Duh’rya Ganj

For the uninitiated, Darya Ganj is where the Sunday Bazaar for books is held in Delhi, every Sunday. After a Friday and a Saturday that had been overcast and breezy, with the occasional relief of rain, Sunday lived up to its name: it was painfully hot, and patience and temper had evaporated. For the most part, bargaining for books was not an option for me.

There was relief in company: Aishwarya and I, joined later by Aditya, (from Bombay, in Gurgaon for a couple of weeks, and is missing Bombay but – gasp! – LIKES DELHI!!!) spent most of the afternoon spotting oddly titled books and books with strange covers. There were also a few conversations:

1. Customer: Autobiography, hain? (Do you have an autobiography?)
Bookseller: Kiski? (whose?)
Customer: Kisi ki bhi (Anybodys)
Bookseller: Kisi ki bhi? (Anybodys?)
Customer: Haan. Koi bhi autobiography dikha do. (Yeah, show me any autobiography)

In the pile I spot the biography of Janis Joplin. Heh.

2. Customer to Bookseller: Bhaiiya, mythology ki book hain? (Do you have a book on mythology?)
Bookseller: Pathology?
Customer: Mythology.
Bookseller: Pathology?
Customer: Mythology.

I half expected the bookseller to say that he doesn’t have a book on mythology, and would pathology suffice?

3. Old man telling Young Girl (12-13 years old) in Hindi: I’m willing to pay even 300 bucks for this book but only if you will use it.
Young Girl: I will learn how to cook.
Old woman, flipping the pages: Yes. It is a good book. Look, it teaches her how to make a burger. (pronounced burr-gurr)
Young Girl: I will learn how to make a burger.
(looks up expectantly)
Old man: But you will use it, na?
The Young Girl nods. Smiles.

I sneak a peek at the book – it’s a childrens cookbook in German.

Aishwarya also went through several books on household maintenance tips (:P. Okay, she just spotted two) and I picked up 5 Nora Roberts books THAT MY SISTER HAD ASKED ME TO BUY FOR HER.

Books that I bought for myself (the Nora Roberts books were for my sister, and don’t you forget that):

Tom Holt: Faust Among Equals
Jeanette Winterson: Sexing the Cherry (Aishwarya’s recco)
Steve Martin: Pure Drivel
Elmore Leonard: Be Cool (sequel to Get Shorty)
Ogden Nash: Bed Riddance
The Playboy Book of Humour and Satire
Douglas Adams: The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy
C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters
Evelyn Waugh: A Handful of Dust
Tim Dorsey: Triggerfish Twist
Sartre: Existentialism and Human Emotions
Terry Pratchett: The Color of Magic
Richard Hooker and William E.Butterworth: M*A*S*H Goes to Las Vegas
Woody Allen: Without Feathers

Missed a couple that Aishwarya picked up before me. Particularly – The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. My reflexes aren’t what they used to be – I need more practice at buying books from Darya Ganj. Heh.

Of the books bought yesterday, I’ve randomly read poems from Ogden Nash’s Bed Riddance. Pert is a word that comes to mind. Then I switch back to Barbarians at the Gate, if only particularly because of the suspense that is being built up, and you’re left dreading the worst. Okay, non-fiction can be fun.

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  1. Two books! I’m sure – first in the pile near Thugs, and then at the end of asaf ali road. I lost the radio play book…got irritated with the bookseller, and couldn’t find it later.

    Forgot to mention the number of Nick Carter books, and the one that you noticed by Heather Graham.

  2. You also forgot the football CD cases and the man scratching his crotch who tried to force his way into my picture of them. 😉

    Anything exciting happen after I left?

  3. Was waiting for you to mail me the image. A few football posts in the offing, particularly on Sir Alex’ man management skills.

    The comic cookbook discussion took place after you left, and it was difficult for me to keep a straight face. Busy day, otherwise. Met another friend in CP, and left for home at 10.

  4. Jeanette Winterson: Sexing the Cherry (Aishwarya’s recco)

    Aishwarya likes Winterson? Hmm… unexpected good taste 😛 Don’t think *you* will like it, though. If you do, try “Written on the Body” as well…

    Ogden Nash: Bed Riddance

    Cool. One of me favorite peots (that’s not a spelling mistake, btw)… get his collected poems “Candy is Dandy”, well worth the money 🙂

    Douglas Adams: The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

    Yet another copy? :-))

    Sartre: Existentialism and Human Emotions

    Sartre’s novels and plays are imho much more readable… I tried to read “Being and Nothingness” and it was a snoozefest. Coming from me, that must mean a lot ;-P

  5. Nikhil – I need to hunt down the cable thingy…I just cleaned my room. Will send the image soon.

    “bewra kekra” – “unexpected” good taste? *chilling glare*

  6. harneet: Good day, tiring day. Yogi wanted to walk around CP shopping for formal shirts and my pore feet gave up.

    bewra kekra: y’know – three people have mailed in telling me about Aishwarya’s apparent Winterson fixation! Nash, unfortunately, will always remind me of the dentist. I have ‘No Exit’, but am on the lookout for Sartre’s Nausea which Shwe was raving about. (I’m sure she was referring to the book, not the condition :P) Abhi toh am reading financial non-fic.

    Aishwarya: *grin* @ finding the cable. Much more difficult to find things once you’ve cleaned the room. (You have a world famous Winterson fixation?)

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