Photo Credit: Aswin V.N.
This well-loved library, the first Public Library in India (est. 1829) was contributed by Rekha Vijayalakshmi, young library enthusiasts Sid Shiv and Aditya Nair, as well as by Anjana Kurien. Each author’s story is in a separate page. Read all and share your own too.
Author: Rekha Vijayalakshmi
The picture of the stately Public Library brings back the countless summer days in the children’s section of this building, the kind faced Ayah who introduced us to so many authors, the Nancy Drew books in faded blue hard cover, the mustachioed gentleman at the counter who always knew we were up to no good, the painting lessons by teachers from the Fine Arts College and the ice cream at the Milma kiosk.
I recall too that this was the eighties, the age before computerization, and that we had to state our member number to withdraw books. (Mine was 5365- B; the drubbing I got one day for saying 5635 by mistake has etched that number in my brain.)
A group of us kids would go there early on Sunday mornings, to exchange the Hardy Boys books at the counter itself, before they hit the shelves. If we were late, we would have to settle for the exploits of Jennings and Darbyshire or other unfamiliar adventurers.
The books in the adults section however were often in poor condition, and it was painful to see the lack of care. I wonder if it is better now.