I was introduced to hindi literature at the age of 27, by that time already having read tonnes of books in english. I always felt that english writing coming out of india was somehow lacking in that something which gives a book its soul...it sounded a little strained....and I wished it was more relevant to my life. Amitav Ghosh and Upamanyu Chatterjee were exceptions to the rule I felt but still some of their later books let me down. I used to wonder why noone wrote about the indian experience and why there was no true indian voice yet.
When I read Manohar Shyam Joshi, or Nirmal Verma or some newer Hindi authors I realised that what I was searching for was right under my nose. The evocations of delhi or lucknow or mumbai or even the small towns in their books was so masterly and true, it struck home immediately. I explored a bit and found that there was a vast sea of hindi literature which was vibrant, relevant, brutally honest and amazingly talented. It spoke to me and spoke for me.
So if anyone is thinking of writing in Hindi and wondering what will the morrow bring. Will he be living in the chawls of mumbai and ekeing out a miserable existence, I think that is a fallacy. A writer must find his voice first, not worry about which language will have better readers. Speak the tongue that comes naturally to you. There is no dearth of opportunity. The movies, the serials, the magazines, the websites, the tv channels all are hungry for content. If you create good content, it will sell. To create good content though you must find your voice.
I, being as my flatmate once charmingly observed, "very compromising" had tried to figure a way which combined the best of both worlds. So you can write like this too -
itni saari debate faaltu mein ho rahi hai. jo man mein aata hai usko keh daalo. Dont worry ki usko kaise chhaapenge. Arrey yaar, aajkal to chhaapne ki zaroorat bhi nahi rahi....hum ko dekh lo...kitna likhte hai aur ek drop ink use nahi kya abtak :)
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