The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Author: Milan Kundera
Title: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Publisher: Faber and Faber Limited
Year of publication: 1985
Place of publication: Bungay, Suffolk
Translator: Michael Henry Heim
Place of purchase: Amsterdam
Purchase cost: 6 Euro
Ownership: Secondhand
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
Utrecht, 13 maart 1988
Lieve Susan,
Milan Kundera, de onvergetelijke lichtheid van het bestaan voor je verjaardag. Ik ken het zelf nog niet, hopelijk valt het een beetje in de smaak!
Binnenkort een wat langer samen zijn?!

Utrecht, 13th of March 1988
Dear Susan,
Milan Kundera, the unbearable lightness of being for your birthday. I myself don’t know it yet, I hope it pleases you!
Let’s meet for a little longer soon?!
Marieke] [many thanks to ronjarcissa who has commented below]
Submitted by: Sahana Srinivasan

The Moonstone



Author: Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone
Publisher: Penguin English Library
Year of publication: 1966
Place of publication: Great Britain
Editor: J. I. M. Stewart
Place of purchase: College Street
Purchase cost: Rupees 90
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: the first transcription is the original dedication, the next one more recent. a very tattered old copy, of secondhand provenance. it was actually a gift, but as I did the selecting and buying myself, I did not choose that option.
Transcription of dedication/inscription:

To Daddy,
his Happy Birthday


Dear ‘Guria’
(Buno 🙂 )

signature of owner (self)

College Street

From ‘Bony’
Submitted by: Debjani Dutta

Alice in Wonderland


Author: Lewis Carroll
Title: Alice in Wonderland
Publisher: The Children’s Press, London and Glasgow
Year of publication: 1976
Place of publication: Great Britain
Ownership: Gift
General comments: Not sure what to call this one, but I ultimately settled for ‘gift’.
This book has two inscriptions
One from 1978 or 1987, the writing is far too stylized for me to decipher this:
” Happy Birthday
To Bula..
Chanchalda ”
12th Feb, 1978/1987

‘Bula’ is my maternal aunt(mother’s own sister) and ‘Chanchalda’ is my maternal uncle(mother’s cousin brother).

The second one is from 1992 and simply reads:
Arghya Roychowdhuri

Arghya is my brother. I’m guessing the book changed hands somewhere along the way and is now in my possession.
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
” Happy Birthday
To Bula..
Chanchalda ”
12th Feb, 1978/1987

Arghya Roychowdhuri

Khirer Putul


Author: Abanindranath Thakur
Title: ক্ষীরের পুতুল (The Rice Pudding Doll)
Publisher: Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Year of publication: 1997
Place of publication: Kolkata
Place of purchase: Kolkata Boi Mela
Purchase cost: Rupees 20
Ownership: Gift
General comments: This was before we moved to EM Bypass, so I was 3 or 4 years old when I received it. The only memory I have of the book is my mother reading it out to me. The book also contained unappealing drawings of mountains with a giant setting sun wedged right between them. Because, you know, why not?
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
To Diya

With lots of love and best wishes on your Birthday

Anamitra and Abhirupa

Eleven Minutes


Author: Paulo Coelho
Title: Eleven Minutes
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers India
Year of publication: 2007
Place of publication: New Delhi
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
Place of purchase: Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 295
Ownership: Borrowed
General comments: Given the content of the book, the inscription is pretty hilarious.
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
Hey sister,
Happy B’day….
N’joy reading this bk….
& remember me aftr finishing each pg…..
love you…

The Algebra of Infinite Justice


Author: Arundhati Roy
Title: The Algebra of Infinite Justice
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year of publication: 2002
Place of publication: New Delhi
Place of purchase: A.H. Wheeler & Co. Limited
Purchase cost: Rupees 225
Ownership: Gift
General comments: This was a gift to my father from his erstwhile boss.
Transcription of dedication/inscription:

I am glad to handover this book to a man who knows what the justice is.

S.K. Chakravarty

Woes of the True Policeman

Author: Roberto Bolaño
Title: Woes of the True Policeman
Publisher: Picador
Year of publication: 2012
Place of publication: Great Britain
Translator: Laura Healy
Place of purchase: Kolkata, India
Ownership: Gift
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
Here is a fantastic modern writer, read and open your world.
May 20, Baba
Submitted by: Sourjya Mitra