Psst. Sar! You are wanting book to read? A fine selection here, Sar. Look! And for you, all at great discounts. Very cheap. Forget about going to bookshop and getting these books at cheaper rate, why, you will not be finding any of these books on those shelves. You may be trying and trying, but you will not be finding, I can tell you. All scaredy-cats.
See, here I have the book by that Parsi chap, Such a Long Journey. Very thick book, many many pages. But these days, very much in demand. It is my bestseller for the month. See, we got special paper for it and everything, and every page is there just like the original. Whyfor you want to be going anywhere else? I do not know why it is being called Such a Long Journey, but I am thinking maybe it is about a chap who is travelling from Andheri to Nariman Point by car.
No? OK, then how about this one - it is being called The Red Sari by some Spanish fellow. See, he has written about women and sarees so well. They are saying it is about Italy also - mafia, pizza, you know? You will like it Sar. Maybe you can take it for your Missus?
Not even that one? Ah, I see, you are into business-shizness. Not to worry, here you will find books for all types. I have just the thing for your tastes. This one you will love. It is being called Polyester Prince, and it is about you-know-who. You don't know who? Ambani, Sar. I myself am not knowing why this book is so popular, but it is another total bestseller. MBAs, salesmen, all people who are wearing ties are asking for this only. Big demand.
You are shaking your head, maybe you are not the reading type. Not blaming you, who has got the time nowadays? Sometimes I think all these books people buy just to keep in house and show off. Does not matter, my brother over there will be of help to you. He has DVDs of any movie you can ask for. We aim to please, my brother and I.
And Sar, I will tell you, India is such a wonderful place for people like us. Every month some book comes into trouble, and then we are finding it out and offering it to public. It is our public service. Like all the politicians, they are also doing public service to people like us. So wonderful. No other country offers such freedom. I will never ever leave, so many chances to avail of doing great things.
Why, I was telling my son the other day also to get into this business. I can teach him all the tricks of the trade, I have been doing nothing else for so many years and I have never gone hungry. But my son - foolish fellow, he is saying he wants to study, and only then decide what to do. I am telling him, you look at sons of politicians, sons of businessmen, they are all being promoted by their fathers, and all I am doing is trying to promote you too. You think you are better than all of them that you are going to walk your own path?
But he does not listen, Sar. This younger generation, what to tell you. Although the other day I had this brilliant idea. If my son can get party ticket and then stand for elections, maybe it is going to be goldmine. You see, he can then make a fuss about any book, by saying - what do they say? - ah, yes, "sensibility offended". No need to even read book, just making fuss is enough.
Then the book will be in trouble, and when it is in trouble, it will be in demand, and who will fill that demand? Myself only, Sar. Good thinking, is it not? I tell you again, this country is so very full of opportunities for people with ideas.
Sanjay Sipahimalani is a writer with an advertising agency in Mumbai. His reviews are collected at www.antiblurbs.blogspot.com.