Friday, July 18, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Due to the coming Ramzan festival and the shopping spree that it generates almost all the shops in Abids were open. This meant that some of the book sellers have shifted (temporarily) to other spots and some had not turned up last Sunday. Since I and my friends are at Abids every Sunday, come rain, hail, or festival, we turned up this Sunday too. I ended up buying two books despite having decided not to buy any more books.

I have seen several copies of ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Francois Sagan but somehow did not feel like buying it. I did not even know that Francois Sagan was a woman until I picked up ‘The Unmade Bed’ at Abids. It was almost brand new and somehow I could not resist buying it. Moreover, the seller was one guy who would give any book to me at whatever price I asked for. Though I did not bargain I got the book for only thirty rupees and I have already started reading it.
A long time ago I came across a wonderful article by Manoj Das on some topic that I do not remember now but I his name. Of course, I did not know that he wrote several books also so it was a surprise finding a copy of ‘Selected Fictions’ by Manoj Das at Abids. It was a Penguin and had a beautiful cover which was another reason why I bought it. Till now I have not read anything by Manoj Das and I am wondering why I had not seen any of his books so far at Abids or anywhere.
‘Selected Fictions’ has twenty eight short stories and a novella titled- The Tiger at Twilight. These are the twenty eight stories: The Misty Hour, The Naked, The Crocodile’s Lady, The Owl, The General, The Murderer, The Bridge in the Moonlit Night, The Tree, Miss Moberly’s Targets, Prithviraj’s Horse, The Strategy, The Submerged Valley, Bhola Grandpa and the Tiger, Farewell to a Ghost, Friends and Strangers, The Martial Expedition, The Irrational, The Different Man, The Concubine, Mystery of the Missing Cup, The Birds, The Shadow, Son and Father, The Miracle, The Assault, The Crooked Staff, The Vengeance and, The Dusky Horizon.
One of these days I plan to begin reading the short stories.

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