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Urdu ‘Kitab Mela' draws good response

J.S. Ifthekhar

65-odd stalls display treasure trove of Urdu literature

PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

For book-lovers: Women going through the book stalls at Urdu book fair in Hyderabad on Sunday. -

Hyderabad: Cynics might sound its death knell. Doubting Thomases might see it on the wane. But one look and you will find it up and roaring. Urdu has not lost its charm a wee bit notwithstanding the craze for English language and the onslaught of the idiot box.

The All India Urdu Kitab Mela that opened here on Sunday bears this out. The ‘ahle zoukh' (aficionados) flocked the Quli Qutb Shah stadium, the exhibition venue, ‘parwana' like.

The response raised the spirits of the booksellers and warmed the hearts of die-hard Urdu fans. Right from university professors, litterateurs to the common man – everyone was out there. There was also a good turn out of women and children to the book mela being organised for the second time by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) at Hyderabad. There are more than 20,000 titles up for grab. The 65-odd stalls display a veritable treasure trove of Urdu literature.

No, it is not merely Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal – one can find here books on a wide range of subjects from medicine to science, technology, history, philosophy, religion besides encyclopaedias and lexicons. There is also an astonishing range of children's literature –well illustrated.

A unique thing about this book exhibition is the rock bottom prices. One can buy here a book for as little as Rs. 10. The discount of 10 to 50 per cent makes it all the more attractive.

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