Author, Actor, Reporter: Glamour

Our books, which are our principal vehicles of expression, can reach people through impersonal mechanisms. This is what makes the world of books so uniquely democratic and accessible.

From the blog amitavghosh.com/blog/ dt. 6th Feb, 2012

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I’ll have no hiccups to rank ‘Mukhavata’ in the line of Dostoevsky and Marquez works, minus the sexual overtures. Arun Sadhu is a self-effacing author who believes in the power of fiction to ameliorate society and perhaps the only writer who shuns self-promoting in the realm where internationally recognized authors have surrendered. Forget the promoting, interviews and reviews. They accompany you like sycophants. Remember, reading is like wandering through a territory of solitude.

From the blog: DayWalker’s Dreambeats dt. 13th Oct, 2011

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These are two views expressed on two different blogs, both devoted to literature leading to the similar conclusion. Amitav Ghosh (Author: River of Smoke) has expressed in this blog that was repeated in Hindustan Times of Feb7th saying: I suspect that most of us were drawn to the world of books precisely because it provided an island of quiet within the din of *tamashastan*.

In fact, the writer and the writing are omnipresent. But the bad fruits of Information Technology have poisoned the writer to fall unconscious. It’s a case similar to district editions of daily morningers where one gets information restricted to the particular district only. All literature festivals are mostly successful only because of the attraction the readers feel about the writers and more than that the pleasure of handling the books they never could see in the local book stalls.

Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan is a big annual event in Marathi literary world. This year it was in Chandrapur, coal mine city where the red and black clouds rule the environment along with Naxalite influence.

Everyone, but the hosts, was sceptical about the success of the event this year in Chandrapur. Many of the Marathi book publishers in Mumbai under this impression did mini events of publishing their books neglecting to participate establishing temporary stalls as the practice is.

Astonishingly the Chandrapurians and their neighbouring villages and townships proved everyone wrong. More than a lakh of appreciators of literature visited the conclave buying books worth more than thirty million. Hitherto a record figure. There were no great celebrities in large number. The President Vasant Abaji Dahake, though one of the most brilliant poets and novelists, is not a so called popular figure. However, his thoughts and analysis of why certain literary achievements in Marathi are not yet made on the large-scale universal level were eye opening and quite easy to understand even for the audience which doesn’t take the literature seriously.

The lesson that can be drawn from such an event is simple. People are hungry to read. They want more books on various subjects to see, handle and read. The local bookstall however big or sophisticated it may be doesn’t satisfy their choice. They want to choose the books and where else is a bigger opportunity than such events or medium and large scale exhibitions. Where is the author in this? May be may not be. It does not make a great difference though his presence is expected and enjoyable.

However, when the author appears as a performer and if he has proved to be controversial, the things may go berserk. In this age of parochial thinking and disrespect, growing incidents happen, as in case of Salman Rushdie at the Jaipur Festival. The events of this kind are on such a rampant growth that someday it may happen to the innocent love story writers; who knows. It’s the destiny of the writers. They don’t get this kind of glamour. “Instant” and “limelight-full”! It is temporary but the attraction is immense. One can’t resist it. The actors are destined to this. They get immense fame at a go. The writers have to toil for it lifetime. But the fall also can be speedy. They are fastened together.

Another category is the reporters. They are on the forefront. They visit top notch politicians, dignitaries and rich people and hence know them directly making their life easier and so to say partially glamorous. They are showered with favours and gifts. The media displays them many times making them famous in comparison with the writers. Their editors are bereft of this like the directors of the actors. The writers have their own tiny islands that nobody is aware of.

This difference shall always prevail and the writers who know this shall march ahead winning over the time. The media cannot make great writers. Maximum it can help shine them like a flash in the pan.

The Ramayan and Mahabharat, the works of writers, lasted over millenniums. Had Walmiki and Maharshi Vyas have to run after the media to promote them?

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