Tuesday, February 2, 2010

At WBF, be prepared to walk

Unlike past years, when the World Book Fair, Delhi has thrown open its arms to one and all, this year, be prepared for some changes.

For one, unlike in the past, entry to the fair this time is ticketed. Rs 20 for adults and Rs 10 for kids. Which is fine, as it keeps out the absolutely uninterested.

More surprisingly, despite paying, you cannot enter Pragati Maidan as easily as your have done in earlier years. Entry is from gates 1 and 2, which, be warned, are the most inaccessible gates - being along the metro line. As the ticket counters are here, you shall have to make the long trek to these gates passing over rubble en route. There is also gate 10, also along the metro route. I just could not locate it. And of course, the ITPO security staff as helpful as ever - read rude and very rude.

As the icing, the pavilions this time are far from each other. The nerve centre for the babus is hall 7, which you can safely avoid, unless you want to see the rather apologetic foriegn pavilions. The theme pavilions for Nehru and sports are a joke - a case study on what the government cannot do.

Check out Halls 1-6, which has most of the English publishers. The fair is also on at some obscure halls such as 12, and if you land up by mistake at them, be prepared to walk. As you anyways have to walk extensively, this is not the best way to approach the fair, so plan ahead.

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