Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Easter of Bibliocracy

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Can books save humanity?

Hell, no.

Then why do we celebrate the World Book Day?

Image Courtesy: Google
Apparently, some influential people want us to believe that books can change the world, the time, and the people, and save the asses of the disillusioned rich. At some point in time, someone with power, some megalo seemed to have discovered that there is a chunk of time for leisure, available for those who work in factories, offices, schools and also for those with no jobs and no prospect of getting any in the future. This leisure time became the subject of a great scrutiny in the bureaucratic level throughout the world, after the Cold War. The age-old dictum ‘an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop’ was an archetypal threat they all felt. What if the Devil himself decides to establish his base camp in those many idle minds? Clearly, it was a warning sign, because the bureaucrats were outnumbered had the multitudes with loads of leisure time lodged the Devil in their murky hearts.

Plans were plotted, meetings were held and coffees and snacks were distributed around the table, round and round. The bureaucrats, being who they are, nibbled their biscuits and gulped all their tea. But a solution to take care of the Devil’s abode, the leisurely mind, the implementation of the plan to tap the unhealthy supply of time, was never reached.
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Discussions were held again. Books and records were referred. Finally, some supremely agitated grey hair mentioned what could be the best way to tackle this situation. Give them weapons and get them into a war, without much thought you can tell how they all are going to end this world. Give them food to munch through their leisure time, free food. You will dig massive graves for people dying of excessive eating, blood pressure, heart diseases and all sorts of obesity. Give them sex to fill their free hours and you will create the next Sodom and Gomorrah. Well, then, there is one rather easy solution—books. Easy to distribute, battery free, cheap, engaging, enigmatic, and deeply intoxicating.

And so they planned and implemented the World Book Day. There was an event they all could look back to, a ghost stuck in the history of human civilization. Simple and largely deemed unimportant, or at least not as important as the Little Boy and the Fat Man, this event remained a life buoy for the supporters of Bibliocracy. On the 23 April 1923 some book sellers in Spain decided to celebrate a Book Day. They chose this day, because it was the death day of the legendary Miguel de Cervantes, the creator of the quixotic character.
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The later generation decided that they would acknowledge a number of other writers who happen to die on this day or born on 23 April. At the time when the bureaucrats realized they were not the only ones who never turned a page in a book, the thought of a globally celebrated day for books was generated. So they just threw some writer’s who happened to die on this day together, like William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Josep Pla. Then they threw in some writers who were born on this day, or at least in this month, along with the previous list. Curiously and controversially, the Swan of Avon came up on top in this list too along with other writers who were supposedly born on 23 April, like Maurice Druon, Manuel Mejía Vallejo and Halldór Laxness.        

Like all the other celebrations, different part of the world celebrates World Book Day in its own fashion. That does not matter, though. What matters is if you are a part of Bibliocracy? Then you must celebrate, because this is the festival of resurrection of books.
and other stories
But then, can books save humanity?

Hell, no!

If you don’t believe in books, what have you been doing these previous four years with Wall of Colours?

I was writing “Wall of Colours and other stories”. It took four years for me to complete it. Well, I didn’t say I don’t believe in books, precisely, did I?   

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