I just read the sad news in papers today that Mr T. N. Shanbhag, owner of my favourite bookstore The Strand Book Stall is no more. He died after a brief illness. Strand Book Stall is a unique institution in Bombay. My only hobby is buying books and reading them, and Strand never disappoints me in finding the book which I want. Even if I could not find a book I wanted, I invariably spot a book which appeals to me and I end up buying that. In that way I never left without buying a book. Just a few weeks ago, I visited Strand as I wanted to buy The Empires of the Indus. On enquiring, I was told that this book is out of stock and may be available in a few days. I was disappointed, but was happy when I spotted Six Suspects (which I am reading presetnly) by Vikas Swarup. Strand is indded a treasure trove for book lovers like me. No bookshop in Bombay gives 20 per cent discount on books.
Goodbye Mr Shanbhag. May your soul rest in peace.