Poet Sibal charms Jaipur Lit Fest
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 Sunday.
Jaipur: It started
with a bang with sexually explosive content being discussed in a
matter of fact way, but enter a few teenagers clad in school
uniforms at the 'pulp' session of the Jaipur Literature Festival
Monday, and the content was "suitably moderated in accordance with
the sensibilities of the audience".
The session on day four at the informal Baithak Hall saw Pritham
Chakravarthy, who has translated the popular Tamil pulp fiction
anthologies, and Karachi-based columnist Faiza S. Khan in
conversation with writer-publisher Namita Gokhale.
Chakravarthy, bustling with restless energy, read out what she
called a "dirty" passage from the book translated from Rajesh
Kumar's works about a father trying to find a suitable match for
his daughter as she has "a big one".
Her self-celebratory way of reading raised many a eyebrows and
left many red-faced. Gokhale, who was visibly taken by surprise,
called it quite "shocking and sloppy". Then came the turn of Khan
to read. But it was not to be, as a few school students entered
and Gokhale dropped in a line about not scandalising them.
Khan, who has translated Urdu writer Humayun Iqbal's "Challawa", a
serial novel from the 1970s, warned that the passage she was going
to read might be a "rude awakening" for the students.
On a cue, Gokhale took a look at the passage and gave a
disapproving look. On this, Khan again flipped through the pages
in her pursuit to find a suitable one. The whole process was
repeated with Gokhale still looking unconvinced. All this went on
even as the audience kept laughing and the kids looking perplexed.
"Wow...I'm so excited to find that literature from Pakistan is so
racy...I am so thrilled," Khan said to a roaring audience.
"This is the kind of stuff what sells the most in Pakistan. People
there really like reading it and are not scandalized about it."
In the end, she did read out a passage which was the "least