Lit-fest in Kerala? Why not Delhi

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New Delhi, June 3 (ANI): The first every Hay Festival of Literature and Arts is going to be held in Kerala this November and not in the capital, New Delhi.

A three day event, this festival is expected to "showcase Indian writing to an international audience" according to Sanjoy K.Roy of Teamwork Productions, who is bringing the festival to Kerala.

Kerala met all the requirements according to the organizers.

The state is Communist, but not Maoist. So, it has no law and order issues. Kerala is also blessed, say the organizers, with backwaters, great cuisine and err... Ayurveda massage.

Fine, but Delhi has so much more. Have you even tried Butter Chicken with Butter Naan and Butter Dal at Pandara Market? Meen Moiley with its subtle fragrances is nothing compared to the overwhelming swamping of taste buds that takes places when you rip out a chunky piece of the orange tandoori chicken at Changezi in Punjabi Bagh. And what is your aapam compared to Delhi's paneer dosa? that perfect bastardization of the south Indian delicacy.

And, that's not all, we have great backwaters too. Just try a boat ride down the soapy waters of the Yamuna. So what if its err.. a bit polluted, at least we don't have that overpowering smell of coconuts and jasmine around.

About massages, whether Ayurveda or Thai, we have them in Delhi. Right opposite the New Delhi railway station, there are so many guest houses where you can get a massage and stuff for as little as 10$. The ladies there are very 'comforting' I am told.

Kerala does not have a law and order problem agreed. But neither do we in Delhi. After all, what is a little swearing between friends while driving? We are so courteous. We remind each other about our great love for mothers and sisters every time somebody overtakes our car.

People from Kerala can never match the Delhiite's respect for women. Seriously, men in Delhi treat all women as if they were their wives..you know what I mean. So, if instead of thinking with their brain, they think with other anatomical parts, it is to be appreciated as part of the masculinity of the Aryan race.

And, the festival could be held in Central Delhi, since that is the only green spot in the city.

There is the Kamani Auditorium, where it could be held. There is no parking available and no public transport after 8 p.m. but so what, perfumed ladies in high heels and Jamdhani sarees who would attend a Kishori Amonkar concert and gush "wasn't that a gorgeous saree she was wearing" will saunter into the lit-fest and line up for an autograph from Chetan Bhagat because 'he has such a cute smile".

Or else the festival could be held at the India International Centre where retired bureaucrats and former ministers and prime ministers gather to hear themselves speak.

If you think Delhiites don't read, think again. We have very nice book stores. The place to be seen buying a book is of course Bahri Sons in Khan Market. It's a pokey little shop, but we walk around the shop carrying a Prada bag, and wearing a Fab India kurti. The perfect blend of chic desi meets high-end fashion. Dangling from the arm should be a brown bag from a book store, even if it means you bought an Archie Digest for your ten-year-old who has already graduated to seeing Desperate Housewives while you were out shopping.

And of course, we have, by the time it is November, when the Hay Lit-fest is to be held, we would have hosted the Commonwealth Games.

Delhi is currently like a heaving pregnant buffalo, waiting to deliver this baby, the Games. Once the post partum blues are over, we would be ready to host any event. Even a Britney Spears concert. Yea. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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