Full Stomach, Half Brain
One can hardly expect the Jubilee Hills/Banjara Hills folks/crowd to get misty eyed about something as piffling as the closing of a bookstore when what makes them happy is the new eateries opening around them almost all the time. When they don’t have enough time to visit these numerous eateries how can one expect them to know that a major bookstore in their locality has shut down. If at all they show any interest in such an event it will be only to find out if a new eatery is coming up in place of the closed bookstore. On the other hand tell them a popular eatery has shut down then they will go into deep mourning like they’ve been struck by some great personal tragedy.
Well, in case the JH/BH crowd doesn’t know, the Landmark bookstore located on Road No. in Banjara Hills has shut down. I was there in Banjara Hill sometime last week and happened to notice this catastrophe. LM was a fairly large store to begin with but later it transformed itself into something else and finally it seems to have decided to fold up altogether. I wonder if the Odyssey store in Jubilee Hills has also met the same fate because I haven’t been there since a long time. Then there’s Akshara that doesn’t seem to have a fixed address. It seems to move to a different address every couple of years. I don’t know where the store is now because it is one store I was made to feel welcome.
I guess some of the bookstores realized they had a problem and had eateries inside the bookstores. Almost all the bookstores in JH/BH seem to either have an eatery inside or be conveniently located near one. However, this doesn’t seem to be working so I have an idea. Maybe they should think of having a bookstore inside an eatery. When the folks of JH/BH pause between their courses maybe they will take a reluctant look at the books. Even if this doesn’t work then as a last resort they should bring out books that can be eaten. The JH/BH crowd will be really happy someone has finally understood them and will be more than happy to buy such books that they can bite into after they have finished reading them.
The Sunday Haul
Anyway, last Sunday at Abids I found just one book that I picked out from a heap selling for twenty rupees only. I bought Ed McBain’s ‘The House that Jack Built’ because the title sounded familiar. It was a hard cover edition and when I sat in the café for chai I flipped through the book and hooked by the opening started reading it. I finished it in two days.
Yesterday I happened to visit the Legislative Assembly and while returning to office dropped in at the second hand bookstore at Lakdikapul. I found yet another Alice Munro title- The Progress of Love which is another collection of her short stories. The Progress of Love, Lichen, Monsieur les Deux Chapeaux, Miles City, Montana, Fits, The Moon in the Orange Street Skating Rink, Jesse and Meribeth, Eskimo, A Queer Streak, Circle of Prayer, and White Dump are the stories in this book. Apart from this title the other Alice Munro titles in my collection are: I have Dance of the Happy Shades, Runaway, The View from Castle Rock, The Moons of Jupiter.