Adios World Book Fair 2020! You humbled a few, impressed many and on top of everything, inspired us all.
The year has barely begun yet it feels as if something has aged already. The ending of the world book fair leaves many, including me with a sense of achievement. A celebration of the books, by the books and for the books ends in a heightened sense of fulfilment. All the smiles, books, handshakes and tiffin packs make for a happening box of memories.
The vastness of the book fair makes it not just reader-friendly but writer-friendly as well. You discover so much within these 9 days, that there is always more stuff to write about than one is able to write.
Find of the day
Alongside the busiest of all, Rajakamal Prakashan Samuh bookstall, there was this tiny stall where one frail man sat with the look of an accountant. He talked passionately about books, and knew everything about every book that the stall had to offer. Belonging to an era forgone, he collects and sells Soviet books. The ones that were available to layman through large vans carrying them around the country. Speaking proudly, yet with a tinge of disappointment- that those large vans are a rare sight now and people are taking less and less to those books- he seems like a man possessed.
Art and Workshops
The wide passage near the cantina at the end of the long inter-connected halls open to a space where workshops were being conducted. Lined up with stalls for kids all around the periphery, the hall was filled with tiny totts, trying their hands on a variety of things from drawing to painting to DIYs and indulged in other fun activities.
While most of the accessories stalls seemed obsessed with getting the attention of Game of Thrones loving, mostly teenaged populace, there were other more traditional ones as well. Rooted in time, products like jute bags and classically designed rugs made for a field day for middle-aged people.
Gandhi and his subjects
If Gandhi saw the number of people came to the World Book Fair 2020, and especially kids, he would have been proud. We are celebrating 150th birth year of the father of the nation. From beautiful pavilions to basically all the study material available in many old and new forms, it is safe to that Bapu’s legacy lives on and will continue to do so. At a time when the ideologies have seemed to divide the intelligentsia in the country, it is his ideas that unify and provide the common denominator. The book fair did fine justice to Mahatma Gandhi’s memories and teachings. Now, all one can hope for is that he remains there in the hearts of all Indians, if not everyone in the world.
It has been a great pleasure talking to you through this series. Thank you for your support and readership. Until next time!