Floating Book Fair

You head off for a few days to a cooler clime and when you return, the people you live with mischievously decide that this is one news you will not hear about from them. Tut-tut, don’t be evil.

However the aforementioned people don’t realize that you have other means of knowing. So I am a few days behind on the gloating of this news, yet hear now!

Doulos, the ship that brings knowledge, help and hope is currently stationed at the Chennai Port.

And while I was away (!), the Governor inaugurated the floating book fair.

The fair on board the ship, nicknamed the Old Lady, will offer over 6,000 educational titles to the book lovers.

In his speech, Barnala said that exposure to great books makes one compassionate. “It motivates scientists, technologists and engineers to be more humanistic and use science for the betterment of humanity,” he said.

Doulos is on its third visit to Chennai. I have fond memories of visiting the ship as part of a school trip in 1993 (or 1994?). There were plenty of books then and I am sure there must be far more now.

The word ‘Doulos’ means ‘servant’ in Greek and the ship is here to offer vital literary resources to the world and to serve humanity,” he explained.

The ship, built in 1914, just two years after the Titanic and the oldest sailing ship in the world, has borne the names Medina, Roma, Franca C and Doulos. It is currently owned by a German non-profit agency “Good Books for all”. It is her third visit to Chennai.

The floating book fair is on till May 8 and will be open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Saturday and from 12 pm to 5 pm on Sunday and Monday. Tickets are priced at Rs 50 and entry is free for children under 16 years of age.

The crew will host an “International Festival”, an extravagant cultural event, at the Kamaraj auditorium here on May 5.

Information on the Doulos web page indicates

On board book fair opens:

Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00

Sunday & Monday 12:00 – 18:00

Entrance Fee 50 Rupees

(Children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult)

Update: Yes, yes, I was lazy enough not to catch up with this smart Chennaiite‘s earlier post on the metblog. Didn’t I mention? a) I was away on holiday (brain cells still slow – implied) b) I am a few days behind on the gloating (yeah, that was a safe harbour statement!)

Anyway, I confess – I did not notice that AFJ got to this news first (metblog had 25 long posts and I was rather daunted to read them all this morning!). So yawn and assume the category of this post magically changed to rant okay? Okay!

@AFJ – thanks for letting me know lady! I might have never found out until a few days later when I finally would have caught up :)

5 Comments so far

  1. AFJ (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    Hi Lavanya, I wrote about the floating book fair too! :)

  2. Mukundhan (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 6:40 am

    Not trying to be a troll but i came across this article regarding the Doulos


  3. Lavanya (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 10:38 am

    @Mukundhan: Thanks for sharing the link. From my earlier visit, I do recall that there was a strong Christian presence both in the conversation of the crew as well as in the content of the books on display.

    However, I don’t think that they were offensive in any manner. There were other books that seemed interesting.

    Their website indicates that their purpose is to spread ‘the message of hope in God wherever there is an opportunity’.

  4. Kaps (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    A press report mentioned that the queues were extremely long and people who turned up in the afternoon had to be turned away. I think this happened over the weekend.

  5. AFJ (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

    Hey Lavanya, no problem! The more people know, the better! And anyway, we both covered different grounds within the same news item, so it’s okay! :) – AFJ

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