Sunday, May 1, 2011

Library and horse dung

Dust, horse hair lying everywhere, smell of horses dung, broken glass panes, leaking roof, bad furniture and very few chairs are things you find in Jhelum's public library. All human  senses miserably fail to pick any semblance of a library from this place. The library building was donated by Lala Chunpat Laal before the partition of the subcontinent. It was renamed Iqbal Library by someone really irritated by all things Hindu.
The library is in a bad shape. Some one has encroached upon the library's courtyard and setup a horse shop. The courtyard is always littered with discarded horse shoes, coal ashes and plenty of horse hair and dung.
A friend of mine with a lot of political connections, once tried to improve the library, but all his connections failed to vacate the library from the encroacher.
I have just read a very beautiful article by Bella Bathurst about the secret life of libraries in the U.K. She has discussed some of the very unique and rare library goers. She has also given some interesting book theft statistics in the U.K. The article left a mixed reaction. Happy over the nostalgia and sad over the library in Jhelum.

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