Like Lucknow’s iconic British E book Depot whose 93-year-old journey that coincided with town’s personal historical past concluded on Tuesday because it moved to its everlasting tackle: the reminiscence lane.
College students, bibliophiles and stationery lovers simply wished to have a hearty chuckle with the proprietor, Suraj Prakash Kakkar, 83.
Booklovers had seen it coming as the shop wrestled towards e-books and fought a dropping battle in a world of dwindling readership.
Nestled within the coronary heart of Hazratganj, the bookstore has been an escape for many — from college students, bibliophiles, stationery lovers to some who simply wished to have a hearty chuckle with the proprietor, Suraj Prakash Kakkar, 83.
Many from town had been disheartened to find out about it.
Some visited the store for the final time as movers and packers emptied the house, whereas a number of shared their reminiscences on social media.
Educationist Zarine Viccajee whose father owned the constructing — then known as ‘Nowrojee Constructing’, the place the current store was located — reminisced her affiliation with the bookshop and the proprietor.
“Now we have a longstanding relationship with the shop and Kakkarji as they had been our tenants. Even after the constructing was offered within the Nineteen Seventies, then too, we continued to go to the store. I at all times keep in mind the place because the one which was so welcoming, and you may take pleasure in your self. Mr Kakkar would allow us to flick thru something with none hurry. It’s unlucky that it’ll now turn out to be a a part of Hazratganj’s historical past, like many different iconic locations,” she stated.
It was Kakkar’s father Shanti Prakash who opened the shop in 1925 in Mhow (Navy headquarters of Struggle) with accomplice Ishwar Das.
In 1930, Shanti Prakash considered increasing the enterprise.
As there have been no bookstores in Lucknow, town was a appropriate possibility for him.
After finishing his post-graduation in 1962, Kakkar, too, joined the store.
Through the years, the store turned a hub for college students, literary connoisseurs, politicians and others.
The store was visited by a number of eminent personalities like Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Jawaharlal Nehru together with his daughter Indira Gandhi, Chandrashekar Singh, Vijay Lakshmi Pandit and Shankar Dayal Sharma.
“I attempted matching the tendencies and offered greeting playing cards, new yr diaries and stationery with books. Technological advances and introduction of kindle and e-books decreased the recognition of books. The pandemic led to losses. Being busy of their careers, my daughters couldn’t proceed the enterprise, so it got here to an inevitable conclusion,” Kakkar stated with moist eyes.
“Now we have about 10,000 books of various genres left with us. We can be decluttering them and donating them to authorities colleges and ashrams,” Kakkar’s daughter Shilpi stated.
Veteran journalist and writer Pradeep Kapoor stated, “Each time I visited Hazratganj, I used to drop in to satisfy Suraj ji. We used to have lengthy conversations on totally different subjects. My important reminiscence is of visiting the store throughout my college days. Other than the books, generally you may run into the nation’s who’s who on the store.”
Former HOD of LU’s English division, Nishi Pandey, stated that the closing of the bookstore looks like the top of an period.
“Not simply a store, it was an mental hub for us,” added Pandey.
Academician Rakesh Chandra stated, “I’d go to the shop with my father and would sit there for hours, looking.”
With Godhooli Sharma