Monday, 4 August 2008

Down The Memory Lane Again

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.

Circa 1994

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 :)


Prasad said...

woah!!!! i also used to imagine the setting of each book i read!!! and then came the harry potter movies which completely ruined eveything i imagined!

Sindhu :) said...

I totally love the Scarlet Pimpernel!! I fell in love with it when I was reading it as our Novel for 10th std!

have read it for more than 5 times and still love it.. esp the part where he kisses the place where his lady rested her hands :D :D wah.. what a romantic scene to imagine!

And yeah... I imagine everything I read.. scene by scene :D Whether its a book or somebody narrating a story or for that matter..somebody narrating a movie storyline too :D

I used to love those cigarettes too :D the only cigarettes I ever liked :)) we used to have this phantom cigarettes - that had a white mint stick with a red color at the end... :D :D :D

niceguy251 said...


Thank God I located you with your visit to o3. I had been trying to find you but no luck. You are righy we have to pay for modernisation by forgoing natural beauty. Wish you all the best for your forthcoming visit and hope you do see what you wish to.

Take care

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey Pras,
Long time, no see... how are you doing???
All the books i've read and which have been converted to films have disaapointed me except gone with the wind which was almost perfect :)

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey Sindhu,

I have finally found an ally!!! Most people i know have never read the book...

I have it in my home library.. and when ever i have time i read it again and again!

i loved that scene too!! i loved the man... he was my ultimate hero until others came along :)

but do you know richmond actually exists?? its towards south-west of london... :)

I can't read without imagining.. i think that's why i had a problem with maths as a subject :D

my ciggies were ditto though the brand was different... they were one of my fav candies... they still are!!

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hello Sir!
How are you doing?

Thanks a lot for your wishes... I will definitely try and meet you before I go....

You take care as well!

Sindhu :) said...

I am not able to find those candies anymore here.. maybe I need to check the smaller shops.. :D

Richmond exists?? Thats great! Maybe someday I will go there one day and with expectations at that :D

And yeaa... Sir Percy was the ultimate hero for sure! Romantic, mysterious and above all - a hero! Sighhhhhh!!

You think God makes men like them these days?? :D

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey Sindhu,
yes it does.. this time when i go its on my list of places to visit :)

i don't think they make men like sir percy anymore otherwise I would have loved to go with him in a horse drawn carriage on a moon lit night :)

But then later Mr. Darcy came along in pride and prejuidice and he became my hero...

I could do a whole post on my novel heros!

Prasad said...

the lord of the rings was also a good one frm book to movie! :DD

um doin u?

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey Pras,
I have seen the movies but haven't read the books!