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A floating book fair for bibliophiles

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COLLECTOR'S ITEMS: Captain Alex Feddes (right) and Director Daniel Chae (centre) of MV Doulos, display some of the books in their collection to Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on board the ship on Wednesday. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan
COLLECTOR'S ITEMS: Captain Alex Feddes (right) and Director Daniel Chae (centre) of MV Doulos, display some of the books in their collection to Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on board the ship on Wednesday. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Staff Reporter

Doulos, the vessel, is often compared to theTitanic

Exhibition is aboard the oldest sea-faring passenger shipShip docked at city port till May 8Books on cookery, health, literature on display

CHENNAI: Want to be aboard the oldest sea-faring passenger ship and explore the largest floating book fair? Hop onto Doulos (servant in Greek), in which, Captain Alex Feddes claims, 330 people from 46 countries sail around the world, "spreading knowledge, help and hope."

Doulos also refers to a floating community that has sailed the seven seas. The ship is now docked at Chennai, it's 542nd port of visit. The vessel is often compared to the Titanic that sank two years before Doulos was built in 1914.

On the ship's age, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, who inaugurated the book fair aboard the Doulos, said: "Ninety-one years! That's 10 years older than I am."

With Christian, a volunteer from Scandinavia, playing the keyboard to regale people aboard and a gentle sea breeze blowing constantly, browsing through the 6,000 titles can be a pleasant experience.

Peruse recipes of soufflés and other mouth-watering dishes in umpteen cookery books, glance through classics such as Jane Austen and the Brontes and learn how to lose that tummy flab from a gamut of books on health.

There are also a few albums of jazz, rock, ballads and gospel music on sale. The currency in circulation is Doulos units and you have to pay in cash. (Hundred Doulos units equivalent to Rs. 80.)

Entrance fee

The ship will be docked at the Chennai port till May 8.

'It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m on Sundays and Mondays.

The entrance fee is Rs. 50 (free for children under 16, but they must be accompanied by an adult).

Visitors must bring official photo identification.

To get aboard the ship, wait at the parking lot opposite the Government Secretariat.

A free shuttle bus will ferry visitors to the ship.

The Doulos team will present a multi-cultural show as part of an `International Festival' at the Kamaraj Arangam on May 5 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The tickets cost Rs. 30 and are available at the outlets of Music World, Landmark (Spencer Plaza), Landmark (Nungambakkam), Om Books, ELS, CLS, Word of Christ and HLC.

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