In Conversation With Myself : Episode 2
I came across Neil D’Silva’s post
highlighting the plight of horror writers in India a couple of days ago and I couldn’t agree more with him! If you want to read his original post that got me thinking, you’ll find it here.
Horror has always fascinated me as opposed to scaring the living daylights out of me and scarring my childhood. And no, contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with me if I like anything horror, Gothic or crime related. As a kid, who literally grew up watching horror movies deemed too scary for child viewership, it’s safe to say I do have a little idea about what I’m talking about. Movies like Evil Dead, Ramsay Brothers’ countless indian monster/slasher/black magic films, Child’s Play and so on remain a favorite memory when I was intrigued, intimidated and emboldened, all at the same time. I’m not saying that scary movies never scared me. Let me recount a little incident and that shall clear your doubts.
I was all but 8 when my father brought home Child’s Play and even after a lot of discouragement and dissuading, I managed to watch it and I can tell you that I was scared witless for days. Come new year, my cousin was gifted a life size princess doll and imagine my luck when she brought it home for me to see and play with! I repeatedly kept pleading her to keep it in the box for I could very well imagine it coming to life while I was asleep and taking my soul. When she wouldn’t do so, I simply asked her to watch the movie. She put on a brave face, perhaps emboldened by the mention of the word ‘Child’ on the cassette. Long story short, I think it’s safe to say that the doll must have found a good home and someone else to play with at last!
With the advent of technology and technique, I do concur with Neil that the whole ingenuity of a horror movie is lost amidst the cinematography, animation and graphic effects. No monsters or memorable characters linger behind, scaring you as you pass through a lonely road or even the terrace of your house at night. As at horror fanatic, I’m literally dying to read or see something that makes me dread the darkness!
Stephen King, James Herbert, H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker’s, Algernon Blackwood, these are the names that snap in my mind when I think of horror and creepy but no recent books have captured my attention. A niche so unexplored and unacknowledged in our Indian Literary Culture, it saddens me to no end that readers would rather read something mushy than creepy.
It’s the age of technology, with avenues so vast and imaginable that anything can be scary! We have such a small portion of horror readers in India and therefore the shortage of horror authors too.
It’s time to change! Let the future and it’s many monsters scare you, drive you to the edge of your seat as you hold on tight for a jolt of shock and scream and pray that budding horror authors like Neil D’Silva, Jessica Falaeiro and others keep writing and well-known ones like Ruskin Bond keep enticing the darkness!
Until next time!
Shelly Bajwa is Content Brewer Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. Shelly has earned a postgraduate from London and is versatile, self-motivated and enthusiastic person. She has lived in Bahrain for a number of years and more recently in London, UK from where she has completed her Master’s Degree. An ardent reader with varying interest areas especially Egyptology and classics; she loves music and dance having choreographed many dance shows in school.