If you’re looking to get a bead on India’s publishing landscape, look no further than Chetan Bhagat’s Indian bestseller, “One Night @ the Call Center,” which sold a total of one million copies.
Noteworthy is the novel’s dedication:
To my twin baby boys
And the wonderful woman who created them*
*With a little bit of help from me
The thinking person—and even the non-thinking one—I’m sure, will not require any hints on the process of human procreation.
In the acknowledgments, he thanks “Mr. Bill Gates and Microsoft for MS-Word” for his realization that he “could not have written [the book] without the software.”
How very gracious of Mr. Bhagat. Clearly, no author before him, who’s ever had the aid of any word-processing software had remembered to convey his or her gratitude to its developer.
I find Mr. Bhagat’s pronouncements to be clodhopping, boorish, and puerile. Which is I why I couldn’t get myself to read the book. I’m certain, though that his readers have been able to extract more value from it than I have.
At any rate, Mr. Bhagat’s locution begs the broader question if it’s the cultural side-effect of India’s crass, commercialism-driven fetish to establish itself as a regional superpower. If that’s the case, then there’s something terribly wrong with that picture.