India: Iconic Delhi bookseller KD dies

The death of one of Delhi’s most cherished bookshop owners marks the end of an era: LiveMint

Kanwarjit Singh Dhingra, founder-owner of The Book Shop in the Capital, popularly known as KD, died of cancer on Wednesday. Singh was 73. He ran the book store with his wife Nini and doorman Sohan Singh. He is also survived by his three daughters, Rachna, Pia and Mallika.

“I saw KD about two months ago. He looked weak but was cheerful,” says Mithva Krishen, a loyal customer. “I have been going to The Book Shop since I was a child. KD was one of my earliest friends in Delhi. He would never treat us like kids. He respected our opinions and would seek our views on this book or that. On my 18th birthday, my father’s (environmentalist Pradip Krishen’s) gift to me was to have the option to buy as many books as I wanted from KD’s store for the whole year. And so every week I would go to The Book Shop and return home with an armful of books. KD would laugh and tell me that I should not buy so many books or else my father would take back the present.”

KD with Arundhati Roy
A proud old boy of St Joseph’s College in Nainital, the soft-spoken Singh opened The Book Shop in Central Delhi’s Jor Bagh in 1970. Twelve years later, he opened a second outlet in nearby Khan Market which became extremely popular—Singh told this writer a couple of years back that even the late Gabriel García Márquezhad visited it during a trip to New Delhi.