“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3. Blossoms of Books

I have never set foot on England, but P has been to British Museum long ago when she was there for a course. She called me up and said, ‘I miss you here. I wish you could be here with me at the British Museum. It would take weeks to SEE at least a corner of this place!’

In Church Street, Bangalore, I have my kind of British Museum. It is a 3-storyed building, narrow column-like, every nook and corner crammed with – books! Books, old and new, on all possible topics. It is called the Blossom book shop.

Stacks of long columns of books all around me. I twist and squirm myself and gingerly step around, gaping open-mouthed and blinking through my bifocals. K grins at my idiotic expression. He knows I am in my element. Like a hunter delving into the great jungles, and parting the long grass to peek at a tiger, I push columns of books to either side to peer at further columns. This musty, heady smell of old books! How seductive, how fatally attractive! Like a Piranha in a feeding frenzy, I gobble up books. In some, love notes; heartfelt wishes, inscriptions, scribbled by someone in a far off country, from an age long past. I feel the pages of the books and think of them, those who gave it and those who read it, those shelves in some places I will never know, I will never see; these books some had held close to their hearts!

Every time my eyes fall on a gem, I utter – “Ahhh!!” Flares of interest flicker in K’s eyes. Not book-besotted like me and knowing that it is one of my disappointments with him, but affected by my infectious excitement, he also picks up a few. I am happy. The final damage is Rs.3,500/- plus. I’d have bought more, but I resist the temptation at the thought of lugging them all the way to Trivandrum and P’s head-shaking. Each of my pick is endearing to me. But the best of the lot is a little book of quotes worth Rs.30.00 - ‘What is a Friend?’

Immense, innocent happiness radiates all around. I look at the youngsters browsing and deeply engrossed in the books; I look at them carrying around shopping baskets full of books. I love them all. K says – ‘Now you have a BETTER reason to come to Bangalore!’. ‘You bet!’ says I.

********** Balachandran V , Trivandrum, 15.09.2010


  1. Yes, Blossoms is a great place to be for a bibliophile like you. I frequent it quite often. And as you mentioned I too found kind of a pass tucked inside the pages of an old book during my last visit; obviously from England and belonged to an old era with Her Majesty the Queen’s approval on it.

  2. must visit the place... mouth watering...

  3. You go to a Butcher's shop it abhors after a moment, a fish stall it smells,a vegetable shop, its unruly and untidy, the only place perhaps that smells of print and fresh paper is a book shop. Blooms, Landmark being a couple. And I remember the streets vendors in Connaught Place New Delhi, it would be virtually greed and ravenous appetite at the sight of those books stacked by the road side.And the only inanimate thing that one can talk to and that will talk back are books.isnt it so?

  4. I think I feel this way every time I go to the old library here. Old is the building loaded with books...I love looking and reading the notes left by someone..Some notes appear so antiquated..Lovely walk in another world...Only a book lover could understand.....

  5. @Sandy: After I left Bangalore, K has been to Blossom a couple of times! I will make a book-lover out of him yet! :)


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