Capital Regret – On Ms Amita Malik’s Library on the Road
Ms Malik’s nephew writes to The Delhi Walla.
[Text by Sarbjit Roy; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]
I read The Delhi Walla‘s story on Ms Amita Malik’s books being sold to a rag picker by her close relatives and domestic staff. Let me set the records straight. I am Mrs Malik’s nephew and her only blood relative in Delhi. The books referred in the article were expressly selected by the family for free or very cheap distribution among the book lovers of Delhi such as at Daryaganj Sunday market. In fact, this is where The Delhi Walla discovered her books.
It is therefore factually incorrect to say that her relatives sold it to a rag-picker when actually they were given to specialized old book sellers in Jamia area to distribute on a non-profit basis.
The bulk of Ms Malik’s books are still retained by her family. It is only those books which did not meet the content and physical condition that were not selected for retention. In fact, all of Ms Malik’s relatives and many of her friends and colleagues got opportunities to select books for themselves following her death.
The family views it positively if some of her books (which are in slightly poor condition – such as moth eaten, infested with silver fish, cracked spines, brittle pages) have found good homes with book lovers who pay for their books. They would value them better than if they had got it for free.