Delhi Book Fair

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Living in Delhi has its advantages.

You have three governments, so whatever the situation is the rest of the country, you will never run out of water, electricity, parking space and shopping malls.

You have the historic monuments that I love so much. You have the Golden Quadrangle Highway. You have the music concerts, the right institutions, and the film promotion. What more could one ask for?

But what I also love about being in Delhi is the biennial Book Fair. The lavish week-long fete, the haven of book lovers, and the opium of people like me.

I swear, every time I enter the cool halls of the Fair, I take in a different breath, as if I must fill in as much as I can. I must. I can’t help it. The feeling is euphoric.

So there I was. Breathing in heavy gushes at the door, at the 18th Delhi Book  Fair today.

Can you imagine the feeling of being in a chain of four long halls filled SOLELY with books and books and books? And every one of them awaiting the touch of your hand, that should you desire it, you could HAVE the book for ever and ever and ever? Can you admit the thought isn’t giving you jitters?

Happy as a bee, I hopped through aisles and aisles of books mounting all around me, and people occasionally picking one or two and peering in, and children crying out in delight as they ran with the glossiest prints of their favourite fairy tales…

Today I went with the agenda of looking at non-fiction, specifically, the Interesting and mysterious parts of history and Greek Mythology. I brought back two tomes, both of history, slightly grunting that not even Oxford and Cambridge kept Greek Mythology. Where is Penguin when you need it?

I had interesting adventures.

I pride myself in knowing quite a lot of fairy tales that we are taught as toddlers, but I had somehow missed Sindbad the Sailor. So when I saw a children’s book on the same, I took it and in three minutes flat, filled in that inadequacy in my knowledge. 🙂 Feeling good.

My mom left of the tomes at a stall and we had a rush looking for it. We found it at the first place we checked, sure, but that was enough to make me carry both the heavy books and my bag even as it hurt so.

While my mom was searching for some books I was not interested in, I started reading a book. I little girl came and sat down beside me. At first, my sugar questions didn’t suit her. But as I turned the page to a chart of dinosaurs, she peeled in delight and I made a new friend. But remind me, since when have toddlers liked dinos and ignored even candies? I had even tried talking about Barbies! Well, all’s well that end’s well, isn’t it?

But now I have to go. Because one of the tomes told me a Marlowe guy might be Shakespeare, and that he might have been a spy in the Elizabethan era, and an atheist and hence his mysterious death might just have been staged.

That hit it right.

Shakespeare, atheist and mysterious deaths have to. 🙂


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