#IAmIndia: The Love Story Behind Delhi’s Iconic Bahrisons Bookshop

How two refugees of the 1947 partition fell in love and ran a quaint bookstore in Delhi for over 60 years.

Published
Books
1 min read

The tale of how Bahrisons bookstore came to be is nothing less than an epic love story.

Balraj Bahri came to India as a refugee during the partition of British India in 1947. After 6 years of staying a refugee camp and doing odd-jobs, he opened a small bookstore in a shop he bought in a refugee market for Rs 200. That shop today is the Bahrisons Bookstore in the posh Khan Market.

Back in 1948, he met a young girl in the barracks of the Kingsway refugee camp, who later came to be known better as Mrs Bahri, but back then her actual name was Bhag Malhotra.

After a period of courtship, the two refugees separated from their homeland, and married in 1955 in an attempt to rebuild their lives, 2 years after the bookstore was established.

We speak to 3 generations of his family to see how India has changed around them.

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