Pakistan pulp reading `censored` at Jaipur Lit Fest

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 offensive" one.