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16 January 2019 l 03:20:54 PM      New Delhi, -18°C/ °F
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Daryaganj….a no-rest Sunday
By Prakriti Kargeti
Address : Daryaganj, New Delhi
Article & Reviews

Daryaganj, which literally mean River Trading Post, is at the true heart of Delhi, as somebody would put it, which is the walled city Shahjahanabad. Though Delhi has seen many changes, this particular area would still baffle you with age old traditions. It is close to ChandiniChowk, New Delhi Railway station and Chawri Bazaar. Though not directly connected to the Metro, you can reach there by getting down at ChandiniChowk , New Delhi or Chawri Bazaar and later take a rickshaw or auto till Daryaganj. DTC buses also have a good frequency here.

Daryaganj is open on all week-days and Sunday is reserved for the very famous Sunday Book Market. At times, this Book Market is all that remains to be talked about in Daryaganj. Daryaganj! Where in Daryaganj? Book Market near Delite Cinema! Voila, such predominance is only for the legendary things. The tradition is many years old dating back to 1964. Daryaganj is close on Sundays, which gives the book sellers a chance to have the pavement all for themselves. The book market stretches upto 2kms. It not only covers Daryaganj but also Asaf Ali Road which is the edge of the market. From the starting till the end, it is so crowded that pickpockets get an upper hand and therefore a chaos.

As for the books sold in book market, they are primarily second hand books. This is the reason why such a huge crowd flocks towards this side of the city even on the long awaited Sundays. The books are cheap to say the least. Needless to say, the scope of bargaining therefore widens. You would not mind the immensely underlined books on Psychology, Physiology, Engineering etc. if the books completely fit the needs. Almost any subject is possibly available there. The most preferred are definitely the novels which might be termed as ‘pulp fiction’ in some cases. Sea of Mills and Boons would be a delightful sight for some. On the other hand, your eyes might twinkle at the sight of first editions of your favourites. However, it is not necessary that your twinkle was ignored by the shopkeeper. It would not be his knowledge of the valuable book, but your body language to give him a hint of charging a little more you had expected. Obviously, it wouldn’t still be a bad deal if you insist or play the classic trick of walking away. It might work. Mario Puzo’s Fools Die or Robin Cook’s Coma can easily be bargained. However, it is difficult to bargain coffee table books, especially the photography books say Raghu Rai’s India or books like Benjamin Franklin’s American Civilization. The easy picks are Enid Blyton, Collins, Sydney Sheldon and Archer. But it is advisable that you dig deep and peel off the layers of your not-my-type books to find the diamonds of first editions or the most coveted ones. You might walk up to the last of the book stores and find the rare piece of ‘Under the Tuskan Sun’ by Meyes who would want you to travel all the way to Italy by simply curling up with her book.

The best time to sail through this sea of books is early morning. The book sellers start early at 7’o clock in the morning, till the evening 7’o clock. The simple logic behind going early is the possibility of losing on the best of the buys. Another important tip is to be alert during your sailing, as you would co-incidentally find many pirates here not interested in the gems you found, but in your pocket. Be careful of your belongings.

So, the coming Sunday let yourself sail and fish for the best. Who said Sundays are to rest!!

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