Monday, 5 January 2009

City of Djinns by William Dalrymple – Delhi's History Simplified.

Delhi,the capital of India ! Being one of the oldest cities in the world, Delhi has reincarnated many times under different rulers. Even though there are many books written on Delhi’s History but none more interesting that “City Of Djinns” by William Dalrymple.

The author is an award winning journalist who is known to be a great admirer of India. He has many accolades to his name like being awarded 1994 Cook Travel Award. William has written many books on India and its history.

Coming back to our book, if you thought history was boring … Then this book is for you. A book written in such a simple manner that reading this one is a real pleasure mixed with realization of adding impressive knowledge to you.

In this books author narrates his journey with the support of Djinns (Spirits) who are said to be residing in Delhi as per beliefs and needs to be taken care of. In reality these Djinns are nothing but the representation of many pasts that made Delhi what it is and still forms the integral part of the city.

The book follows the “first person” mode of narrating the story. Being the first hand account of the author and his wife’s “expedition”, readers get more involved in the each stage of the storyline. Written with an immaculate precision of a professional historian, that will urge the readers to visit the places mentioned in the book (Even if you have visited it before).

The tactful job of moving back and forth from past to present is very intriguing. Gifted with an extraordinary writing skill to grab the attention of the reader at every word, the author takes you into the times of Mughals and the Raj. Our Imagination skills are put to the best use while reading this book.

Right from the interesting character of Mrs. Puri, the lady in whose house the author stayed to dealing with Government employees, the author takes us into a fascinating journey. Through the journey author connects the past to present and tries to infer whether Delhi was better than or now. After reading this book you will start loving history and will be exploring more.

Being a person living in close vicinity to Delhi for a long time, I was introduced to places which were totally unknown to me and many Delhiites.

I will not be able to do full justice to this book in few words. My main aim is to make you aware of this book which is a real masterpiece and is worth your time.
It is very difficult to categorize this book under a Caption…. From one point of view it looks like a travel book and from other it’s a history book

If you are visiting Delhi or planning for one, this book is a must read. For others this will make you visit Delhi.

In right sense this is a "Discovery of Delhi" !

Happy Reading !

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Philately - The Most Interesting Hobby

Philately or Stamp Collecting is one of the world's oldest hobbies and the most popular one.As a nurturing hobby, it provides us with a huge insight into the history, flora, fauna and Current affairs of a Country.

More on philately can be found on the following Link:

Stanley Gibbons is the authority in cataloging all the major postage stamps issued till date in the world and is a excellent place to start learning on the stamps of various countries.

In today's world if one wants to inculcate the habit of collecting stamps, there are many avenues to explore. Internet, a blessing in disguise has given lots of choice for Philatelist of all levels (be it an Amateur or Professional).

I personally have used the web to buy the stamps of all kinds, mostly from the source itself i.e.
Postal Department of the country
. I felt that Singapore Post and US Postal Service site are one of the best Sites to shop online.Many other Countries postal departments also have the option of buying online but I am yet to explore them.

We should be always careful in choosing the seller as there are counterfeiters here too. Therefore buying from the source itself is one of the best and safest options. As Unmarked Stamps are called Mints due to their monetary Value like that of a currency.

Honestly speaking Indian stamps are one of the most diversified in the world, as it possesses rich history, culture, flora and fauna. it also one of the most sought after in the world. If you want an uninterrupted supply of all the Current stamps with First Day Covers Etc, you can open a Philately Deposit Account with your nearest General or Head Post Office. More info can be found at

If you have somebody already into stamp collecting around, then nothing betters it. Most of the professional philatelist started at a small level. A self taught Hobby, it doesn't not require much learning or supervision. A interesting choice altogether.

So what are you waiting for??? Start Collecting Now !!!