It has been quite a while since I have left Alleppey (or Alappuzha depending on your preference). These days, I have very minimal interaction with the town now. Most of the time, I am just passing through the city via Collectorate junction and Medical College junction. This way, you see only the periphery of the town. Dealing with periphery doesn't mean the traffic menace is any less than the other big cities in Kerala. With considerably less radius than rest of the big cities, Alleppey or Alappuzha does stand on it's own in terms of traffic menace.
A couple of days earlier, I passed through the town. Before entering the town, I was entrusted with a mission. Find some interesting books for an eight year old. Simple as it may sound, it posed a difficult challenge for me. My knowledge of book stores in this area is 20 years old. The town has changed a lot in these years. When I knew the city well, one of the best shops for comics was situated between Seemati theater and Veeriah theater. I have forgotten the name of the book store. I was not even sure if this shop was still in business. It should be in business even today if you consider the number of Indrajal comics and Amar Chithra Katha comics sold in this small shop in those days.
Fearing loss of time resulting from traffic if I ventured into that part of the town, I looked for other options which will prevent me from taking a detour. I decided to rely on the internet to find a book store using the phone-a-friend option. Although I was presented with a couple of options nearer, they turned out to be of no use. I found the little shop tucked between Seemati theater and Veeriah theater finally. The name of the book store was "Good House". It is ironic that I had forgotten the name of the store despite the habit, memories and the experiences it gave me. When I finally entered the shop, I couldn't find any comics. The collection of the books have also changed over the years.
After being lost for a few minutes and absent-mindedly checking all the shelves, I asked the person at the counter. "Don't you have comics?". The smile he gave me in return is difficult to explain. Here is someone asking him about the glory days of the book store. It was as if no one remembers what the store offered in the olden days. Now the books on the shelves are not as great as the ones that were on display decades ago. Here is someone who came searching for the past. The smile contained both pain and happiness.
In fact, when he was smiling, both of us went down the memory lane to connect in a time which will never be regained.
Tags: Musings,Alleppey,Book Store