Saturday, March 6, 2010

Five point Something: Club Mix

"Hey! Did you read the novel by Chetan Kumar? It's rocking!"
"Oh yeah? Which mix?"
What hit the music industry a decade ago, will hit the publishing industry as well? Remixing to make different versions maybe an author's nightmare but do you think we are far from it?

China Mie Ville noted the above point at a recent group discussion at Landmark. Although the subject was "The Detective and Criminal Mind" the two crime writers were missing as they were still 10,000 feet above us in the aircraft. So the discussion veered to future of readership.

A gaming enthusiast from the audience asked if authors would consider having multiple endings to their stories and would even let the readers decide the end in some sort of a collaborative project. He was confident it would work citing the example of Heavy Rain (recently launched game which depending on the user actions allows him to choose the ending. There are 3-4 different endings.) He even urged the writers to check out the game so that they can be convinced of this possibility. Billingham who was the only other writer present clarified that “Gaming is active while reading is passive. When you are playing, your actions provoke certain reactions and this may differ from time to time. However, while reading, you are being told a story which remains constant every time you read it.” I buy his point.

Every author injects his personality in his writing. The voice of the writer is unmistakable in it. Would a piece of work be equally revered if the artist behind it changed? Will a Picasso still be a Picasso or will it just be a Guernica. I love the books not just for their narrative but also because I admire the human form which could conceive such engaging stories.

I love Ruskin Bond not because of how he makes heroes out of simple people but because he still refuses to come down the hills of Mussorie and settle elsewhere. I love paintings by Amrita Shergill not just because her work is marked as 'national treasure' but because she had a revolutionary streak which I admire. People who create need to be revered more than what they have created. As a rookie gamer, I’m going to check our Heavy Rain; but as a serious reader I’m going to ban the remix.


  1. Ruskin Bonds stories can almost get you that whiff of fragrant hills cant they?
    True, what makes a book stand out is how the writer treats it. Wouldnt be the same if a different writer wrote it..

  2. Thanks Suchi! Is Ruskin Bond your favorite as well? I had the good fortune of meeting him when I was in Mussorie. Such a humble guy! The locals told me that few years ago, when in better health, he could be seen on mall road every day collecting plastic bags and disposing them off safely.