Sunday, July 26, 2009

Books — everyone's punching bags ?

"Do you have a Rakhi gift for me?"
"Yes, a book,"replies the young boy.
" A book?" asks the sister with a grim expression and suddenly her eyes light up when she realises the gift pack actually has chocolates inside. Hmm, so what the creative copywriter is trying to say is books are boring, are they?

Now move over to an ad of ' teach yourself English' CD. This guy actually has the audacity to literally throw away books and choose the CD because one CD can replace a whole encyclopaedia in book form. Hmm, stuff for another P.I.L, is it?

The first thing to suffer when the government has a resource-crunch — books of course!

The first thing corporates decide to deduct their budgets from in recession — you guessed it, books!

And finally, the first thing newspapers ensure vanishes from their pages during meltdowns — book reviews, what else!

The Times of India, India's leading newspaper, has no space for books in the main paper, not even in their Hindi version. The only little space they have is for spiritual books, that too is actually sublet to their sister concern Indiatimes. Now, these poor fellas apparently have something that the whole world is ailing from — a resource crunch and to beat that, they have started selling that space. Thankfully, no self-respecting publisher wants to get into a frivolous arrangement, so what do you have? All kinds of strange books being showcased in India's flagship newspaper. But who is the sufferer? Books and book lovers!

Hindustan Times, the other print biggie recently shifted the book reviews to Saturdays, ( from the leisurely Sundays) a bit of a letdown, but they still give it a whole page. May Goddess Saraswati bless them!

I would be failing in my duty if i were not to mention the messiah of writers, book lovers and publishers — The Hindu. They have stood by their values undeterred — recession or no-recession. May both Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi bless them!

And for rest of the above, may Ganesha bestow them with some good sense. Amen!