Sanskrit Book Fair 2011 in Bangalore


It was a place to remember and a place where some prejudices about Sanskrit, our ancient language, were discarded. Spent a day at the grand Sanskrit Book Fair cum conference held in Bangalore. With 1300 volunteers, 154 stalls with 128 publishers and 4 crores worth of sales (took it form the same website), the fair was a grand success. See the enthusiasm and energy for yourself.


Outside the book fair


I was also surprised by the sheer amount of people who spoke fluent Sanskrit (Read up the Wikipedia entry on it). Enthusiastic city dwellers, villagers, students, teachers, scholars and passionate people were just ambling along the area suffused with sunlight, chattering with people in sanskrit, picking up books, hugging each other like long lost friends and generally having a ball walking in the midst of the ancient language. The book exhibition was huge with publishers and titles from across the country on epics (which is why I was there). They also had a village built into the exhibition area (other than the all pervasive food stall of course) which had a post office, a school, a repair shop, a vegetable seller, the works.


Enthusiastic seller of vastra!


Modern reading and writing in an ancient setting


Kudos to the NGOs and the government that made it happen. I aim to learn the language and practice it at the fair next year (or is that too hopeful?).

Bowled over by Bangalore

It was while showing another friend this city that I found out how deep I had fallen for it. I never knew it existed. I should have, but like any other relationship, it’s always the family and closer friends who get to know that you are hooked. You never do.

Self-realisation is like myopia. Closer you are to a feeling, the lesser you see.

Slowly but surely, I have formed a steady relationship with Bangalore. It all started with little references to the weather, the innocent expressions and the drunken walk of people in casual conversations. Then it was little things I would smile about when I was about to sleep.

Thoughts of a perfect day gone by. When I took a walk on Sankey Tank as the sun melted into floating clouds. Animated, passionate conversations with people over a cup of filter coffee and how to brew a perfect cup. The personality of people based on the style in which they had a dosa. How we would laugh while taking a U-turn to go straight on a road. How a lazy conversation with a cop and a shrug accompanied by a smile can get you out of a possible ticket. A small chat corner that manages to make people in a 50m radius salivate. The red flowers which fall as the yellow flowers spread across shady trees on the streets. A hearty conversation with a woman who I just met on the road. Turtles and petals floating lazily in a dirty pond of an ancient temple. The cool feel of stone. The heady smell of agarbati, colourful pooja flowers and yellow lights that physically bind you in a magical spell. A rare bout of writing when my hands would glide madly looking for the right keys to be pressed while I looked out of a balcony.

Maybe it was the people I met. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the work I did when I came here. Does it matter? I fell for this city. Isn’t that what love is? Little by little it gets under your skin, everyday, every moment.