Few years ago a random post on an online book club grabbed my eye and my interest. One that persistently drew my thoughts back to the subject of that post, even weeks later.
The post had been about a shop that stocked old and rare books. An antiquarian bookseller. I loved the sound of that.
Being a self-proclaimed connoisseur of books, not just for the words within, but also the look, texture and smell, I could not resist digging in, to find more information about this book store.
Online searches revealed something riveting. The shop boasted of distinguished clientele from across the world. Scholars, academicians, book collectors, authors, historians and libraries from all over, were some of its customers. My interest spiked as I read that the renowned historian and writer, William Dalrymple had visited this book shop. A shop he had apparently stumbled upon by chance. This was around the time he was looking for research material, which he eventually sourced from this shop for his critically acclaimed bestseller “White Mughals.” I was intrigued and excited to say the least and grew determined to pay a visit to this place. I was thrilled to find out the shop was located in my hometown. The desire to visit the book store grew. During the next visit to Hyderabad, on the very second day, I set out to find the place.
Google map showed the location as somewhere near Charminar, which happens to be a familiar landmark since childhood. Little did I realize it will turn into a mini adventure of sorts to locate the elusive book shop.
Google map displayed a message, indicating I had reached the destination while all I could see were odd shops all around me, nothing stocking anything close to books as I stood perplexed at the crossroads, in the vicinity of the majestic Charminar.
I found myself going in circles as I explored the area carefully. The object of my search was nowhere in sight. A sense of the surreal gripped me. I could not help but feel that the world moved at a different pace here. The quaint looking shops selling curios, perfumes and other bric-a-bracs, right down to the people, their gaits, clothes…all hinted at a place that had soaked up ages of history.
I crossed a narrow street lined with rusty cages filled with birds of all sorts. Mostly pigeons, ginny fowl and crows. A strange and curious assortment of birds. All of which cackled, clucked and cawed in unison at the sight of me. Whether they were helping me find my way with their birdie say, that was incomprehensible to me or seeking my help I could not tell. So I just went about my way shrugging off my bewilderment and the mild impulse to linger there a little longer.
I enquired about the book shop, with some passers-by and shop-owners, but just received blank looks and a shake of head…indicating cluelessness about my query, I suppose.
I wondered if I was caught in a time warp. The feeling grew in intensity as I relentlessly continued my search. I believed I was close to finding it and not ready to give-up and call it a day. I began to systematically cover each and every narrow lane, my eyes keenly scanning all the shops, each one unremarkable yet imbibing a unique charm.
Then just like that my gaze landed on the very place I was looking for, while I was halfway down an old winding alley.
Voila! There it was! The almost nondescript and inconspicuous shop revealed itself to my eager eyes. It humbly sported a fading signage displaying the name of the store.
The shop just occupied a narrow stretch of area that touched the parallel running lane on the other end, with entrances to the shop from both the lanes.
As I stepped in, the rich and musty smell of old books stormed my senses. I found myself flanked closely by shelves on both sides. So narrow was the walkway, that you can only walk in a single file, as it can allow only one person to snugly pass through at a time.
The shelves were stacked with various books from the floor all the way up to the ceiling, giving the place a charmingly quirky feel, like an enchanted place that had materialized right out of a fantasy story book. Or rather like I had stepped into one. I almost expected Gandalf or Professor Dumbledore to step out in front of me any time. A thin veil of translucent dust covered all the books, adding to a sense of ancient magic hovering in the air.
Soon a wizened old man materialized from a little room on the side, that was almost concealed by the overflowing shelves. With a kind and polite smile he invited me to explore the other room. It was crammed with more books on all sides, arranged all the way up to the ceiling which seemed to be the norm here.
The structure of the shelves were obscured by books of every size. Again covered in the same ancient layer of dust. I could tell the books have been tenderly cared for as I slowly browsed. I relished the sight of the staggering collection of books in mostly English, Urdu, Arabic and Persian literature, spanning more than a century. Books on the Deccan history, Asaf Jahi dynasty period and more. I noted many of the books were from the pre-independence era.
After a while, the elderly shopkeeper guided me to another extension of the shop across the street and I treated myself to yet another impressive display of more rare and old books. Of course I was not fooled by the dust and realized I needed deep pockets to be able to afford many of the books here. Finally after browsing for countless moments found something that fit my humble budget, to my extreme delight. Or was it that the books found me?! I walked out of the treasure trove of a book store clutching my precious finds with a mounting sense of excitement.
