Friday, September 15, 2017
The first find of the haul at Abids last Sunday happened just moments after parking my two-wheeler. I spotted a beautiful copy of ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf that I got for just twenty rupees. Though I already have a couple of copies of this title I couldn’t resist buying this copy as well because it was almost brand new. Though my two regular friends did not turn up Jai had made his rare appearance and together we set off on the hunt after a cup of chai at our usual Irani café.
Friday, September 08, 2017
The haul last Sunday at Abids was only three titles. It was the day after the festival of Bakrid and I thought there wouldn’t be many sellers as almost all of them happen Muslims. However I was surprised to see that save for just one seller all of them were present at Abids with their books. It was another wonderful morning, bright and sunny albeit a bit too warm. I did not mind it as I went along with two of my friends looking for the books. Another friend joined midway so there were four of us.
Friday, September 01, 2017
If I am not at Abids on Sunday it could be because of three reasons. Either I am sick, or I am out of town or it is raining heavily. So, last Sunday I couldn’t go to Abids for my weekly fix of books because I was recovering from a bout of fever and too weak to go outdoors. But I was in a better shape by Monday and even went to work. If I don’t go to Abids on Sunday to look at the books the entire week I am in a grumpy mood. The only cure for it is to drop in at a second hand bookstore and smell the books. On Tuesday I dropped in again at the MR Books store opposite Lifestyle just to feel normal again.
I got all four books that made up a little less than a kilo and they cost me just a hundred and ten rupees which means I got each book for something around thirty rupees.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Last weekend was a pretty long one that lasted four days and ended with the Independence Day on the fifteenth of August. Though I had been to Abids on Sunday and picked up six good books I felt restless. On Monday I dropped in at the MR Books store opposite Lifestyle in Begumpet just to look at the books and pass the time. In no time I found a good book that I immediately wanted to buy. I found a copy of ‘Ah, Treachery’ by Ross Thomas. It was entirely by chance that I had stumbled across Ross Thomas. I had first come across a Ross Thomas title a couple of years back when I found ‘The Yellow Dog Contract’. After reading it I wanted to buy all the books Ross Thomas had written. Over the years I found ‘Twilight At Mac’s Place,’ ‘The Fools in Town Are On Our Side’ and ‘The Mordida Man’ only the previous Sunday. There are many other titles of his that I want to read especially ‘Briarpatch’ and ‘The Missionary Stew’ that are said to be very good. So when I found ‘Ah, Treachery’ I grabbed it right away.
Though I had a haul of eight books, six on Sunday and two more during the week, I could not stop myself from going to Abids on Sunday. The total haul of books that I had bought so far this year is somewhere around a hundred and twenty which looks like I am on the way to create new records. I was not in the mood to add any more books to this number, at least this Sunday or so I thought as I reached Abids. It was another cloudy, overcast morning and it looked like it would rain later in the day. Since I was alone I thought I’d be able to do the rounds quickly but it wasn’t so. I browsed until it was one in the afternoon and left with two books in the haul.
Friday, August 18, 2017
The weather gods are being too kind to me on Sunday mornings when I set out for Abids to look for books. Once again the weather was quite clear on Sunday morning at Abids. It was cloudy alright but it did not look like it would rain. I was glad the weather was just perfect for going around looking at the hundreds of titles laid out on the pavements of Abids. Another couple of weeks and the festival season would begin and the second hand booksellers would disappear for weeks altogether. So, with the idea of making hay while the sun shines, I decided to look really closely and try to find good titles. Somehow despite my reluctance to take more books home and general wish about not finding anything I end up finding more books than expected. Last Sunday the haul turned out to be good as well as a large one with six titles in the bag.
Friday, August 11, 2017
For the past four continuous weeks it hasn’t rained on Sunday and last Sunday too was no exception. It was sunny and bright last Sunday too and I was a bit confused whether to be happy or be worried. If it hasn’t rained for so long there will be a lot of problems in the countryside, and on the other hand if it doesn’t rain I won’t have any problem at Abids. I hoped it would rain soon and set out for Abids to look for good titles to pick from the thousands of books laid out on the pavements. After a long time I had just one title in the haul and I was pleased with what I found.
