Today when the books were gone. I knew I had nothing left for me here. I struggled to open the shutter, went in, switched on the lights and as I was trying to superimpose the picture set in my mind upon the reality before my eyes, I saw my last gift. A book the labors probably forgot to pack or may be left on purpose to reduce my feeling of missing books. And there I sat on an iron cupboard and read my last book in the library. On the last day of my library.
Last day of the library. The room that was once full of beautiful personalities and amazing creatures. Some from the earth some from even beyond. It was the place where Sherlock Holmes used to investigate for hundreds of cases. Where Dan Brown sat to reveal all his codes to those who searched for a thrill on the uppermost first shelf from left. Here was a table for which I brought a huge tent like blue striped cloth to give it a classy look. This table that was used by Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks while they worked together on the world renowned thrill and love stories.
Here we, me and my colleague Charles bhaiya, had a series of cups of coffee sitting in front of each other with an LCD screen computer on the dusty table in the middle. Having samosas and looking at the books on the health books on the middle shelf on my back, we would work on many plans. Covering different domains, books, schools, colleges, roads, “Why don’t you find time to read Mitch Albon, Charles bhaiya?” 😀 . He and his half-read books!
“Bhaiya! Please bring one more coffee please 😉 !”
Many people who know me are happy with the news. Now I won’t have to wander the streets of Indore distributing pamphlets and doing what they professionally call marketing. For now, my skin tan would lighten and I may find time to study. For now, I will find more time to spend with them.
However, I’m certainly in a slightly different thought.
It started that day when I called up my boss, to ask for a job. They readily accepted me. And from that evening, some unexpected adventures were ready to dawn on me.
This place wasn’t just a source of 3k per month. 3k that hardly met my city rides hunting for potential readers. But what it gave me can never be compared to such materialistic things.
The sudden change in the colour of my hand below the elbow sleeves is evident of the beautiful changes I met on the way. The dusty muddy shoes would recite the stories of my day in traffic and narrow cementless road. (I just realised there is no such word like ‘cementless’. )
After a day in college when I rushed to my library and return home at dinner time after delivering the books and getting more clients, I could see the feeling of proud in my Father’s eyes. And all my toil suddenly brought me a great sense of worthiness.
The new people I met every day helped me break the barriers of my introvert heart. And I now have befriended many lovely people from the little readers to more than 50 years of literature lovers. Who says world’s cruel? I say the people who live in are willing to have cared.
The world I would feel while covering long distances on my beautiful dusty scooter (that actually had magic dust) brought me closer to what they call, “A real world”.
My trainer back in the last job, Mr. Naveen, fitted this in our heads very well – “if you can do sales well, there’s nothing in this entire world you can’t achieve”.
Library, such a beautiful, a universe of my own. We spent hours cleaning the dust on books and shelves only to watch them back to their original state in two days. Though then, that fragrance of literature was dear to heart. It will always be.
This place that once was full of a thrill was yet the safest place one could ever find. It was once full of readers and doers and dreamers, was today, empty.
The shelves were merely few glasses of 13 mm. Once they held the burden of the entire world, now they seemed to be missing it. The yellow walls could be clearly seen. The new tenant who is taking up the place now wanted to change the colour to off white to give it a different look. Choice.
It took us days to come up with a good name for our Library. And that is how it became my story. My beloved First Story Lib. The flexes, pamphlets and most importantly the design of the name board that is hanging today above the place, all hold numerous memorable stories.
A week back a friend asked me,
“You are always lost in your world, do you have the slightest idea how this real world works?”
“There is no real world,” I replied with a calm smile.
“If you have not seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”
After doing sales and marketing and meeting all kinds of people from all different planets, I am sure there is no real world.
There is only a world that you create.
Give it nothing, bad it is.
Give it your toil and love, beautiful it is.
I know this everyday business will always hold a special place in hearts of us, three colleagues.
All I know now is, however great or bad yesterday would have been, tomorrow is always better. And, today is always more important.
-To Dearest Library,
Pulled up Socks for the upcoming adventures!! 😀 😉