Monday, November 28, 2005

strand book festival

It was a fine way to spend a Saturday evening. The wife and I were at the annual Strand Book Festival held at the P2 hall, in Chinnaswamy cricket stadium.

The overcast skies did nothing to discourage ravenous book lovers from converging on Chinnaswamy Stadium. The crowd outside the main gates certainly had passers-by wondering if an ODI had suddenly materialized out of nowhere. The fact that it was a weekend certainly helped.

But once inside, we forgot all about the crowds, and got down to serious business. Thousands of books on topics such as fiction, classics, travel, photography, religion, sports, philosophy, gardening, architecture, cookery, art and design and lots more. The only way to do justice would be to drop in on different days, to ensure you haven't missed out on anything.

What made the festival extra special was the beautiful green backdrop. It was a smart move to open the doors to the seating area of the cricket stadium. There’s nothing quite like browsing through a book with the lush green grass of the cricket ground in front of you. It certainly proved to be quite a hit with the folks who attended the fest.

a portrait of rahul 'the wall' dravid looks down upon the the books in the photography section. the KSCA has put up portraits of all the cricketers from the state who've played test cricket for india. nice.

The festival started on the 26th of November and will go on till the 12th of December. Timings: 10 am to 9 pm

PS: We picked up I, Claudius by Robert Graves, The master book on Journalism and Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

the twenty-year-itch

Yesterday, I betrayed my longtime sweetheart, the idiot box, and brought World Space home. Needless to say, there’s tension at home. The idiot box looks heartbroken, like she resents the presence of the other one on the lower tier of the TV trolley. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Bihar had just kicked Laloo in the butt, and I should’ve enjoyed the evening watching and listening to prannoy roy’s analysis on my dear telly. But here I was, getting the antenna fixed for my World Space connection.

I first met World Space sometime last year. Just in passing, you know. Didn’t think much about it, and that was that. Then, all of a sudden, a few months back, it came right back into my life, and how! Love letters everyday. That too in the national newspapers. I was shocked to see such blatant attempts at wooing me. Initially, I didn’t care. I loved my idiot box. We had been through thick and thin. Of course, we had our disagreements. Who doesn’t, tell me. But the sense of guilt is terrible when I think of the long hours spent coochie-cooing with the idiot box during summer hols and cricket matches. I’ll never forget the high when cable tv happened. Those were the best days of our romance, in hindsight.

May be it’s our version of the seven-year itch, only in our case it’s the two-decade itch. There were times I flirted with others, but nothing serious. I still have a wonderful relationship with the internet and books, but for mindless entertainment, I always went back to dear old idiot box. Which is why it was heartbreaking to see dear little idiot size up world space yesterday. Digital satellite radio. 40 channels. Pop, rock, jazz, carnatic, Hindustani, country. 24 hours of non-stop music and news. Yeah, all the right assets to seduce me.

I am sorry, idiot box. You’re still my first love, and will always be. It’s not like I’ll throw you out onto the streets, you know that. You’ll always be on the first tier of the trolley. Cheer up now, and lets reminisce about the old times with Farishta on World Space.

the copy drinkers