By Anima Jain
Edited by Dr Swatii Chandak
I have never been more conscious of my writing; the members of Jaipur book lovers are amazing and after talking to them just twice I have felt like I still have a lot to learn even to reach up to their level, hence the consciousness still I’ll try. Everyone in the club is extremely sweet and has made me feel welcomed in their circle, and I am still in awe of them. They have inspired me a lot, and I can’t help but regret the fact that I joined them so late. I have missed quite a few meetups, but I sure am not going to miss another one after joining them. Their conversation is lively, the topics amazing and the members well what more can I say that just after joining I felt as if I was a part of the group already.
To be quite honest in this meet up I discovered quite a few Indian authors that have captured my attention. I’ll finally evolve my taste in Indian authors thanks to this meetup and will read books which the Jaipur book lovers think are worth checking out. The main reason I joined the book club was to find people who enjoy reading as much as I do. I didn’t imagine the same time I’ll discover so many new authors that my To Be Read book list will overflow with new books and genres.
Some books which I am quite interested in reading after this meetup are:
• The Fakir by Ruzbeh N.Bharucha
• Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee
• Curtain call by Anthony Quinn
• Stay hungry, stay foolish by Rashmi Bansal
• The lives of others by Neel Mukherjee
What this meet-up was an eye-opener for me? I never knew some people have such strong negative feelings about Indian authors. Although I agree some of them don’t write books that are even worth picking up, not all of them write badly. Some of them write books that make you identify with their protagonists. Books that feel like it’s your story that the author wrote just with different names and makes you want to sue him for the identity theft.
Most of you would have read Chetan Bhagat or Ravinder Singh at one point of time in your life, even if not, you must have heard about them. They are the new age Indian authors whether you like it or not have taken India by storm. There is not one book stall where you won’t find books by these authors and not only them but, Nikita Singh, Durjoy Dutta, Sudeep Nagarkar are a few others which have made the bestseller list constantly.
What caused their books to be huge successes was the fact that their books are about young Indians like us trying to find their identity and love. These are the books which have touched our hearts and have made us dream. I know it sounds sappy and hopeless, but their books do make us feel like that when the young protagonists finally kiss the love of his life we feel giddy. When they finally overcome all the hardships In their life and relationships we want to shout with joy ( like in 2 states by Chetan Bhagat). Ravinder Singh’s has just rolled out a new book “This Love That Feels Right” which was discussed extensively in the meetup. This book explores the story of two Indian women and their ideas about marriages and extra-marital affairs. Something which is still considered a controversial topic in our society “open marriage” is what in the book. It is the first time Ravinder has written a book from a female’s perspective so if you are a fan of his work you should check it out. His ideas of marriage are new and in tune with the ideals of our generation.
Some book lovers don’t agree with their writing and feel that what they write is not worth reading. An opinion I don’t agree. Sure the language used is simplistic, the stories predictable and some of them frankly like soap operas or movie scripts. But isn’t that what we all want? A book whose language we can read without picking up a dictionary every 2 minutes? A book in which we see the story of ourselves? And who doesn’t want a filmy love story frankly? So what if these books are like that, I enjoy reading them and make sure so do their million or so fans. Their books are like an Indian version of mills and boons 😉 and besides, not everyone can compare to Shakespeare or write like Dickens. And sometimes I don’t wish to engross in Wuthering Heights or Great Expectations; sometimes I just want a simple read that I can breeze through without thinking much and what is so wrong with that. Not every book is written so that it becomes a modern classic some are just meant to be enjoyed for a brief period and lay forgotten in the huge collection of books. These books are just as valuable because if every book turned out to be a must read modern classic well the word will lose all meaning.
While not very educating, these books have still had something, some spark that has managed to capture a lot of readers. They have created a new passion for reading in youngsters. They have managed to take the tech savvy generation from their mobiles, tabs, and laptops and pick up a book which in itself is a great feat (or open one in that tab, but hey it’s the end that matters not the path). They have managed to catch the pulse of young India and have captured quite a few hearts with their simplistic writings.
So while their books don’t have great literary value, and can’t be studied in depth, you won’t find allegories in them, nor will they make you think. But they are still good enough to read, and maybe in one of these books, you’ll find a story that is similar to yours. So have a look, pick a book by this new age Indian authors and you might just fall in love with reading after all that is what books are written.