By Tanu Shree Singh
The year: 1985
The place: Delhi.
The occasion: Nani gave some pocket money to two grand-kids who were now itching to go to the nearby market and splurge.
I remember the excitement. I remember the trip to the market. I remember us being in a hurry to step out of the car, and I remember the towering bookshelves. I definitely remember the smell of books, the glossy, new ones that the fat pocket money could buy, and I remember the bliss. Trips to bookstores were few and far between, mostly because we stayed far away and splurging was not an option. But those few trips to those tiny bookstores tucked away in inconspicuous corners are etched in our hearts forever.
The year: 2015
The place: Leh
The occasion: Nothing. The younger one spotted a bookstore.
“Can I go in, please?”
All I could do is smile.
We entered the tiny bookstore that also doubled as a stationery shop. The younger one ran his hands over some books, took some out, flipped a few pages, and when no one was looking drew a deep breath in. I caught him, and sheepish, understanding grins were exchanged.