Books, Pens, Hyderabad and more...
'When I have a little money, I buy books. And if any is left, I buy food and clothing.'- Desiderius Erasmus.
Friday, March 04, 2016
The Sunday Haul
An indication of my growing interest in cooking is that I am picking up every cookbook in sight at Abids and elsewhere. The haul on Sunday was entirely made of three cookbooks. Though I am not getting to learn to cook as much as I want to I am reading up a lot of related books. I managed to find an impressive collection of cookbooks and last Sunday I added three wonderful titles. The first book I found was a beautiful, hardcover copy of ‘Classic Cooking of Punjab’ by Jiggs Kalra and Pushpesh Pant duo that I got for just fifty rupees. It has recipes for several dishes and also some good photographs that had me drooling. Interestingly, just before I began writing this post I read a wonderful article by Chandrahas Chaudhury in Al Jazeera in which he describes Pushesh Pant as 'The Badshah of Indian food’ who had an immense knowledge of Indian food traditions.
The next find seemed a common enough book but I had not seen it anywhere. When I saw ‘Indian Vegetarian Cooking’ by Nita Mehta I decided to buy it. It appeared to have been published a long time back because it had photographs that weren’t so good. However the recipes appeared interesting and simple. I got this book for a mere thirty rupees.
Another cookbook I found was a slim, and small book, or rather, a booklet- ‘Mirch Masala’ by Surayya Tyebji. I got this interesting title that had quite a hundred recipes for just ten rupees. Interestingly all these cookbooks seem to have some kind of introduction to cooking, tips, and description of spices which I find educative because I am not aware of a lot of spices that are commonly used.
On Monday I was somewhere in Greenlands and ended up at the MR Bookstore with the intention of just looking at the shelves. Not very soon after stepping into the store I spotted a good copy of ‘Seasons of the Palm’ by Perumal Murugan. I bought it though it was for a hundred rupees. Inside I read that it was an English translation by V. Geetha from the original in Tamil titled ‘Koolla Madari.’ I had been to the World Book Fair in Delhi on its last day and had picked up another title by Perumal Murugan titled ‘One Part Woman’ that I have yet to start reading. I don’t know when I will read these books but for the time being I am glad I found these books.
Another title I spotted was one I had been looking for since a long time. I have a small collection of books on books, writing, and reading mostly by non-Indian writers. There are so few such books by Indian writers that one can count the titles on the fingers of one hand. There is ‘The Groaning Shelf’ by Pradeep Sebastian, and ‘The Girl Who Ate Books’ by Nilanjana Roy and ‘Second Thoughts’ by Navtej Sarna both that I got as gifts on my birthday, and ‘Would You Like Some Bread with that Book’ by Veena Venugopal that I found to be very funny. Apart from these there is ‘The Big Bookshelf’ by Sunil Sethi that I had been longing to buy. At last I found a second hand copy that I could afford at MR. I bought it for hundred rupees. It is a collection of interviews of authors that Sunil Sethi had on his ‘Just Books’ show on NDTV a few years back. Interestingly I had finished reading ‘The Pillars of Hercules’ by Paul Theroux only the previous day and here was an interview with him in ‘The Big Bookshelf’ that I read first.