Wednesday, July 28, 2010

IIMs/IITs and Masala Novels

Am just amazed to see the latest trend of IIM and IIT graduates to turn to writing. Its become a whole new category in itself. Someone I know (a former colleague) just published his book. I read an excerpt on his website - and it was PATHETIC!

With all due respect to the person and his writing 'skills', I am amazed to see publishers print that kind of stuff. The grammar was terrible and the plot was as interesting as a wet carrot. I guess the Press with its inordinate amount of coverage to these institutions, has got people really curious on what actually happens inside. So curious that they pick up just about anything as long as there's an IIT or an IIM printed on the cover. Of course, Chetan Bhagat has opened up a whole new category of english readers, through his 'masala' style of writing. These low cost (Rs. 95 per book) and not-so-sophisticated english readers do not expect top class writing and are happy with, to put it crudely, a 'book' version of Bollywood films. Moment you add IIT/IIM to the title, you've got a winner.

Chetan Bhagat's writing style will probably not win him a Booker but atleast the books are interesting. The newer writers I feel are just trying to ride the wave through the brand names of their alma mater.

Another person I know has turned a writer. Full credit for following their dreams, but rheir writing style SCREAMS WANNABE. Am sure they will improve with time but I only hope that the person concerned is not trying to free ride the writing wave just because they got the privilege to study at one of the top institutions in India.

Personally, I agree I don't write too well either, but I think I have read enough to spot crass/wannabe writing. And nothing irritates me more than the garb of being a writer when you're actually just free riding on your institute's name.