Ages ago I came across William Blake’s ‘The Auguries of Innocence’ by William Blake and was spell bound by the four lines I read. I thought the entire poem had only these four lines:
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
But I was surprised to know that ‘The Auguries of Innocence’ is a long poem with 132 lines. Before writing this post about the book on William Blake that I found at Abids last Sunday I thought I’d check out the poem online. All these years I had the stupid idea that it was a four line poem. How wrong I was, and how dumb of me not to have tried to read the rest of the poem. However, it was only those four lines that I came across somewhere and it is not my fault that I was unaware of the rest of the lines. Anyway, the only book I found at Abids and that too at the fag end of the hunt was a copy of ‘William Blake’ by Arthur Symons. It was a textbook, something I keep away from but since it was on a poet I like I bought it. Looking at it I thought it must have been published abroad. I was quite surprised to see on the back cover that it was published in Kolkata. I got it for fifty rupees.
Friday, August 04, 2017
This Sunday too it was bright and sunny which was good weather but at the same time it had me a bit worried. It means that there hasn’t been any rain for almost two weeks. Out there in the countryside farmers will suffer if there is such a long gap since freshly sown crops would suffer from moisture stress. I hope it would rain in the next few days or else we could be in real trouble.
The Sunday book bazaar at Abids never fails to amaze me with the kind of books it sends into my haul. It is truly something wonderful since I’ve managed to maintain a blog for ten long years just writing about the books I find here. Imagine how many books I must have found here! I must have bought a couple of thousand books in the ten years I’ve had this blog up here. Someday I am going to pay a wonderful tribute to the Abids Sunday book bazaar. Wait for it.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Ten years ago, I started this blog by putting up the first two posts in the last week of July, 2007. The idea of beginning a blog had taken hold sometime in January in 2007. It took me six months to overcome the hesitation, nerves and also a bit of laziness to finally begin the blog. Since I had decided to start the blog no matter what I hadn’t really thought about what the blog was going to be about. I had a vague idea that I would write about books, a bit of work and a lot about Hyderabad, and whatever that would result whenever I travelled. In the rush to begin the blog it did not occur to me that I should begin with a good post and ended up posting something about the Bata stores not stocking shoe horn and about Bonalu in the very first posts! As the months and years rolled by I realized writing about the books I found at Abids is the safest thing to do along with occasional posts on other issues. Regular readers of the blog would notice that in the past couple of months I have been posting only about The Sunday Haul. It is because I am not finding the time to write about anything else though there is a lot I have to write about. I actually think one can have a blog writing exclusively about the potholes on the roads in Hyderabad.
As the countdown to the completion of ten years of the blog began sometime in May this year or so I thought I’d be overwhelmed when the end of July came around. Now, however I am not experiencing any overwhelming feeling except for a vague sort of question that is buzzing around in my mind about how I could manage to persevere with it week after week. There aren’t many people following my blog and despite this I kept on with the blog posting every Friday with unfailing regularity. I still feel that I am not writing the blog for the sake of the followers but for myself, to get something off my mind. But I am glad there are people following my blog, occasionally leaving comments and I do think of them when I do not feel like writing the Friday’s post. Anyway, I’ve just realized why I have managed to keep the blog alive for a decade.
The only reason why I have been able to sustain the blog for so long is my passion for books. There is no other reason. It helped that my passion was so strong that I wanted to share it with others. I like to think that I have been modestly successful in revealing my love for books and reading in the blog. It has been a long journey but it has been rewarding. I have made a few friends along the way, wonderful people I meet regularly. The only thing I can say is that as long as the passion burns in my heart the blog will continue. The good news is that the passion seems to be growing stronger the older I become.
Thanks, everyone and especially the forty six people following my blog.
Friday, July 28, 2017
The number of cookbooks I have managed to buy so far is far, far more than the number of times I’ve actually cooked anything. There must be around thirty or forty cookbooks on my shelves but so far I’ve cooked something for myself just two or three times. I do not understand why I am picking up cookbooks like they are going out of fashion but every time I see a cookbook at Abids I pick it up. Last Sunday I happened to come across four cookbooks and I bought each and every title I saw.