A 19th century edition of Pippa Passes – a verse drama by Robert Browning.
A 20th century edition – Collection of William Wordsworth’s poems.
Both the books encased in leather bindings with beautiful etchings and rich texture. Filled with the wonderful old book smell, apart from words within to lose oneself in!
So happy to share that Litventure is spotlighting author A.R.Sara and “Lorkum’s Quest” book from 18th March to 24th March 2018 on their page Litventure and their Facebook group ‘For Writers By Authors’. It is my pleasure to invite you all to the activities that will be conducted there every day of the week starting today.
Looking forward to seeing many of you participate there. Prizes to be won!!!
Click on the below link to participate – https://www.facebook.com/Litventure/posts/2066730663616557
Lorkum’s Quest is available on Flipkart and Amazon https://www.amazon.in/dp/B06XVYD16Q in Print and Kindle formats.
Meet the newest addition to our family…Sally.
A collector of raw potatoes.
A chaser of toads and smasher of tomatoes.
An explorer par extraordinaire, who spares no corner in the house.
Snacks on grass when is she not on the move, guided by her ever-inquisitive sniffing nose!
Prone to silent mischief though she hardly ever barks.
With a soulful gaze and a calm demeanor, she has found her way into our hearts.
Potty trained in a snap, except for the occasional misses.
Her daily routine is rather simple and neat.
Eat, play, snack, explore, sleep, sneak out to poop & pee, walk, jump, run and repeat…
Yes, we have adopted a sweet and smart indie pup!
She is almost four months old now and she is such a sweetheart! She has blended right into the family, winning our hearts. She is intelligent, well-behaved yet sassy, affectionate, social, and endearing. For the kids, technology time has been replaced with some old fashioned playing with the puppy, taking her for walks. Time spent with her is stress-relieving for the kids and older folks too.
It can be a bold and daring step, yet an exhilarating one, to go beyond pursuing your passion for words as a hobby, and re-defining your career to follow your passion.
Sharing some thoughts on what you gain from self-publishing and the associated challenges, based on the experience I have gathered over the last six years in the self-publishing space.
Benefits: When the power to publish lies at your finger tips…
Challenges: With great power comes even greater responsibility 🙂
As a self-publisher you are prone to come across instances when it feels like the challenges far outnumber the benefits of Self-Publishing. A rather daunting and discouraging feeling. But it is important to hang-in there and not let it get you down. This particular passion for self-publishing your creative work demands persistence and a long-term investment of your interest and commitment. Over time and with each new book, a Self-Published author’s tribe of readers will slowly and surely grow.
© 2018 RajaRajeshwari Nagasigamani
A scary sketch of Lorkum by my little brand ambassador! “Lorkum’s Quest is not a book to be read at night when no one is in sight… No, really! It is page-turner clearly. It will make your nerves tingle and chills run up your spine… In Lorkum’s lines be sure to look for the signs. Decode the clues on time else you shall lose. Google Lorkum’s Quest if you are ready to put yourself to the test.
A heartwarming pic sent to me by a young-at-heart fan of A.R. Sara books. She was thrilled to find the books at Crosswords Bookstore, Bangalore. The delightful expression on her face as she reads “Nutcat the wise” speaks for itself!
Goes to prove A.R. Sara books are for the young, old and the ageless!
Feel free to write in and send your pics with your copy/copies of A.R.Sara story book/s and favorite lines if any from the books, to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured here! 🙂
The books are available globally in Print and Kindle versions incase you are wondering… Here’s where you can find them on Amazon —–
Ofcourse the print versions are available on other online retailer sites too…just google for A.R. Sara books along with the book title you are looking for.
The next best thing you can do for yourself after diet, sleep, exercise and reading is to express yourself in words.
Yes, writing can help…
make you self-aware and poised,
articulate the feelings that cannot be voiced,
discover yourself all over again,
heal those invisible wounds and diminish the pain,
keep the blues away,
brighten your day,
prioritize your colliding thoughts,
share those unspoken after-thoughts,
bring clarity to your clouded emotions,
delay and control your reactions,
make you focused and sure,
state your views in leisure,
purge the all-consuming negativity
and nurture your creativity!
Even a sentence a day can go a long way!