A hot pink room that keeps in it a cat, a 12 year-old after-school intern and a 100 female authors from around the world, sounds like the start to a great story. And it is.
Take your shoes off and walk quietly into Bandra's new Sister Library, a library powered by female authors. How foreword!
A small but burgeoning collection featuring fiction and non-fiction books and graphic novels are ready to be borrowed (one book at a time, please), for a membership fee of Rs 500 per month. Browsing isn't easy, because the Sister Library cat is reduced to an anthology of twitches and twists by the smell of fish frying somewhere in the building. Apparently this is a regular occurrence, and you would be wise to allow / ignore the interaction and concentrate on the books. Once less distracted, you'll notice that there are authors for everyone: Virginia Woolf, Eve Ensler, Susan Sontag, Jane Austen, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Jennifer Egan, Jeanette Winterson... the list goes on.
There are also some lovely graphic novels by female cartoonists and authors (see Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast and The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden); and a string of non-fiction works on feminism and gender roles.
There is a single stool and a carpeted room if you'd like to stick around and read, or you can fill out a library card - remember those! - and make a quick exit.
Sudeeksha (it's her first day as a volunteer today), has half read but is fully recommending Headscarves and Hymens to us as we prepare to leave the hot pink library for a less rosy picture outside.
We envy the books for their habitat; they envy the supple cat for its spine; while all the cat can think of is the resident in Xavier building who is about to feast on that fried fish.
Getting there: Sister Library, 06, Xavier building St John Baptist Road, diagonally opposite Taj Mahal Tea House, membership is Rs 500 per month (Rs 1,500 deposit), to support the library, you can donate here.
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