Celebrate the World Book Day

Today is the World Book Day and it is a perfect excuse to talk and write about books. Book publishing in India is reaching great heights but the quality of content is miserably falling. We writers have a tremendous responsibility to keep up to the legends of regional literature most of whom we have already forgotten. 

I understand that this is the name of the game. Times change, preference of people change and so do writing styles. But it is quite sad that we dump treasures of literature and start afresh. Here I would like to point to the role of libraries who have failed miserably to preserve literature and stories. As a storyteller myself I am often appalled at the way stories of yesteryear writers are erased from public memory and record. Just because a publisher lost interest and the library didn't care, the writer himself or herself no longer alive or around does not mean we forget all about the literary work. 

This day is also a good day for us to introspect as a society as to whether we want books in our midst or not. For the businessmen amongst us, no longer want to sell books. I hardly see any bookseller in any market I visit. It seems we are only too happy to outsource this to foreign capital backed etailers and that too just a few of them. Most of them are too focussed on selling fashion anyway. In brick and mortar space Crossword is like the last man standing. So imagine my surprise when I found over my last visit, Crossword selling t-shirts. 

When you then look at society's role in maintaining libraries, it is an alien concept. No one wants to do that. No one wants to discuss this. The libraries build years ago now lie in despicable state. 

What this reflects is our utter disrespect for books. India, which is known for its seers and gurus. The propagator of knowledge and yet we have dumped books like a pariah. The books which we are publishing might relate to a section of the youth but are no way an endorsement of upliftment of our society. 

Here is wishing the new level of introspection and a healthy debate on the state of books in India. And also on their rightful place in the Indian society.


On a completely different note, In the Awe of Life is now available in print through Amazon but currently only available in selected countries.


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