Yodakin moves to a new address

As the ‘alternative’ space in South Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village becomes more and more compromised, with real estate rentals hitting the roof and even more expensive joints making inroads into the narrow alleys, some outlets are taking a hit. Yodakin book shop, that is moving into a smaller space in the Village itself, may consider itself lucky to only be suffering a change of address.

On Friday evening, the black iron gates on the entranceway to Yodakin standing on a narrow back alley of Hauz Khas Village were bolted for the last time. Jeet Thayil conducted one last reading to empty book shelves. Patronised by a mix of bohemian, chic, artsy and elite alternative crowd of the Capital and foreigners alike, the well lit tapering book shop has been witness to a series of book readings by Jerry Pinto, music recordings by people like Rabbi Shergill, story telling sessions by Anita Roy of Zubaan, discussions with Sarnath Banerjee and Rana Dasgupta and of course book launches like the one where Ponni Arasu spoke to Yoda Press author A.Revathi at the launch of her book Hamari Kahaniyan, Hamari Batein: Hijron ki Jivaniyon ka Ek Sankalan. Some of these events would go houseful with audience literally spilling into nooks and crannies of the slender shop.

When Arpita Das was finding it difficult to place books from her publishing company, Yoda Press into bookstores across the Capital, she decided to join hands with other independent publishers and retail from a space of their own. Thus giving birth to Yodakin, which went on to offer a safe space for hosting queer persons, Palestinian poetry, banished artist MF Husain’s works and the Pleasure Project around safe sex.

All these and many more activities will most likely continue at the new address of Yodakin – T71, HKV, Tattva Fresh & Organic Store from the first week of July onwards.

“We are trying something collaborative this time otherwise it is difficult for a book store to stay afloat. By being attached to a café now, other possibilities open up. Though the space is half of what we had, it is lovely, quite different and it’s almost like you are entering a home,” says Arpita.

More than a book store, Yodakin is ‘a hub’ and that would, however, remain, she explains. To make the transition smoother, crowd funding efforts are on.

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