Monday, April 28, 2014

Who's For Dinner? An Outlier From The Bookshelf...;-)

Flesh & Blood - A History of the Cannibal Complex


I have no idea when I bought this book but I remember that it was at one of the Madras Book Fairs back when it used to be at the Qaid-E-Millat College Grounds opposite The (then) Connemara.

I must admit that it is a very informative book. AND, has some very rare illustrations that we might never come across, otherwise.


The Crown Jewel In My Collection Of Soviet Children's Books

This is the absolute gem amongst all those beautiful books from the USSR.

A 1975 book, with cut-out, pop-up illustrations.

Real 3-D!

The complete title given on the back cover is "A TALE ABOUT A WAR SECRET, ABOUT THE BOY NIPPER-PIPPER, AND HIS WORD OF HONOUR".

It has 4 pages of text and 6 fabulous double-spread cut-out, pop-up illustrations. The design is so exquisite that in the first 2 illustrations there are common elements from the other page.

Not sure if that makes sense....hmm..

as in, the soldiers in the 1st picture, in the street outside, seen through the windows, become the main element of the 2nd illustration while we see the inside of the house through the window from the street....?

Check it out. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Some Children's Books From The USSR

I bought this bunch of vintage soviet children's books quite recently - 2005/2006, if I remember right - on the MG Road pavement, Bangalore.

They were/are all in near mint condition. When I checked with the same guy a few months later, there were none left. :-(

They are from the 1970's and 80's. They are all English translations, published and printed  in the USSR.

Most of them have exquisite artwork.

I'll share the remaining ones from this bunch later.

Enjoy! (I think the images are clickable, as in you get full screen images if you double-click on them.) Cheers.

Some More Contemporary Indian Matchboxes

Some of these may be repeats. I mainly wanted to share a couple of new ones that I picked up in Shirdi and Pune (Power and Royal Kamal).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A little more philately from Algeria..

I wish more children would take up philately as a hobby.

Stamps and First Day Covers and Special Issues are little windows into the culture, natural wealth, customs and mores of the different, distant corners of our Earth... tiny, fascinating peepholes into the lives of our many brethren spread all over the world.

I first learnt the names of many countries through stamps. 

Some elements of their culture were already familiar to me long before I read about them in detail later, or before I experienced them firsthand, simply because I had stared again and again at beautiful stamps from these then unknown lands which highlighted these cultural aspects .

With electronic communication taking over, this component of our shared world heritage, stamps will most probably soon disappear.

If only, somehow, we can preserve at least some part of it in the daily space of our lives (and not just in museums), it would be great for future generations.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Some Philately From Algeria - The Same Years (91/92)

And now,

Take a look at what a "poor" country like Algeria produced in terms of "Philately" those same 2 years!

Look at the wealth of natural treasures this country has.

Did you know that (wiki info):

  • The territory of today's Algeria was the home of many ancient prehistoric cultures, including Aterianand Capsian cultures. Its area has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient BerberNumidians, Lybio-Punic CarthaginiansRomansVandalsByzantines, Arab Umayyads, BerberFatimids, Berber Almoravids, Berber AlmohadsTurkish Ottomans and the French colonial empire.  
  • The varied vegetation of Algeria includes coastal, mountainous and grassy desert-like regions which all support a wide range of wildlife.The most commonly seen animals include the wild boars, jackals, and gazelles, although it is not uncommon to spot fennecs (foxes), and jerboas. Algeria also has a few leopard and cheetah populations, but these are seldom seen.
  • A variety of bird species makes the country an attraction for bird watchers. The forests are inhabited by boars and jackals. Barbary macaques are the sole native monkey. Snakes, monitor lizards, and numerous other reptiles can be found living among an array of rodents throughout the semi arid regions of Algeria. Many animals are now extinct, among which the Barbary lions and bears.
  • Algeria is classified as an upper middle income country by the World Bank.[73] 
  • Thanks to strong hydrocarbon revenues, Algeria has a cushion of $173 billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 2% of GDP.[4] The economy remains very dependent on hydrocarbon wealth, and, despite high foreign exchange reserves (US$178 billion, equivalent to three years of imports), current expenditure growth makes Algeria's budget more vulnerable to the risk of prolonged lower hydrocarbon revenues.[76]