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Monday, August 26, 2013

the strand book exhibition is on. Visiting the exhibition has been a parampara with the Hegde's

Sometimes I have gone there with a list of books i wanted and at other times have been pleasantly surprised to see books which i had longed for at some point of time but had never ended up buying . there have been times when i have picked a book randomly just because the cover was haunting ... Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca was one such find (hiding my face in embarassment).

When i was young ,and dad was the most influential personality in my life, my choice in books was whatever he suggested or expected me to read. later it was what the teachers in school and college suggested or even reviews i happened to read in magazines or newspapers.

Marriage happened and i got busy learning to manage the house.

Each birthday, in the initial years at least, the husband would take a day off from work. that was my day and i would want to visit all the "close -to -my -hear"t haunts ... the ones i used to frequent during the best period in my life - the 4 odd yrs that i was working .. So we would drive upto Maker Towers, WTC, stroll there for a while, then to Rhythm Hose, asiatic stores, come to Fort, peep in at the bookstallls on the pavements, the Khadi Bhandaar with its limboo sharbat - honey maarkey... then on to bombay stores, chimanlal's ,and other such places. And Strand.

He knows all my stories by heart. well.... most of them..not all. he would listen to them all over again each time i narrated them and with the same "I am very interested" look on his face every time . It is only now when the kids are grown up and show me the mirror that I realise how the poor man has suffered. suffered silently. Not once has he shown the tiniest disinterest nor rebuffed me with a "there you go again".

He became the one who would teasingly remind me "yr strand exhibition is on. don't u want to go?"

When the brat pack arrived, for a long time i forgot that i had hobbies. Books remained a part of my life . Strand too. But now i was picking Children's titles, activity books , how to bring up children , and such stuff.

The mommy friends weren't avid readers. and those that were, were into self help books or managemnt philosophies...

when i did a 2 yr yoga course at kalina a couple of yrs ago, I might have been the only one person who declared that the theory classes did more for me than the practical classes. They opened a new avenue for me. reading wise.... traditions, culture, rituals... wanting to understand the 'why' behind it. I am no fanatic but i wanted to know more about why we are what we are, why we are how we are. why we do what we do...

the power of the internet . blogs.

i was introduced to blogosphere by a niece. she was to go abroad fr her studies and gave me the link to her blog. so that i could be in touch with her. from those who commented on her blog, i had my favourites.. those whose writing i enjoyed. so those blogs were also read. if i came across a recommendaiton abt a book or reading material which interested me... i would be curious. i must add I have rarely been disappointed. Strand was my ally.

the power of the internet. the group. new friends... friendships.... i found my influences once again.

the power of the internet....buying books online was a new option. a breeze too. am a little too vehemently opposed to change... but gradually realised it was a more convenient option. the discounts were another attraction.

yet i never wanted to miss a strand exhibition.

the pleasure of holding a book in your hand , flipping through the pages, reading a bit, trying to get a feel of the writing, the content... trying to gauge if it touches a chord.... i love that. even when i am making an online purchase , i enjoy it when there is a "look inside" option.

i was there at sunderbai hall today. at the exhibition. Strand wala.

i really did not need anything. there were 2 books on my "must buy " list. "land of the seven rivers" and "Sacred Lives ". flipkart would have given me a good deal. but i saved these purchases for today.

conquering my phobia of traveling by train all by myself, i undertook the Strand yatra. . spent a good hour at the exhibition. bought a book on indian mythology and the "land of the seven rivers"

the sentimental fool that i am, i came out of sunderbai hall , with a blissful expression on my face

the strand love affair goes on...

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