Friday, November 15, 2013

The Sunday Haul

Sometime in 2011 I had picked up ‘Stephen Fry in America’ by Stephen Fry, the humor writer, at Abids and about a couple of months back I finished reading. In it I came across a mention of John Berendt’s ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ and as is my habit I jotted down the title in my notebook. Last Sunday at Abids I found this book and bought it. It did not come cheap and I had to pay a hundred rupees for it. I have to start reading it one of these days.
During my first visit to Dehra Dun sometime in June this year I had found Bhabani Bhattacharya’s ‘Shadow from Ladakh’ at a second hand book store somewhere in the bazaars of Dehra Dun. I bought it because of two reasons- one was that it won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1967 and the other reason was that I got it for only twenty rupees. Even before I could read it I found another book by the same author at Abids last Sunday. This was a collection of short stories titled ‘Steel Hawk and Other Stories’ that I got for twenty rupees. It contains fifteen stories : Glory at Twilight, Public Figure, My Brave Great-Uncle, Lattu Ram’s Adventure, Names are Not Labels, Pictures in the Fire, Mere Monkeys, A Moment of Eternity, Just Coincidence?, The Acrobats, The Quack, The Faltering Pendulum, Pilgrims in Uniform, She, Born of Light, and Steel Hawk. This was published by Orient Paperbacks.
I am becoming rather fond of Orient Paperbacks because they have published so many good books in the past including all titles of my favorite writer, Arun Joshi. I found another Orient Paperback title along with ‘Steel Hawk’ which was Neela Padmanabhan’s ‘The Generations’ which was a translation from Tamil by Kaa Naa Subramanyam. I haven’t read much Tamil literature or Tamil writers except Ashokamitran. It is neither very long nor very short, but at 192 pages it seems to be readable in a day. Some day when I get a holiday I plan to read this book.

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