I write to you as one of the many well-wishers of this quaint, Khan Market paradise of yours – a haven of memories and a wonderland of knowledge.
This Covid-19 crisis has been a realisation of sorts for all of us. It’s baffling how a microscopic enemy can also be a formidable force against the might of our arrogant humankind. It’s a reality check on how minuscule and insignificant we are in comparison to the enormity of Mother Nature. We all have had our fair share of revelations and surprises during this precarious period but, I’m here to share a very personal account with you.
I read about you planning to shut down and shift Full Circle from Khan Market. As much as I can understand how difficult it must have been for you, a part of me still hopes to drop by at your bookstore once our lives return to ‘normal’, walk up that creaky wooden stairway, spend some time flipping through pages in the aroma of incense and freshly printed books of intense. I miss secretly smelling the pages of books I’d buy at your store, as delectable confectionery upstairs would give stiff competition to my olfactory senses.
As you turn to a new chapter in the book of life, here’s an anecdote about why your charming store means so much to readers like me.
Two years ago, I met a girl on a dating app and it hardly took me a week to decide that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. We hadn’t met for the initial two weeks of dating since we were in different cities. During that period, she told me that she had a podcast of her own where she recited lesser known stories from the Indian subcontinent – Hushed Voices.
Desperate to impress her, and being a devoted reader myself, I knew where to go to make the first impression last. I rushed to Khan Market, went straight to your store and picked up Indian Folktales and Legends by Pratibha Nath, after several indecisive, nail-biting moments. Needless to say, she loved it, and it was a significant moment in our relationship as we explored a common love for books and how we thought alike.
A couple of months later, she had a serious craving for lemon cake and it was one of those days when most bakeries had run out of the one thing she wanted. I called up Cafe Turtle and requested if they could arrange one. I remember it was around 1 pm and I waited for 45 minutes to get a confirmation. They called and said, “Sir, we have just one slice left.” I rushed to Khan Market immediately and climbed the stairs hurriedly, only to stop by and peep into your store first to check if there were any new arrivals that were to my liking. I picked up my order and made a pit stop at Full Circle to spoil her a bit more.
It’s been almost two years since I married Roshini and we still have fond memories of your quaint world of knowledge and passion, tucked away amidst the hullabaloo of our busy city. Khan Market was more a Full Circle for us than the many restaurants and pubs that cater to the rest of the city-dwellers.
As much as we’d have loved to walk down those lanes and knock on your doors after this dreary pandemic passes, we do look forward to dropping by at your Meherchand Market address and say “Hello, we’re back!” once again.
PS: If ever you need people to rally behind you for anything, we’ll be there. Because, as you wrote, life always comes a ‘Full Circle’.
— Article by Murukesh Krishnan