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Post Googlism and Other Short Stories

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Item Code: NAZ731
Author: R C Natarajan
Publisher: Manipal Universal Press
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9789388337007
Pages: 300
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 310 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Foreword

Refreshing stories with a twist in the tale and humour sprinkled all over. that's what Natarajan pulled off, with his very likeable work of fiction, otherwise known for his academic publications!

Forewords for fiction books are unusual, so when Natarajan called to request me to write the foreword for his book of short stories, my only reason to accept immediately without asking "why", was an opportunity to read the stories a few weeks before you all do. I was keen because I tasted a sample when he "WhatsApped" a couple of them last month.

That word "WhatsApped" would have meant nothing a few years ago. But now we are in a "Post-Googlers" era, and you know what it is, whether you are a Digital Native in this era or a Digital Immigrant like me.

With a title like "Post-Googlism . .", together with the format and lingo this generation is used to, IHND that these short stories will be enjoyed by them (IHND means "I Have No Doubt", just in case you haven't deciphered. Having read all the stories, now I can also vouch that my generation, born in the 60s - same as Natarajan's - or, in the late fifties and early seventies, will relate to the characters even better! So, if you are born any time between 1955 and 2005, you will love reading these stories.

While Natarajan says that all the stories are his "own imagination and do not represent any real persons or events", you will encounter someone you know in a familiar setting in almost every story. Not just familiar with someone, actually, often you relate with one of the characters in the stories and emote so well with them that you forget you are reading a story. That is not your fault, Natarajan's characters and settings are so real.

Other than just a couple of stories or more that are melancholic, almost all of the stories have an element of humour, if not entirely humorous. And humour, across such wide-ranging settings! From a hilarious exchange between a husband and wife in "Two Idlies" to an all-too-familiar Likes and Comments routine on a Facebook page in "BMW".

And the twist every story has built one in at the end; whether it's a one-page micro-short-story or a ten-page longish-short-story; much like, my favourite, O'Henry used to do. In some of the stories, you can guess the twist early on, no surprises there because you are a smart reader, otherwise why would you be reading this book in the first instance.

By the way, I finished the book in one sitting. Very likely, you too will. It is a page turner. In the end, I won't be lying if I say, "I am already looking for the next set of short stories by Natarajan". Share your WhatsApp number, I am sure he will send some your way too well before the next book is published!

Preface

This book is an outcome of my envy; envy of watching the younger generation's manner of communication, attitude towards life, and the ease with which they transcend one stage of life to another. They seem to be happy-go-lucky ones. This generation is everything opposite to my generation. They do not live in joint families; nor their families are known as nuclear families. They are now known as roommate families, to borrow the term from Dr Jagdish Sheth, the Marketing Guru.

My generation belongs to an era that existed through All India Radio, pocket transistor, cricket commentary, Manoranjan, Mann Chahe Geet, Doordarshan and imagination. News programs reported events factually, politely and soberly. They were discussed for weeks together after dinner among friends. We grew up before information technology shrunk the globe. We spent five days in a mela called test matches; played in the grounds every evening; and read newspapers to know about the games between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. Linguistically, we were raised m a puritanical manner, with great emphasis on grammar and figures of speech. We loved reading novels; we usually started with Enid Blyton, moved on to Mills & Boon and then to James Hadley Chase, Alistair McLean, Earl Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, Irving Wallace, Robert Ludlum and Ayn Rand. Some of us continued with the same trend of genres while others took a detour to Gorky, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pearl S Buck et al. However, reading remained to be a major hobby for a large part of our lives and it continues to be so. We saved and spent, and borrowing was an anathema, and so was credit.

The current generation of youth looks at replacing rather than repairing. Divorces galore are one reflection of this phenomenon. It manifests a culture what I have come to call post googlism. The term denotes an attitude towards communication and art that is purely functional, less hung up on aesthetics, that pays scanty regard to grammar, but which is open to including other languages to put across a view or an idea freely and faster. In the field of arts, there is a vast change happening that blends Indian classical with Western pop and Indian films. The terms, phrases and sentences coined by this generation emanate largely out of the SMS communication, which are based on abbreviations and acronyms. For example, I need this work done ASAP.

In addition, movies play a large role in creating new terminologies that are readily accepted by this generation. For example, to imply "What is the need for such an extreme view?" is conveyed by Why this kolaveri and quickly WTKV ? I always thought that laughter is binary; either you laugh, or you don't. However, I learnt from this generation that there are many shades of laughter. It starts with a simple smiling emoji, then a beaming one, then the one laughs with tears, then LOL, and later ROFL and finally LMAO. Phenomena are redefined.

Nevertheless, this generation has certain flash points where it displays enormous patience, such as waiting for Harry Potter from 1997 to 2007. Therefore, a selectively patient generation followed us, who were selectively impatient. We show our impatience mostly in electoral outcomes; but we give a long rope to the politicians. I cannot vouch for the present generation to do this. This generation's hurry and haste is also seen in the market: they spend and then save; they consume first and pay for it later. Credit is a normal way of life. Here and now governs their life rather than future. Whether they think of their future at all is a mystery to me.

The impact of this will surely be felt in formal communication that will soon be less than formal even in official contexts, except in Government departments, schools and judiciary, where resistance to change is built into the system as calcified as in mindset. With social media communication becoming increasingly prevalent, this trend is more likely to change the picture of communication considerably in less than ten years. Ten years from now, I foresee the social media being a major tool to discuss Post Googlism and other short stories the conduct of the judges in giving their judgments. Contempt of court as a weapon by the judges will be severely opposed by the post-googlist generation and the ones to follow.

The current generation has been raised in satellite TV era, followed up with Google and smart phones. The cliche karlo duniya mutti mein (hold the world is your fist) is truly applicable to the younger generation. Language is merely a tool of communication, and no more an aspect of art or aesthetics. The shorter and faster, the better. Grammar is meant for English Literature nuts. Reading of books start late and end early, notwithstanding carrying a library in a Kindle. Their lives are paced by electronics. Speed is the essence of their life. Today's news is tomorrow's history. T20 attracts more crowd than Test matches. Soon, T20 will lose its sheen. Who will watch a match sitting in front of a TV for four hours? They know more about European Soccer, Monte Carlo Grand Prix and are up to date with data. They venture out less for playing except in the PT periods at school. At home, they are confined, earlier to video games, then to computer games and in recent times to mobile apps. Their IQ and mental alertness are perhaps far higher than those of our generation. They have the ability to gather data in jiffy.

A reader may argue that my assessment of the current generation is far from the generalized picture. True. It is not about the entire population, bat that which is likely to be the segment that reads books and stories in English at large. The comparison, too, is with the similar constituency of _my generation. A typical reader of this generation works his/her heart cc.: for five days a week and takes off for the weekend for merriment. S he belongs to the group that likes to call itself the bindass crowd. S/he LOLs at jokes, ROFLs at stupidity, GRRRs on being provoked and finds something COOL if s/he likes various aspects of something. S/he will be right back with BRB. S/he does not know with IDK. Her/his standard negative response is WTH and an agreement is a "k" rather than OK. Cut-shortin. copy pasting communicate what they want to convey rather quickly than cutting (something) short and cutting (something) and pasting it. The fine between transitive and intransitive verbs has been made quite thin.

**Sample Pages**











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