I’m not one for confessional journalism, but I admit I loved it. Any deficiencies in style or research went unnoticed as I raced for the finish. I promise you I am not an idiot, but I was so taken with it that I bought the special illustrated edition and the Rough Guide.
The book’s runaway success may well simply be due to reader-rewarding short chapters. Equally, it could be code itself. After all, people love a puzzle…Dan Brown claimed, in a rare 2003 television interview for the reclusive author on ABC’s Good Morning America, that his interest in puzzle-solving was forged during his comfortable New Hampshire childhood: “On Christmas morning, when other kids might find their presents under the tree, my siblings and I would find a treasure map, with codes, that we would follow from room to room.”
Life, it turns out, is a series of tradeoffs between great experience and high convenience. McDonalds: convenient, but not such a great experience. Disney World: ah, there’s a great experience, but not so convenient. Most successful products and services aim for one or the other, but not both. Products and services that offer neither tend to fail.
That’s why, despite all the great press it’s gotten, Amazon.com’s Kindle may be in trouble: in aiming to provide both a great experience and supreme convenience, it has achieved neither. And unless it can be revamped to truly distinguish itself, either as the best reading experience around (superior to the old-fashioned book), or as the cheapest and most convenient reading outlet available, it may be doomed to fail.
When I first thought of this idea, I intended to write the Mahabharat this way. Then I thought of writing World War II, then Indian Independence struggle and finally Jaswant Singh’s political fiasco with BJP. But then the plots are SO LONG! The Ramayan has a much more manageable plot, in comparison. And hence I have before you, if the Ramayan were to have an event update like Facebook, how would it be like!
2 days of high pressure work and day long meetings have finally come to an end. And that usually means “some free time”. And “some free time” usually translates to The Facebook Mahabharatha
ps 1: I didn’t pay too much attention to accurate chronology
ps 2: It was already getting long, so I left some events out
ps 3: For those not familiar with the Facebook Mini-feed, you need to read from the bottom.