Sunday, July 27, 2008

Real and Fake

I like reading Shashi Tharoor in The Times of India every Sunday. This time, it was about fake things versus real. And here is my opinion which I sent back through the ToI website.

(You can read the article by from the link given in the top right corner, 'Get real, we are living in a fake world', or simply clicking the title of this post, that is 'Real and Fake')

Thanks Shashi.

Pretty right. Absolutely right as far as drugs are concerned, and even in general, I feel we should buy original and not fake.

But sometimes piracy helps those who are not helped by originals. In today's context, I am talking about books.

Previously it was the market of CDs (read movies) that was dominated by pirates. But then, the prices of Video CDs (and even audio CDs) came down and people started buying originals, piracy taking a backseat. And though piracy hasn't been abolished completely, Moserbaer and T-Series are dominating the market with their low price CDs or say, reasonable price CDs.

Back to books now. India has a large market of pirated books. And I have bought a number of pirated books in Bangalore and Chennai, most of them Non-fiction as I used to read whatever I got in library as far as fiction is concerned. I have never liked buying pirated books but then, I didn't have much options. I don't think my parents can 'waste' rupees 495 for buying me 'The Elephant, the tiger and the cellphone' until it's going to help me out with my studies or my job or something equally important. In fact, until I start earning enough money myself, I can't think of buying a rupees 500-600 book. And I feel an average Indian student is more or less in the same situation, with the exceptions of a few rich.

Now, the options I have are:

1. I do not read the book and wait for getting a job first.

2. I stop my other expenses for a month or a half and collect money to buy the book.

3. I go to the market and get a duplicate copy for 70-80 rupees.

I think the third one is the simplest, and the best in my scenario. And in case of most Indian students. Or a lot of them, to say the least.

I still say that I do not like pirated things. I bought Chetan Bhagat books because I could afford one easily and so was the case with The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And I feel that if prices are made a bit more people friendly, piracy can be removed to a large extent.

PS: I still haven't bought 'The Elephant...', hoping I buy an original as I'll be joining my job soon.

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