Have you been to a bookstore recently? There are two kinds of books you will find : the first, written by renowned, award-winning writers, often, old ones, whose reprints are still on the coveted shelves. These are, however, outnumbered, by a large cache of books which have ‘national bestseller’ written boldly, across the top. The book titles do catch your attention, in a strange way: the kind those freak shows at circuses do.
Yes, I kissed you….and then I kissed your friend.
Hello Dear Come Into My Heart
You have money? Then, I have Love
I have a Crush….but it’s not You
Hot Burger Male, Coca Cola Girl
Now, you wonder who is buying these books? How do they become ‘national bestsellers’? Or, to take a step back – what does ‘national bestseller’ mean? (Maybe, it means ‘badly-written book’ in some language?) I went around asking my friends whether they buy these books. They looked offended, and un-friended me. When I reached out to ‘friends of friends’, which are the modern day equivalent of the neighbouring Mrs Jain’s bahu’s brother who visits during festivals, they were equally offended. Nobody really seemed to be known as being associated with these books.
So, who is buying these books, which are shoving out actual literature from the shelves?
According to unconfirmed reports, President Kalam , himself, was quite disturbed by the fact that ‘Wings of Fire’ was jostled out of the shelves by such books. He, like you and me, wondered who buys these books? He set up a secret study on the same. Here are some disturbing results:
- The Chief of Army reported that these books are purchased in bulk to build bunkers on the border. They not only act as protective barriers, any enemy soldier managing to pilfer from the stack, and ending up reading it, dies a mysterious, gory death, his own palms choking his throat.
- ISRO reported that they have also made bulk purchases to transport to other planets, in their search for existence of intelligent life out there. If their cameras catch an alien reading any of these books, they safely conclude there is no intelligent life on that planet.
- Tihar Jail has placed bulk orders for them: replacing the cruel barbed wire with bookshelves. They have noticed a drop in escape bids, as the prisoners stay sufficiently intimidated.
- Arnab Goswami has them from breakfast.
It is rumoured that, given the response these books get, President Kalam will rename his book. It’s reprint will be on the shelves, with the new name : ‘Hello Dear Light My Fire’
I also want to join the bandwagon, hence, I propose to change the name of my upcoming romcom, which is, currently, titled, ‘That Autumn in Awadh’, to
(a) That Bedroom in Awadh
(b) You are my Item Number
(c) Halkat, Naughty Jawani
(d) I loved you…till I saw her ghaghra.
Please send in your votes.