Photo Credit: Unknown, obtained thanks to Sheefa Sweth
Author: Rekha Vijayalakshmi
It is now 25 years since I graduated (or as we Malayalis are wont to say “passed out”), from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. It is hard for me to say that I loved every minute at CET, but the library and its staff were invariably welcoming and friendly.
I started being a regular there in my fifth semester, when I decided to read for an hour every day before going home. The reference section was where I spent most of my time, reading the latest in Digital Electronics, Communications and whatever else caught my fancy. Nothing that helped in the exams, just the stuff that fueled dreams and sci-fi stories.
Something peculiar that I remember about the library is that on the first day of every semester, all the prescribed text books and the recommended reads would be on the shelves. They would start issuing these to students only the next day. But however early I went in the next day, none of these books would be available. How did they all get issued by 9.00 AM? I could never figure that out! Putting a hold on them of course was meaningless as folks chose to pay the paltry fine.
I discovered the archives upstairs during my seventh semester searching for a seminar topic – before finally settling for “Local Area Networks”. They were fascinating to me as the 50-year-old college had ancient magazines that were a window to what was considered high technology in the past. My frequent trips upstairs didn’t go unnoticed by the staff – they would come to check up on me, to make sure I was up to no mischief.
To the chagrin of the middle-aged me, though the library was known to be a haven for young couples, I never saw any of them there. I feel like an ostrich with its head buried deep in sand!