- In Discus-Section
- Last Updated on 03 September 2012
- By Harry
- Hits: 865
What all books does the average NITR crowd usually purchase in the book fair? Ok, let’s reframe the question – apart from the one odd ‘technical’ aka ‘departmental’ aka ‘faculty-recommended’ book, how do you spend the majority quota of the thousand bucks force-fed down your throat every single semester? ‘Bell the CAT’, ‘Enter the GATE’ books? ‘GRE in 3 months’? But of course, you are the self-esteemed elites of the prestigious NIT clan and ambition in the name of higher education is an automatic criterion to fulfill, at least for namesake. What next – Paulo Coelho? Dan Brown? Nicholas Sparks? Chetan Bhagat? But you’ve been reading those for years now, thanks partly to Railway Stations, and the rest to your entire clan of book suggesting buddies.
What next then? Tell not you’re one of those who happens to pick a - ‘Committed then, Single now’ or a ‘IIT boy meets BIT girl’, or more realistically ‘Now that you’re rich, let’s fall in love’. If you’re, you need some serious rehab! Partially kidding!
In the aftermath of the nationwide success of Five Point Someone, and the whole ‘nation-waking-up-to-reading’ phenomenon as many a newspaper stories put it, something else happened – a generation of writers was conceived. All of them were successful people; lots of them from the IITs and IIMs. The literary horizon seemed all rosy, and ready for a sunrise until when all of them decided to embark on a – write my own stupid love story mission. Add some ingredients and call it fiction. Price it at a meagre 95/- odd and claim to be a bestseller within days.
The fact that some of those have actually managed a bestseller tag reflects the readership scene in the country. You speak of it in the same breath as when expressing disgust at the news of ridiculously bland Salman starrer’s juggernauting through to resounding success at the Box Office.
In an India that read the West, when Mr. Bhagat doled out his IIT affair on to the paper, in simpler English, telling a fresh story, a greater audience stood back and took notice. Eight years hence, when the market is flooded with heap loads of drab material that all went after the Bhagat formula, it’s only judicious to wish for sense to prevail; tastes to change. The Indian literary scene isn’t all gloomy either, far from it. If the educated, enlightened Indians have quite often been on Bookers’ good books, the raring-to-go experimental new comers have preferred to stay original, try out varied genres. In this age of Kindles and Readers, when people spend less than a minute perusing text on a single webpage, these age old reservoirs of knowledge sure need to find their own to make a mark. And sure, sticking to one clichéd formula isn’t the right formula for them.