Bibliofile

All Delhi does is read? A new home for Vikram Seth and the songs the ‘oldest debut author’ plays

Interest Rekindled

A visit to the World Book Fair would make you believe all Delhi does is read. On a Monday afternoon, there are queues to enter the OUP stall! Penguin and Random House have a huge combined stall for the first time. Even those luxurious Roli Books coffee-table tomes are flying off the shelves. Kindle Paperwhites (Rs 10,000 after discount) are selling like Amar Chitra Kathas and acks like, well, CCD coffee. Child­ren’s books seem to have replaced self-help ones in popularity. And it’s good to see so many youngsters—the numbers can easily beat a Roadies audition.

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An Unequal Luxury

Along with a new publisher, Vikram Seth has shifted to a new house in Delhi’s tony East Nizam­uddin. It’s a ‘builder house’ complete with marble flo­­ors so shiny that you fear some heel is going to leave a scra­tch, concealed lighting, German buk­haris and futuristic bathrooms (don’t know how half these things work, says Vikram). The study is a giant bookcase. Vikram presses a hidden lever, and whoa!, one of the shelves opens into a secret studio. “Yes, very James Bond,” says Vikram. But the best part is the terrace, with a commanding view of the imposing Khan-e-Khana tomb in front and the hauntingly lit Humayun’s tomb towards the right.


Dance To Pat Boone

The ‘oldest debut author’ Bhaichand Patel’s annual V-Day bash had to be pushed back by a day due to inclement weather. But on a cold evening, the makeshift dance floor on his lawns poured with warmth as the crowd swa­yed to songs that must have travelled all the way from vinyl to spools to magnetic tape to CDs to pen drives.

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