Story of a Book

Well, apart from being one of the oddest book I ever got close to, this book has a story. I read an advertisement about this book in a Hindi literature magazine ‘Hans’ which was started by THE GREAT Premchand. Advertisement of this book depicted an smiling old man and it ended like this, “It will cost you cost Rs 39. You can also ask for credit. You can also get it for free. But you have to promise that you’ll write a letter in this cryptic language.” I wrote a cheque of Rs 50 and a small letter to this guy asking for this book and whatever other stuff of this kind he had. After 7 days I received this book parcel. A book with quite an encryption. Though his ‘cypher’ is not very sophisticated, one should not forget that he has no training whatsoever. The ‘group’ which came out of it was not symmetrical so it was a reasonably good cipher. On the back of this book, he has also given a pictorial scripts (as you can see in this pic). The story did not end here. After two months I received a letter form him with cheque enclosed. Apparently, he did not have any back account. So he ‘politely’ returned it and asked if I can send him postages. They will be more useful for him. I send him whatever postages I had that time. When I told this incidence in office (after producing letter as a proof), the remark was – “How come you find weired people?”

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Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

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