Monday, September 01, 2008

the week till now (and the bookfair madness)

i typed this title and then realised its only monday today :) its been a hectic life for the past few weeks, but the last one really took the cake. and then, even the weekend was truly, terrifically hectic. spent around 11 hours of sunday in traveling, 7 of it in the Delhi Book Fair. and what an interesting day we had. we? you know who the other half is na :)

right now, am waiting for my cab to pick and drop me (pun intended) home which by normal traffic standards is about 1 hour away.

tomorrow, i've to be at office by 9, so that means i'll be starting anytime at around 7, 7-30.

we've bought a lot of books from the book fair. and if we'd more money, we would have bought more! majorly english literature, 'cos both of us are students of the masters; then some very interesting books about ancient Indian knowledge and wisdom like on vedas, on time & eternity concept, on the gods within, on indian psychoanalytic studies, comparative religion and like; plus some teaching aids for her and finally a little sprinkling of books on hindi/urdu poetry.

there's always this happy aching in the feet and shoulder and arms and the whole body whenever we come back from the book fair, with a truck load of books :)

a very interesting thing happenned this time. she got lots of discounts, much more than we'd expected, perhaps it was her lucky day. me being her lucky charm! anyways, this is not the thing i was telling you about. half way through the day, our money was over. and the book loving delirium was such that we had to buy more. just had to. so off we went in search of an ATM.

now, frankly speaking 'Pragati Maidan' (Progress Grounds), the venue of major fairs in Delhi is pathetic in terms of infrastructure and resources. and almost no progress has been made to provide the visitors even the basic facilites like clean toilets. not going into that, there was not a single functional ATM in the whole of this hundred of acres complex. by this time, the weather was at its boiling, sweating best. despaired, we'd to leave the fair grounds and walk till the nearby supreme court complex, where after requesting a few secutiry guards, we were permitted entry to an ATM. blissfully, this one had an AC and was working. it seemed. but it would not accept my card and we had to leave that place also. the other ATM options we enquired about were located on the Vikas Marg, near ITO which was a good 1-2 kilometers away. by that time, i think heat had sapped us of our thinking abilities and all we decided was to trudge towards the nest destination despite the weather, the distance and the heavy load we were carrying with us. an auto would have been such a sensible option instead!

anyways, we reached ITO crossing. there is a bank of India branch there. but with no ATM. so we crossed the road to reach the other side and renewed our search.

and this time we landed opposite the Delhi Police Headquarters!

we enquired about an ATM there and were granted permission to use it after a little request. the simple request that "we both are students and have spent all our money on books" must have amused those police wallahs :) anyways, they were very helful and kind.

we were allowed entry on one condition that one of us will stay outside, almost as a security while the other will go inside and draw the money from the ATM. it was my card so i'd to go inside leaving her at the gate. which i was not completely willing to do. its a different matter, that when i returned, i saw her happily chatting away with the sprawling guard as if she were a 10year old kid and they were obvious, old acquaintances. i'm sure, i'll never forget this image.

anyways, we returned back to the fair after this adventure. later in the day i asked her whether she felt afraid of talking to the police guys and entering the premises and spending time there. because i was. she replied by saying she was not and it was the most natural thing to do in the circumstnaces!

bought some more books. got late. she got a good hearing at home. i got extremely tired feet. but we are happy. so much more and new to read.

books and books are all we need, to stay alive!

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