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Friday, 27 April 2012

O Chetan!...Letter of despair, outrage...and envy!



(this post is written purely in jest, and if you read it carefully, you will find that I am laughing at myself, and not at Mr. Bhagat, and am envying the fact that he is so loved and widely read by all classes and sections of society, including my family members.....writing is all about reaching out, and today with an astounding readership, he has managed to do just that, whatever his critics might say)


Dear Mr. Bhagat (may I call you Chetan?)


Your next book is out, and none of mine are.


This is an honest, open letter telling you about my (until now) closed feelings concerning your writing.


I heard that you are quoted as one of the most influential figures in the world. Don't ask me where I got this statistic from---maybe I heard it on the radio...but I smirked to myself (hah!) as I set out to test this fact.


To my utter and horrific surprise, my grocer's college going son has heard of you and has recently bought your first book Five Point Someone! He, who comes from a family where no one has ever read more than the printed price labels in their grocery store! He says it was referred to him by his friend who told him English is not so difficult after all. And how would he know?!


Why am I sooooo worked up, you ask? Well, I cannot tell a story in five points like you (isn't that what the book is about?), so bear with me. You may have to allow for certain creative detours, a bit of analysis (heard of those things?) as well. Promise that you'll stay on and not leave midway? All right, here I go.


Recently, my cousin called to tell me of her ordeal. She used to work for a women's magazine and got laid off some months ago. Two weeks ago, she managed to get a part time job as writer for a social networking website, and do you know the brief her employers gave her? Exactly that, i.e., be brief, to the point, and forget about fancy writing! Of all the nerve!


Let me tell you that she is extremely well read, has been a student of Literature, studied at the best schools and colleges in the world, and can throw in words, phrases, puns, and other such things like other people do frisbees (the good ones, I mean, the ones that are good at throwing and catching frisbees.....I mean...you get my point, don't you?).


I'll have you know that she and I have (she more than I) been taught English by the British themselves, with a few Irish and Germans thrown in (read 'Nuns'), who helped us pick our books with care ("English is best written by British authors"), and even had us write reviews about those that we had read, which they rated ("five on ten is the highest this class will ever get from me"). 


When Shakespeare, Milton and Keats got too much for us, we were advised to relax with the writings of P G Wodehouse (What's that you're asking? Who is he? You don't know P.G. Wodehouse??), who wrote things like,


"The..... was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say 'when'!".....from his book "Very Good Jeeves."


Got it? The humour, I mean...see, that's one of my points. 


People, most people, like the grocer's college going son, just don't get it, the subtle humour, and ask stupid questions like 'what?', when they really should be asking 'when?" What's that? Its utter rubbish, you say?


Mr. Bhagat, you do know that English was brought to India by the British, and was supposed to be spoken, read, and written in a particular way? 


Writers were supposed to laboriously go through tomes of classics and poems (because we had never ever seen a Daffodil in our lives, and we took a long time to understand when 'when' didn't mean when!). 


No one could just get up and decide to become a writer!


We were supposed to write about the grocer, his family, their daily doings and the goings on in their lives, (and not for him) from an expert observer's point of view, as a skilled craftsman, who would dig out a worthy word for every activity, every nuance....e.g., 


"Suddenly overcome with lassitude and ennui, the immensely banal and prosaic nature of his work struck him like a bolt of lightning, and he wondered what would ensue if he simply threw off the yoke of generations, and declared a sa famille( that's French...writers in English have to know a bit of French, its the rule!) his prurient thoughts!"


See?  Such labour, such effort, finding uncommon words and elevating (I could have used 'lifting' here, but I didn't......now that's what writing, real writing is all about!) an ordinary existence and sentence to one worthy of being in a book.......See?


And all was so well in our world of words, that we never realised when (and here I mean the normal 'when')  it ceased to exist outside our minds.


You, an IT (tech) guy, just kind of stole up upon us, and literally wrote us 'discerning' folks off! 


