Monday, October 18, 2010

In these biblioclastic times.

I love reading. I adore it to distraction in all its exclusionary, anti-social, selfish, I-me-myself glory. You could call it bibliolatry. Well, almost. Some of the books I read transport me to where nobody can follow me. What’s more, I love every “forest-killer”, turn-a-page book as noumenon, “thing-in-itself”. 5bcqef. Let me loose in a well-stocked Borders or Barnes and Noble and watch me go giddy with delight like a kid in a Toys”R”Us. So, the latest ruckus about Such A Long Journey ought to make me fume, don’t you think? Strangely, I’m unperturbed. My personal preoccupation with books has nothing to do with what happens in the world. Come to think of it, the world – especially, the Third World – may well get along better with a little fewer books on the shop shelves, for all I know. Right now, what this country needs is, maybe, a really delicious 5-rupee wada pau. Now don’t give me all that talk about being facetious and not supporting freedom of expression and the rest of the rot. The moment you allow these humourless and witless twits to get your goat, all is lost. Let us instead drool over all the extra sales that apro Rohinton’s Indo-Nostalgic novel must have drummed up thanks to the much ado about nothing. By the way, good ol’ Rohinton is no stranger to a bit of brouhaha. Back in 2002, in the course of his US tour to promote Family Matters, he and his wife were racially targeted at every airport (he had the looks of a Muslim in the eyes of the US Immigration officials) and had to even cut short his long tour. I’m happy for him now that the local goons in his erstwhile home town have targeted his book and pushed up his sales. The only worry is, in the process, the Indo-Nostalgic nice guy that he is may well metamorphose into an Indophobic boor – although, with him, it seems highly unlikely.