In a world increasingly “broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls,” it’s unsurprising that this year’s Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize shortlist reflects the experience of the outsider, the one who does not fit because of sexuality, caste, class and gender and a hundred other real and imagined reasons.
This year’s judges, Githa Hariharan, Sampurna Chattarji and Raghu Karnad, will sift through some remarkable examples of such displacement.
Got a call in the afternoon regarding a bulk(ish) sale of books, saw some photos of the haul and decided on making it immediately as the customer wanted to clear the books ASAP. The location was Kengiri which is way out of town. Got there, really earthy looking house at the dead end of a road, next to a chickoo orchard.
Last week I was waiting for Samhita Arini, to swing by the store to sign a copy of her … Mahabharata a child’s view. I pointed out that she was wearing a really beautiful dress, she mentioned that she was going to the book launch of Sam Pitroda’s autobiography Thinking Big, maybe one can learn something about the evolution of Indian telecom, would I like to join?
Sam Pitroda Dr strangelove mashup
This just happened, a mother and her (twentish) daughter walk into the store, the lady asks if we have Elena something, Elena Ferrante? Oh, do you mean My brilliant friend from the Neapolitan trilogy? (Big wide smile from the mother, yes, please) Well we can order for a set of her books and could get it in 5 days. Oh in that case I can order for it on flipkart (fuckkart, madam. I hate this woman already) I tell her that she can order for a copy of the book from flipkart and not talk to me, seriously why are you even in a bookstore?
You get to choose which foot is gonna cause a hurtin/lovin.
Everyone who reads has in all likeness read a book that has done something a little special to them. Perhaps it made you cry, it might have changed your world view, maybe act out of your “normal” self. You get the feeling that this book has to be propagated because of the effect it has had on oneself. You get this feeling a lot, with your increasing reading appetite.
But what about a book that has had an actual influence on you, it has had an influence on the person who recommended the book (which you can see) The book has the (un)intended(?) effect of being some kind of self help book, without really being a typical fucking self help book.