Gulshan Books, the oldest chain of bookstores in Kashmir has come up with a heart-touching way of helping home-quarantined people pass their time. By Kumar Shree
What was earlier supposed to be a situation until March 31, after PM Modi’s latest address to the nation, has now been extended for 21 more days. While the ones like us with an active internet connection have streaming services to help us during this time, the ones without an internet connection are finding it even more difficult. The latter is the case for the people of Kashmir. Despite the connectivity being restored in the valley, the internet is still somewhat poor.
So, how are the people dealing with self-isolation during this time? The answer is — books. And how are they getting these books? The answer is — Gulshan Books in Kashmir. The store has donated more than 1,000 books for home-quarantined people and is helping them “keep busy” and “inculcate the habit of reading among the young minds of Kashmir” as Sheikh Maied, son of the owner, Sheikh Aijaz Ahmed, puts it.
Some of the prominent titles donated by the store are Gone with the Wind by Margarett Mitchell, The Diary of Anne Frank, and books by the likes of suspense-thriller and romantic authors such as Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, and many more. The four outlets of Gulshan Books at Residency Road, Gow Kadal, Nehru Park in Srinagar, and one store in Leh-Ladakh have a consolidated collection of over 80,000 titles.
We understand that visiting these stores is not possible as of now, however, do check out the store in Nehru Park Island (when you can) for a stunning reading-room-cum-café that comes with a gorgeous view of Srinagar.