Do you know how many people, especially techies, dream of writing books that earn a bomb, and retiring thereafter? I know, I live in a place that is swarming with them. 


Their point is (and that's the annoying thing about them; they always talk, without fail, in points!), if you can do it, so can they! You've gone and given hope to people who have probably read just one book in all their lives----yours! Imagine!


So dear Chetan, sorry, Mr. Bhagat, its time we (as in 'wordy' writers), woke up from this ennui, this lassitude, or even this langour, this tediuosness....what's that you say? Can't I use simple words? Oh, all right....


Its time we woke up from this boredom (simple enough?), brought upon by a certain jobless state, where people like us, a diminishing band, are reduced to being 'brief', and to practicing our craft in secret.....


How, you ask? Oh, don't tell anyone, but we send mails to each other with beautifully concocted, embroidered, delicately and strategically placed words here and there, that only we understand and that other people call funny.......last time I sent one, two people actually read it (one was my husband who I forced it upon!)


So, my last point is (you're still there, I hope), tell me, no teach me, how to unlearn, simplify....tell me how to write for the grocer's, the mason's, the......the......heck, even my own nephew has read you! Tell me, how do you write for such a wide range of readers?


For, you see, in all our learning the language and the craft, we forgot to pay attention to a small, though vital detail....we completely overlooked the reader! 


(I tell  you, my nephew, who has read your books, wouldn't have spent more than a few seconds on this piece of writing...so can you see how serious this is?).


So dear Mr. Bhagat, astute businessman-cum-writer that you are, would you please share your secret (how you know exactly what my grocer's college going son and nephew are interested in), so that I may be as widely read as you, and perhaps even replace you as one of the most influential persons in the world (in case you decide to take a vacation from writing)? Please?


Hey Chetan, er, Mr Bhagat? What are you taking those notes for? What?? You've got an idea for your next book after reading my post? You're going to write about would-be writers? Hey, what's going on in that clever mind of yours? Remember, you got that idea here....remember, you'll have to pay me royalty...come back, listen, let's work this out...hey!









58 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I know, nikhil..:) thanks for stopping by....glad to know that CB does have a sense of humor after all..:), plus I'm a fan of honest speak, and he doesn't pretend to be someone he is not...why grudge him the adulation then? He may be singly responsible for raising literacy levels in the country, so the man ought to get his due.....

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  2. though not a cb fan, i wouldn't have read your post (completely) if he hadn't tweeted the link :)

    Agreed. His writing isn't great, but he, sure as hell, has made India and Indians read as never before.

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    1. @jigar: Thanks jigar, for visiting and reading the post completely(once again a big thanks to CB)!

      Sorry about the late reply, as, for some reason, your post was sitting as spam...technology, I tell you!!

      Like I replied to Nikhil in the previous comment, he may just be single-handedly responsible for raising the English-novel reading habits of Indians!

      If I were to indulge in my two-bit arm chair psychoanalysis, he would be a simple uncomplicated, fun loving guy, competitive without being underhand....wonder how far I'm true!

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  3. I read this post from his tweet :-)
    And many of his critics' from his tweets again...
    "He may be singly responsible for raising literacy levels in the country"- Awesome!!
    As a matter of fact,many people I know of ,thinks CB is the only Indian Author to write in English :-)
    Am am not a writer.I don't even aspire to.But, I did write something like this soon after his 2 states in my Blog with the same despair, outrage....But then, I started to realize having his style(or not) is after all not his mistake. I stopped complaining and consciously kept away from his new ones.
    But I was checking some others.The so called 'best sellers' , the ones coming as series on their love stories...I now not only stopped complaining, but started 'looking high up' at CB's style.

    Thanks the new youth icons , the B school pass outs for setting this trend!!Jai Ho!

