What what what a wonderful evening this had been! I just went out for a Sunday-evening ride and saw an ad of National Book Fair held at Kasturchand Park, Nagpur. This is a yearly book exhibition fair and I kind of wait for this fair every year. I saw the ad and then what could stop me! I had only 100 rupees in my wallet, but said “let’s see” and made my way to Kasturchand Park.
It usually takes me more than three-four hours to go through the fair, more than 100 book stalls each with thousands of books. Although conscious of my wallet size, today I had thought of only a short stride. And Look what I came back with: Eleven books, more than 1800 pages! I could not resist. Chose the books, talked to the shopkeeper, went to an ATM, got the money out, paid, and done! Very unlikely of me, I took all the books from one stall only, by National Book Trust. They are wonderful people, consistently publishing standard books, and a lot of nonfiction! I picked every book like pick-at-first-site, without even bothering to peek through it, like I was looking for them all my life. And look what I came up with:
1. India: Historical Beginnings and the Concept of the Aryan: A historiographical book, collection of essays on this subject by four historians, one of them being Romila Thapar. I wanted to read Romila Thapar for long, so this is going to be a start. I am eager to read some of her others.
2. Manavendranath Roy: This is a short biographical account of M. N. Roy, the renown India communist socialist, written by one of his associates V. B. Karnik, in Marathi translation.
3. Amir Khusro: A short biography and literary introduction to Amir Khusro, the very first post of Hindustani/Urdu language. The regular readers of the Blog of Reflections would remember an archived post about him.
4. Sikh Dharmatil Dharmanirapeksha Jaaniva (Secular thoughts in Sikhism, in Marathi): Written by Kartar Singh Duggal, translated in Marathi by one of my most favorite Marathi Authors A. H. Salunkhe, this book would be an introduction for me to Sikh religion.
5. Bharatinchya Lalit Sahityakruti (in Marathi): A small collection of some writings of Subramanya Bharathi. Again, an introductory book for me.
6. Shree Chakradhar: A small biography and introduction to the philosophy of Shree Chakradhar Swami, founder of Mahanubhava sect and arguably the first known author of Marathi language.
7. National Culture of India (in Marathi): Written by S. Abid Husain, a muslim, this book would help me to gain some more insight about the secular national culture of India. Urdu edition of this book was awarded with the Sahitya Akademi Award for year 1956.
8. Everyday Mathematics: A little book (about 80 pages) by R. M. Bhagwat about the basic concepts of mathematics. I think it would be wonderful read too!
9. Latin America: An Introduction: How much we neglect the Latin America from our understanding of the world. Written by Vasant Kumar Bawa, a historian and a former IAS, I hope this book would change my perspective of the Latin Americas.
10. Essays by Lokmanya Tilak (in Marathi): I have read a lot about this angry young man of Indian Struggle for Independence, and about his too too conservative and orthodox thoughts about social reforms. Now, it is time to read him in original.
12. Marathi Laghukatha (Marathi Short Stories): The last and only fiction in my list. Collection of 19 Marathi short stories written by different authors, edited by Bhalchandra Phadke. I am not sure about this one that I would read it in full. I have already read some of the stories, and frankly, stories suck! I won’t mind lending this book to someone else (of course only if I firmly believe he/she will read it and return it back to me).
So, friends!! It’s high time; be jealous of me.
1. I was about to write a post about the Tamil song Mannipaaya and it’s Hindi version by Javed Akhtar, Sharminda Hoon (proposed title “The postmortem of Sharminda Hoon…”). The book fair pushed it back. Let’s hope I will do it some time later.
2. I have been left almost penniless with my shopping today, and it is still two days for my monthly salary.
3. I had to give back one book, Samartha Ramdas, again a short biography of this Marathi saint poet for just eight rupees. My total bill had gone eight rupees above a round figure (change of money is a big issue), so I gave back this little book and brought the figure little down below the round figure.
4. I was looking for a book, Marathi translation of Fear of Freedom by Erich Fromm translated by A. H. Salunkhe. This is also published by National Book Trust, but it was not available for now.
5. I am gonna get a lot of topic for my Wiki actions; hope I get some time too!
6. I must read all of them (not the last one)!
7. You may also like to read other of my posts about books.