April 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
The other day I got an email from a friend updating me about her life. (I ask them to do that at regular and random intervals. It’s difficult to know the daily things so far away…! damn. so difficult!) And amongst other things she suddenly told me… ‘Manneys’ closing.’
That set my brain right into flashback mode a la film style. All black N white and with crumpled edges and yellowed film. Heh. Okay not thaaat old memories… but nevertheless. I suddenly remembered how I came across this old bookstore in Camp in Pune. I was meaning to go there since ages. One of my friends who’s as book crazy as me had told me it’s a wonderful, wonderful place. And when you go there, he told me, go to the fiction side and look for the Tolkien section and it ‘ll be on the highest shelf. Tell me if there’s a paper cup there still. I want to know if it’s still like that since I saw it last month. Someone had stashed it there! he tells me. Lol. That’s my first memory of Manney’s. Looking for Tolkien and a paper cup! Oh and I found Tolkien and a whole lot of other treasures at Manney’s! (Not the paper cup though. If I’d had found it it would’ve been extremely amusing to both of us.)
What struck you at Manney’s when you first entered was firstly- the table they had laid out right in front of the door. Secondly, when you went inside… the absolute piles and stacks of books neatly arranged/haphazardly piled/strewn and attempted to be put in order. It was astonishingly wonderful! I mean… going down the rabbit hole and plonking yourself nicely and sweetly books. I have once found a pile on the floor there which had children’s night-time stories, Anna Karenina, hobby books and science fiction on top of each other. H-A-P-H-A-Z-A-R-D to the core.
Oh and they never really seemed to have the particular books you wanted. And they promised you they’d get it for you and never did. There are two ways to go to a bookstore… one is looking for something in particular. The other is strolling and browsing and discovering them. With Manney’s it was always the latter with me. Especially the strange zero-ventilated corner in the classic literary section. I always got a crick in my neck trying to read horizontal stacks of books. It had some really old editions of some really old books. Simply coz they were stacked at the back-end of the shelf. It was a pain to get out some of them. It was amazing.
Now that it’s closing I found out about it some more and now I know that it started in 1948. Ooooh. Long time. Too bad it’s closing. It’s a part of my conversation now with people who introduced me to it and people I introduced to it. All my friends are getting stamped copies of books from there. Damn I miss that part. I have loads of books from there but none STAMPED! Drat.
There are some places that are always special in your heart. They might not be the best places… or the most interesting places but you have fond memories of it anyway. Manney’s is definitely one of those. So here’s to Manney’s. You will be remembered fondly my darling bookstore!
November 15, 2011 § 5 Comments
I m facing a dilemma… I started this blog… and m really pretty proud of myself for being at it so long unlike my other three blogs that fizzled out. But now there’s a question… the idea was ‘me-punekar’ and it so happens that m not gonna be in Pune anymore. M gonna move to another country entirely from january.. and I had thought I d write for a year. Now it’s exactly two years in december. And I feel like I should move on… sort of. M working on ideas for two new blogs. One with a friend and a brand new one… which could probably be anonymous for a while till I get a grip on the idea. So I might just stop Mepunekar in december. Lets see…! What do you think. Or should just change the domain name and keep the past posts as it is!
September 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
A few days ago I went over to my aunts for dinner… Its far away and near the place I used to live before. Now the place I stay is much quieter and crowd free. I went to take a call in the balcony and when I finished it I suddenly saw the square below. Late evening. All two wheelers and cars and buses taking people home at the end of the day. Young guys zooming on their bikes, old ladies driving super careful, couples going out all dressed up, kids cycling home at the end of the day. And I suddenly realized how much I love the city. The city life. I don’t mind the dirt or the heat or the pollution or the crowds. I love it just as it is. Yes it can get better sure… but I love it. And as much as I d love to spend quiet days at quiet places in solitude I d always come back.
And Pune is the perfect city… I always call it the town-city. It’s not as fast as Mumbai… not as slow as a town… it’s somewhere in the middle. It’s at a comfortable pace. And the thing is.. in Pune you can choose your own pace of life. It has its idiosyncrasies as any other metro, new places expanding beyond the old boundaries, old places nestled up in between new concrete. It’s all chaotic but that makes it more interesting and curious. Its fun to just roam around the city once in a while. Its unique with a river cutting through it and hills surrounding it. With markets and the peths. God knows how many times I was lost between Ravivar peth and shukrawar peth and somwar peth. Anywho… so.. I couldn’t stop clicking a picture from my phone… it’s a lousy phone but helps to freeze a picture…
I want to see and click Pune on foot sometimes. Theres simply too many places I havent seen yet. That’s a plan for October. If miss P would oblige to accompany me. And also miss the camera. Cant wait for October!! And especially with Diwali coming up! Do check on in here in October for some new pictures!