9:14 pm

Certain books which are produced for mass consumption (you know the type, the ones who do not belong to the canonized cult), it seems to me, have atleast one advantage over the ones belonging to ‘high Literature’. Its very obvious to my eye: books that are products f popular culture often make cheeky comments (and not very subtle ones at that) on the system…and get away with it!

If Shakespeare or Charles Dickens even threw a teeny tiny hint at something, a million essays by various literary (and non-literary) people would pop up. If a chic-lit or a lad-lit says something, a lot of people would read it, laugh when they read it and that’d be the end of it.

In How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life (it’s a banned book, bye the way…the author was charged with plagiarism. But I love the book anyways!!), Kaavya Vishwanathan tells the story of this really crazy protagonist, Opal, whose aim in life is to get into Harvard (according to Sean Whalen, its “getting a satin-lined coffin” when she dies). That’s not it. Her parents weave her entire life with plans and stupid acronyms (such as PISS: Positivity, Intelligence, Sophistication, Success) to get her into Harvard! Suz and I see it as a critique (in a quite tongue and cheek way) at the over-ambitious psychology of Indian parents who want their children to be a doctor or engineer from the bestest college there is.

Chetan Bhagat constantly criticizes constantly. He talks about the glorification of the IIT cult, the materialistic mindset of people and so on.

Till date, I have not seen “intellects” and “scholars” write essays talking about how Vishwanathan and Bhagat criticized society.

This is motivating me to follow the uncanonised path. I want to be able to say almost anything and get away with it, kind of like the Madman in Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

Let’s see what sort of an author I become.

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