Bidding appears weak, perhaps due to the sellers' choosing not to publicly offer a transitional consulting/support period. Bids are at $3,950 as of this writing -- under the reserve price, and nowhere near the $100,000 "buy it now" price.
I've only been back from vacation for a day and a half, and I've already sent off forty emails, gotten in touch with folks at five listings services, and worked with Charlie to solve a fairly major bug that had somehow slipped into the BookFinder.com code a couple of months ago (thankfully, one that didn't get triggered very often, but annoying nevertheless...)
Not to mention the big pile of bills to pay that I have sitting at home.
How quickly vacations end. Sigh.
[Now Reading: KaliKatha: Via Bypass by Alka Saraogi]
I'm sitting at a cybercafe in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India. The Internet revolution has finally India's big cities. There are literally thousands of cybercafes around town, where you can rent computer time for as little as 20 Indian Rupees (US $0.43) per hour. I'm surrounded by young people sending mail, chatting online, playing networked games.
I've been visiting relatives in Kolkata once every year or two, for as long as I can remember. Kolkata's one of the four largest cities in India, along with Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), and Delhi. It's situated in the state of West Bengal, near the border with Bangladesh. Residents are multiethnic, though most speak Bengali, the primary language of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
India is a very multilingual society. People typically speak at least two, if not three, languages. This can be a difficult concept to grasp for those of us hailing from monolingual societies. Examples help. I watched a movie called Mr. and Mrs. Iyer a couple of days back. It was subtitled for local distribution. Or at least some of it was. There were at least four languages used in the movie: English, Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil. Of these, only the Tamil segments were subtitled; it was assumed (quite correctly so, for the most part), that Kolkata viewers would know Bengali, English, and Hindi, and therefore wouldn’t require any translation assistance.
India's publishing scene reflects this linguistic diversity. Book are published in at least two dozen languages, including English (the only South Asian language I read fluently). I enjoy stocking up on new Indian English language books whenever I'm in town. I picked up a bunch of books yesterday from Oxford Bookstore, my favorite bookstore in Kolkata -- a collection of new writing by Amitav Ghosh, one of my favorite Indian writers; a book of oral history from the Partition of India in 1947, and a volume of reporting on the primarily anti-Muslim Gujarat massacre of 2002; a book on contemporary Bengali art history written by a family friend; and five more books, mostly fiction by young Indian writers. Good reading for the months ahead.
[Now Reading: Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami]