Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
Enter this world and forget about all the other worlds ever known to you, not just because it is magical, which it actually is in a way but because it is this world that probably introduced you to those other worlds too. Too cryptic? We are referring to the world of books at an unimaginably magnificient scale which you can, sadly, access only when it returns next to next year. New Delhi played host to the World Book Fair from 25th February 2012 to 4th March 2012. The fair commemorated three important events – 100 years of Indian Cinema, 100 years of Delhi as the national capital and the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. A catalogue including 300 titles representing publications of 800 publishers in all major languages based on Indian cinema was also released by the National Book Trust.
There were stalls ranging from comics to hard core academic material(which we conveniently stayed away from). This being a ‘world’ fair the kind of books available catered to a wide variety of readers -mediocre, average, bookworm etc. providing one with issues of the super popular People magazine to Representation of Single Women in Popular Media (which the author of this article desperately wanted to buy but the cost of the slim volume meant giving up more than a month’s expenditure).
Popular publishers such as Penguin India, Harper Collins, Amar Chitra Katha and the likes had a lot to offer and they attracted a lot of takers. However the National Book Trust stall came across as a surprise due to the amazing collection of books they offered at throwaway prices without compromising on the quality. Different genres were covered from informative to sci-fi to health and hygiene to food and the likes. One had to however leave one’s rational self behind while heading into Hall no. 18 or the Nakshatra hall in order to witness the humongous collection of Tarot and Angel card readers, Feng Shui experts, Pandits charging Rs 500 per 15 minutes for consultation as some things are purely based on faith. The fair was definitely not worth a miss however tight your schedule maybe, our sympathies are with you if in case you were unfortunate enough to not attend it.
It also provided the paparazzi with a fair share for bites with Javed Akhtar, Shashi Tharoor, our former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Amole Palekar and the likes in attendance. Unlike the previous years there were interactive sessions with the authors, book launches and interesting events like meditation, yoga etc. Considering the ever raging war between eBooks and ‘real’ books it would have been amazing if a stall informing about and helping people purchase eBooks had been setup. It may just be a possibility in the future and we cannot wait for the same.The Saltlist would definitely advise you to save your dates for this biennial event when it returns in 2014.