Posts Tagged ‘Puttanna’


Nagasri – my small big book store

   Posted by: aman    in Other

In the 1950s, the city of Bengaluru decided to create Jayanagar – Asia’s biggest housing colony. On a square grid, the 9 blocks of Jayanagar came up with tree-lined roads as crosses and mains.

In the 1970s, the Bengaluru Municipality decided to create a beautiful market complex in Jayanagar. They built a concrete multi angled shed roof shopping complex, with glass covered awnings for ample light; a four-storey office complex with arterial corridors, and a huge single screen cinema theatre called Puttanna, named after Puttanna Kanagal, who is known as Kannada cinema’s Chitra Bramha – God of Films.

On November 11, 1976, the first shop in the arterial corridor, next to Puttanna theatre’s parking lot, was allotted to a bookstore named Nagasri. When I arrived in Bangalore over two decades back, I started frequenting the Jayanagar market complex to buy flowers, stationery, masalas, and occasionally meat. Each time I would stop at Nagasri, buy a book or two. It was a lovely bond.

About a decade back, with the rise of multiplex cinema, the Bengaluru Municipality decided to pull down Puttanna theatre and build a multi-rise shopping centre to relocate the original market complex. The decision was to redevelop the market complex, read make a Mall or some such ugly building. The arterial corridors were covered. The multi-rise was ready five years back but was not inaugurated because first the complex shop keepers did not agree to be re-located, later political squabbling on who would inaugurate it. All this while, Nagasri being the first shop on the arterial corridor suffered blockade from two sides and the third side was taken over by footpath vendors who too had nowhere to go.

Today, when Nagasri sent me a picture of my book arriving, I went to meet Mr Venkatesh and Mr Guru Prasad
. The multi-rise is now occupied, the barricades are off, the shop looks restored to its pristine glory. Mr Venkatesh congratulated me for my book, and told me, ‘In this digital age (reference to Flipkart, Amazon and their discounts), we survived 8 years thanks to our clients and patrons. People who found it difficult to approach our shop, kept coming, kept buying, we stayed on.’

I wished them Happy Birthday. It is a pleasure to be at Nagasri Book House. Do visit. Do patronise small book stores. You matter, they matter.


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