Friday, March 13, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 8th March, 2015)

On some Sundays my haul at the Abids book bazaar is larger than expected for various reasons. When my friends do not accompany me I tend to look closely at the titles and inevitably manage to find some title that I want to buy. Last Sunday I ended up with a haul of five books, of which, I am glad to say, three titles were by vintage Indian writers.
The first find was a collection of short stories titled ‘Sword & Abyss’ by Keki N. Daruwalla. I knew Daruwalla was a poet but hadn’t known he wrote short stories too. So it was a surprise to find this collection of stories by Vikas Publishing House, a name I hadn’t heard before. Anyway, the collection has the following fifteen stories: The Tree, Shaman, Sword & Abyss, The Pebble Heap, The Bandit Comes Home, The Dwarf Deer, Scarecrow, Love Across the Salt Desert, How the Quit India Movement Came to Alipur, The Case of the Black Ambassador, Death of a Bird Lover, The Idol Theft, The Healing Touch, The Mixed Metaphor and the Case of the Hobo Artist, Martyrdom and Mukti. I got this book in a heap of books selling for thirty rupees.
The next find was ‘Manasarovar’ by Ashokamitran, a writer I like immensely just for the fact that he was born in Secunderabad and had written The Eighteenth Parallel which was set in Hyderabad. I like his style and the subtle humor in his stories. This book cost me fifty rupees that I paid without bargaining.
The third haul of the day was another collection of short stories-‘The Love Letter & Other Stories’ by Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer. I had heard about Basheer, a famous Malayam writer, a long, long time ago and in fact had read a story by him somewhere. I have forgotten the story and also where I had read it. The thirteen stories in the book are translated by V. Abdulla and the book is published by Sangam Books, Hyderabad which came as a surprise to me because I had never heard of it before. It is another completely new name that I have to learn more about. After I read ‘The Bantam Story’ that I had picked up recently I have made it a habit to check out the names of the publishers. Someday I plan to learn more about the publishers of that era. I got this book for just twenty rupees. It is a lovely, quaint book and I am glad I found it. It has these stories: The Love Letter, Mother, If War is to End, The Shore of Solitude, Tiger, Poovan Banana, A Man, Bully Panicker, The Blue Light, A Little Old Love Story, The World Renowned Nose, The Snake and the Mirror, Elephant Wool.
Until recently I was under the impression that I knew quite a bit about the classic crime writers of the past like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Thomas and so on. But apparently there’s a large gap in my knowledge. Ross Macdonald is a name I have read about but for some reason I did not seem to pay much attention to his books that I saw often mostly in second hand book stores. Last Sunday when I saw ‘The Wycherly Woman’ by Ross Macdonald in a heap selling for only twenty rupees I decided to buy it.
The last find was a title by one of my favorite writers- Dave Barry. When I saw ‘Babies and Other Hazards of Sex’ by Dave Barry I just couldn’t resist picking it up though I have two copies of the same title at home. The price was also just right- thirty rupees, another impetus to buy it without a second thought. With this title the haul last Sunday was a total of five books. The total haul till date this year is thirty three books.

3 comments:

Rajendra said...

all of these sound very interesting.

S. Jayasrinivasa Rao a.k.a. winding river said...

sooper haul, guru garu...Basheer's and Daruwala's short stories are collector's items, Sir...enjoy...

Vinod Ekbote said...

Thanks, Jai, for the information. I was not aware they were sought after.