Long forgotten are the days when people in India read books because they were classic or listed on the HT bestseller list for more than 4 or 5 weeks; now they read books because either a relative or the colleague next door has written it.
I remember, on our first official date, my Ex questioned about my area of interest and I replied with, “I prefer books over anything and everything” instantly she made a comeback with, “have you read this extremely witty novel ‘Oops! I fell in Love!’ by Harsh Snehanshu”; conspicuously she disclosed her deepest feeling coveted carefully under the name of the book but to my own surprise I ended up reading the name of books she has read.—An Average Indian Reader she was.
Who is an Average Indian Reader???
A person who flits between books by J K Rowling and Jack Trout, on a wheeler stall at a railway station and ends up buying a “Bollywood on Paper” novel by Chetan Bhagat or by Dimpled Durjoy.
An engineering graduate who started his reading career with a novel, his friend referred to him saying, “Padh bhai! apni hi kahani hai!”. The engineer definitely got fascinated with the extreme simplicity of language and enamored by the pursuit of similar life book served with.
Few days down the time line the engineer who once had innocuous attitude towards everything related to books is now found visiting bookstores like Crossword and ends up buying all the books based on college romance, mostly by engineers.
This engineer, slowly and gradually starts growing with time into an avid reader with a taste. He spends all his days reading, partially blushing and partially getting sexually aroused.
Then one bad day when it’s raining outside; a slanderous comment from a random guy in class makes him stagger, “I don’t read Indian authors, because all they write is Crap”.
He feels hypothetical and makes an erratic decision of shifting from Chetan Bhagat to Dan Brown or Paulo Coelho. Choosing Dan Brown or Paulo Coelho has got no primal research behind them; they are just the names on HT bestseller list other than Bhagat and Durjoy.
With time this enthusiastic and lucid engineer has turned into a reader; who is now on a journey of literature where he will be dismayed thinking about the time and money he wasted on Indian writers; he will get to experience the real feel of reading-between-the-lines and he will be pleasured reading books from the West and the Middle East and with this an avid reader will rise and an Average Indian reader will die.
In the contemporary India, reading is a journey, where a person gets excited by the Metro reads; discovers more with the books from Middle East and finally ends up drinking numerous cups of coffee in a bookstore while reading an exquisite tale of romance or magic coveted in a beautiful jacket either by P.G Wood House or by Ray BradBury.