Happen to be in Chennai book fair this weekend. It was heartening for me to see a huge traffic jam near St. George’s School where the book fair is happening. The police men were having hard time to regulate the traffic there. My brother met me in ticket counter after half an hour searching for a place to park the bike. No. Not because of the fair. It’s a common sight for the bike and car owners in Chennai to drive a half mile away from the destination to park their vehicles. I do plan for such things while filling petrol.
Sunday it was, and I was able to see all types of people there.. Right from the toddlers, school kids to a grand ma straight from Fortis Malar hospital ICU searching the books. The rows of the book fair was named on few renowned poets of ancient times. I believe there must not be any tiff from the current writers as of why organizers had thought of their names. The stalls were cleverly planned. As expected Uyirmei and Kizhakku had most of the crowd in their stalls. We had to come out once in ten minutes to catch breath and deep dive into book ocean again.
Had a chance to meet Mr. Manushya Puthiran publisher of Uyimai publications and a good poem writer too.. His recent book “Itarku munnum. Itharku pinnum (Before this and after this)” is an instant hit. Just finished reading his poem “pani neekka utharavu (Pink Notice)” and saw that he just arrived. I went straight to him and just told him that I liked his poems. He was so happy it was very much visible in his face. He was kind enough to pose for a picture with me. I was jealous of him in two ways. One I am not able to tell things as briefly as he does. That too effortlessly. The next point at the end of the post.
Met Kanmani Gunasekaran who wrote the novel “Nedunjaalai” (Highways). It is a must read for the people who can understand tamil and have travelled in state operated bus facility. You can just get the glimpse of the person who is tearing the ticket for you. At first I was not able to identify him. He was so down to earth person who was having a chat with his friend (may be a fellow author). But when I picked up his book, his eyes shone like a diamond so I was able to identify his easily. I went on to have a few words with him. Just thought, “there were numerous functions held to appreciate these guys. But still they are truly happy when a new unknown person walks up to them and wishes them”. Only a creator can answer this question.
There were pit falls like there was not enough air inside the stall. I’ve heard the Bangalore book fairs had AC halls. I am not sure whether that would suit the organizers here but please do something about it. The crowd is just multiplying each ear. Please add more chairs in Cafeteria. I was just not able to open a book which I was impatient to lay my hands upon. The guys who were waiting for the chair in canteen gave me the glare This is the place to eat not read boy. And please please please improve the toilet facilities in the book fair. People were literally running to the petrol bunk next to the book fair to answer their nature’s call.
The other thing I felt J about manushya puthiran was his hair. Only guys like me can understand that.. Just scroll up and see the pic again.