Monday, December 26, 2011

Books and others


I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that 2011 is finally ending.

The year can be best described with the word – shitty. However, I don't want to be crass, so I will just say 2011 was a bad year for me.

There's a lot that happened that didn't get mentioned here. It was too emotionally demanding and mentally stressful for me to deal with, hence the silence. That being said, one good thing did happen this year, I fell in love with HarukiMurakami all over again, via 1Q84. I mean, there's something about the realm of the unreal that's appealing to me and to have that presented in such amazing words and sentence choreography, is to me, a sign of genius.

I've also been on a huge Flipkart buying spree. Cash on Delivery is a RAACCCKKKSSSTTAARRR feature means!

Thanks to Flipkart, I've read two more books by Devdutt Pattaknaik. He's amazing. Just, plain amazing. No other word describes what he does. What makes him that much more awesome is the fact that he is not all over the place about his contribution to the world of re-telling, quite unlike Ashok Banker. I'm a huge Ashok Banker fan, have been since 2003 when I first read The Ramayana Series. That being said, I have several issues with how he over-states his role as the storyteller. If he could tone it down a wee bit, I will find him more tolerable. But this is a highly personal viewpoint. I don't expect people to agree with me or even like it, I don't care.

While on the subject of books, there is one book I'm reading that has completely overwhelmed me. It's a non-fiction title – Indlish. Written by Jyoti Sanyal, this book is a searing look at the way Indian English-speaking people have made a huge mess of this thing called written communication. The problem lies with our education system. When English teachers don't know the difference between the words “wedding” and “marriage” what do you expect them to teach their students? When the English Department of the University of Madras encourages its students to study a particular set of questions before the finals, how do you expect people to think for themselves?

I don't know Mr.Sanyal, the future is bleak. There are no good English teachers left. The ones who do teach as best as they can, thump Wren & Martin at every given opportunity. Grammatical propriety is a must, I will not let anyone tell me otherwise. Because I cannot have “writing as one speaks” accommodating “cannot able to” as acceptable English communication. If it does, then I'm going to stop writing altogether.

There's wrong English (featuring misconstructed and grammatically incorrect language) and there's wrong English (featuring flawed sentence construction). If you are asking that we be rid of the latter, I will join the eradicate Indlish movement immediately. If this movement is, in any way or form, accommodative of the former (grammatically incorrect language), then please count me out. I'm happy in my world of verbiage.

Indlish is a must read. There's no two ways about it. If you're a writer, chances are you will experience a searing sense of shame at having written the way you have for years and years. As a reader, you will be armed with enough to send the editors of newspapers scathing letters pointing out the flaws in langauge. If you are that one writer who has been writing as Mr.Sanyal recommends you write, then you, dear anoynymous person, are eligible for a Nobel.

More from me, tomorrow...


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