Two things that I am extremely passionate about are Surgery and Reading. They say if your passion is your job then you do not have to work a single day. I am fortunate to earn my living without actually working any day because I look forward to meeting my patients, operating on them and relieving them of pain. I am as much a surgeon 24 X 7 as I am a mother. Another passion is reading and trust me when I say that if I would not have been a surgeon then more likely I would have been a librarian!! This passion took a fierce turn when after my residency I bid adieu to my doctorate books and embraced all others. I experimented with all genres and read ferociously during covid times to the extent that to date a book in my hand is my anti-anxiety remedy. My love for reading introduced me to brilliant book clubs both national and international and equally beautiful and passionate readers. So, around the end of January this year, there was a post on GurgaonMoms Book Club social media page that showed a small shopkeeper in a village in south India keeping books stacked in the corner, available to read for people waiting for their turn to buy groceries. As I came across this, I was blown away by the efforts a book reader is putting to make people read. And just then an idea clicked in my mind, and I asked for an opinion in the group that if I do something similar at our clinics how would that be? The member ladies were ecstatic with their encouragements and that was it, I promised it will be done!! I nurtured this idea for a few days, of course, I had made a tall claim, but I really wanted to make it a reality because I very much wanted to include books in my working space, let my patients read during the waiting time, and of course, help fellow citizens to read and evolve. But to work out the plan, logistics, procurement, announcements, and reach I shared this idea with Arun who is my life partner, a fellow doctor, an enthusiast for new challenges and definitely loves doing all mentioned above. Already accommodating my relationship with books in his life he agreed to take this forward with me. We decided that because we are doing this for the love of books, we shall announce this project on Valentine’s day !! The date was set, racks were ordered, books were arranged from my personal and our kids’ collection, from our family and the amazing Amazon. But the big question was what to call it? Because After KARMA -The privileged treatment to underprivileged and BARGAD – No life without trees, this one must be good. On 13th morning Mr. Arun Thakran came up with the name KITABO!! I asked him if he was absolutely sure about this name? As I looked up, I noticed he was, and you know we have learned never to interfere in each other’s realms. So, this initiative was named KITABO – For the love of books! By evening, the logo was ready and the next day 14th February we announced it officially and we are still counting our blessings to the response we have gotten till now. Every day I read such overwhelming messages asking how to contribute. Firstly, I want to thank my book club friends and moms of Gurgaon, and fellow readers to accept KITABO. Next, I want to take this opportunity to appeal to all fellow Gurgaonwalas to please make use of these libraries which we have set up at all our Mint Leaf Dental clinics just for you. One can just walk in, read, keep the book back and walk out. No, your tooth will not be forcefully plucked in lieu of reading in the clinic!! I would also like to request people to hand over/ pass on books which you have read and book racks/shelves which you plan to change for our beloved Kitabo. We want men and women and kids to read, respect books, utilize time efficiently, and change their views about life, the world, and the whole universe. After KARMA and BARGAD Mint leaf Dental brings to you KITABO- for the love of books!!
This initiative & write-up is by
Dr. Vandana Thakran: Founder Director at Mint Leaf Dental
She is a Dentist(Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) by profession, and an avid reader