Sunday, August 2, 2015

My first Ross Macdonald - Lew Archer novel

It started with a text message from Vinod last Wednesday … he texted me to tell that Amitav Ghosh would be visiting Hyderabad to launch Flood of Fire¸ which was good news indeed … have to finish the novel before that, I responded … I’ll buy it there, Vinod said … and then off-handedly, Btw, saw three Ross Macdonald titles at Best, Lakdikapul.  Go grab them.  This was also good news!! I had sort of placed an order with another second-hand bookseller who said he had two ‘Ross’ titles, and said so to Vinod and asked him if he could remember the titles … he texted me the names … good, these were different … well, this was exciting!  Suddenly Ross Macdonald novels are coming into my orbit … will see if I can get off today early, I said … then Vinod dropped another innocuous bomb … reading all those Hammetts and Chandlers and Leonards have made Vinod very hardboiled and his responses are becoming laconic and crackling … Black Money at BB, YMCA, he texted …  What the kangaroo! How the hell did he uncover that? 

Anyway, that was the name of another Ross novel … I thought quickly and decided to go to Best Books, YMCA, Secunderabad, as it was comparatively closer … Lakdi-Ka-Pul can wait, for now … I searched for Black Money in the usual places and even asked that obdurate chap who minds the store … he uttered the name a few times and then kept quiet … I had no other alternative but to text Vinod and find out where Black Money was stashed … he helpfully navigated me to that particular shelf … I found a John D. novel first, I didn’t pick it up, as it would have compromised my search … and then lo and behold, Black Money was there … it is a good copy, but I had to pay quite a sum for it, compared to Abids prices, I mean … the next day, while chatting, I told Vinod that I felt like crying when I paid that much … Vinod said, it is a good copy compared to the ones I got. I had planned to pick it up actually but left for people like you. so no ronaa. Kismat samjho mil gayaa … Thank you, Vinod bhai … for facilitating Black Money, my first Ross Macdonald–Lew Archer novel … 

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