Exam Central, Jhongas and Back To School Thoughts

An outing in Jamshedpur, India.

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh
4 min readMar 12


All photos belong to the author.

My dad just outside The Old and New Bookshops.

Last week, I visited the Jamshedpur Old and New Book Shops to buy some text books for my daughter.

Today, I was back to buy a novel: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It is such an old book that I felt sure that they would have it.

The bookshops have more inventory than customers. People sell their old books to them for a song, so they have plenty of books, but not every book can be resold.

These bookshops focus on exam-preparation texts. They don’t ordinarily have novels. Out of twenty-three shops, only one carries novels.

The GMAT, the GRE or the IITJEE — all the books are available, as are the coaching center notes.

Book bargains

All one needs to do is strike a bargain. Some people enjoy the process of bargaining. Personally, the only reason I question the price of anything I want to buy is — a book on negotiating I once read. In it, the author argued that if you pay whatever the seller asks without question, the seller might think he hasn’t kept the price high enough!

My dad found the novel: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, at ₹100, vs the ₹249 price on Amazon.

Today, the bookshops were particularly crowded because schools reopen tomorrow.

The Chanachur shop. Literally, Chanachur means “crushed lentil”. In reality, it means “deep fried crushed peanuts, potatoes and lentils.”

Chanachur jhongas/little bags of fried snacks

A little later, I went to the shopping center where we had these fried lentil snacks, called Chanachur.

The seller has added finely minced onions, green chillies and a squeeze of lemon to the mixture of roasted peanuts, crushed potato chips and fried lentil balls. It makes for a tangy snack.



Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

I don’t just create smiles, I inspire them! Dentist, mom—Jamshedpur, India.