Post No. 1 of 3
For as long as I am in this post here at the Secretariat, I now realize belatedly, almost all my official trips are going to be to New Delhi only. All such visits I make are either to handover important reports to important officials there or to attend important meetings. Last week’s trip to Delhi, this year’s second official trip was to hand over an important report to someone at New Delhi. Since everything is important I usually go by plane to make it more important and so this trip too was by plane. I would have been happy if it was some ten or twenty page report but the report I was carrying was nearly two hundred pages neatly bound. Again it would have been not a problem if I was carrying just one copy. I had to take along all 35 copies of this report which added up o nearly thirty kilograms.
However I did not mind carrying all that weight because I had something else on my mind. Every since I found Arun Joshi’s ‘The Foreigner’ at Abids only recently I’ve been rather restless to start reading it. I wanted to read the book in one sitting, in one day if possible, without anything to distract me. The trip to Delhi offered me just that opportunity because it would take around two hours to get from Hyderabad to Delhi and another two hours on the way back. In four hours I could easily finish the book that was only 185 pages long. So I took along Arun Joshi’s ‘The Foreigner’ with me on the important trip to Delhi.
Since I had no appointed time to give the report at Delhi I took a slightly late flight than my usual early morning ones. As planned I started the book in the plane even before it took off breaking off only for breakfast. I reached Delhi by noon and was surprised that it wasn’t as hot as Hyderabad was these days. By one in the afternoon I had accomplished my task of handing over the reports I had brought along. I set off to my brother’s at CR Park for lunch. On the return flight home I read the rest of the book and finished it before the plane touched down at Hyderabad. It was one heck of a book that changed my views about Indian writers of the earlier generation. Aditya Sudarshan was right in calling Arun Joshi as ‘India’s Greatest Novelist’ and what puzzles me is that why there is almost nothing written about Arun Joshi’s books anywhere. Thanks to ‘The Literary Review’ in ‘The Hindu’, Thanks to Aditya Sudarshan’s article on Arun Joshi, Thanks to my habit of browsing at Abids or I would never have known about Arun Joshi.