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Showing posts from January, 2018

A shop of one’s own

Every now and then, I am seized by the desire to have a small shop on Mall Road. “Small” is a tautology when you know Ranikhet’s Mall Road, because the road is only a few feet wide and the shops along it are no bigger than half a garage. My shop would be a room about 6x10ft, with tall, hinged shutters that I would fold close and lock up every evening before I walked home. Mall Road’s eastern flank has about seven shops: the paanwaala , Gullu Dhobi, the atta chakki (flour mill), the omelette-paratha place, a couple of tailors, and so on. Presiding over the middle is the glass-fronted eating room of Hotel Meghdoot, where all Mall Road’s fringe-tailed dogs take care to position themselves. Finally, there is Raju Taxi and Tour Service, which operates from an Alto. And then the market ends. What will my shop sell? I am not sure. But in my head it is a warm, happy place where glass jars with freshly baked biscuits sit on shelves of sweet-smelling pinewood. In the cor