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Indeed; we need to talk about Indian fiction in a frank environment and we certainly have to understand that are we really over-doing our fiction? Are we becoming repetitive and just re-working the same themes again and again? Like the overburdened Bollywood which does not know how to respect movies that have a different taste, are the readers also becoming attached to the same usual bluff or a girl and a boy and another girl and another boy and so on? Go to any book fair or reach any bookstall you will get the same kind of covers which depict ‘modern love affairs’ in various forms – are we being serious about fiction? Can we hope for the Nobel Prize again, please?

Titles like I too have a love story; half-girlfriend; kiss in rain and blah blah blah just ruin the plot and they seem to have reversed the flow and we have had once set up by the masters like R K Narayan and Anita Desai and Amitav Ghosh. The genuine art of fiction is being eclipsed by the art of selling and we are losing our voice on the international level as well. The increasing demand for entertainment has not only ruined the movie industry but also the writing industry has been badly affected. We have so much of entertainment but nothing in the name of literature!

We were very successful in adapting to the depth of English as a language, however, we miserably failed in adapting to their style of writing and we clung to the erotica genre so badly that it stinks as a genre today in India. Every new teenager who takes on writing just thinks very avidly that how many times the intimate scenes are to be there – like Chetan Bhagat or like El James or like Duttas and Singhs? This is, saying frankly, ridiculously absurd!

Nonetheless, we do have some authors who are producing the true fiction and representing India (without being so famous among India readers) in the world literary forums and various stages. Authors like Jeet Thayil, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitava Kumar, Amitav Ghosh and another one on the rise, Anita Krishan who are producing quality literature but most often struggling for a reader base among the youths as their novels don’t offer so much of the avarice! Who are at the fault? Let’s sit and discuss this in the days to come before we lose our voice completely on the world stage!

by a contributor

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