A Midweek Haul

Vinod Ekbote, March 25, 2016

A sort of hellish punishment for me is not being able to look for books on the pavements of Sunday. I can barely endure it for a Sunday but total hell if it is for two Sunday. For the past two Sundays I had to endure this deprivation due to the Budget sessions of the Legislatures being held on Sundays also. It meant that I had to be sitting in the Legislative Assembly or the Council almost all day instead of browsing on the pavements of Delhi. When I miss going to Abids on Sunday I try to compensate by dropping in at a second hand book store and gawking at the books. But due to a heavy and busy schedule I couldn’t find the time to visit a secondhand bookstore until last Tuesday. Since Wednesday happened to be a holiday due to Holi I was free on Tuesday and found enough time to visit the MR Bookstore in Begumpet where I found two good titles.

Ngugi Wa Thiong’O is an author whose titles I found entirely by accident some time ago. My first Ngugi title was perhaps ‘Devil on the Cross’ and later I found ‘Dreams in a Time of War’ recently at the Best Books sale in YMCA in January. I also have a collection of his stories that I found sometime last year I guess but I am now unable to recollect the title. Anyway, at the MR store I found a beautiful copy of his ‘Petals of Blood’ for which Ngugi was jailed. I had read about this title somewhere recently and I was thrilled to find a copy so soon.

Another title I picked up in line with my interest in food and cooking was ‘The F-Word’ by Mita Kapur which appears like a memoir peppered with a lot of recipes. I had read about this book too not so recently and had hoped I would get to read it somewhere. But finding a good copy of this wonderful title was a lucky thing. Now I am planning to get a copy of ‘Chillies and Porridge’ edited by Mita Kapur soon.

All the anger and the resentment in my heart at being made to work on two Sundays vanished after finding these two wonderful titles. Next Sunday too happens to be a working day for us and I hope I will get the time, at least in the afternoon, to browse for a short time at Abids.


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