Saturday, December 30, 2006

Love stories from the Raj

The pavement bookstalls of Matunga fascinate me.

It's not that I cannot afford to buy from regular bookstores - but how much more fun it is to stand and browse the higgedly-piggedly stacks, to search among the many second-hand titles and stumble upon some hidden treasure!

Yesterday, I stopped in Matunga to run some silly errand - and ended up at the bookstalls as usual. Here is what I bought, after a 20 minute search:

The Inner Courtyard is exactly what its preface says - "a constellation of some of the most dazzling stories" from the writings of short fiction by Indian women. How could I resist it?

Love Stories from the Raj is Pran Nevile's interesting account of money, lust and longing in British India. There are 21 stories, each based on fact, but written as fiction. The painting on the cover is of William Palmer, confidential secretary to Warren Hastings, and his Indian wife Fais Baksh, a descendant of the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan.

I paid INR 120 (less than 3 US$) for the two books together.

I also bought 3 old Tarzan comics and 2 Batmans (INR 25 per book). And regretfully declined two shoddy prints of Laxman's "You Said It".

A very satisfactory morning, all in all.

- Deepa


Anonymous said...

looks like I need to send you my book list!

Deepa said...

Ah well, don't include Love Stories from the Raj in it! A disappointing read, although it does deliver what it promises - salacious little tales about sahibs and their mems.

Megha Kumar Nevile said...

To read more about Pran Nevile's 'Love Stories from the Raj' and other books by him, you can visit his website