From Shakespeare to Ayn Rand and K V Puttappa to Hampa Nagarajaiah, Basavanagudi’s famous Pustaka Parishe (book fair) again managed to capture the attention of book lovers. In its 5th year, the Parishe offered more than 10 lakh books on Sunday.
As usual, no book was sold as each visitor could pick any one book for free.
Organised by Srushti Ventures to “reinvigorate the book culture,” Pustaka Parishe was first held in January 2010. What started as a closed event with only 7,000 books has now become public, offering more than 10 lakh books, whose titles include classic novels, collections, biographies, autobiographies, academic texts and so on.
Inaugurating the Parishe, Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok likened the event to the Kannada Sahitya Sammelan, which was once held in National High School grounds where the Parishe was held. “It seems like there is a cultural pollution. Our acts are increasingly going against what our culture stands for. Pustaka Parishe reminds me of the Sahitya Sammelan, which proved that people are still attached to our culture and literature,” he said.
Students turned up at the event in large numbers to seize the opportunity and pick up textbooks. Srivatsa, a commerce student from Vijaya College picked up a Cost Accounting guide. “I have managed to save a lot of money with this,” he said.
Similarly, the old folks were helping themselves with the vast collection of books.
Vinutha Srinivasan, a resident of Banashankari, was overjoyed to find a copy of Bhisham Sahni’s award-winning partition story Tamas.
According to Nagaraj Navunda, the brain behind the initiative, Pustaka Parishe is held to introduce people to books. “What we will not do here,” he says, “Is to sell books. Our aim is to make people familiar with books. Buying and reading the next step.” Next year, he plans to organise the Parishe at a district-level.
The Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara, one of the supporting bodies for the Parishe, has contributed thousands of books for the event. “From our end, we are ready to support a district-level Parishe,” said its chairperson Siddalingaiah.
The event also had centenarian lexicographer G Venkatasubbaiah and writer S R Ramaswami strolling around to have a look at books.