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January 5th, 2002 - Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal

January 5th, 2002

January 5th, 2002
08:17 pm

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Libraries, Books...

The Mahathma Gandhi Library at Irinjalakuda might be around 100 years old. It is nice to sit there in the verandah with old wooden benches. There are few old trees in the compound, the verandah is covered with Panamb curtains (made from a type of bamboo, I guess) and it gives a good feeling to me to sit there. Ironically, I don't go there often. In the last five years, Only very few days I have been in my place, and it has been a long time I visited Mahathma library. While in school, I have gone there many times to see the pictures in "Frontline" magazine.

My father used to go to Irinjalakuda municipal library during Sundays to read Sunday specials of newspapers. I have gone with him few times when was in school, and I remember I had difficulties in climbing to the tall chairs there. The problem with this library was that the municipal "siren", which cried four times a day (9AM, 12AM, 6PM and 8PM also I guess) was placed on the library building. I remember at least one of my visit being in the "siren time" and having to close my ears for two or three minutes.

Library in National High School was very small and I think it was closed almost always. One day Bhanumathi teacher and Sreedevi teacher asked us to clean the library and we (Rajesh, Pramod, Ramachandran and Saji were there) enjoyed the work, browsing through all the books. "Kidnapped", "Robinson Crusoe", "Biraj Bahu" were some of the books I read from this library.

Christ college library was massive and it would be a delight for any good reader. The catalogue was an inch thick and there were racks and racks of books. I guess it is one of the largest college libraries in Kerala. Two library cards were issued by which we can take an English and a Malayalam book a time. I really utilized the Christ college library during my pre-degree course.

GECT library had only technical books. I preferred to limit my technical reading to text books, so rarely bothered to enter GECT library.

IIT Madras library can be described as "fantastic". The number of books and the way they are arranged (with recent innovations in the building), it is great. But I preferred to read books from the small Tapti hostel library that is run by the students council. I entered the IITM main library only five or six times or so, to collect, renew and return the library cards and to refer some journals few times.

The Tapti library had many good books. I was introduced to the world of Asterix, Calvin and Hobbes and Tin Tin from the Tapti library (quite late...!). I would mention three good books I read from there:

The Search in Secret India by Dr. Paul Brunton is a kind of travelogue, in which Brunton travels all over India to meet "Real" Yogis. His narration is great, especially his descriptions about meeting Ramana Maharshi and the Sage of Adayar. This book was published by BI Publishers and was not available for long time. Recently some other publishers have brought out an edition, but it doesn't have the photographs part of the original edition.

The Farewell Party, a novel by Kundera had a comic narration covering detailed portrayal of the characters and their emotions.

The Man Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, Jim Corbett's hunting tale was really a gripping story. Couldn't place the book down until finishing it.

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