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    1. @Viji:I agree with you, I too was brought up to look for 'style', 'substance' and 'depth', but that was a very snobbish way of looking at writing, and relevant for another time. Critics of CB forget to note that content alone cannot qualify for style. Touching other people's lives and hearts also takes talent and insight. Writing is the new talking, and we cannot compare it with the old. In this day of multiple offerings, we should in fact stop comparing, let each choose their own favourite. Let me share that the bond CB's reader share with him is unique. I would never defend any author I have read with so much passion.....:)

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  4. Smita :) His books are 'classics' for many Indians. I am glad of his disposition to retweet this.

    I read your other posts too. One more follower added to your list :)

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    1. @sensational nidhi: His disposition is indeed very favourable, and it was very sporting of him to have retweeted this....yes, nidhi, his books are indeed classics for his fans. He's young, and he will grow along with his fans, and together their writing and reading will also mature....there's no need for people to get all worked up about his style and all...and nidhi, thanks for following, and taking the time out to read my othger posts..I will try to keep posting interesting stuff ...:)

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  5. lol! All said & done he has made people take reading as a serious hobby and I admire him for that. But yes he is a marketing guru 1st and then an author.

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    1. @Smita: "All said & done he has made people take reading as a serious hobby and I admire him for that. But yes he is a marketing guru 1st and then an author."

      Couldn't agree more, Smita... many authors hire someone to do their marketing, even the most 'creative' ones.
      He happens to have been multitalented enough to have seen the gap at the right time, hit upon the right idea,created a product and marketed it. What's so wrong with it?
      Writing should now be recognised as the new form of talking, and everyone, even writers, talk normal, not in prose, in their real lives. So, we should view his books as him talking to his readers, in a language they understand and can relate to...and I still maintain that many of his critics are in fact envious of his achievements and fame...:)

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  6. Even though I am no Chetan Bhagat fan; this is one of the stupidest things I've ever read.
    I think it's more about the content than using ' difficult and uncommon' words.
    And yes, I feel really sorry for all the labour you had to go through while learning all these words.
    By the way, no hard feelings. Just my honest opinion.

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    1. @introvert: thanks for your honest opinion, that was my point actually...it was meant to show how 'stupid' it is of the 'purists', to use heavy words to make up content....today readers want writers to talk to them, connect with their feelings, and no one uses such language while talking...but thanks anyway for stopping by and posting your comment..:)

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  7. Good one Smita.liked it. Chetan Y.

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    1. @Unknown: thanks Chetan Y, for the like....:)

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  8. gee- fun read smita; but in all fairness, he has certainly made people reach out for the books and it is to his credit that even a grocer's son who so far has never looked beyond the labels has begun reading ! Anyways, as much as I enjoy Wodehouse, I like CB's books too. But yes he is a canny marketing person and hence a best-seller(?!)

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    1. @Prira Sreeram: Thanks for stopping by Priya, am glad you liked it, and am totally in sync with your comment, "it is to his credit that even a grocer's son who so far has never looked beyond the labels has begun reading"...these are first generation readers, and they will tell their kids about the legend CB!!That is mass appeal that cannot be ignored!
      ...loved the pun 'best-seller'!! Ultimately, I feel, it all boils down to what a reader wants from the book he/she reads. Most of them want a good time pass, which CB provides...Both PG Wodehouse and CB's works can be enjoyed separately without the need of comparing them...:)

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  9. Nice reading, Smita! I must confess that many a 1/2-1 hr flight has been livened by reading one of Chetan Bhagat's books & thats his niche..tell a story (with minimum regard for good ol' Wren & Martin) in a couple of hundred pages..

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    1. Thanks PP, I agree, he could very well market himself as a "travel' writer now, considering one can actually finish his book on a short travel!...although if you look at the numbers reading him, he's anything but niche...he's picked out an audience(which numbers millions) that was until now completely neglected, and made them feel empowered and enabled, one who's never been exposed to Wren and Martin, and that doesn't judge his writing! He's looked over the critics' heads and gone direct!!

