English Finds Its Critic on Facebook - The New Indian Express

English Finds Its Critic on Facebook

Published: 10th March 2014 08:36 AM

Last Updated: 10th March 2014 08:55 AM

‘Anna, coffee’ is how the members of The Great Shakes normally start their monthly meetings. Occupying a corner table in Sukh Sagar, Koramangala, this traditionalist group of writers - both published and closet - discuss everything from serious writing to phonies, non-responsiveness and poor grammar.

“We initially started as Shakespeare and Company - the name taken from the famous bookstore in Paris - in 2005,” says KVK Murthy, a retired banker, poet and also the founder of the club.

Spread across the world and currently knit together through Facebook, they initially started with a page on Ryze, a social networking site of yesteryear. Apart from sharing write-ups, poetry and essays, this ‘notoriously’ melodramatic group discusses issues which have diluted English language today. They also hold book readings of their published work - the latest was held on Saturday at Atta Galatta.

Critiquing the write-ups shared on their Facebook page is another thing that they excel at. “We have continuous debates about how English has watered down. The brevity of usage in SMS and social networking sites has robbed the language of its essence. Language is just being used in a functional way, there is no depth,” says Ranjini Rao, a food bloggist and writer. They also blame media, music and the new genre of fiction - where books are written in the language normally used to converse - for the downfall. “Like our economy, this jugaad mentality has crept in even in language. The sab kuch chalta hai attitude has caused further damage,” says Murthy.

The group also promotes theme-based writing on their Facebook page. The members are provided with themes and write-ups are shared on the page. And it is the feedbacks that these writers benefit from. “We have come together for the love of writing, for the love of literature. These activities have helped us grow as writers,” adds Murthy.  

Currently, the group has approximately 280 members spread across the entire country. “We encourage people, who love literature to join in. Conversations over coffee never get boring,” adds Murthy.

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