BANGALORE: The Gangaram’s Gallery that sell stationary and greetings cards shuts shop on Saturday. With it, one more iconic shop on M G Road has moved out. One of the oldest stores in Bangalore, Gangaram’s, has been a refuge of every bibliophile on M G Road. The intoxicating smell of books and convenient location of the store have brought joy to several Bangaloreans over the years.
“We started Gangaram’s Book Bureau in 1965 at Kapali Theatre, in Gandhinagar. In 1977, we decided to shift to M G Road. So, we had three floors housing Gagaram’s Gallery, Gangaram’s Book Bureau and Gangaram’s Infotech (the latter was shut down after my father’s death). And, since then we have come a long way,” said Prakash Gangaram. However, after four decades, the iconic stores — famous for their customised greeting cards — will no longer be seen on M G Road.
Reminiscing about the good old times Athmaram Gangaram said, “I dedicate my success to all the customers. It is because of them that we have made it so far. I remember back in the days when we did not have any greeting cards, customers would request me all the time to create a few cards for Valentine’s Day and special occasions. Soon, I started designing greeting cards on a regular basis. In fact, I had suggested the idea to Archies Gallery back then. Now, it is time for me to move on.”
With Gangaram’s Gallery closing down for good today, Athmaram’s journey with the store comes to an end. The gallery was famous for its stationary items including greeting cards, planners, diaries, calendars, and art books to name a few.
Today, with digitalisation, books can be ordered to your doorstep with the click of a button. The necessity of a bookstore is no longer felt in the city. “This is definitely one of our major concerns. With ever-increasing traffic and lack of parking space on M G Road, we have seen a drastic reduction in the number of customers visiting the store over the past five years. Apart from providing a personalised touch to book-shopping, we would like to cater to our readers all over the country. We soon plan to expand our business online too,” said Prakash Gangaram.
In 2010, the building owners demanded an exhorbitant hike in rent citing the metro station as the reason. This decision soon prompted the Gangarams to look for an alternative location for the book bureau. “Their demand seemed preposterous and we couldn’t afford. So, we decided to shift our location. We had finalised the Koshy’s building on St. Mark’s Road as the location for the book store. We had started our preliminary work on the building last year. However, we soon realised that the building was not strong enough to hold the weight of the books. We are now under negotiation with Koshy’s and the buildings’ management to strengthen the building,” Prakash added.