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  10. great read Smita! Will come back for more :-)

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    1. @urbanchai: Thanks urbanchai, you are warmly welcomed..browsed through your post, and loved your take on motherhood (btw, congrats on the new--now several months old--addition to the family..:))!

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  11. True that CB has made many people pick up books. But the problem is today's contemporary Indian writers are generating crap in the name of getting inspired from him. It's all becoming a game of who can sell the most! And so the stories, concepts, narratives are all taking a serious beating!!

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    1. @Aseem: "But the problem is today's contemporary Indian writers are generating crap in the name of getting inspired from him. It's all becoming a game of who can sell the most!"
      I can understand your sense of despair at anybody and everybody rushing to copy CB's commercial success, and sacrificing things you mentioned, like concepts and narratives. That is generally the fate of every good idea, which gets copied cos the majority of the population is not that creative.
      But if you look above this fact, the reader is the real beneficiary. Sooner rather than later, he/she will develop the skills to reject and accept, and this process will get accelerated only if there is a flood of writing....give the process time (it may take a generation or two), this is only the first step...:)
      Lastly, it is a matter of personal choice whether one writes for pleasure, money , or both!

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  12. i have a opinion which i consider reasonable to certain limits.....first my question is... is writing a liable entity to only highly qualified and to the ones who r peculiarly strong at their vocab grounds? i sincerely think writing is a way of expressing one's views. it has the least concern with the language and the words u use. ok i agree...a writer should be sensible and lucid in expressing in his thoughts. it doesnt matter with the anguage he/she uses. it drives me nuts when people speak about the vocab always.

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    1. @sriharsha: "..is writing a liable entity to only highly qualified and to the ones who r peculiarly strong at their vocab grounds?"
      The answer to your question is "No! It is not". If one is able to, like you said, express one's views 'sensibly' and 'lucidly', the job is done
      If something can be said simply, there is no reason to use complicate words for it. In fact, that is what I have made fun of in my post in a sarcastic way..:)
      Ultimately, if a writer makes you 'feel' good, go ahead and read him/her..:)

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  14. Smita, just read ur blog. do you seriously want to write like CB? well u r a better writer/reader than me. But if you have read/analysed CB's writings there are some common point in all his books
    1. simple english - hardly any tough words so even a 5th grader can easily understand
    2. simple bollywood style story telling - a group of friends , boy meets girls, follow up, fall in love, spiced by sex, oppositions in love, some natural disaster, finally marriage etc etc..so simple bollywood formulae sprinkled here and there. Since films rule in our country, so his books are liked.
    3. cheap pricing - u can get his books for 100-150Rs.
    4. Writing for the masses - not classes.

    Obviously he is putting his IIMA earned skills to market his books well.

    Try out something on lines of bollywood story..who knows ur books may outsell his .

    good luck!!

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    1. @megh: "Smita...do you seriously want to write like CB?"
      No, megh, I do not, as my style reflects my thinking, and I will be neither here nor there if I abandon it for any one else's style.
      You have accurately analysed and shared the main points which govern CB's style and his positioning to ensure mass selling.
      You know, all writers (incl me) dream of being read widely, whether they admit it or not....and more than outselling him, it is the fact that his fans feel so passionately for him that has intrigued me....maybe even he doesn't realise how empowered he's made them feel...but thanks for your advice...I doubt if I will write a typical bollywood potboiler, but I do dream of writing a funny story......:)

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  15. Tell me one thing.. Why can't I see your post as:
    1. Publicity Stunt (Mind you that so much attention to ur post is coz of CB's tweet and fans.. Here too u owe him coz of his writing skills)
    2. Your much awaited desire to show your VOCAB skills

    Let me tell u one thing that using only good VOCAB is not stamp of mature writer (imagine otherwise you would have been writer - Jokes apart). His 2 States shows a good sense of humor in him & Gifted observation skills (observation abt typical behaviour of ppl living in different states). I too read books of other author like DAN BROWN etc but never compare one wid another coz otherwise I will never have new stuff and will feel like I have ended reading school syllb..
    Mea Culpa if I have written something wrong according to you (see I too have to use heavy word or so called mature writing or else tomorrow I will find post from u on my comment ;) br complete. Chill..

