Has Reading Reduced ?


IndiBlogger Badge       Reading books has reduced dramatically in today's youth. Kids who read books are treated as socially incapable nerds. What is your take on this topic?                  Greetings and kudos to you Madhura for posting this thought which was in my mind  but  I expressed it rather badly HERE                                                            Now for the topic.Yes, I strongly feel that reading has reduced but not dramatically AS our society was already an almost non-reading society!See for yourself all images here are of foreign ladies..their Indian sisters at most, manage a love lorn letter to piya-ji.And that too sometimes - blank! 'Virah-vikal binu hi likhi pati diyo pathay..' In present times the scenario is same as the the paati or the letter is e-mailed and poor piyaji is henpecked 24*7.


In olden times preventing reading meant preventing thoughts. Without seeds even the most fertile soil remain barren.But then there were and are people ,who always choose the road less travelled.If they are called nerds,(vichitra then)its just a way of ignorant's defense mechanism to cope with the reader's knowledge,contentment and bliss !                                                                                                                     If a kid is a reader by choice and not by force then he/she will not give two cents  for the title . 'Happy to hear Nerd again, rather then  being a Bird-brain.'                                                       Calling incapable ? Aw.. you can do better Bird-brains!  ow to focus on the first line of the topic.The answers is"YES " and HOW?                                                                                         Reading reduced when after Independence majority of people were struggling to get hold of a decent livelihood and it was only roti-kapda-makan which ruled the Indian conscious.Cinema for 5 cents, a book for a dozen. Most were illitrate.                                                                            Reading turned into a luxury. Scorned by contractors of religion, it was nowhere in the list of the common man struggling to make ends meet.Only erotica and Religion fared well.It took off peoples' mind from harsh realities.                                                                                                               One gave pleasure; The other, hope.

Then came the age when education read employment became essential.Gone was the Great Indian initial shock and scorn towards job in some company and the pride in 'khud ka kaam' i.e toiling on own land/business. Education converted into marks and degrees and reading got maddeningly synonyms with studies. Otherwise how come children of reading parents became non- readers? 
Its because the lohe-wale (Iron merchant) had just returned from Mauritius and his Bahu is updating snaps on FB !
The first generation readers experienced Life's Little Ironies and forced their children not to read but study only.Add Izzat (prestige)and the proverbial char log(society) to the  roti-kapda-makan (basic needs)and you have the Sabhya Middle class muddling reading and/with studies.
Source
Today everybody who is anybody watches Star World. Or Ftv/AXN/MTV/...
Teens,youngsters ape celebrities AND not a single TV/celluloid Diva ever touched a book on-screen just for the joy of reading. though she reads Ram-Charit Manas resulting in a surge of Aastha, Sanskar viewerships and making Karva Chauth, Chath puja and Rakhi a Diwali for business.
TINA homely foreign, traditionally Modern
but Reading ? Naaa
Solitaire for Karva-chauth and nakshatra for Rakhi. Less then it is blasphemous. Bhaiyya or saiyyan as per occasion don't love me enf ! :(
Hence the Gucci-ed, Lancome-d and Dior-ed Alia Bhatt will fast on somvar and keep both, the Gods and Humpty happy 
Who needs reading?
 I vividly remember  Rajesh Khanna's character in 'Aap Ki Kasam' reading a Harold Robbins. It was no Shakespeare but still the character was reading for the sake of reading and not to top the IAS mains as the hero now does.

