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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Autobiography of A Library Book

     My birth took place a printing press but I was lying there in pieces. A book-binder performed some painful operations on my scattered limbs. He used needles and threads and applied glue, and gave me the form of a book. A very attractive dust cover was wrapped around me and I was sent to a book-seller along with many of my sisters.
     The book-seller kept me in a shelf but before I could know of my surrounding. I was handed over at the counter to an old man who happened to be the librarian of a college. A number  of other books and I were tied together with a rope. It gave me pain but I could do nothing.
     The librarian brought me to his college where his assistant released me from the bondage. I heaved a sigh of relief but the very next moment. I found myself naked. The dust cover which was my outer garment, was removed by the assistant and thrown aside. A heavy hammer fell on me and left its mark on me. Later, I came to know that it was a rubber stamp which had left its mark on me. I was to live with this mark for the rest of my life.
     But the tale of my misery does not end here. I was given to a number of readers who did not treat me well. A student took me one day and began walking home. When it started raining on the way he covered spoiled. Another student left me out in the open compound of his house in the scorching heat of June.
     Soon the freshness of my appearance had faded away and I was no more beautiful and attractive. A young urchin who happened to be the brother of a student who had taken me out of the college library, tore away many of my beautiful photographs. Another studious boy disfigured me with his pen by underlining scores of lines in every chapter.He spilled his ink-pot over my face and I could never rub off this mark of shame.
     Of course I have had admirers. My first reader was a professor who touched me with reverence and handled me most delicately. He showed me to his friend and talked about me in a flattering tone. I remember a student whom I met two years ago. I was in a hopeless condition and many of my pages had become loose. He spent full one hour in gluing the loose page together and smoothing out the folds. But such readers were very few.
     My last readers was a very mischievous student. He took me home and applied scissors to my body. He cut many pages out of my body. He wanted to make use of these in the examination hall. It was perhaps due to my cursing him that he failed. But when the result was declared he came down upon me and threw me, with many other books, on the floor. His mother rescued us, otherwise the had made up his mind to burn us.
     When i was taken back to the library, the clerk refused to accept me. The student was fined but this was no consolation to me. I was put in a store with other torn and disfigured books and journals.
     One day a waste-paper dealer bought me and gave me to a shop-keeper. I am now lying near his feet. Whenever a customer comes, he tears away a page of mine to wrap pepper, chilies and other spices. I am dying in installments. But I am not afraid of death. All living and lifeless things have to die one day. I am satisfied with my life. I have not lived long, but i am happy that i have given some profit and pleasure to many.

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