Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

Friday, 3 April 2009

The British Council Library

The British Council Library has come up with new plastic bar-coded photo-id cards for members. Apparently, they have been issuing these cards for quite some time now. I got one when I went to renew my membership. My membership had expired more than two years ago but I had never got around to renewing it. This year when I got an invitation from them for the third time offering a discount of Rs. 100 if I renewed my membership by the end of March, I realized that these guys were just not ready to forget me. So I decided to renew their acquaintance and make our relationship a two-way one. Of course, the discount was an added attraction. It was not the amount of discount that appealed to me - Rs. 100 is less than 4% of my membership free. It was just that the offer was so charmingly conceited that I could not resist it. I could almost visualize BCL taking on the form of a prim old librarian (somehow librarians have to be prim and old) and putting her nose (I have nothing against it being a "him", I just think that prim old ladies are cuter than cranky old men) in the air saying, "Don't try to judge the value of what I am offering you young man, it is invaluable. However, since you are being so contrary and this is the age of consumerism <insert distasteful grimace here>, here is a hundred rupee note for you". To be fair to BCL though, the membership fee is not too high - the most expensive one (Senior Family) is Rs. 2600 per year, which comes down to hardly Rs. 200 per month, against which you can borrow upto 8 books/CDs/DVDs at a time as many times as you want. I took the Senior Family membership as this is the only one which includes DVDs. Any other membership type charges you Rs. 50 per DVD. And at the rate I borrow DVDs, I will cover any difference in fees in one month. After all, on the first day alone I borrowed 6 DVDs.

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