Faqir Chand and Sons Bookstore, located in Delhi’s upmarket Khan Market, is one of the capital’s most iconic spots. The store was opened by Faqir Chand in 1951 and is now run by his great-grandson, Abhinav Bahmi. Mr Bahmi told Humans of Bombay that his great-grandfather moved to Delhi after partition and set up the bookstore.
“So I grew up surrounded by stories, but learned about my great-grandfather’s legacy much later,” Mr Bahmi said.
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He shared that his father read him stories every night and it was during one of these sessions that he learned about the rich history of Faqir Chand Bookstore. Mr Bahmi said that while people advised his great-grandfather against opening the store, Mr Faqir Chand “holds on to his love for books”.
For Mr. Bahmi, the store sparked his love for books. He started visiting the store after school and spending hours there.
“I wouldn’t even notice the setting sun or the growing moon. All I cared about was getting sent to the right Hogwarts house and taking the night train with Ruskin Bond,” Mr Bahmi said.
His love for the store was such that after graduating, instead of taking a job like most of his friends, Mr. Bahmi chose to run the iconic store. He also highlighted the benefits of owning such a famous store and said he could meet eminent personalities like journalist Ravish Kumar and author Arundhati Roy. “They all got their autographs here!” he said.
Highlighting the fame the store has gained over the years, Mr Bahmi said that once a man visited the store who would come there as a child with his father. In another case, a boy came from Himachal Pradesh just to buy a book from the Faqir Chand bookstore.
Mr. Bahmi said he is not sure what draws people to this place, but people from all over the world come to visit the bookstore.
Faqir Chand and Sons has endured the vagaries of time and continues to hold firm.