Awaiting the joy of holding, leafing through, sniffing and probably even dog-earing a new book? Look no further! Here is a list of few bookstores for ever student to check out.

  1. The Bookshop, Jorbagh

One of the old favorites of Delhi, opened in 1970, The Bookshop is an Insta-famous and widely loved book store that is frequented by the likes of Wlliam Dalrymple, Arundhati Roy and Khushwant Singh. It houses a vast collection of books from all genres, a separate section for children’s books and offers gift coupons as well! Visit for a quiet afternoon amongst old classics.

Nearest Metro Station: JorBagh on Yellow Line

Credits: The Bookshop, Jorbagh
Image Credits: Official Website, The Bookshop
  1. Cafe Turtle and Full Circle Bookshop, Khan Market

Tucked in the middle alley of Khan Market, the Full Circle Bookstore located a floor below Cafe Turtle is a childhood favorite (I got my first encyclopedia at age eight from here). It has become an icon in the market. Go here on a weekend evening, grab a book and relish it with a sumptuous meal at the Cafe.

Nearest Metro Station: Khan Market on Violet Line

Credits: Full Circle Bookshop
Image Credits: Official Website, Full Circle Bookshop
  1. Bahrisons Booksellers, Khan Market

A Khan Market classic since 1953, Bahrisons is also one of Delhi’s better-known bookstores. They have a packed magazine section at the back of the store with all the latest national and international editions. Bahrisons also opened up a special section for children near the main store in the market and also happen to always have every Man Booker Prize nominee titles.

Nearest Metro Station: Khan Market on Violet Line

Image Credits: Aarohi Mehra for LBB
Image Credits: Aarohi Mehra for LBB
  1. Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place

Arguably one of the largest bookstores in Delhi, the Oxford Bookstore has an extremely vast collection of books and you can also hope to find many great academic titles here. It also has a Cha Bar, a small eatery and chai-place inside, so it can provide for a great hang out spot for readers. Complement your favorite book with the perfect cup of chai here.

Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk on Yellow and Blue Lines

Credits: Official Website, Oxford Bookstore
Image Credits: Official Website, Oxford Bookstore
  1. May Day Bookstore, West Patel Nagar

According to the Little Black Book’s (LBB) Delhi chapter, this is one of the ‘few Indie bookstores in the city’. The store aims of creating an active community of readers. May Day Bookstore stocks a generous range of genres but also is popular for its collection of rare second-hand books.

Nearest Metro Station: Shadipur on Blue Line

Image Credits: Official Website, May Day Bookstore
Image Credits: Official Website, May Day Bookstore

Feature Image Credits: Book Lovers in India

Bhavya Pandey

[email protected]

Urdu poetry brings a deep sense of solace and provides refreshing perspectives to mundane incidents. Here’s a beginner’s story of delving into the world of Shayari.

Allama Mohammad Iqbal has written,

Band-e-Takhmeen-o-Zan! Kirm-e-Kitabi Na Ban

Ishq Sarapa Huzoor, Ilm Sarapa Hijab

(O slave of calculation, do not be a bookworm! Love is present everywhere, knowledge is nothing but a veil).”

These lines aptly sum up the outlook of a shayar for me. It involves the intention of conveying freshness and expressing something novel yet familiar.

What is it?

Shayari is a poetic expression. It is a combination of two or more ashaars/shers put together to result in a couplet, triplet, quadruplet, nazm (poem) or ghazal (song). In Urdu poetry, compositions have names based on their content. Thus, a poem with a humorous subject is called a Hazal, while a Madah is written to praise patrons and kings.

Beginner’s Approach

The Holy Trinity of Shayari – Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib, and Amir Khusrau are the poets who have shaped the literature of Shayari. Mir, a poet from the Eighteenth Century Mughal era is regarded as one of the pioneers of the Urdu language. Mirza Ghalib was a prominent writer in the last years of the Mughal Empire and is one of the most-quoted poets of all time. And Khusrau was a Sufi poet as well as a disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Dilli. Their works occupy a place of pride in World Literature and have formed the starting point of my journey through the abode of Urdu Literature.

A mention is also owed to prominent contemporary Pakistani poet Jaun Eliya, who is known for his unconventional words and is one of my favorite poets.

How to read?

For me, the initial stages of reading shayari entailed a three-step approach – comprehend, contextualise and absorb. If one is not familiar with the Urdu language, before delving into Urdu Shayari, I suggest one should first try to read poems and pieces in languages they are relatively comfortable with – such as Punjabi, Hindi or local dialects.

The second step involves understanding the context of that sher, that encapsulates the message that the Shayar wants to convey. And once one has succeeded with that, one will be able to absorb the meanings of the lines, connect with them and come back to them. I would like to recommend the Rekhta online sources as one of the ideal platforms to explore shayari.

In parting, I’d like to leave you with some food for thought, lines by Jaun Eliya,

 “Uss Gali ne ye sun ke sabr kiya,

jaane vaale yahan ke thhey hee nahi”

 Feature Image Credits: The Tribune

Bhavya Pandey

[email protected]