High Tide

I met a rat…

Yes, you’re reading it right. And you know that that title is a horrid exaggeration. But, I did honestly encounter a rat at the city central library on a cloudy Friday afternoon.

This was the first time I was stepping into the City Central Library in Mysuru. The one in Bengaluru has seen much of me. Our relationship is so spectacular that I’ve fought with the librarian while doing not one but two college assignments at the premises. The red building is rather historic, and they’ve begun to renovate. While that makes me super happy, the strange emptiness of bare bookshelves is too much to bear.

So, I found myself at the Central Library of another city (this is why you must live in two cities!), one I had never been to before but heard about quite a bit. It was nice to see that it hadn’t been shifted out to its new premises; more bare bookshelves would have broken my heart. Incidentally, my heart is less broken than my apparently unbreakable phone screen cover!

 Getting past the rude lady at the bag counter was a piece of cake. I’m sure she sees too many crazy people to even bother being polite anymore! The high ceilings and the history seeping off the walls of the library are also over powering her rudeness. Making a bee line for the history section, I secured myself a tiny chair and settled down with the most amazing book I would see that day.

“The Archaeological survey of Mysore, 1945” is a thin, goose-bump-inducing typewritten text. While I sat engrossed in the changes and reviews the survey offered of various historical monuments in the state, a black blur ran past me. And then back again.

It didn’t take me long to realise it was a rat. It seemed quite small and adept at escaping the broom of the cleaning lady in the middle of the day. I uttered a really loud ‘omg!’ but the other occupants of the room didn’t even blink an eye. They may have given me disapproving looks for being loud! Also makes me wonder about how lucky the tiny animal is she gets to live in a library!!!

While leaving I asked the librarian if I could get a membership, so I could borrow books. Now I have to find a gazetted officer to let the library know I’m worthy of being member. Yes, I had google who a gazetted officer was. And no, I haven’t found one yet and I don’t know how they’ll know if I’m worthy of being a member of a library.

It’s comforting, to know that the quirks of the system still exist. Because I, like many others, find some weird comfort in the old ways.


aishwarya kirit

Aishwarya is a coffee addict and incurable fangirl, who spends way too much time on the internet. She manages to make time to be a radio jockey on FM Rainbow, work as a research assistant and so some freelance content writing.

2 thoughts on “High Tide

  • July 12, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    ಸುಮಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ‘ಅರಿವು’ ಎನ್ನುವ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಿನೆಮಾ ಬಂದಿತ್ತು. ಅದರಲ್ಲೊಂದು ಹಾಡು, ‘ಇಲಿಯಿದೆ ಇಲಿಯಿದೆ ಲೈಬ್ರರಿಲಿ ಇಲಿಯಿದೆ…’ ಅಂತ ಹಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಮಾನು ಕುಣಿಯುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯಳ ಲೇಖನ ಓದಿ ಅದು ನೆನಪಾಯಿತು. ನಾನೂ ಹಲವಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಕಾಲ ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಗ್ರಂಥಾಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಓಡಾಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ! ಓದಿಲ್ಲವಾ ಅಂತ ಪ್ರಶ್ನಿಸಬೇಡಿ… ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ. ಸೊಗಸಾಗಿ ಓದಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಯಿತು.

    • July 14, 2016 at 6:47 am

      Enjoyable article. I too used to haunt the public library in my college days and for many years after, in Bengaluru. This description matches its state and ambiance then, so this article brought back nostalgic memories. Sad to know it is no longer a place to sit and browse in! with rats and more creatures for sure!


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