Friday, June 27, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Last Sunday it would have been a haul of three books had I been a bit less dumb. I ended up with only one book, one that I already have a couple of copies of, but missed two titles by a wonderful writer whose writing I discovered only yesterday. A friend had given me ‘ Many Roads Through Paradise’ an anthology of Sri Lankan literature edited by Shyam Selvadurai in which I read ‘A House in the Country’ by Romesh Geunesekera. I found it wonderful and was filled with regret.But all is not lost since I expect to find these two titles on Sunday and this time I am going to pick them up whatever their cost.
On Sunday I had only Uma Shankar for company at our usual Sunday Abids routine. We sat in the cafe and talked about everything under the sun over a cup of chai. The weather was nice, cloudy with a mild breeze. There was no need to wear a cap. After the tea we set out to check out the books on the pavements. The first book I found was Irving Wallace’s ‘The Writing of One Novel’ which is about how he wrote ‘The Prize’ a novel about the Nobel Prizes. I have bought several copies of this title and have given them all away to people who expressed even the mildest interest in writing. This too would go to someone who plans to write.

Earlier on the way to Abids I had stopped at a seller in Chikkadpally where I saw a Romesh Gunesekera novel, the tile of which I do not remember now. I knew the name but somehow I did not buy it. The seller was asking a hundred rupees for it which I did not want to pay. Then at Abids I came across another Romesh Gunesekera novel- ‘The Match’-which I should have bought but did not. Later I realized it was dumb of me not to have bought that book.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Years ago I had watched my first (and only) Rambo movie- First Blood. I just went to the movie, watched Sylvester Stallone, muscles and all, and was awestruck by the fast action though I felt that it was excessively violent. I wasn’t even aware that it was based on a novel. It was long before I got the idea that maybe I could write a screenplay and so was utterly ignorant what a screenplay was and how movies are made.
When I seriously started learn more about writing I read an article in a writing magazine about David Morrell’s book on writing- 'Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing'. Luckily for me someone gave me this book and it was then I learnt that it was David Morrell who had written ‘First Blood’ which was later made into the movie. I came across many novels written by Morrell but not ‘First Blood,’ anywhere. Last Sunday, at Abids, I finally found a good copy of ‘First Blood’ that I got for twenty-five rupees.
One of the few translated novels that I read long ago was Shrilal Shukla’s ‘Raag Darbari’ that my younger brother picked up somewhere. I liked the earthy humor in it and enjoyed reading the book. I resolved to look for the original Hindi version and read it someday. However, till date I was not able to find a copy of ‘Raag Darbari’ anywhere though I have to confess that I did not look for it as earnestly as I should. But last Sunday I found another copy of ‘Raag Darbari’ published by Penguin which was one reason I couldn’t buying it. I got it for only twenty-five rupees which is an incredible price to pay for that title. In fact I bought this book too along with ‘First Blood’ from the same seller who appeared to be someone new to me.

With these two titles I picked up on Sunday my tally of books I bought so far this year crosses the 80 mark.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Due to a funeral that I had to attend the previous Sunday I couldn’t make it to Abids. However, last Sunday I was at Abids and felt like I had missed something. There I met someone who wanted to meet me after reading my blog. I gave him one of my several copies of Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ that I keep for these sorts of encounters. He had told me that he was looking for this particular title and I was glad I could give it to him. After a quick cup of chai and the preliminary talks with him and with Uma we set out to look for the treasures.
I got lucky once again and found another title by a writer I discovered recently completely by accident. I have come to like his style of writing very much and was looking forward to find his bestselling title. I found Charles McCarry’s ‘The Miernik Dossier’ with a seller near the GPO. I almost missed it but on a second look I found that is nondescript looking book was one I was looking for. I got it for only thirty rupees. Finding this book made my day at Abids. I did not find anything else afterwards but I did not mind it.
Actually on Friday I was somewhere near Sangeet and stopped at the make-shift second hand bookstore where in the past I had found a couple of good titles. I decided to take a look. There aren’t more than half a dozen shelves and it doesn’t too long to go through what’s on them. I saw Anita Desai’s ‘Where Shall We Go This Summer’ that I bought. It was a good copy and I got it for only thirty rupees. I bought it because I want to read what the women writers of India in the 1960s and 1970s wrote about. I had recently finished reading Kamala Markandaya’s ‘Nectar in a Sieve’ and Shashi Deshpande’s ‘That Long Silence’ that made me want to read more by such writers.