It was a fine morning. The sun was smiling, the birds were  chirping and a cool gale was blowing the fallen autumn leaves. I thought a romantic movie accompanied with a packet of choco-cookies and a few Tropicana’s would just add the required zing to the day and take it to perfection. I was busy arranging for the things, when suddenly a rotten voice arose from nowhere. It was the studious worm in my brain, hooting in a teasing tone. I neglected the voice and switched on my laptop  when suddenly the voice burst out so loud that it was impossible to ignore it any longer. It kept on repeating in a diabolic tone “Tomorrow starts End-Sem “

I slumped back on my bed, struck by this sudden calamity. Picking up my broken wits I shot back at the voice furiously, “So, what do you want me to do? How can I stay in this room without doing justice to the many movies on my lappy? Tomorrow, when I die, God may very well tell me –  You stupid ass, those directors worked so hard to make those movies and you did not have time to even respect their hard-work . Go away, you filthy dreg of humanity, go and study in Hell!”

The voice disappeared to my relief but not before it blurted out this universal truth- ‘Central Library is the only solace.’

Well, as you may have guessed  what followed. I hiked down the undulating and ditchy path of Amber Hostel and took a rickshaw to the library. I went quietly and stealthily into the library making  sure that I made no extra-terrestrial noises. I pushed the door of the reading section very lightly, but still it creaked very loudly. Everyone in the reading room looked up towards the noise and discovered me. I was so embarrassed that when I tried to smile, I thought my teeth would fall off. But hey, what was this? Was I at the right place? I lunged out of the place and marched towards the rickshaw-wallah who was still counting the money. Angrily I asked him, “I asked you to take me to the Central Library and not to Central Park!”

The rickshaw-wallah was puzzled. He contorted his face so much that I could not bear looking at him. He then pointed something for me to look at. It was the hoarding which proclaimed in bold letters, “Kendriya  Pustakalaya,  Central Library”.

I realized my folly and expressed my apologies to him. As I walked away I think I heard him say to a fellow rickshaw-puller, “You know brother, because of such people ISM does not become an IIT.”

This time around I entered the reading room quite cautiously.  The room was full to brim. I had to rotate my head five times all around to find a vacant seat. I walked happily to my discovery, patted it, blew dust away and then planted myself onto its welcoming lap. As soon as I had seated myself I realised there are two types of chairs in the library- the plastic ones and the wooden ones and also sensed a charged atmosphere for the conquest of the wooden chairs.

When I looked up from my profound technical exegesis on chairs, I realized that in front of me sat a jolly fellow- his eyes covered with specs, ears stuffed with ear-phones and mouth wide open – as if he was watching American Pie rather than reading ‘Engineering Thermodynamics’.

I delayed my studies a little longer and engaged myself in the very important work of observing people around me. A large part of the crowd had their faces buried in books and notes, some were busy scratching their heads, and some were mugging stuffs with exemplary dedication. A few groups that stood out from the rest, since they comprised of a guy and a girl were busy chattering, making faces at their partners and at times let out petty laughters and giggles in the room, that disturbed the studious ones and offended the others. As I sat observing, I discovered the various postures and positions of studying.

Well, the most startling thing were the earplugs. Almost everyone had a pair of ear plugs stuffed into their ears. So, I motioned to the jolly fellow in front of me and told him that I could not study there. He took off his ear-plugs and told me:“ If you can’t study here then be assured you can study nowhere at ISM.”

“ Actually it’s not that. I am not qualified to study here”, I replied calmly. “ I did not get my ear-phones.”

You don’t know what happened to Fatty after that! He started uttering slangs and curses so furiously as if till then he had been revising slangs from the books.  Anyways, I opened my book for the first time.  As I turned the first page, I felt  my eyes closing on their own and a great urge to sleep took over me.  I closed the bok instantly and lo! As if by magic the sleeping bug disappeared and I felt so fresh. I decided that I should treat myself with some coffee to fight this dreadful bug and soon I was on my way to canteen.  I asked Fatty to look after my seat.

I entered the reading room all refreshed by the brown liquid that goes for coffee in the canteen. But I came back only to find my seat occupied by someone else.  I elbowed Fatty and asked him why he allowed this trespasser on my chair. Fatty looked at me with a dirty expression and whispered into my ears, “I asked the person not to sit, but it was of no use. “

I turned towards the illegal occupant of my chair and motioned to her. ( Huh!!) She took off her ear-phones and looked at me puzzled.

“ You see lady, I was sitiing on this chair before you came”, I told her.

“ But this fellow told me that no one was sitting here”, she said and pointed towards Fatty.

I looked at Fatty with a Caesar-like expression. My blood started boiling. I turned away from him and my eyes fell on the girl. She smiled innocently. My blood started freezing. I picked up my books, and rushed out of the library.

Zeeshan

Enjoys writing, reading, being sarcastic once in a while, day-dreaming, poetry, people with sense of humour, chocolates, quality biryani , etc. etc.

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