As Mumbai boasts of small book stalls in almost every nook and corner, the book stalls at its railway stations are a shadow of their distant past. Not only are they hardly like they used to be in their heyday but even with what remains, there are not many takers. However, one multipurpose stall manager hopes it to change
Nandalal Prasad has been manning the stall at Bhayander railway station for 30 years and has had to convert it from a bookstall into a multipurpose stall. Photo Courtesy: Nascimento Pinto
“This stall used to be filled with books all around – from one side to the other. There was not a single spot that used to be empty,” says a proud Nandalal Prasad, who sits comfortably at his stall on platform number 6 of Bhayander railway station. He talks of the time when the stall used to boast of 1,000 – 1,500 books. Even though train horns blare and announcements are heard on the speakers on a busy working day in Mumbai, Prasad seems more mesmerised and less distracted with the daily hustle and bustle with the trains, when we meet him on a busy working day, as a light summer breeze passes us indicating a train has just left the platform.