a forgotten place revisited

Maqbool Academy, located in Diyal Singh Mansion at Shahrah E Quaid-I-Azam, used to be one of my favorite book stores in Lahore. When I was a college student, I used to regularly visit Punjab Library and this particular book store. Books were essential part of my life. I still remember the first book I bought from Maqbool Academy was a biography by Hafiz Ludhianvi – Yadoon Ke Anmol Khazane.

oldcity_01l.jpg
Diyal Singh Mansion, Lahore

So this store was located in a white marble building and had a very large collection of books. The books were expansive (as always in Pakistan) but I was smart enough to make use of a scheme by National Book Foundation, meant to encourage book reading and allowed members to get 50% discount. Maqbool Academy was the best place to avail that discount.

I am not sure why but soon after I graduated, I just stopped going there. I had forgotten all about it until today when looking for PIA booking office at Mall Road, I suddenly found myself in front of that that book store again after atleast five years. It

4 Comments so far

  1. MAHBOOB AHMAD (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 6:25 am

    YESSSS FINALLYYYYY
    THANK YOU
    THIS IS WHAT THIS BLOG SHOULD BE ABOUT
    NOT STUPID POLITICAL RANTS
    “a city is not merely its bazaars and buildings. It is its atmosphere, ambience, moods of joy and sorrow, madness and sadness, fun and excitement and above all its people who constitute its soul.”
    WE SHOULD WRITE ABOUT THESE THINGS
    FINALLY THE FIRST STEP FORWARD
    MAY WE ALL LEARN HOW TO WRITE A METBLOG FROM THIS POST
    i had tried to do it initially but i lost the zeal because this blog lost its essence…
    i think this post should mark the way a metblog ought to be written…my next post will be a return to the path i chose in my first few posts…


  2. Charm (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 7:36 am

    I live no where near Lahore or Pakistan, but I will be going there very soon (yes in the middle of Ramadan). I have been using this blog as a way for me to understand what real life is there, not just what the news stories say. Real life is not just about culture or art, it is also about local interpretations of politics and religion. I have found it very informative how Ramadan is practiced differently in other parts of the world. I thank you for being brave to post what comes from your heart – whether it be artsy or political, spiritual or mundane, personal or social. Creativity flows from all things that make up a person and I am glad that you talk about Dunkin Donuts and paintings and books and comedy. It is a relief for me to know that there is actually a Pizza Hut there (ignorant foreigner that I am). I will be staying in Lahore one day after coming from Sialkot, and my impression is that there would be absolutely nothing to do there since that day happens to be a Friday in the middle of Ramadan. Is that true? Or should I high-tail it out of there like every other foreigner?


  3. Darwaish (unregistered) on October 8th, 2005 @ 12:52 am

    Mahboob… :)

    Charm..thank you very much and welcome to Lahore..there is a LOT in lahore for you to see and i am sure you ‘ll have great time here. I would suggest take a local guide with you. Dont forget to visit old city in particular!

    Have a safe trip :)


  4. Rafat (unregistered) on January 24th, 2006 @ 7:58 am

    The book shop next to Regal was Mirza Book Agency. There was one inside the small lane also, where there are two flower vendors now. Then there is Imperial Book Depot. I haven’t lived in Lahore for 16 years I am just guessing here……. Across from Regal is Classic Book House. Then across from Cathedral and High court was Russian Book House, I think they closed that puppy down quick….



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