In the company of good old books. Stepping inside Liaquat library door is like entering a black-hole, moving into another universe, in a different time zone. Visiting Liaquat library will move you in a way that nothing else can. It will make you long for un-adulterated Karachi and Jinnah’s Pakistan. It will make you yearn for innocence, tolerance and elegance lost. Although Liaquat library occupies ground floor of Frere hall, it still requires a separate post. It does.
A lot of people don’t know if anything exists on Frere hall’s ground floor and go back without visiting it. The library is open till 4 p.m. everyday except Sundays. Open the unwelcoming door and you will see the first room. It probably was meant to serve as reception area. You may find one or two people reading newspaper. Move inside. You reach the main hall. A sudden wave of nostalgia strikes you. It is a scene from old European movies. Taking benefit of high roof, An impeccable wooden platform has been put to maximize storage area. Some old chairs are lying here and there. Move past this hall and you will reach the end. Here you will see a similar wooden platform. You would see bundle of old copies of newspapers. Give your NIC to the caretaker and get one issued. Old advertisements would give you an idea what was happening in our city in 70s and 80s. Old wooden framed TVs, Blue bird cars, Nazia Hassan concerts, Falkland war, Gen Zia praising Jinnah at a forum while destroying his values and much more. Its a treat going through all this experience.
Its been few days that the library has reopened which partially explains its dismal condition. However a major re-haul is immediately required to save not only the books bull the exquisite structure itself. But why would anyone do that if no one cares.
I bode farewell to Mr. Jinnah adorning one of the walls and moved out with heavy heart.