The city that is known as India’s Silicon Valley is chaotic, corrupt, crowded and messy. Lounge bars, pubs and restaurants jostle for space with malls, multiplexes and 1000 unit apartment complexes. The days when a walk down the bougainvillaea laden promenade on M.G. Road would be followed by a movie at Blue Diamond/ Blue Moon/Plaza/Symphony and a masala dosa afterwards or perhaps an ice cream sundae at Lakeview or Chit Chat, are now lost in the mists of time; surviving only in the shadows of memory.
The Central Business District, a term unheard of some years back, was dotted with bookshops and a trip to explore each one was in itself an adventure in those days. Most of them have gone now, the winds of change and large commercial premises having swept them away. All it means is that it is the readers who have lost out the most. There aren’t too many places left in the city where it is normal to find someone sitting quietly with a book. The tech crowd ensures that the pubs and even coffee shops play loud techno music, music to submerge you in a nagging, repetitive beat until all you are is a pulsing metronome. Conversation and reading or, gods forbid, writing, are seriously discouraged.
So we decided to do a series of posts celebrating the bookish places that still exist in the city and commemorating the ones left in our memory.
Blossom Book House
Started in 2001 and a relatively new store, it stands proudly as a bastion for books on Church Street. One finds not only new books there but also second hand ones. It is one of those few rare shops that specialise in books and comics and do not bother to sell CDs, DVDs, or stationary. It’s rather chaotic filing system (the books are shelved in order of author’s first names) and maze like appearance make one feel as if the turning to each aisle could be a portal into a different world. Even with just a few minutes to kill, it is a pleasure to go in and wander around. Who knows what one may find? Narnia might be waiting.