Tamasha. ‘Etymology < Arabic, Persian, Urdu. ... 1. An entertainment, show, display, public function. ... 2. transf. A fuss, a commotion.’ (Oxford English Dictionary)
THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN AS MANY as 100,000 people at the Jaipur Literature Festival this year, of whom a goodly number seem thoroughly cynical about the whole affair.
“Journalist?” says a small bewhiskered gent at the sight of my press pass, extricating himself from the veritable stampede for the tea stall. “Here, take my two paise. I’ve been at the last five, but I’m not coming next year. I can remember when this was about books. Now it’s become a total tamasha. Have you written all that down? Yeah? Good. There’s more where that came from.”