Sunday, July 6, 2003
of Harry Potter fans in schools and at home logged on to the Net on June
26 to see J.K. Rowling read from her latest adventure to an audience at
the Royal Albert Hall in London. The publicity-shy author chose the web
route because it helped her reach a wider audience than was possible
through the television or radio channels. Imagine the size of the
audience made up of children and adults from 34 countries.
children’s writing in post-Potter India?
CAN you imagine gun-toting
securitymen guarding vaults full of copies of Ruskin Bond’s Binya’s
Blue Umbrella for fear of theft? Or children joining a midnight
queue or burning the midnight oil to be the first to procure or read Feluda’s
Last Case by Satyajit Ray? Or can you picture tiny tots who’ve
coerced their parents to shell out 700 bucks for Harry Potter’s fifth
adventure doing the same for R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days, that
doesn’t cost even one-third of it?
in the USA and UK
over two million Indians in the USA and 1.3 million in the UK have
formed themselves into hundreds of organisations and associations based
on their ethnic identities, professions, business, trades, traits,
regions, religions and faiths. From the '''paid'' invitation cards to
the receptions, hosted in honour of Home Minister L.K. Advani during his
visit to these countries recently, it was interesting to note as to how
much effort must have gone into arranging them so as to present a
bouquet of ''oneness''.
pet food? Khichri!
THE Mughal rulers enjoyed a
luxurious life and used to maintain large harems which were supervised
by a staff of female officers. The nobility formed a separate class
whose members imitated the royalty in many ways. They enjoyed special
privileges and powers and had a high standard of living. The nobility
adorned their palatial houses extravagantly, enjoyed rich food and wine
and attired themselves in costly dresses. The common people, however,
had to struggle to make both ends meet. The poor mainly survived on khichri.