I scan the road with my eyes, and it’s not a very welcome sight. The traffic is pathetic, the crowd never seems to disperse, and to top it all, the weather’s too hot to handle. But I start walking at top-speed to carry out my daily ritual of almost running towards The Library. I count the minutes before the class would begin, and I choose silence over listening. It’s almost like visiting a temple in the morning (Only I don’t have to take my shoes off :P) I don’t know if it’s the cleanliness, or the ambience, or even the smell of the place, but I realise that this is the place to be. I may be sad, I may be happy, but I always have the company of these silent books, that always surround me with tranquility which fills me with a feeling of contentment and peace. I never have to face the anxiety which takes over when I am about to meet new faces, make phone calls, or when I am about to take a new step, or when I am surrounded by troubling opinions, perturbing judgments and the real-world harshness. This place gives me ample freedom to just wander, and still not get lost. This place is full of paperback and hardbound pleasant surprises which make my day. This is the best escape from everything that makes life in the wake troublesome and fearful. But then, the temple blesses with enough wisdom to discover the self, discover the world and unleash the suppressed maturity.
I visit the place to immerse myself into the sea of self-knowledge. Only about 20 percent of my ‘valuable’ time gets expended in fetching potential aids to my research papers, which, till the very last days nearing submission, and for all I know, shall remain in the nascent stages. I spend the rest of the ‘limited time’ being absolutely indisciplined. And needless to say, I love that feeling. Ironically, I am a law student. Anyway, that is the whole point. As soon as I enter this place, I forget that I am supposed to ‘follow’, and ‘abide’. This post is testimony to my truant behaviour. I look forward to this place where every fallback, and every ‘mistake’ and every change of mind is welcomed; and almost everything can be analysed through the colourful kaleidoscope which holds all the perspectives. The most attractive feature of the place is probably the chaste, saintly feeling that accompanies the solace of solitude. My mental withdrawal from the plane where like minds discuss lethargy-inducing realities like marks, timings and exams is a conscious process. This is my indiscipline at its functional best. These discussions make me feel like a huge ship weighed down by an anchor, whereas all I want is to be the untamed, happy-go-lucky dolphin. The only words in these solemn discussions that my ears designate as ‘legitimate’ are ‘liberty’, ‘morality’, ‘ideas’, all those words which could be the subjects of never-ending theses. ‘Never-ending’ is a mystery, and mystery is my favourite jigsaw puzzle. This is the place where I don’t care about sounding ‘right’, because the chains break away and the boundaries fade away at the entrance.
I cannot hurt anyone here, and nobody can come close enough to hurt me, and this is the feeling of independence which I gravitate to. The Library is visible to everyone, but I bask here in my invisibility. I travel through the secret corridors and traverse the path of an inner journey which illuminates me. This is the place where I break the shackles, break the rules, deviate from appropriate behaviour, but I know that this chaos is right, and nobody will reprimand me. It makes me feel sedated, quenches my thirst and smoothens my rough edges. I identify my liberty with this jumble of composed feelings. I can behave like a naughty child here, and still come out as an old soul. I can sing from my heart without really opening my mouth. I can keep quiet without worrying about offending another human. I let my spirit free, I let it go wild, sans premonition of any guilt or regret. I can look hideous and still feel beautiful. I do not need an earthly lover to pamper me, because I indulge my senses into feeling the spine of (many) a book; I gratify myself by inhaling the fragrance of the fragile pages. My need to be needed gets fulfilled when I caress the pages with my fingers, taking care not to distort their beauty. I worship these non-living things in this temple, because I believe in their essence. It gives me an insight into understanding the raison d’ etre behind idol worship, which is often vehemently opposed for rather unconvincing reasons. For all my deviance, I’m faithful to this sanctum.
It has become my best friend, because it brings out the best in me. It understandingly laughs at me when I don’t make sense, because I don’t necessarily have to. It is my lover, it mars all my insecurities because ours is a spiritual connection. And it makes me realise that I am married to it and our marriage shall sustain every strain, ranging from long-distance to any baseless fears of infidelity, because this marriage is my temple and I’m deeply devoted to it. There are no rules in love, and this place understands that we are unconventional in the literal sense of the word. We may be mad at each other, but we will always be madly in love with each other. Our love is strong enough to survive any jolt, because we have the capacity to understand and to forgive, because we know only one kind of lust-Wanderlust. That is why, we never let fear prevail over our love. Our love is eternal, and it shall always remain pious, untouched, untarnished, and unadulterated. Amen.