Not a joke this

THIS BOOK may weigh 500 kg when completed. Those working on it hope it may even make it to the Guinness Book of World Records. Even otherwise, it would have served a useful purpose. Each page will measure 427 cm by 330 cm.

The Bangalore Book Sellers and Publishers Association (BBSPA) has sponsored a group of 12 cartoonists, mostly from the city, to sketch their inspired best on the 70 pages of cartoons which will make up part of the book. B.V. Panduranga Rao, one of the cartoonists, said the works would avoid politics, which get outdated too soon, and deal with issues such as pollution and the urban sprawl. Other cartoonists working on this book are V.Gopal, L.N.Rao, Vasantha Hosabattu, V.R.C. Shekhar, G.S. Naganath, S.V. Padmanabha, H. Umapathi, K.N. Balaraj, C.M. Nadiga, Raghupathi and Satish Sringeri.

The huge book is expected to be completed in time for the Second Bangalore Book Festival to be held from September 10 to 19, according to the BBSPA president, Balram Sadhwani. Revived after a long gap, last year's book festival, the first to be organised by the trade itself, had nearly 1.5 lakh visitors and Rs. 20 crores worth sales. "The remaining 50 pages of the book will be kept open for signatures from celebrities and book lovers who have a message on literacy and reading habits, they want to spread,'' he said.

The Book Festival will have several parallel programmes. One will be a "celebrity walk" to gather support for empowering street children. There will also be a writers' forum where young authors will be helped to showcase their works and interact with potential publishers.

By K. Satyamurty

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