From the movie of the early 90s, Baazigar, most of us would have heard the song ‘kitabein bahut si padhi hongi tumne..magar koi chehra bhi tumne padha hai? (you would have read many books but have you read a face?)” This song makes so much more sense in today’s world when we all are so lost in the rigmarole of life forgetting that we need to look at a person and talk, we need to listen attentively and we need to converse heart to heart to lighten ourselves after a hectic day. In a world when conversations are technology driven and are becoming shallow, human library just manages to make them real, deep and engaging.
How many of us would have walked that extra mile to talk to people who do different things or do it differently? How many of us have spoken to someone who sells tea and writes books, someone who has driven all by self, 28000+ kms through all the continents including Siberia on her own! Human library gives you an opportunity to issue and read such books which not just narrate you their stories but also give answers to the questions which you always dream of asking the author of the books you read flipping the pages in solitude.
For those who are not fond of reading sitting alone, Human library is the perfect answer especially when the books come unedited! Human library is a social initiative which has the potential to bring out those stories to the forefront which have always resided in their creator’s mind traveling between his conscious and subconscious. These unheard stories of people who are not celebrities by the popular definition get a hearing at the human library. While it is inspiring for the readers, it is empowering for the human books to do more such different things and create more such stories through living life on the edge.
In the first edition of Human Library in Delhi amongst the 11 human books what was a first was the presence of a book titled ‘writings on the blackboard’. This book was blind and it claimed that it could see using its ears! I ventured to find out how true that was and the reality was right there in his self-composed music and Urdu couplets. His lines,’sangmarmar sa badan tera aur husn jaise chandni….(your body is like marble and your beauty is like the moonlight….)’ easily explained that he could see with his ears what we could not hear with them! Human library provides a perfect platform for visually impaired and other differently abled to showcase their stories which are otherwise unheard of. I could only say that human library is yet another step towards a blind new world.