I was reading about the French revolution recently. The gore and the bloodshed which ensued as people were slaughtered by the guillotine. Suddenly my memories flew back to 7th grade English literature class.
I remember reading a classic called ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ which was about a brave Englishman who saved the French aristocrats from the guillotine.
I remember that when the rest of the class was on 3rd chapter, I had finished reading the entire book. The intrigue, the hidden identity of the hero and the French spies filled the mind of an 11 year old girl and she couldn’t stop turning pages until she had read the story to its end.
I remember visualizing the foggy shores of Dover and cliffs of Calais, the English channel, green and beautiful Richmond and the various characters in the book.
Fast forward to 2003
I was 20 years old, crossing the English channel for my first ever trip to Europe. I could barely contain my excitement as one night I would be going from Dover and reaching Calais from there in a few hours.
I must confess that it was a bit of a let down, and all because of the modern marvels of the world. When my coach reached Dover, we were loaded onto an under water train and after a while we alighted at the Calais train station. I didn’t see the foggy shores of Dover or the cliffs of Calais, only the modern structures of the train station and the train underneath the water.
Hopefully, this time around, as I go for an year, I will try travelling by the more traditional method – a steamer and hopefully it won’t be a let down!
Catch the e-book here. Though nothing beats reading an actual book whose pages you can turn.
In a completely unrelated incident, I spent the weekend in dusty heartlands of Uttar Pradesh and forgot to pick up my stock of sweet cigarettes. Does anyone know where can I buy them in Delhi?
Also has anyone ever visited Khurja? I was blown away by the amazing pottery and ceramic work (again)! I could have bought everything but one thing caught my eye - a boat shaped tea cup. It was innovatively carved and I absolutely had to buy it and I will definitely take it saat samunder paar with me :)