    Glossary:
    Mea Culpa - My Mistake

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    1. @CA Vimal: First of all, thanks for your honest opinion, and there has been no Mea Culpa..:)!!
      You think my post is
      a "Publicity Stunt" and my "much awaited desire to show" my "VOCAB skills"....:)
      To answer your first Q: All those of us who write, comment, speak have a desire to be heard, and I'm no different.
      I'll be honest...I did feel the desire for CB to take note since he was the subject of my piece, but I had no way of knowing that he would, he could have ignored it too...and certainly CB has helped bring in tremendous traffic on my blog
      ...however, I don't fit in the category of people who'll do anything to be heard....you won't find me in the numerous chat rooms and blogs so that people recognise me, and visit my blog...in fact I am notorious for not being a regular blogger, as I will only write when I feel a strong urge, have the time to write and respond (my last post was in 2010)...what ever I have written is what I believe in, which will never change, whether its my style( you'll notice the same way of writing in my other posts as well)or my beliefs.
      To answer your second Q: I am actually admitting through my piece that knowing lots of words (vocab) is not necessary to be able to write...one has to connect with one's readers, and put them above the critics....if it has not come out clearly to all, that shows how much more I have to unlearn, IF I want to write for the majority, that is...:)

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  16. CB! Is great, but his fiction is far away from the real situations that prevail in india... People read his books because his fictions are mostly related to their fantacies. As they cant do such things in real life they satisfy themselves by atleast reading such fictions.
    To be honest i thought of writing some books, getting inspired by CB...
    http://collegefests.blogspot.com

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    1. @Naveen: "People read his books because his fictions are mostly related to their fantacies."
      Naveen, most of us look for entertainment that takes us away from our sometimes harsh realities. TV and movies also provide escapist fare. Sometimes writers like to depict things as they ideally should be rather than as they are...its their choice entirely...:)
      "To be honest i thought of writing some books, getting inspired by CB..."
      Naveen, it seems like a very good idea, give it a try, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain...all the best...:)
      went through your blog http://collegefests.blogspot.in/, it seems like a good place for college students to get useful info

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  17. Hi... One thing I want to state that everyone is not fortunate enough to have studied from convent school n all. So i've seen many people who have read his books and hence started loving reading english literature and in doing so have developed their vocab and reading skills (and r still doing) so that they can match up to the ' True worthy' writers of english. That's the only high point of Mr. Bhagat otherwise I thing he is quite 'high' when he writes. :-)

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    1. @shubham_martin:"... i've seen many people who have read his books and hence started loving reading english literature and in doing so have developed their vocab and reading skills (and r still doing)..."

      shubham, I completely agree with you. Writing and reading in English were considered elitist(upper class) activities even until the eighties. CB brought the language to the masses, and in a simple manner that they could relate to and enjoy.

      While other writers in English were looking at gaining appreciation from the Western English speaking countries, he did not look for approval at all, just trusted his instincts, and went ahead...:)

      In fact, the critics are not his audience at all, so why they attack him is a mystery to me.

      Instead, they should be attacking all those writers of porn and other questionable stuff, which is actually harmful for readers!

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  18. @Smitha, more than the blog, comment-worthy is your effort in replying to every comment, patiently explaining your perspective.

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    1. @another wannab: thanks for noticing..:) its another form of writing for me, and I am enjoying the exercise as I love discussions of this sort!

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  19. Just like others, thanks to the tweet of CB, I happened to hit upon your blog. As I was reading this piece, I could notice one similarity, which I generally notice in most of the CB haters, you were confused whether to completely hate him or praise him. He is such a guy, you can't hate him completely because he has somewhat revolutionized our reading habits. and why only reading habits, he has inspired a plethora of writers who have now just one thing in their minds, as you mentioned in your blog, if he can do it then why can't I. In the past few years, there has been a meteoric rise in the count of authors coming up with their novels.

