It used to be the place where I loved to go as a child. When I moved with my family to India back in 1987, 11 year old me needed a place to hang out for a little while and check out books and comics and get something for home. That place of choice was PaiCo. PaiCo, short for Pai & Company, or Paico Books was a book store and later included toys, greeting cards, novelty items, gift items, cassettes and cds and other stuff. And I loved to go to the main one on MG Road.
They also had one on Broadway and another one in Mattancherry which were more books and stuff but the one on MG Road was the coolest one. I remember buying many of my now nostalgic favourite albums and cds from this store. I bought many books and comics like TinTin & Asterix as well as many gifts and stuff from here. This was a happy place for many years. Then I stopped going there too often by the time I turned 22-23. Once in a while I would still go in but I had better choices. Still it was a landmark store on MG Road and for Cochin as a whole. In 2007 I moved to Kacheripady from our house in Thrikkakara and since I lived nearby every Sunday I would pass by that area. Often during 2006-2010 I would go get coffee on my day off and then walk by to Paico and browse through books there as well as the used book stall nearby.
I realize that sometime around 2010 I stopped going in there altogether. I didn’t have to get new books anymore as I barely read anymore. And then they closed down. Not sure exactly when but I guess it happened during the last 2 years though I only noticed it last year towards the end of November. It feels sad that an icon had closed. I am not sure about the one on Broadway or the one in Mattancherry. I doubt they survived though in Mattancherry they have a better chance. I will always hold them dear to my heart.