A Researcher’s Rainy Route-Quaid-E-Azam Library
Four panicked Post-graduate students, One fast-approaching research paper deadline, Trillions of drizzling droplets of rain, and what do you get? A memorable trip down to Lahore’s Quaid-E-Azam Library, situated smack dab in the middle of Bagh-e-Jinnah, in pursuit of Library membership.
Sitting on ole The Mall, Quaid-E-Azam Library’s columnar Lawrence Hall cuts an impressive figure against the looming trees, even more so, as I discovered, during a monsoon-y downfall in the early afternoon.
Coping with the joy (read stress) that is the first semester of a Master’s program, my fellow classmates and I found ourselves pressed for time to get our library membership forms and begin researching literary greats in-depth. All four of us decided to climb into a car and make our way to The Mall straight after our third class in the morning. By the time 2 o’clock actually rolled around, it began raining. No, no, not raining, I mean RAINING. (a notch above in intensity from the pakora-chai drizzle, know what I mean?) After weighing the pros and cons, which included ruining a new pair of slippers, waiting out the weather, postponing the trip all together, and the technicalities involving broken windshield wipers, we all sprinted to our vehicle of choice and began the journey towards the Library.
Ahh, Traffic. If you live in Lahore, inhabit Delhi, exist in Karachi, or any other bustling metropolitan Asian city you should have an idea what that word means. For those who don’t: normally slow and erratic traffic is even more so because the rain makes driving/riding haphazard. Don’t ask me how, but it does. Established fact. Waiting and slinking our way through traffic, we made peace with the circumstances, rolled down our windows and enjoyed the weather.
Speeding on The Mall, which is actually a bad idea considering the presence of the police, our car tires shrieked as we turned onto the parking lot of Bagh-E-Jinnah, as if the signal our arrival to all the bookworms inside. Umbrella-free, and toting mostly leather bags, we braved the gigantic and fast-falling raindrops once again to enter the Library from under the columns.
Interrogated by the grandfatherly (read harmless) security guard and then allowed entrance into the library itself after disposing of private books, we went straight to one of the many dark wooden tables on the immediate left, impatient to be bestowed with our library membership forms. If you are a student, the deal is you have to bring in your university/college identitfication card to prove that you are , indeed, a post graduate student, then and only then can you expect to recieve the pea-soup green library card form. Aside from the card the only other predominantly green aspect of the library was the carpet, but that is a story for another day. ( I intend to share my impression vs. actual experience of the library soon, I need to visit once more…hang on)
We were wet yet triumphant! Now all we needed were two specifically specified sized photographs, a bunch of boring personal details, a signature by our Head of Department, and we can research to our merry lil hearts content!!
Splashing through the considerable puddles on our way back to the car, my classmates and I chalked this trip up to the gorgeously rained-out Bagh-E-Jinnah/Quaid-E-Azam Library as one we were not going to forget any time soon. Ending the way any heroic voyage should, the sun shone golden-warm rays all the way home.