MPH est. 1890

Half way through my German homework and I need a pencil. Grab the closest one I can find, a classic black and yellow 2B. You know the kind. Staedler. Any stationary aficionado will sing wonders of those beautiful 2Bs. Sharpen it. Blow. We’re set.

And then I notice this MPH price tag on it. MPH is a book store in Malaysia where I spent many a dreamy evening. After dinner in the near-by area, likely at Woodland’s, SAGAR, or Saravana Bavan, my parents would take me there and let me pick out a book. I was a sucker for hardback Enid Blytons then despite her political affiliations. I’d spend what felt like hours browsing the worlds of pixies, toys, fairies, and talking animals, picking out the perfect collection of stories that I felt would be suitable for the cumbersome week ahead.

It was here that I discovered the comfort of bookstores. Sitting in the cramped aisle between two bookshelves with carpeted floor, and it HAS to be carpeted, your back against preferably a third bookshelf – a dead-end or cul de sac – and you’re set. Book on your lap, worlds in your palm. Transcendental is not just a word shamans and false gurus toss around. There is meditative power in being surrounded by all that knowledge and creativity.

A hush envelopes the world you know, rubbing your palms, you dive headfirst into pages. And just like that, the world’s anew with adventure a plenty.

I always thought it stood for Music Power House.

I always thought it stood for Music Power House.

Eventually your mom comes by and drags you home aided by that frictionless carpet. The pictures in your head audibly poof and you’re reminded of that bus at 06:45 to school. It was easier to distance one’s self from reality back then. I can’t pick a point in time when the magic of innocence was taken away from me. It was slid away from under my feet. I kept walking and no carpet was left. Just cold glossy marble.

I bought my first Limp Bizkit CD at MPH.
It seems thus fitting to end with words from the philosopher W.F. Durst.,
“It’s a fucked up world, fucked up place, everybody’s judged by their fucked up face.”

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