Post No. 3 of 3
With 37 books in the past three months I was in no mood to buy any more books. I am running out of space at home to arrange all the books I am picking up quite regularly from Abids and also from second hand bookstores in Abids. After finding two Arun Joshi titles I felt I had enough quality reading and so was firmly determined to go Abids on Sunday and only just look. When you are a serious addict it is impossible to just look at all the books spread out on the pavements at Abids and refrain yourself from picking up something that you think might be a good read. Not surprisingly, I ended up buying three more books on Sunday at Abids. These were titles I couldn’t ever leave behind for others to buy.
At Chikkadpally I saw the first book of Sunday’s three book haul. It was Manohar Malgonkar’s ‘Four Graves and Other Stories’ that I wanted to buy the moment I spotted it. First reason was that it was a Penguin title and the other reason was that I could have the book for only thirty rupees. Of late I have begun picking up books by Indian writers and collections of short stories by them are rare to get so I took ‘Four Graves and Other Stories’ that has a total of fifteen stories- Pack Drill, Top Cat, Green Devils, Blame the Army, Chikmaglur Hookshot, Home Delivery, Palace Orders, A Little Sugar, A Little Tea, Four Graves, Snake and Ladder, The Nut Pickers, Tactical Surprise, Sitting Bull, Maggie, and Tipu.
The discovery of the second book was mildly dramatic. I read somewhere about Pauline Kael, the movie critic and jotted down the title of her famous book- I Lost it at the Movies- somewhere. On Sunday I was going through a pile of books at one of the sellers when I spotted an old and tattered copy of Pauline Kael’s ‘I Lost It at the Movies’ at the bottom. I took it out and saw that it was in a condition enough to read the articles in and picked it up. The surprise was that the book was in a heap selling for only ten rupees. After I got home I read the review of ‘Devi’ a film by Satyajit Ray that was very well written and made wish I could somehow watch the movie.
I thought I wouldn’t find any more books worth buying after finding these two books but I was proved wrong. Last Sunday I had picked up Gangadhar Gadgil’s ‘Crazy Bombay’ and after reading the introduction got the impression that it was the only book the author wrote in English. I was surprised to find a collection of short stories in English titled ‘The Woman and Other Stories’ which I bought for only thirty rupees. The collection has sixteen stories: The Coin, The Wan Moon, The Rough and the Smooth, A Dying World, The Hollow Men, Gopal Padhye: A Kind of a Man, the Fledglings, The Age of Kali, The Truth of the Matter, Farewell, A Contented Soul, The Third Class Coach, The Lost Children, This Way and That, The Dog that Ran in Circles, and The Woman.