Thursday, October 19, 2017

Past in Present in National Library

The old building taken from Bhasa bhawan through the century old trees

Coffee cup seems to be accompanying kaleidoscope everywhere. Like the rainfall isn't leaving his city, prolonging the ever reflecting verticalities on the road, on the wet floor, coffee cups are creeping up kaleidoscope's souls. The way his rapidly transforming city bringing him back to the present for future references is formidable. The rainfall and his lone time at the national library pushed him to write a few words for the long pending blogpost which he thought of writing in 2005 when for the first time he adjusted himself at the bhasabhaban at National Library instead of the main building.

Its the newly build architecture for reading pleasure at per with post millennium, postmodern glassy architecture that welcomes kaleidoscope with a weired smile. The old and colonial building which had book shelf integrated tables with mahogany polish, a small flower vase carrying one or two flowers and wooden floor is now looking at kaleidoscope, inviting but its still under rennovation and perhaps those past has gone forever.
The coffee corner

The broad staircase at the back which used to be the popular place for Kaleidoscope and his friends to eat and smoke is now abandoned and alien support pipes- aiding to the rennovation is occupying the lost time. Trees however remained as they were always have for centuries overlooking generations of the readers. The pleasure however, lies with the sofas beside the two story long glass panel to sit, read and relax, perhaps to sleep.

Of late there seems to be a rise of young civil service aspirants paying regular visit to the library, hence, while kaleidoscope was having a sip or two at the tiny little coffeestall installed beside the bhasabhaban, he could listen to the conversation on the nature of preparation for the approaching exams and the uncertain futures. A group of familier faces of the library whom kaleidoscope could remember since early 2000s are still discussing Marxists and the political change of 2011. The coffeeshop seems to have made the old canteen even more irrelevant. Unthinkably cheap tea and other things used to attract Kaleidoscope and his friends always. While other things have gone tea is still there and its Rs. 1:00 only.

The canteen kaka who used to look like Bollywood Raj Kapoor is no longer there with his secretly kept bundles of cigarettes to give us. The canteen like many other places have been postmodernised with tiled floors round tables and plastic chairs replacing 'outdated' bench like arrangements. However, no longer there is any queue for food coupons. You cannot have those delicious chinrer polao but certainly you can sit there and smoke - the legacy continues in puffs.

Approaching way to Bhasa bhawan after an episode of rain

PS. Kaleidoscope and his friends during 2005, 2006 used to read a lot about African archaeology in National Library. After four or five hours of uninterrupted reading their heads would gave up and they used to start laughing for no reason at all. They used to go inside the washroom to unburden the laughter (and water of course). The washroom now a day seems like left alone since then!

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