Does Anyone Really Read These  Days?

By Someswar Bhagwat

I was shocked. A friend actually commented on an article I had written  That means he READ it.

He is perhaps its first and last reader.

It is unbelievable. The friend, I was told was seriously unwell. Before I am accused of trying to worsen his illness by making him READ an article, I wrote him a letter enclosing an article in which I hoped the ‘fashion’ of reading would be back like the backless choli of Ajanta. This despite the management consultant’s assertion that no one reads these days and that they would rather watch an audio-visual instead.

I wrote to the friend:  “Glad you are up and active enough to read again and that you have even  actually READ the article — so rare these days It justifies my writing at 83 though almost no one reads these days  However it is like writing for the sake of writing rather than saying something. 

And the mistakes found by a friend makes the writing, he says, unintelligible. When l say attender for attendant or spell it attendent he may think it is about dogs! Hope finding mistakes is  a good enough reason like the one that built the circulation of the first national daily of Australia started in 1964. People bought it to count mistakes.

I should find  a sponsor who will offer a prize for finding the largest number of mistakes in the article as in the case of that daily newspaper.  This sentence too is so full of mistakes that my friend would think it is about cats  Or is it dogs? 

Anyway that is a good enough justification for not reading anything. For there is nothing without mistakes. ‘No copy is beyond editing’ is  one of the basic tenets of journalism.

That means  no copy in the world is meant to be read ànd understood. And still you read it. That is unbelievable.” 

I only hope my friend would not fall sick again after reading it. I better go before I have to say, like two urchins who strayed into a Picasso gallery: ‘let us run before they say we did it.’


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