44 Years ago, a man used to hang two bags of books on his chetak and roam around the streets of Jaipur to find buyers for his books. When did you start this? I asked eagerly. Looking into the blankness, he rubbed his hands together and said, “Zamaana hogaya.” He speaks whenever he talks of his past, otherwise a silent book store owner. A small store at the junction of Tarbuja Mandi. A place where people used to sell a big sized watermelons grown in the Banas river. “Now the river has gone dry and where do the watermelons come from.” The owner narrates the past. The watermelons have got vanished but the name stayed. Tarbuja Mandi.
Racks of books packed in a small space is filled with children’s literature. A main distributor of NBT (Nehru Book Trust) and CBT(Children Book Trust). There are three people who run the shop with two shop boys in the store. They got several godowns for several publications.
|The owner and his son in the frame with the backdrop of the shop|
How small does this shop look, I thought. But, they make business in big numbers. A well known shop for all the NGOs in Rajasthan.
“We have fixed customers. A few from Theatre and a few more readers come. Other than that, we get our business at the fairs. We go the exhibition fairs conducted at Bikaner, Sirohi & Jodhpur. That’s where we get our business.
|Books for children|
They have amazing collection. We spent a day, buying books for our schools. More than 1000 books.
|My books from Lok Ayat Prakashan|
For my personal collection, I got a few books from Eklavya Publication. Also, there was one book on Begum Akthar and another journal from Ruskin Bond. I was going broke but, however made money for this purchase. A good buy. Satisfied.