Calling all poets. Submissins are open for Wingword Poetry Competition!

Library in Colaba

Simran Jasubhai

There was something about sunlight and old books that filled me with warmth and enveloped me in a hug so tight that i felt safe against the sound of pages turning steadily, like the heartbeat of a loved one…



One cool summer evening I was walking through the noisy , bustling streets; a dog barked, a horn blared, a light changed to red, everything moved simultaneously, chaotically, a sense of urgency taking hold…
But out of the corner of my eye I noticed a familiar, long forgotten stillness, one I hadn't felt in a long, long time…
My legs began moving with that same habitual urgency that this city instilled in its residents, yet something seems different this time.
The mind wasn’t rushing with thoughts of reaching a place. It was almost like some invisible force, a lost memory perhaps, was calling to me, a voice inaudible, unable to comprehend or set to words, yet persistent, it couldn’t be ignored.
Excitement and nostalgia bubbled up inside me, doubling every step I took closer to the little old building.
The little old building that had told me stories when i was a child...it was all coming back to me, my childhood library!
The stout yet proud, 2 story building stood strong, an old oak tree filled with wisdom. Its age reflected in the peeling paint and tinted windows, it looked forgotten, cracks worming up the walls. Its loneliness grew in the form of unkempt weeds and wildflowers in the garden, and climbed up its full height, not to be missed, like the wild ivy vines that coated its walls, protection against this harsh, hurried world.
As my hand touched the rusted brass doorknob, like a shock of electricity, memories came flooding back to me; the doors were aching to burst open so that stories could flow out of this library brimming with words…
I pulled open the heavy wooden library doors. The musty smell of old books and dust seeped slowly, purposefully, into my nostrils. I felts a little drowsy, laziness taking over. I was overcome with the urge to just curl up on the tattered worn out armchair with a good book and a warm cup of tea. But the nostalgia of being back here was overwhelming. I had to explore, soak up every inch of it.
Every shelf, every book, every page. The way the sunlight filtered through the grilled windows and flowed through the shelves, dust dancing in the rays of light. Sunlight falling on the faded colours of book covers seemed to bring each book alive, calling out, waiting to be picked off the dull shelf and held intender hands, eager fingers itching to turn the pages.
One book in particular caught my eye
Maybe it was the way a single ray of light lit up its faded spine, trembling with excitement, almost as if to whisper, “here pick this book”
Or maybe it was just the magic of libraries. Despite the silence blanketing the air, words, phrases, verses hung suspended in the atmosphere, caught in a net, frozen in time, waiting for the right person to come and free them, let them be heard, understood, cherished, remembered, shared…
To let the books make a difference…
Caught in this trance I picked up the book and wiped years worth of dust off its cover, watching wisps of it flying up through the sunlight finding a new book to settle on.
I opened the book slowly taking in the familiar, comforting smell and feel of the thick, rough, frayed pages. The yellowed pages seemed to glow gold in the sunlight. I nested into the armchair and began to read. Embarking on a journey to an unknown, perhaps magical land that only this little book in my hands could help me navigate through...


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