    My father gifted me Five Point Someone, saying that this guy has become a phenomenon, learn something from him. When I read his book I was left with mixed feelings (A) It's ordinary was my first reaction (2) It Leaves a lasting impression on the reader just like a masala Bollywood movie was second. These two things are in fact his strong points. Apart from this, he writes for masses, which means he doesn't categorize his reader base. Any damn person with some basic English knowledge can read his books but then feeling of envy, hatred, pride is in the blood of humans. The so-called intellectual brigade has always been against him with full force ( maybe because he time and again he eats up their reader base :P ) but this guy is undeterred. He keeps on writing novels after novels and has went on to become one of most famous novelists in India. As writers, we must hail him for his efforts.Thanks to him, people in my city now know that writing can also be a profession. My dear friend, you happen to come from a school where it was taught that if it's not British, then it's not English. Throwing jargons here and there doesn't solve the purpose. As a kid, I was taught that the basic purpose of communication is to ensure that the listener or reader understands your point and creates a opinion about the subject accordingly. But in your case, by using jargons and flowery words, you are limiting your reader base. Every individual's intellect is not like yours, in order to reach out to the masses you have to come down to their level and understand their psyche but since you are proud of your vocab, then I must say you must keep hating him and see him rise as each day passes. Btw, if you happen to write in the future, then I would be passing-by to read. :) And hell yeah, if I happened to commit some grammatical blunders or typos, then please don't Troll me because I am poor fella who lacks astuteness in his vocab . :P ... All the best, wish you keep writing.

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    1. First of all, thanks peerless, for stopping by (and another thanks to CB for tweeting the link) and for the excellent analysis of the CB phenomena.

      "....because he has somewhat revolutionized our reading habits. and why only reading habits, he has inspired a plethora of writers who have now just one thing in their minds, as you mentioned in your blog, if he can do it then why can't I.."
      Completely agree with this part.

      However, it is the second part (about me) that you may not have got right. I am not a CB hater.

      Far from it, I am actually a CB admirer. More than his writings, for the very facts that you have stated above.That he has changed the habits of millions.

      You are right, the aim of communication is to be understood. The 'so-called intellectual brigade" as you have called them (I'm not one of them, my friend!), is not being intelligent and recognising the changed scenario.

      My post was written in a satirical, humorous, mock (pretend) style, where I was actually mocking not CB, but the teachers of my time (God bless their souls) and pretending to be envious of CB...:)...

      Teachers of those days taught us what was relevant for those times, when English was read by a few, and people tried to copy western writings and thought.. .They had not foreseen the rise of the language on such a large scale.

      Then came the online revolution, with English gaining centre stage as the language most commonly used. (Today, even Hindi newspapers and TV channels use English words regularly)

      This enabled children all over the country, regardless of whether they had been to a public/convent school, to get familiar with the language.

      And what could they read for light entertainment in their newly learned language? Hardly anything.

      Then along came CB, with situations and characters from the lives of these youngsters, and written in a simple easy to understand form. Result? Sensation!

      As for the rest, the so called 'wordy' writers are still trying to impress each other with their skills, and continuing to be envious of CB's readerbase..:)

      Through my post, I also wanted to tell those teachers (God bless their souls again..!)that it's OK if I didn't like Charles Dickens, or Keats or any of the boring and depressing writers and poets of the time..:)

      I would love to read your comments and opinions for any of my future writings (if I do!)and far from trolling you(!), I would like to learn the new words and lingo that youngsters are using these days...)cheerio, have a good day!

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    1. @AbhiLaSH RuHeLa: thanks for stopping by...

