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Archive for November 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 11:12 PM § in

FOUR BOOKS AND A FUNERAL

I used to think becoming a famous and successful writer was a formidable challenge. Reading the works of literary giants does that to you. I was awed by Dickens' mastery of prose, Hemingway's simplistic elegance, Twain's humor and wit and Hesse's depth of thought. Not to forget Tolkien's creative genius and Conan Doyle's rich imagination. Closer to home, even Narayan's deceptively simple yet charming portrayal of life in small town India seemed so difficult to emulate. I had none of the afore mentioned traits, nor was I anywhere near the same league as these greats. I could, at best, string together some coherent phrases free of grammatical errors, bound  loosely by the pretext of a story. And perhaps add some story elements that would cater to the lowest common denominator( read 'gujaals') and ensure the "masses" could relate to the book by exploring contemporary youth issues, in a crass and dumbed down manner, based on personal experience and hearsay. But junk like this couldn't possibly make one a famous and successful writer, right? Or so I thought.Until I chanced upon the works of a certain Chetan Bhagat.