Gadgets and Social Media
The Angry Birds are in Temple RUN mode vying for likes.Its great to be on social media but worth while only if you actually read the substance and share thoughts rather then plain likes.Yikes!
 And Lastly -Money
 Good books are costly.Its a good time for writers but as their royalty and fee has increased the salary of an ordinary Indian has not!He reads from the available stock rather then from what he pines for.
A Real Example of Moving Backwards
The 1970s - Due to my family and their circle of educators, poets, laureates and writers I was surrounded by books.When I was born in the late 70's (exact year will give away my age dears!) a book was the first gift my father put in my crib.It was the first object I held as a toddler and put straight in my mouth.He told Mom," Don't bother.Let her chew this one.... I want her to be familiar with the sound and smell of paper"(Perhaps he meant taste too !)
Enters 2005
I did the same for my 2 day old son by putting a bright blue and golden prayer book near his pillow ... only to be snubbed .
Pulling the veil tightly !
Later when he was 5 months old I got the lightest cardboard book for him to hold, just feel and get habitual to it as a routine thing.I was instantly told in the coldest of tones "abhi se padhaegi! Dimaag chala degi iska.Dekh lena, bada hokar khak padhega" (Teaching from right now!You'll make him insane.You just wait n watch,how he'll trouble you in studies later.)
Ignorance Is Bliss? Naaa..
  Nevertheless I started ASAP and am glad that Anindy has found the joy of reading.

Though he yet don't believe in this-
"I find television to be very educating.Every time somebody turns on the set,  I go in the other room and read a book."
 - Groucho Marx
But he definitely thinks that -Books take you to places where Dad's credit card can not.
 A silver lining in grey clouds.. enough for me to be pleased. 
Reading has reduced but its an ebb before the swell .This is my belief. Amen.

20 comments:

  1. awesome...awesome.....awesome......great....loved it....cheers to u passionate reader...

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    1. Thanks Issac.. I was dreading while posting it as it became so long and is badly edited (images and all)... I am grateful that you survived it! Thanks for this Lovely comment :)

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  2. Awesome post. Of all the books, Rajesh Khanna choose Harnold Robbins.. hmm

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    1. Thanks Avinash . and yup even I thought the same.... :) After all he was Rajesh khanna :)

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  3. Great analysis here. You have expressed so many relevant points :)
    Glad that you are raising a book-lover kid like you :)

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    1. Thanks Anita, Am little embarrassed of my analysis but could not help it.sigh! As for Anindy I simple wish the 'prophecy' to be untrue. more sighs !

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  4. Well you have given your children the best gift in their life. Love for books. :)

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    1. Thanks Sougata! I am glad you think so.But don't count Pihu in it ..... sigh!

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  5. Nicely analysed... I do think of a time when this generation would prioritize reading over video games...Amen.. :-)

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    1. Right Maniparna. I am sure about it and glad you liked it :)

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  6. Wonderful share !!!
    Reading does help you to form a better YOU...
    Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. -Charles W. Elio-
    Have a nice day :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Veena for this wonderful share :) Its wise .. selected by you it had to be :) ....and it has instantly found a place in my quotes diary :) .I gave connected with Wisdom Times on fb. Its great as it covers ALL imaginable aspects of life! Thanks for the wishes and welcome to this space .Keep visiting often :)

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  7. Books!!!!
    Even my first book was gifted by my father :)

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    1. Welcome Karanvir :) Its good to find fellow book- worms. The gift of a book is the best gift.Its gladdening to know your Father encouraged you in reading.What was that book? Do you remenber ? If yes then Plz share .... Thanks for your comment dear.
      regards, Kokila

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  8. A very nice and a detailed one Kokila :).. It looks like the fancy for books have fallen down these days. I remember the times I was mocked continunally for reading books and not just the ones in the syllabus. It seems that doing other stuff is way cooler than reading!

    My first was Financial expert by RKN and from then on I have been an eternal fan. The joy of books is understood only by a reader, for the others, I wonder if they would ever try to understand either..

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    1. Aptly said Vinay. But the humour is that we bookworms/readers whatever you call us are least bothered. As a child even I vividly remember listening to the small talks of the group being polite while inwardly waiting for a pause , and rush back to my book. :) My summary-
      "I love my books as drinkers love their wine
      The more I drink the more they feel divine." :) Happy Reading and thanks for your insightful comment. keep visiting :)

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  9. Reading books in free time is always best.

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