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  21. Hmm... So smitha ji if u wanna be a best seller writer just try real hard and 'UNLEARN' :-D

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    1. yeah, absolutely right shubham, UNLEARN is the key word!! I'm trying, should get it, I think..:)...and thanks for the motivation..:)

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  22. Well one thing can be clearly understood, one person's attempt to achive something puts another person at task to criticise him at any instance. Critics should not do for the heck of it. CB did something, u nothing. I suggest you use the valuable time u wasted on putting so much effort on observing people,situations or penning the article etc and pen down something of your own rather than clinging on tail of some one else. You are much better than this...

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    1. @abraham: Thanks for your observation, abraham, and for that part of the comment where you say "You are much better than this...."

      I can sense from your comment that you mean the advice sincerely, so that I do not waste my time only observing but pen down something of my own. I'm trying to, and my writing for my blog is my warm up exercise.....:)

      "...one person's attempt to achive something puts another person at task to criticise him at any instance. Critics should not do for the heck of it."
      If you notice, I have not criticised CB at all (in fact it is mentioned right on top that I have actually criticised the 'elitist' writer, in a humorous way...but I don't blame you for not understanding it, as my style of writing is different).

      "...the valuable time u wasted.."

      In fact, it has been just the opposite! I've had a great time, first composing the article, and then interacting with so many readers like you, and getting to know how you all think!

      "...rather than clinging on tail of some one else."

      I don't see it that way at all. I cannot force myself to write for things just because they will become popular.

      However, once I had written the piece on CB, I felt a desire to share it with him, and he liked it enough(which he mentioned in his tweet, and even thanked me!), to share it with everyone else. End of story.

      "CB did something, u nothing."
      While I agree that CB has achieved a lot of fame and money, its only for me to decide whether I have done 'something' or "nothing" (my definition of 'something' and yours may differ).

      Acc to me, everyone on this earth has done (achieved) something, our parents, grandparents, farmers, labourers, people on the street...:) We all are doing something, making a difference to someone, somewhere....

      Life is much more than simply quantifying "achievements", and comparing one person with another...

      I wanted to write for pleasure, and I did...although I'll take your advice and write something of my own soon.... :)

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  23. heyyy...nyc job...enjoyed each word...are u writer urself??..i mean..u write bukz....welll....the below part was magical..,,..
    Oh, don't tell anyone, but we send
    mails to each other with beautifully concocted,
    embroidered, delicately and strategically placed
    words here and there, that only we understand
    and that other people call funny.....:)

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    1. Thanks ebyabrahamovic, I'm glad you liked what I wrote..:)
      Well, I'm not a writer who's ever been published, but I love to write...maybe someday I will become one!

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    1. @talking to self: thanks, I'm glad you liked it...:)

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  25. @ebyabrahamovic: Thanks ebyabrahamovic, I'm glad you liked what I wrote..:)
    Well, I'm not a writer who's ever been published, but I love to write...maybe someday I will become one!

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    1. Oh...is it.??...well u have aal the qualities of a writer!!

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    2. @ebyabrahamovic: thanks..:)!Now I simply must write that book...)

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  26. You are writer, he is not. But I would read him. he is easy you know. for tough readings, god gave us salman rushdie.
    Every book serves a different purpose, and I believe if your book will ever come, it will serve its purpose.

    Just because I felt I should write this. Nothing much. Now smile :)

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    1. @Darpan: Ha ha, thanks Darpan..:) very well put, and I am smiling..:)

      Totally agree with you, in the battle between being talented and being loved, I think its the latter that always wins....

      ....and I do hope that my book, whenever its out, serves some purpose other than simply satisfying my urge to write..!

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  27. Same as others, directed here from CB's tweet... Even i am an avid reader...I like Dan Brown,Sidney Sheldon .. but CB as well... He achieved that No other indian writer ever achieved before.. He made 'India' read... literally... His work is appreciable....
    I completely agree with @thepeerless and @darpan.. very well said...

    and read all comments and your reply to each one of them is commendable.... Good Luck.. :)

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    1. @varun twivedi: Thanks varun for visiting (another thanks to CB!)and taking the time to read both the post as well as the comments & replies.
      I'm glad you found them commendable, and thanks for wishing me luck..:)

      I too agree with peerless and darpan. Thanks to CB, we now have more first time English-novel readers in our country than ever before.

