Love, life and all that jazz.
Love, life and the beer can!
Love, life and dream on...
These are all titles of desi english novels or 'Indian Writing' published in the last couple of years. Why this fixation on naming their books with 'love, life ...' (Duh, that is what most 'serious' Indian authors do, we are adamant about being literary, which is writing about love and life, at least a part of us thinks that is the best kind of writing there is...about life....that is not the issue here, I love Ghosh, Roy, Verma,Bagchi, you name them) when other authors have done just that, that too recently enough to stay in people's memories.
Ideally, you'd want your book's title to stand out! grab attention! etc etc, and if you really really want the title to resemble something familiar to hook the reader browing at the book shop, which might entice them to pick it up - you call it 'Non-twilight', or an 'Unsuitable boy'. But why this fixation on "love, life...and three more words', I just dont understand.
Okay, will tell you why I'm ranting about this - I was at Crossword, Chennai two days ago, minding my own business and looking sadly at all the books I cant really afford to buy, and accidentally was recruited to attend a book launch thing that they were doing in the cafe they have on the upper level.
It was for 'Love, life & all that jazz' by Ahmed Faiyaz. Now, I have attended book launches as a reporter and enjoyed the experiences. But now I saw them from the author's perspective, given that it might be me doing the same thing at some point.(Fingers still crossed about being accepted for publication, signing contracts etc, but gasp, gasp).
And when the event began, the room was quite empty and it was really sad to see the plight of the organiser lady and the young author (relatively young among authors, probably a few years older than me) looked a bit lost as he scanned the empty seats. (I'm already dreading the situation, I'd probably go and hide if it was me- if I didnt have an obligation to myself and the publisher to sell as many copies as I could :-( which was what was making Faiyaz sit and continue. (reluctantly, you can conclude.)
The event began 45 minutes after it was scheduled, with about 10 poeple, but thankfully the seats filled up a little by little, and by the end of the event 3/4ths of the seats were occupied. I could actually see the author get more confident when people started arriving randomly from the floor below after hearing bits of reading he did.
I liked what I heard, and the book was reasonably priced, but I hadnt carried cash in hand that day, so stopped by landmark today to see if I could grab a copy. That was when I figured there were three books with similar names, all published in the last coupla years.
And hence the ranting. Can't we be a little creative? Atleast google titles we like to see if there are matches, and if there were some, whether they were recently published, things like that. I'm still going to read the book, but this is just making me think of why we find titles and want to stick to them, though they might work against us. I mean, if there was Swarchkopf, and Schwarzkopf, some people might buy the wrong one. Okay, that was a bad example, but you get the drift.
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