Wuthering Heights, a dream library on forest fringe in Kerala

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KOZHIKODE: How about spending your holidays with a favourite book in your hand in a forest, cut off from outside world. As you take the serpentine path towards your favourite spot, cicadas hum the welcome song while old-fashioned buildings pass by you. Doesn’t it create images of a fantasy world in your mind? If yes, then the dream could be a reality soon.

Welcome to Wuthering Heights Academic Library and Digital Research Centre at the 12th hairpin bend of Kuttiyadi Ghat road on the Kozhikode-Wayanad border. Nasrullah Mambrol, an English teacher at NAM College Kallikandy, is the man behind it.

“I read ‘Wuthering Heights’ in 2010 during my PG days. I fell in love with the novel so deeply that I read it eight times. I had planned to name my house after the work of Emily Bronte,” says Nasrullah. However, when the 33-year-old decided to set up the library, he found the name suited it better.

“Last September, I wrote a Facebook post about my dream nest sandwiched between trees, with a stream nearby and deers quenching their thirst from it. It has books scattered around, with people coming from far and wide living amid them,” said Nasrullah.

Back then, he had not identified the place to set up the library. Two-weeks later, he stumbled upon a beautiful six-acre land on Kuttiyadi Ghat road and bought it. “It’s exactly the place I had in my mind. The only difference was that instead of deers, I noticed jumbos sneaking in from the Periyar reserve forest behind the area,” said Nasrullah.

He identified a 6,000 sq ft plot at a higher level to create a reading space, which can accommodate 80 persons. Besides, the space can cater to research students, scholars, film/creative writers and retired persons who are bookworms. There will be residential huts, book publishers’ outlets, space for cultural events, discussions and seminars, etc.

“Only sustainable construction is planned. Only wooden seats, internet and neon lights will be permitted,”  he said. The forest department and Kavilumpara grama panchayat have extended all support to the project. English teachers S Nagesh, Salil Varma, Bindu Amet, Zahira Rahman, Priya K Nair, Fathima E V and N Sajan contributed 50,000 books.

“We’ve approached the National digital library and state library council to associate with the project. We’ll need at least Rs 50 lakh in first phase. I don’t know from where I can generate it, but I’m chasing the dream,” said Nasrullah, who started www.litrariness.org — a blog recommended by 200 universities around the globe. Nasrullah plans to open Wuthering Heights on December 19, the 174th death anniversary of Bronte.