Today after weeks, we decided to go to the Frere Hall. As we neared the venue, we didn’t see any book stalls and were saddened. We were about to lose hope and take a turn when we spotted
some tables and tents a little distance from the original venue. The kids jumped with joy. And I too felt relief for not having my plan for a quiet outing with the children spoilt.
As we drove in, we were delighted to see they had moved the book bazar from the hot tarmac to the cool sprawling gardens. What a welcome change.
We quickly got off, found a shady spot under a huge, old tree and the kids began hunting for books. As I took out my notebook to make my targets for Ramadan, I reflected over the setting. I compared it to the simulating and orchestrated events and fairs we usually attend to this very calming set up. The vendors simple, the set-up humble and the surrounding, soothing nature without the jarring interruptions of boards or marketing material. I thought about the penetrating effect such a calm environment has. And how much more valuable it is than spending time in a high-paced environment.
Even after spending two hours there with their books, a snack and some play, the children had not had their fill. Neither had I. but it was Zuhr time and we had to leave. As we filed into the car, I made a mental note of coming back here again after Ramadan, and spending more time to take in the calm of place which seemed to belong to another era.