Tuesday, September 15, 2009

31:159.9 Sie

The library was not empty on that Saturday morning. The timing had been extended to 1:00 AM, said a notice on the sidewall to entrance. There were numerous bags and umbrellas lying on the shacks. Security dint allow them to be inside. It was a rule, one he tried so many times to break, but couldn't. He kept the bag in the rack and took his note-taking diary.

He knew what he wanted. It was a book on statistics and he knew the accession number as well as its location number. 31:159.9 Sie. But as this location number was not his turf he had to confirm before going for the search.Usually staff were less on Saturdays. The girl behind the counter was new, he hadnt seen her before.

Good Morning, Can you tell me where 31.1591.9 is ? he asked in a mild tone.
Its behind the reference section, ground floor. she said without even looking at him.
Thank you - he had long decided to be polite to the world which didnt deserve it.

The section behind reference section was the place where all grandpa books sat, it smelled of old dust. Touched and savored by many, most of the books were senile and on their death bed. There were lines of racks extending throughout that long hall. Once they had lot of spaces in between them, But now time and knowledge forced them to be more closer. He started looking for rack 31.There was 29, 30, 32,33....but no location number with 31. He was behind the schedule and wanted to complete a part very urgently. key to which lay in some pages of 31.1591.9 sie.

Sorry, but i cant find rack 31. Can you help me please?. He said to the lady at counter.
After a killing stare, she said: Its there only, you should look carefully.
He missed the usual old librarian, she was very sweet and helping.
He walked back to hall and started searching again. After half an hour of unsuccessful search he went back disdainfully.

It was raining heavily. Two days had passed after the unfaithful tryst. He was groping in the darkness, without 31.1591.9 sie he was not able move forward. Once again he went on his hunt for 31.1591.9 sie.

He was relieved to see the old librarian, sitting with her huge specs and looking at some random issue cards. She smiled at him. He had long noticed ago this, she smiled at everybody. May be world still believed in respect, he thought.

I am not able to find this book -
31.1591.9 sie, he said.
Oh , thats behind the reference section.
She came with me to reference section.
Like an adroit swiming in her lanes, she meandered through the racks. After some time, the easeness was lost. She too was like me, confused.

Where is this
, it should be somewhere here. she kept saying.
Lets ask Hariram,
she said with a disappointment.

Hariram was the oldest serving helper of the library. They saw him in the corner, laggardly chewing the beetle. He just glanced at the piece of paper he showed him. And Like a robot, started walking towards rack 301. Towards the middle, on the lower rack he showed him that precious beauty he was searching for - 31.1591.9 sie, Accession No:18831.

The book was old and was once used very frequently and carelessly.
What is it about?.
She took the book from him and started glancing around.

First published in 1960 and last issued in 1984, the year he was born.
But you are not a Psychology student -
she exclaimed.
The book deals with statistics and psychology, its one of the latest holy grail of Computer science.
He said with a smile, looking at the other books in that column.

Somebody from the main desk called for the librarian and she walked back with the book in her hand. Hariram had long gone to his cozy enclave.

And he was still standing there, gleaming at the other books he could reach for.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Matheran Trek

5 in the morning. And I was still awake in my bed.

That’s when, from the remotest corner, I heard that. Go to Matheran.

Matheran is a hill station, about 60 km away from Mumbai. One of the best things about this place is its red soil. Discovered by British and used by them during the dry summers during the pre-independent era as a summer vacation home, it is one of the finest trekking hot spot in Maharashtra.

Since all of my friends were busy dreaming, I thought why not make this trip all alone. And so I packed my backpack and hit on the road in no time.

My immediate destination after getting down at a station called Karjat was Borgaon, a village on the foothills of Matheran. There are 8 known trekking path to Matheran, and one through the Borgaon was the most picturesque and little steeper than the rest.

There was slight drizzle when I started the ascend; it was almost 10 km trek along the hill. Being alone has its own advantage, there is nobody to slow you or pace you up. The trail was a beaten one, I guess it was regularly used by the villagers.

The climb was little unique , I felt like walking along the spine of large dinosaur. On either side of ridge, there was nothing to hold on if I had slipped. But the view – it was fantastical.

About a Km ahead I could see a group of people ascending the hill, I was wondering how they could climb that steep. They must have lost their way, I thought. After walking for another hour I realized I was wrong. It was a small stream and I was climbing it ….straight up.

There was an instance during where I doubted my steps. My shoes was not a proper trekking one, wee hours I had didn’t fore think this part. I did slip before reaching summit; luckily I got hold of a branch before falling down….felt very good,
cheating death.

Matheran is basically a plateau and there are different tourist spot there itself. The place I came to was called one tree point. It was called so, because on ascend to summit, where except for a tree, there is nothing.

Apart from the climb, it was just another tourist hot spot. The same old malign commercial web was crawling around. Before the sun went home, I took my descend. This time it was more fun. I took the road, off course walking.

It was a winding road for almost 10 Km, and as I didn’t have had the patience to take all the hare pins I slipped through cross road thinking it was a short cut. I soon realized I had lost my way. It was getting dark and there was some kind of trail and I just followed them blindly. After about an hour and a half I reached a place called Narul. And from there I took a train back.
At around 10 in the night, I was back in the campus.