Dropping In on Professor Kapoor

Batya Is Back

I hadn’t seen Prof. Kapoor, who reads astrology, numerology, and palms in the main bazaar in front of Jackson Books, since March of 2008. But when I dropped in, right off the plane in Delhi (well actually I had landed the night before) and asked, “Remember me?” he said he did.

He reads down an alley from the new and used bookshop, run by his brothers, which has been in business for about 35 years; it’s an institution. One of his brothers, Parhargan, started it as a hobby. The authors and titles are rather good. Lawrence Durrell. Toni Morrison. Pema Chodron. Midnight’s Children.

Batya Weinbaum
Click to enlarge photo

Batya Weinbaum

I said I had come back to learn face-reading. He told me I had a Jupiter face, wide, full of knowledge, of wisdom, and that I needed to buy a book on numerology instead. By Saturday, his older brother, who had founded the store, had decided to stock up on the book Opening Palms, which I had published from the first year and half of this column. Prof. Kapoor was in it. They both advised me to seek an Indian publisher, at a book publishing fair going on in Delhi, but I had already bought my train ticket for Southern India.

As I sat and chattered with Prof. Kapoor’s brother, various clients came and went, from Afghanistan and other countries. They proudly showed me the write-up, in Time Out Delhi‘s first edition (2007), of “Delhi’s Hidden Gem,” Parhargan’s bookstore. The article notes that the store stocks books in 25 languages – including English, French, German, and Hebrew – but not Hindi.

The bookshop operates a book swap, too. So now I am in Meher Baba’s Pilgrim Center in Meherbad reading One Night at the Call Center, by Chetan Bhagat, until such time as I can go on to Varanasi to learn face-reading and add that to my repertoire; or return to Delhi to find a publisher for my palmistry books from this column, and thereby make my fortune.

Meanwhile, dear readers, I do apologize for the time lag. When I return to the States, which has happened since my last installments, I get engrossed with the bills: $500 for the veterinarian, $400 for the van’s emission control, $700 for the hospital, to pay for something from last summer and fall … and writing this column doesn’t exactly pay the bills. In fact, there’s no money in it at all! Nonetheless, dear readers, I’m back!

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