Poetry on a Pushcart
Rahul M tells us more about this pushcart and the owner on Scroll.in :
“Let me sell books on a thopudubandi that is normally used to vend vegetables and corn. I will sell only poetry.”
Sheik Sadiq Ali had an epiphany about his store-on-wheels while he was lunching with his friend Vasireddy Venugopal on his way back from Vijayawada. Vasireddy and Ali had just attended a book exhibition where they had sold a poetry collection titled Bhoomadhya Rekha, written by the young Telugu poet Kasi Raju. As many as 300 copies of Bhoomadya Rekha were bought. Ali was stunned by the response.
“Poets pull their hair apart to drop a word on paper. And then they give out their books for free. There are people to market novels and guidebooks. But no one markets poetry.”
So, Ali decided to take the job on himself. First step: getting a cart made.
The mobile poetry shop has been on the road in Hyderabad since February 22, with books from several writers. Within days, Telugu poets across Seemandhra and Telangana noticed Thopudubandi and began to send their books to Ali. By February 28, he had over 135 poetry titles to sell.
Ali and his comrades push the cart through Ramnagar Gundu towards Nallakunta. They stop whenever someone comes up to them, with Ali talking to them patiently, recommending books, and gathering feedback.