Shades Of Words


Ireland and India – Lost in translation Project

Thought I have not made much of progress for my Lost in Translation project I am going to go ahead and check off Ireland and India off my list. And here’s how

I have read several Irish writers but  would put up Frank McCourt’s book on the top of my list. Read Angela’s Ashes to get an understanding on certain ethos of Irish culture , but beware, several critics have aimed at this being biased.

There are so many great Indian writers that I could have read and talked about, and I am ashamed to admit, that I am not even familiar with some of the bodies of literature written by Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh ( please forgive me taking their names in the same breath). I would want to recommend a book written by an Indian writer here, that I recently read and enjoyed . This would be the Palce of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee. Thought not in the same league as the aforementioned writers, she writes well with a certain ‘Indian’ flair.

So thats 5/257 countries of the world – hmm- not very encouraging!



These Three Remain

I really looked forward to getting this book from the library.This would be third party of the Trilogy Fitzwilliam Darcy , A gentleman by Pamela Aidon.
This book covered the next critical phase of the Darcy – Elizabeth relationship – the proposal, the rejection and the turnaround.
The story opens with Darcy and Colonel’s carriage flying on its way to Rosings Park – for their annual and much dreaded trip to see their aunty, Lady Catherine.Little does Darcy know that Elizabeth would be at Hunsford visiting her cousin Mr Collins and her closest frined Charlotte Lucas , who is now Mrs. Collins.
All the conflict in Darcy’s heart about Elizabeth resurfaces again and as he spends more time with her at Rosings Park , he is convinced that “she is the one”. Then comes the landmark proposal – so haughtily made and so haughtily rejected.

Darcy returns to London a changed and a distraught man. We see Lord Brougham assuming a more significant role in the book – as Darcy’s confidante and Georginana’s friend. His feelings towards Georgiana become more apparent and as a reader you are not shocked at his confession – you had already seen  it coming. Darcy decides to move from London to Pemberly to escape the political chaos and it is there that he chances to encounter Elizabeth again.From then forth the narrative sticks strictly to the orginial PnP story line.

What I really liked is that Aidon has stayed true to the script of Jane Austen for dialogues between Eliza and Darcy. There are sections in PnP when we wanted to know more details – as of the frequent visits Darcy made to the Collins’s home, the several times he met Eliza on her walks – Aidon supplies them beautifully.

We see the transformation of Darcy from the well-meaning but conceited gentleman to the benevolent yet prinicipled person that Elizabeth can admire. Its  intersting to see how Georgiana also contributes to this transformation.

This book largely focuses on the relationship between Eliza and Darcy – which is both the best and the worst thing about this book. Best, coz dont we all want to know what happened inside Darcy’s head as he was falling in love with Elizabeth, worst , coz we know the inevitable and there is nothig new to discover in the PnP world ( unlike Duty & Desire)

Recommended for all Regency Romance readers.


Duty & Desire

I have been reading on various blogs about books that are extensions of Pride and Prejudice – books that show Darcy’s perspective or books that go beyond the timeline of the story. I had been waiting for quite sometime to get hold of such a book and it was with great excitement that I picked up Duty And Desire by Pamela Aidon at the public library.

Pamela Aidon has written a trilogy on Fitzwilliam Darcy, the story from his perspective, from the time he met Elizabeth to their marriage. ‘Duty and Desire’ is the second book in the perspective and probably the most imaginative and speculative one as it takes us in that time frame of Pride and Prejudice where Darcy disappears from the story line. Aidon takes us in Darcy’s world after he leaves Hertfordshire post the Netherfield ball and goes back to London. Darcy is already in love with Elizabeth but does not know it yet and he tries to run away from his confused feelings. He busies himself with his sister , his friends , his estate responsibilites and also takes the quite shocking decision of hunting for a wife so that he can get over his infatuation for Elizabeth.This search takes him to Norwycke castle ,where, in a large gathering of eligible ladies he is sure to find his future wife. The story then becomes rather dark and you almost forget that you are reading a sedated period drama.

Aidon quotes heavily from Bard and makes out Darcy to big fan of Shakespeare! She obviously quotes Austen in a few places and her reference to ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is a lovely tribute.What I enjoyed most was extension of the personality of some of the characters that we are familiar with – we see Georgiana, Darcy’s sister, growing upto become the lady of the house, we see fantastic and cheerful relationship between Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam – as ideal a relationship that can be expected between two cousins.

Aidon successfully creates a parallel world to Hertfordshire with characters as interesting and diverse. One of my new favourite characters is Lord Brougham , Darcy’s college mate,and now close personal friend who is quite an influence on Georgiana but has a sense of mystery about him.A very good potrayel of the lifestyle, social gatherings and fashion of Regency England makes it also informative enough.

The book was a tad long in places and Darcy’s musings on religion a little tiresome. At some places I found the relationship between Darcy and Georgiana a little weird –  but that could be since sense of expression of sibling love has changed so much over the years – that what I find a little perverse is maybe perfectly normal.

On a whole, if you rank Pride and Prejudice as one of your favourites, you might enjoy reading it.



(500) Days of Summer

Note: We are back from our long hiatus – a lot has happened in the past 3-4 weeks. We have relocated to a new continent and are now residing in the state of Missouri, USA. How long we are going to be here – well really don’t know :).

The only thing that I love about transcontinental flights is movies on my personal screen.The 14 hour flight from Qatar to Washington was made so much shorter by the four movies that I watched on it. The only one that stuck in  my mind 500 Days of Summer(5DS).

5DS is certainly an unexpected ‘almost a love story’.This post-modernistic look at relationships is grounded in reality. The premise is simple – boy meets girl, boy falls in love and the girl..well she does love him..but not so much. Yes, thats 21st century for you.

Tom ( Joseph Gordon-Levitt) , works in a greeting card company, believes in soulmates and true love.Summer, who joins as a temp,is soon the object of everyone’s attention. Tom is clearly smitten and luckily finds his interest reciprocated.The movie continues in a non-linear fashion showing snippets of their relationships in different times – as it grows and as it falls apart. One part that I did not like was a lack of reason on why their relationship falls apart. Summer has always been clear that she does not want to fall for a serious relationship , but you see are getting involved over time. But she pulls away abruptly – she clearly has not found what she was looking for. But why?

The story is as narrated by Tom. Marc webb uses these interesting color tones in direction that make everything look so vintage. Or maybe its just the costume design.The cinematography is very pleasing. The soundtrack fits well with the movie.

The movie is bitter-sweet and very contemporary in its outlook.

I thought the acting was brilliant.Joseph Gordon-Levitt is very cute and very believable as the ever optimistic lover. Zooey Deschanel convincingly pulls a free-spirited, honest performance.

I would recommend this for atleast a one time watch.