Taking Hindi literature across the country

Raj Kumar Tandon, owner of the Geeta Pustak Kendra, at Ramkoti in Hyderabad. — Photo: G. Ramakrishna   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

On entering, it might seem like any other book store, but on reading the titles like shabdkosh replacing a dictionary, rashiphal instead of horoscope, you will notice a world filled with Hindi books. Geeta Pustak Kendra still remains the only book store in Hyderabad for the past 25 years housing thousands of books, all in Hindi.

Standing across the cross roads of Ramkote, Geeta Pustak Kendra could be your only destination for anything and everything related to Hindi. You can find books ranging from “Teach yourself Hindi” to works of Dasaradhi, Vemana, Kambar and other renowned poets of all languages translated into Hindi, apart from the distinguished Hindi authors.

“Hindi has always been dear to me. I have associated myself with this language to keep its literature alive all across the country,” says Raj Kumar Tandon, the owner of the store, who has been selling Hindi books for the past 32 years. Raj Kumar, who set off as a Hindi book selling agent, also owns a publishing house Geeta Prakashan, along with his book store.

Raj Kumar, recalling the days when he used to sell his books in South Indian states, says, “Even in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala where Hindi isn’t spoken primarily, books on Hindi literature sell like hot cakes. The condition of Hindi literature is not as bad as it is being portrayed in the society.” He also states that people today prefer buying Hindi literature books worth as high as Rs. 10,000 in case of an author like Prem Chand whom they highly approve of.

Books published by Geeta Prakashan are also placed at various public libraries owned by the Central government and military libraries in the country. To keep up with the readers preferring the use of technology, Geeta Pustak Kendra also offers e-books and audio books in a CD. “Books which come along with audio CDs and Telugu to Hindi dictionaries are the most sold ones here,” Raj Kumar says.

Having customers of all ages is the reason why his business is augmenting according to him. “As long as there is humanity, we will need language to connect with each other, and so long will the literature exist,” he adds.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 10:54:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/taking-hindi-literature-across-the-country/article4262760.ece

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