Wednesday, September 06, 2006
In a remote corner of the 'Giggles' bookstore sits a delightful lady called Nalini Chettur. Shes totally isolated from the negativity flowing in the world around her, as she sits there, indulging her first and only true love - books. When I went to meet her, she was reading Ogden Nash's 'Candy is Dandy' with such thought-provoking verse like:
In the world of Mules
There are no rules.
33 years ago, Nalini started 'Giggles' for a giggle, as she likes to say. Inspired by Helen Hanff's '84, Charing Cross Road', Nalini was offered a space inside the Taj Connemara Hotel. Over the years, the hotel has been shrinking that space and thats how Giggles has ended up becoming the "biggest little book shop" with all of 100 square feet. There are over one lakh titles crammed into its incredible smallness. Books are stacked from floor to ceiling with one narrow sinew that can only indulgently be called the aisle and you have to be pretty little yourself to visit the biggest little bookshop.
Worthies like William Golding, Michael Palin, Ranil Wickremasinghe and Amitav Ghosh are part of the long list of people who have visited her store.
Nalini loves books and goes through every single one that comes to her store. Thats why when she talks about a book she imbues it with a special quality. No computers for her. Her entire inventory is in her head. Her delight in a book is infectious and she immediately arouses your interest and awakens the imagination.
Im having a difficult time trying to capture the charming character of 'Giggles' and its owner - exactly why Nalini thinks not everyone who has a book in them should write. So ill leave it here. But im a sworn Giggler now.
Posted by Alaphia Zoyab at Wednesday, September 06, 2006