Biblio Files

Feb 08 2013, 03:17 IST
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SummaryThe New Delhi World Book Fair has its nuggets to surprise visitors with, from meeting award-winning authors to reliving traditional forms of storytelling

Light Reading

A stroll around Hall 1 might just give you a crash course on the Indian legal system. An entire wall is dedicated to peach-coloured pamphlets which include details of different Acts, from The Code of Criminal Procedures Provisions Act, The Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Act to rare ones such as The Insecticides Act. These pamphlets are priced anywhere between Rs 30 to Rs 150. You could also pick up a pocket-sized booklet of the Indian Constitution for Rs 250.

Meet the Folks

Enter Hall 7, and you will be welcomed by a huge reclining figure of a lady reading. The area is called “Indigenous Voice: Mapping India’s Folk and Tribal Literature”. With bamboo shoots, bricked floors and sand homes, the space achieves a sense of tribal plurality. Miniatures from various states showed instruments, puppets, and paintings in various art forms, such as Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Gond art from Central India, Patwa style of painting from Bihar and West Bengal, and Ravan-Chaya traditional shadow-puppet theatre from Odisha. Folk tales from the Northeast, a cultural history of Thanjavur and the oral epics of Kalahandi are the books you can buy from this pavilion.

Roll Call

Authors, artistes, book launches and discussions have lent an alternative space at the fair. Here you could meet Narcopolis author Jeet Thayil (February 9, 6 pm, Hall 2-5), Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize awardee Naresh Fernandes (February 10, 6 pm, Hall 2-5) and Upinder Singh, the daughter of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a DU professor (Today at 4 pm, Hall 2-5). Writing workshops are also on, with one conducted by French novelist and journalist Dominique Sigaud at the French Pavilion on February 9 (Hall 7; register at

Paint it Red

An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision,” says Shanti Devi, a National Awardee from Bihar, as her fingers effortlessly work on a Madhubani painting. Spotted at Hall 7, Devi themes her paintings on the news of the day, from a rape incident of a man inserting a rod into a woman’s mouth to one which is based on CM Sheila Dixit’s statement on women’s safety in Delhi. For someone who started selling her work for Rs 4 at 12, Devi, in her 50s now, sells her work abroad and, at fairs, for more than Rs 4,000 (depending on the intricacy of the work).

And our Last

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