One of the things that wowed me when I first came to the US was the public library in my town. The sheer size of the building, the breadth and depth of of books, CDs, videos and DVDs, the ability to borrow a boatload of them for free, the concept of library passes for museums and aquariums, the general peace and quiet in the building. Suffice to say my respect for my new home country climbed several notches higher after every library visit, which was a daily affair during the first few months.
Fast forward a decade, my admiration has not diminished an iota. If at all, the minions of the house have taken it to the next level. Our week is amiss without a visit to the library. Once in the library, we stick to a certain routine that we have developed over the numerous visits. Hari heads to the comics section, and then to the fiction. I tag along with Ram to the DVD section, then to the lego display, and then to his books. We pry the collection to see what catches our fancy for the evening. Once his needs are met, book in hand, Ram follows me to the adults section. He lies down comfortably on his belly on the bench, swinging his legs, as he hungrily studies the details on his borrowed book – he doesn’t know to read yet but I have not seen a more voracious reader. I browse through the “Read Now” section and recently returned books with the secret conviction that there is a book waiting to come home with me. Then, the three of us settle ourselves in the comfy couches and lose ourselves to the written word. For those few minutes, life sure is at its best!
Given how much we cherish our library visits, little wonder that we have a vested interest in making it a better place. So when an opportunity to give back to the library knocked at my doors, I grabbed it with my hands, legs and what not. With seed of an idea, a small group of like-minded folks got together to plan a fundraising event over the past few months. Our work came to fruitation last weekend. While we cannot claim to have had runaway success, my heart feels full knowing that we made a difference. As a side benefit, I also got an opportunity to hone my mediocre sari tying skills and be a cultural ambassador for the Indo American community in my own small ways.