Millennium Post

Literature ! Now that’s a good excuse!

The official JLF website claims the festival to be the biggest free literature festival on earth but one does wonder whether it’s all really about literature.

At it’s inaugral in 2006 the festival drew only 100 attendees about which the festival’s co-director William Dalrymple famously commented that even amongst these most were tourists who had simply got lost. Nine years later the crowd has indeed grown but for most even today love for literature isn’t really what is getting them there.

With student registrations experiencing a hike of more than 40 per cent this year, a major chunk of the attendees are college students. Despite it being fest season at colleges – one of the busiest and most anticipated time in college life – students, especially from Delhi University are missing their classes, society work and fest preparations and flogging to Jaipur.

When asked why, most say that it’s a good excuse to get away from home and chill with friends as most parents would not object to their kids going to a literature fest especially since they are all travelling in groups. And ofcourse it is also a matter of keeping with the trend and the trend this season is to attend the Litfest. Hence you will find students all dressed up clicking selfies all over and letting the world know through the power of their hashtags how big of a literature enthusiast they really are.

One can find quite a lot of students who are looking forward to the music events but only a few who can cite even five speakers at the Litfest. Armed with their stock of alcohol and marijuana these kids are bringing the party to the small city known for it’s rich culture and simplicity. And  if they ever do run out of their stock there is always that ‘egg roll wala uncle’ found outside most ‘thekas’ that will arrange for anything even after eight (time when liquor shops close in Rajasthan) at a small convenience fee ofcourse . .

But heck ! anything for the party. With controversies hogging lime light, music events, personalities other than authors speaking at the fest- literature already has been side lined so we might as well let the poor kids have some fun!
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