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Weather plays spoilsport at Jaipur Literature Festival

The Jaipur Literature Festival returned to its roots today with the morning’s programme taking place in the cafés, restaurants and spare rooms of Diggi Palace, due to the weather.

Persistent heavy rain overnight in Jaipur meant that today’s line-up, including Tash Aw, Vikram Chandra and S.R.Faruqi, offered Festival-goers a more intimate setting to get to know the writers.

Having experienced over 200,000 footfall in recent years, many Festival visitors relished the opportunity to get closer to the writers, with many huddling up together over free cups of chai, provided by the owners of Diggi Palace.

The rain had not stopped the world’s largest free literary festival achieving the highest number of unique visitors in Festival history on Sunday, with a footfall of 75,210. Overall, footfall at the Festival has increased 25%, chiefly due to increased capacity and better traffic flow around the Festival site.

The Festival bookstore had, until yesterday, sold over 10,000 books in four days.

Sanjoy K. Roy, Festival producer said, “The weather has not dampened spirits at the Festival one bit, in fact rain in the desert is a blessing! It is great to see our guests mixing together with world-class writers in such an intimate setting. It reminds me of when the Festival began in 2007 with visitors huddled in the Durbar Hall. The Festival had anticipated the weather and so preparations were made well in advance and hence, the last day of the programme was able to begin on time.”

The rain is due to ease in the afternoon, with sessions set to return to their usual venues.

The interim venues are as follows:

  • Morning Music shifted to British Airways Baithak
  • Front Lawn shifted Diggi Dining Room
  • Char Bagh shifted to lobby of the building behind front lawn stage
  • Samvad shifted to room behind the front lawn stage
  • Lunch time session with Anurag Basu will take place at Baithak
  • Debate shifted to Baithak

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