There’s Been a Coup in the House of Literature

Never in the history of the House of Literature had Sir Classic Fiction seen the other side of the Speaker’s podium. He had ruled over the House ever since it became a House.

His reluctance and awkwardness showed clearly on his face, and he didn’t attempt to hide his emotions. Diligently, he chose to sit next to Dame Poetry. She held her handkerchief over her nose, hardly trying to cover her sobs. Well, of course, her poetic sobs. Her mind had already devised plots and grieving backdrops to transform her emotions into the most whimsical poetry the world had ever read.

Mr Thriller couldn’t control his excitement for the drama of the House and waited eagerly for it all to unfold. Mrs Crime was delving deep this time, her plot contorted over herself. Digital Content, was the last pawn tried by the House of Literature to save the majority vote. He wasn’t literature per se. But they tried to adapt themselves so that people could ‘read’ more than ‘watch’. Even Digital Content knew that alone, he was of no use unless there were compelling pictures to look at. And also he knew he had to stay extra concise and crisp – for ‘quick reads’, of course.

The other side of the aisle was freshly made for the new entrants of the house. And boy, did they look cheerful. Mrs Television was wearing something bolder than ever before. She threw her gaze in the most delectable fashion over at the sections of books. Mr Travel Novels, Mr and Mrs Romantic Novels, Mr Thriller Novels, Mr Drama, Mrs Comedy, Ms Satire, Mrs Cookbooks, all of them. She smirked at them and knew she had it all. The books returned her gaze with a look of defeat, admitting their submission. Mrs Television sat alone on the bench munching on the products she got for free from all her advertisers.

Mr Movies on the other hand, who was now supposed to rule the House, looked more kingly than what he really was. Unlike Mrs Television, he tried to look humble despite his reach. Regal and elegant, it almost seemed like he had borrowed a thing or two from the former incumbent Speaker, Mr Classic Fiction. Master Amazon Prime chose to sit next to Miss Netflix.

Miss Netflix was a smart, modern, independent woman. She had taken the performing arts world by storm by putting out her own independent stuff. She made her own rules. She had decided to support indie comedians and movies, as well as some important content and in very little time, she made a big mark.

Although, even she was surprised to to find Mr Amazon Prime next to her. Like always, he was tagging along, taking notes. Mr YouTube was invited to be a member of the House. He wasn’t really a part of this family as such. But he definitely was one of the most influential players in the game, hosting some of the newest content out there. The music industry was especially reliant on him, and his cultural reach spread wider than anyone else’s.

He was a great connector and had brought the world together through their love of cat videos. He had the widest type of content, and an open platform for all from All India Bakchod to short stories by newbies, from movie trailers to the newest video to land on BeyonceVevo.

The Editorial Brothers were shocked to witness what was happening in the House. They could not believe that all their beautifully articulated, curtly written articles were not the popular choice. They could not believe that Miss Documentary was people’s favourite for ‘being real’. The words written in their space were more interesting, they thought. They gave more depth, an elevated perspective, a more insightful view on ‘reality’. Alas, they were now asked to be shortened to be ‘fit to be read by people instantly over apps’. They had to sacrifice a lot. However, they were too uptight to loosen their grips on the thesaurus just yet.

Sir Script sat quietly and sadly in a corner. He was sitting closest to the new majority party members, the Performing Arts. He remembered his glory days when he used to deliver long monologues to rapt audiences. He had allowed Monsieur Theatre, the first Performing Arts member, into the  House of Literature. With this, he had unwittingly opened the gates to other members of the Performing Arts.

But even Monsieur Theatre was tired now. He was more expensive than his peers and hence more not as popular. Both, he and Sir Script were lost in their own narratives of the present situation.

The House was now in session.

Performing Arts and Video Content are now far more superior than even a short while ago. Reading has now become a hobby and ‘watching something’ a habit. But could the Performing Arts ever describe human emotions as beautifully as writers? Or can the perfect lighting and the right camera angles make everything look fabulous? Can pages and pages describing simple and subtle nuances of life be recreated by the sleek editing skills of the video world? Or can books be as effective as a well-made series?

We’ll wait and watch. Oops.

Mandar Gupte, 24, is currently working in an Adivasi community development organisation called Disha Kendra. He tweets at @gupte_mandar and you can find him on Instagram at mandargupte93. 

Featured Image credit: Reuters