Friday, February 23, 2018
Though I possess four titles by him I haven’t read anything by Ngugi wa Thiong’O until last Sunday. I have a good idea how African writers can touch you with their vivid imagery and beautiful language after reading Chinua Achebe. Achebe’s writing had given me ideas about visiting Nigeria and other African countries to see for myself those lands and those people that these writers have brought alive in the pages of their wonderful books.
Sometime last week Kurmanath of Businessline had tweeted about Ngugi wa Thiong’ O’s visit to Hyderabad. I had read in the papers about Ngugi’s events in Delhi and also Kolkata but I never knew that he was coming to Hyderabad on Sunday. He would be in Hyderabad to launch a Telugu translation of his ‘Dreams in the Time of War’ that I had a copy of! I decided I would go to the event and get the book signed by Thiong’O. It is not every day that a writer who is on the Nobel shortlist comes to Hyderabad. In fact I realized I had another title by him- Petals of Blood- that I had found somewhere. I looked for it in my various bookshelves and found the book.
Friday, February 16, 2018
On some Sundays I am compelled to a brief visit lasting less than an hour at Abids. On such occasions I do a sort of whirlwind tour of some of the sellers where there is the possibility of finding something new. Last Sunday I had a function to attend and though I had decided in the morning not to go to Abids I changed my mind at the last minute and went. Even before I could go to the café at Abids to have chai with my friends I had already found two titles.
The second find too was another cookbook. I had bought a copy of Thangam Philip’s ‘Modern Cookery’ somewhere and so the name was familiar. I came across a copy of ‘A Touch of Spice’ that was in a good condition. It was a small, attractive book that I bought right away for just thirty rupees.
Friday, February 09, 2018
Until I reached Abids last Sunday I was of a firm resolve in mind. I had decided not to buy any books at Abids since I had picked up twenty six books at the Hyderabad Book Fair less than a week ago. It would be madness to add more books to the large haul or so I thought until I saw a mouth-watering title on the shelf with one of the sellers at Abids. I saw a nice copy of ‘The East Indian Kitchen’ by Michael Swamy that had the sort of cover that mades me go weak at the knees. I had come across the name ‘Michael Swamy’ only the previous week somewhere. I decided I would buy just one title and temporarily put my resolve on hold. I got this wonderful title for seventy rupees.
Friday, February 02, 2018
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
When the Hyderabad Book Fair begins in Hyderabad excitement builds up in my life. I cannot help thinking about the books in the stalls all the time. The excitement is so intense that I tell myself that I would just visit the stalls and only look at the books. But I end up buying all those titles I happen to spot. On the fourth day’s visit to the Hyderabad Book Fair I ended up buying three more wonderful titles adding to the dozen or more titles that I had already bought in the previous visits.
Monday, January 29, 2018
My Enemy’s Enemy; Court of Enquiry; I Spy Strangers; Moral Fibre; All the Blood Within Me; Dear Illusion; Something Strange; The 2003 Claret; The Friends of Plonk; Too Much Trouble; Hemingway in Space; Who or What Was It?; The Darkwater Hall Mystery; The House on the Headland; To See the Sun; and Mason’s Life
Friday, January 26, 2018
On the last Sunday of July last year I had found a nice copy of ‘Crazy Salad’ by Nora Ephron and had got it for just ten rupees. ‘Crazy Salad’ was a collection of personal essays that I enjoyed reading very much for their wit and language. Then last Sunday before going to the Hyderabad Book Fair that was going on I decided to go to Abids and take a quick look around. I was lucky and found another title by Nora Ephron- ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts On Being a Woman’ that is again another collection of personal essays. But I did not get it as cheap as ‘Crazy Salad’ and had to pay sixty rupees for it.
I Feel Bad About My Neck
I Hate My Purse
Serial Monogamy: A Memoir
Blind as a Bat
Parenting in Three Stages
Me and JFK: Now It Can Be Told
Me and Bill: The End of Love
Where I Live
The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less
The Lost Strudel or Le Strudel Perdu
What I Wish I’d Known
Considering the Alternative
After finding this I rushed to the Hyderabad Book Fair at NTR Stadium along with my friends. However I couldn’t find anything and returned home with Nora Ephron’s book.
Not content with the haul of five books I made on my visit to the book fair on the first day I went again the next day.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
The most impatient person in the world last Thursday was yours truly. Last Thursday the 31st Hyderabad National Book Fair was going to begin in the evening and all day since waking up I was feeling restless for it to be evening. I think I broke some speed records as well as some traffic rules last Thursday rushing from my office at Jubilee Hills to NTR Stadium in a little more than half hour, which is half the time I take to reach home. On Thursday I wouldn’t have stopped for anything, not even for a free biryani. By the time I parked the bike, bought a ticket and rushed in there was a huge crowd inside like it was the last day of the book fair and they were offering free books to all visitors. Every year the crowd seems to be growing bigger and bigger. I rushed straight to the stalls of the second hand booksellers and ended up with a haul of five books.
By the time I had looked into only a handful of second hand book stalls it was closing time. There were still many I have to check out so I left feeling disappointed. I decided to make another visit the following day.