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Mumbai's human library returns for its second edition

Human Library Mumbai returns for a second edition with 13 new 'books'

It's a library with a difference. As you enter, there's a desk that has summaries of the books in the library. You choose up to three books and register. You are given a library card and a time slot. When it's your turn, a bookkeeper takes you to your spot. And then, you spend the next 20 minutes talking to your 'book' - a human being with a story to share. These stories touch upon suicide, depression, loss, and self-discovery.

This is the Human Library, a movement that began in Denmark in 2000. And this Sunday, the Mumbai chapter will be organising its second event. "This edition will see five books from the last edition, and eight new ones. We intend to keep rotating the books," says Sahiban Crasto, a member of the core team. Andaleeb Qureshi started Human Library's Mumbai Chapter.

The inaugural edition was held last month, and had 13 'books' and 400 readers. The books dealt with suicide, depression, dropping out of college and weight loss. "It was a new concept for Mumbai, but readers enjoyed it. The feedback was that they were looking forward to regular events, and that's one of the reasons we plan to have one every month. We were aiming to bridge the gap between reality and myth," adds Crasto.

The team is also receiving a lot of interest from those keen to sign themselves up as books. The human book has to have a story revolving around a prejudice you have gone through. We have a filtration process. If we think you fit, we will contact you and give your guidelines," she adds. The guidelines have to do with anonymity - the books cannot give out any details about themselves. "We encourage only non-celebrities because these are very personal stories shared in a large public space," she adds. Because of the numbers, five readers will be allowed to read one book. Registrations will be accepted on the spot.

ON: July 2, 2 pm onwards
AT: Title Waves, 24th Road, Bandra (W).

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