Living alone in a big city like Delhi gets boring sometimes, especially on the weekend when you have watched almost everything on Netflix that interests you. But for a bibliophile like me, the city has a lot to offer. Storytelling meetups and workshops to some unique(at least for me!) ideas of borrowing a human for half an hour and reading him/her. Luckily I stumbled upon one such event in Delhi and I couldn’t just miss it.
Conversations are at the core of this concept. Instead of books, there are real people with real stories, engaging their readers and answering their questions. A reader can choose from a variety of books and have a real conversation with them. Today’s event was a collaboration between Human Library Chapters in four cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Pune & Hyderabad. So instead of having the books sitting across our tables, we were connected over Google Hangouts.
The whole experience was surreal. We had two books(people) from Mumbai who shared their stories with us. One was a 30-32-year-old person, who narrated his experiences of being a Mercedes salesperson to backpacking the South-East Asia circuit and finally after several failed business plans starting a hippie cafe in Mumbai. And the second book was about how a guy fought and overcame the bruises that were caused by being abused in his childhood. They both were contrasting stories - one was funny and entertaining, and the other was gloomy and horrifying. But isn’t that who we really are - people with different sets of experiences and baggages? And listening to the experiences which I could not empathise even in my dreams and discovering the fact that those are so common made me realise how little I know about the world I live in.
I fell in love with the whole concept of Human Library today. I am sure I will be attending more of these wherever I go. If you get a chance, do visit one of these, I am certain it will be as heart-warming as it was for me.