Hyderabad: Haziq and Mohi Rare Books planning to sell collection

Among the patrons of Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Sellers, back when its founder Awad Bafana was running it, also includes author (of White Mughals) William Dalrymple

Hyderabad: For over four decades, Awad Bin Mohd Bafana ran a book store selling rare books in the Old City. A man of Arab descent, he had inherited the books from his grandfather’s personal library. Over a period of time, it became a go-to place for research scholars, and anyone else looking to buy something interesting and old. Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Sellers today is one of those ‘secrets’ that many love to discover among the city’s heritage.

Awad Bafanna, as he was known, passed away suddenly in 2015 over half a decade ago at the age of 74. He left behind thousands of books in his shop, which only he mentally kept track of. His nephews who run the shop today in Hyderabad, painstakingly have only managed to organise a section of the collection. “There was no inventory but he knew exactly where every book was in his head,” said Ibrahim, one of his nephews.

One can understand the enormity of the rare book collection at Haziq and Mohi while walking through it. There is literally space for only one person to walk in its hallway, and to then turn right into another section. Thankfully, Awad Bafana’s family have partially sorted out books based on subjects like history, politics, on Hyderabad etc. The bookstore is a haven for bibliophiles and research scholars who require particular titles.

MS Education Academy

A favourite of collectors and scholars

Among the patrons of Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Sellers, back when Awad Bafana was running it, also included author (of White Mughals) William Dalrymple. Ibrahim and his brothers still receive calls from abroad for specific books customers want. Awad Bafana’s grandfather had worked as a Jamadar in Barkas. for the Al-Quaiti family that headed the Yemeni community in Hyderabad.

Haziq and Mohi rare book sellers. (Image: Yunus Lasania)

Hyderabad’s Barkas, where their descendants live even today, is believed to be a corrupt word of the word barracks. It is essentially a mini Yemen of sorts and is a go-to place for foodies who want to eat authentic Yemeni cuisine.

Partial book collection up for sale

Now, seven years Mr. Bafanna’s demise, Awad Bafana’s extended family that runs Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Sellers is looking to part with a chunk of its collection. The Bafana family runs the rare book store in Hyderabad’s old city near the Chowk Ki Masjid at Hussaini Alam road. The collection is huge, and the family still has to go through the entire thing in order to catalogue it.

“We are not selling away all our books, nor are we shutting down the store. However, there are some monetary requirements at home due to which we decided to do this. Anyone who is interested can come take a look and discuss it with us,” Ibrahim told Siasat.com.

Haziq and Mohi has a treasure trove of books in mainly Urdu, English, Persian and Arabic. Many book lovers who wander there usually end up sticking around for hours, mostly going back with books they never knew they wanted in the first place. The collection of rare books include several official gazettes, and other publications that are even a century old. One will have to sift through it to even figure out what is there.

Anyone interested in purchasing the collection that is up for grabs can contact the Bafana family for the same (finding it is easy on Google Maps) on +919160161301.

Haziq and Mohi rare book sellers. (Image: Yunus Lasania)

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