It came as a surprise to no one at the gathering to hear how many books are born out of bouts of drinking. Whether it was John Lall/D.N. Dubey's coffee-tabler on the Taj, or Kailash Sangala's Return of the Tiger or Khushwant Singh's Nature Watch, or Mussoorie & Landour: Days of Wine and Roses, it was patiala pegfuls of whiskey that aided their conception, writing and launch. Knowing their reputation for wining and dining, Ruskin Bond wasn't far off the mark when he said about the festschrift Roli brought out for him: "At first, I thought a festschrift was some sort of orgy."
Rivalling the Roli do was the 50th birthday bash Bahrisons held with all of Delhi's p3p assembled to toast their favourite bookshop. While Bahri junior Anuj has expanded the family bookshop into a publishing house on the premises, another famous bookshop in Delhi's Khan Market is about to lose its best-known face behind the counter. Rachna Singh is about to accompany her husband, publisher David Davidar, on his new assignment abroad as head of Penguin in Canada.