We spoke at length.... about the Mahabharata, the Greek epic poems, African mythology, F.Scott Fitzgerald ("" The Last Tycoon' is a meditation on Hollywood - you must re read it...") and Bollywood. The youngest winner of the Booker Prize, Okri hynotised his listeners as he recited his poems under the stars during a session titled 'Desert Stanzas'. I enjoyed all four of my own sessions. But bringing in Anandita's birthday in Dubai this year, will always remain a very special memory!