      There seems to be a strong emotional connect between readers and CB which goes beyond the simple stories that he writes...they feel a sense of achievement after having read even one book of his.

      No one feels like copying Salman Rushdie or Arundhati Roy...being like them seems unattainable, whereas CB, to his readers, is one of them, who has been through the same experiences as them...they could be one of the characters of his books.....CB indulges his readers rather than indulging himself...:)

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  28. Smita,

    It is a very good article that you wrote.....and loved your reply to Mr Abraham. Not many people will understand the core of your letter....
    Post some effective articles on critical social issues...etc coz now your are famous.....and people will read you...

    Rgds.

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    1. @AnkitGupta: Thanks Ankit, for the compliment about the post, and also for taking the trouble of going through the comments...:)

      I'm glad you liked my response to Abraham....I thought he meant well, and shared his opinion in a nice observant kind of way, to be taken as feedback rather than as criticism..:)

      "Not many people will understand the core of your letter..."

      Yes, I agree Ankit, many people will miss the subtle humour and pretend envy..:), but its all right. There are still many, like you, who will get what I'm talking about..:)

      I think that writers like us can help in exposing people to different styles of writing that they are unaware of, gently, minus the snooty attitude.

      English no longer belongs to the British (and hasn't for quite some time now). Of course, they are getting their revenge by declaring 'Chicken Tikka Masala' as their national dish!!

      Jokes apart, India is land of simple stories told with drama, colour and loads of emotions, e.g. Panchtantras, Jataka Tales,Mahabharat and Ramayan. So maybe CB has got it right after all, and we as writers need to simplify, instead of lamenting the lack of 'Higher Order English Thought'!! (that's not what you have said here, but the thought just occurred to me, so I thought I'dd add it..:))

      Its really nice of you to encourage me to write on 'critical social issues', as I have an opinion on almost everything I see or read or hear! I promise that I will write something soon...:)

      I'm anything but famous (but thanks anyway for calling me that, as for a moment, it felt nice...:)), as it was CB's tweet that brought me the visits, but a writer always hopes that someone would read him/her (otherwise our good old secret diary suffices!), and if you say that people will read me, I'm motivated and I believe you....thanks once again and cheers!

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  29. wow!! mesmerizing....read them all...I had my laughter fits :D *chuckle* in between the comments and the clever, patient, well explained replies :):).... Whether you write a book or not, you are a total kick-ass writer for me :)...loved every bit of humor you infused in your writing!!...If people don't take your article personally (I wonder why should they!!....perhaps only if they do not understand it; *sigh! The dilemma of writers* ), they'll surely have a good time reading it.... My question to the personally-offended: Isn't it important to be a good reader before being a good writer?? If not, I rest my case

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  30. @shepherd of thoughts: Thank you for visiting and posting your positive comments...praise is like 'manna' to every writer..:)

    Yes, responding to readers' comments was tricky as I tried to understand their POV, and 'respond' rather than 'react'....after a couple of them, I actually started enjoying reading the comments and writing my responses almost as much as I did writing the article..:)

    Thank you for calling me a 'kick-ass writer'...no one has ever called me that before, and its an honour!!....agree with you about people getting personally offended unnecessarily , as many of them wouldn't have gone through it entirely.

    I guess its also to do with a majority of CB's critics being very rude and nasty to him for his writing skills. Readers automatically thought I too would have been nasty towards him....In fact I feel I got off lightly as their comments were controlled because of CB's twitter status that said he 'kinda liked it' (yet he too couldn't decide how to label me and ended up calling me a critic! Obviously satire is not a popular form of humour anymore!!)

    At the end of the day, I feel communication is not just about what messages one sends out, but what of those are recd and understood, so if a majority do not understand this brand of humour, then I guess its either time for change (me) or time to educate (the readers)!!....

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