Past Zainab Market and Regal chowk, life runs at a maddening pace. These streets sell everything that you could imagine; pampers, school bags, replica watches, DSLRs, electronics, wedding gowns, promises of lustful life, means of lustful life, short cuts to succees in afterlife. Something for each stage in one’s life. They sold books here too. Thomas & Thomas still does.
The traffic is crazy in this part of the city. The roads intersecting each other at regal chowk could lead you to the limits of the city. The shops in the area benefit from the traffic. The shops in the area suffer from the traffic. There is no parking space. It makes you think twice before coming to Regal chowk. You need a real good reason to undertake this journey. Chances are slim that anyone would do it for the love of books. The Karachi Walla has put the corporate hat for a while but remains a misfit. So to be myself again, I decided to drive to the oldest book store in the city.
Saddar is a personal favourite. But the way our sweetest songs tell of our saddest thought, it reflects the sorrow for the sad state of affairs. You find it difficult to continue the experience after a while. Thomas & Thomas is a relief if you share the same sentiment. You feel right at home here. In the company of poets and writers, scholars and thinkers. In the company of Thomas & Thomas. Thomas & Thomas was founded by a British gentleman before current owner, Mr. Muhammad Yunus’s grandfather bought it in 1948. There were quite a few book stores in near vicinity at that time; Paramount, Pak-American, Greenwich, Sassi and Union. They disappeared. One by one. Thomas & Thomas is not doing well either. There was only one customer at the peak hour. One single peak hour! It may close very soon or shift from current premises. Khakum Budhan. Mere muun mein khaak.
You would not regret coming here. The book collection is awesome. From recent publications to classics, from sindhi marxists to urdu poets, you will find worthy work of literature on the shelves. Quite a few books are published in India. So don’t get excited with the low prices. Its in Indian rupees. But still books are far cheaper than the stores in high end areas. The staff is sweet. So is the tea which they offer. Have a chat with them. It will help you get a perspective.