Uma remembers the day she held a rectangular piece of yellow card with her name written on it, a library card. She was eight, a little tiny identity for a tiny person. That identity was her journey into a library space. The library was Delhi Public mobile Library. It was filled with books, a small desk with stamps and a tea stained teacup.
The librarian, a middle aged man looked stern. He collected the returns and stamped the issues with authority and triumph. As he handed the books specially to the children in the suburb there was an occasional smile on his face.
That smile expressed the joy of another child reading and opening a young mind. The issue of the book was a passage for the child into a new world. Hoorah!
For Uma reading a book was a mandate to travel to another world where there wasn't room for anyone else. It was her and the book characters coming alive with the sounds, sensations and the stories painted by the author. It was her world, her space and her time.
The power of reading, imagining, innovating through print media is a love that is passed on to us through our families, friends, learning institutions and LIBRARIES. Libraries change lives, provide a safety haven where status is equalised. A sense of all for one and one for all emerges and our trust in life grows.