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.