In days long past, i.e. four or five years ago, an old-book bazaar used to be held every Sunday on the lawns of the Frere Hall. The matter offered was not as rich as the one on the pavement of the Anarkali. But it had more variety. And the atmosphere, specially during the short Karachi winters, used to be very pleasant. Tables, laden with well-arranged books, under spacious shamianas, a cool breeze, relaxed bibliophiles enjoying a Sunday out. Then some nearby consulate complained that such a crowd in its vicinity posed a threat to its security. So the bazaar moved to a street by the Arts Council. That must have bothered someone too. So it went to the pavements of the dirtiest lane in the Sadar. Now it is in the Arts Council's courtyard, a mockery of its former self. Ca arrive. The event may have lost its charm, even its attraction. Few are seen there, even of the former regulars. But one can still, once in a while, uncover a gem in the piles of ordinariness. Sometime back, I picked up a book of Einstein's "ideas and opinions", without much enthusiasm. On opening the book at home, I thought for a moment, it was some Einstein other than our E=mc2 chap. The book contains messages, letters, articles etc. of the great scientist, taken from his "Mein Weltbild" (My View of the World). Of course there are scientific pieces, such as an explanation of the Theory of Relativity or the Generalized Theory of Gravitation, which I did not attempt to read. But his comments on the current affairs in the nineteen thirties and later are incisive, as are his analyses of economic and philosophical theories. He not only had full command over these theories but even found time to keep abreast of their progress. For example, commenting on Bertrand Russell's "Theory of Knowledge", he says "I owe innumerable happy hours to the reading of Russell's works." Then, taking up the question: "what knowledge is pure thought able to supply independently of sense perception? Is there any such knowledge?" he says there is general scepticism about learning something by means of pure thought about the "objective world", but reminds the general positivists that no one had yet "proved the impossibility of gaining knowledge of reality by means of pure speculation." Then, in an article on the Great Depression of 1929, he first of all warns us against over-estimating the scientific method "when it is a question of human problems" and follows it up with a purely Marxist explanation of the Depression. He says the worker's wages are determined not by the actual contribution he makes to the production, but by his minimum cost of living, which is far short of the value he created in the process of production. This difference leads to a shortage of demand in the market, leading to recession. It is only on the question of the plight of the European Jews that he loses his sense of justice. This is not surprising because he was writing just after the Second World War, when the reality of the Nazi concentration and death camps had just been revealed. Therefore he complains of the British not opening the doors of Palestine wider to admit the persecuted Jews. But he does not ask himself why the Palestinians should pay for the crimes of the Europeans.