While in Lucknow at the end of last month, I called on Ram Advani, who has been selling books on Hazratganj for sixty years or more. Ram himself is now 95 - and still spends six hours or so a day at the shop, and still plays a few holes of golf.
I can't say how greatly I admire Ram, and I'm very proud to call him a friend. It's more than twenty years since I first visited his excellent shop - and came away with a gift from Ram, Attia Hossain's Lucknow novel, Sunlight on a Broken Column.
This visit was my daughter's first to Ram Advani, Booksellers (she took the photo). And she too has been blessed by Ram's generous spirit - she now has a wonderful photographic record of Hazratganj, including recollections by Ram and others.
In these troubled times, there is something hugely reassuring about the enduring presence of such intellectual landmarks as Ram Advani's bookshop.
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