I used to buy most of the books as prescribed in college courses whereas few of them would be borrowed from the library. Our college library was well-equipped containing all kinds of books. At that time, I was studying at Urlabari Multiple College for the intermediate Level. Mostly, novels would top my priority and I used to count on the library to access them.
The pages of library books would be decorated with a host of things. One could find sayaries, names, addresses, and other materials inscribed in the blank space of the pages. A new course of compulsory English was applied for IA. These new courses were not available in stationery shops. Some were merely found in the library. The demand skyrocketed since the number of students was far higher than the volume of books. One had to be fortunate enough to own a book from stationery or borrow one from the crowd in the library. As luck would have it, I got a book from the library. It was “Magic of the Words”. I can still remember the title of the book.
I carried the book home and began to flip over the pages. It was so fresh that nobody had touched the skin of the pages. I always get excited to read new books and newspapers. I fascinated by the fresh smell of the fresh books till now. There was a blank white paper after the cover page. Nothing was inked or printed on that page. I felt as if it was saved just for me.
I tried to compose a new Sayari to creatively fill up that blank paper. I seemed to fail to create the suitable one. All of a sudden, one idea came to my mind. I was the first person to read that book. It was going to be a historical event for readers of the latter generations. So, I made up my mind to write my name and address as a first reader. As mentioned in other books, I wrote my name and address in decent handwriting.
We had to return the book back to the library. The deadline was officially one week. I set out to return the book on the last day of the deadline. The library was engulfed with the mass of students who came for the same reason as mine. I had to struggle getting muscling past the crowd to reach the window. It seemed next to impossible for me to make it to the window. At any cost, I was obliged to return the book since it was the last day. Otherwise, the library administration would charge me the penalty for overdue. Then, I chanced help from one of my friends and managed to pass the book up to the window. There was a librarian mam. She was physically thin but her voice was sharp. The moment she received the book, she shouted at the top of her lungs citing my name, “What an ignorant and silly boy! Why did you write in the new book? Who is this boy in the line? Show up before me? I was stuck in the tail of the crowd. She couldn’t recognize me. Blushed with anger, she threw the book up in the air right above the crowd.
It scared me to death. Mt nervousness was worse. There was no alternative book to substitute it and make its safe return. The penalty doubled day by day. My confusion found no end. To my great happiness, one day an idea struck my mind. I brought glue from the stationery and set the written paper against the cover page. Nobody got to know what I did and I succeeded to return the book. The smart idea fooled even the librarian and she accepted the book. As soon as she received it without any complaint, I took a deep breath of relief. Ever since then, I utterly stopped writing in the library books.
By: Jivan Jivanta, Faculty, Nepali