The month in books #2

The month gone by was a long one for me. Funny: considering it was a February. Anyway the really strange aspect was when it came to what I read and watched. I hadn’t planned out anything in particular but strangely the general theme seemed to be- touchy. So…

There are very few things in the outside world that actually affect me in a sentimental way. Even though kindness and compassion is a part of me I’m as strong as steel when it comes to being moved by a touchy scene/story. People have often thought me hard-hearted at farewells and re-unions when I return home dry and composed as always.

But in everyone’s life, at sometime, a thing deeply shatters you and brings an outpour without any notice. The first time it happened was when I watched ‘The Last Lecture’ by Randy Pausch. My eyes were all weepy and I kept shaking and nodding at the end of the speech and a family member who entered the room was quite appalled at the sight. All through the speech only one thing went through my mind- This guy is freaking divine! He knows he’s going to die and there he gives an awe-inspiring talk to a hall filled with the grim auras of the gathering. Despite everything he forges ahead, with his ‘dark humour’ and left me crying. I was hollering in my head when he so coolly acknowledged that he had only about six months of “healthy life” left. And man did I clamour for one of those adorable bears!

The other thing that left me all teary was this book- ‘To Sir With Love’ by E.R.Braithwaite which I read this month. This racial thing has always put me to distress. I don’t really know if it exists even today but if it does then God save the man who supposedly is in the ‘information’ era. If there’s one word in the whole of the English Language that I hate, it has to be- coloured. Whatever million other meanings a vocabulary may render it invariably reminds of the atrocities that faultless human beings with a lot of melanin on their dermis faced.

This book is a straight ticket into the hearts of millions of people with dark skins. Braithwaite’s writing is so exact in setting the scene before the reader that only imbibing the emotions is left to do. And that is pretty easy to do for anyone who can empathise with the grave injustices faced by another human being. One minute he is happy with the way life has showered something upon him and the other minute, that which was in sight sometime back quite disappears. When Braithwaite finds a place to get accommodation he is more than delighted at the prospect but all the delight is sucked into a black hole the moment he hears that ‘kind refusal’ masking the prejudice beneath. The stark reality glares into his eyes whisking away the temporary mists of joy.

Then a couple of days after reading Braithwaite I took up John Green’s latest novel, The Fault in our Stars after reading much in praise about it. I’m yet to categorize the book personally whatever the world may say. I still cannot decide about what aspect of the book pulled the strings but that is because every time I even try to probe I find myself breaking down internally. I read a lot of contemporary novels and love them too. But never was I totally convinced that they would create impacts like the classics, which had the masses hooked to them. And John Green demystified every such notion and I’m so happy about it. I cannot further elaborate on the whys and whats for the same reason stated a few lines back.

‘The mysterious affairs at Styles’ touted to be Agatha Christie’s finest novel was one which I never got to read until now. Mysteriously. A die-hard fan of hers that I am. So I loved it and took in the atmosphere completely and for once my guess was almost right!

Finally I managed to squeeze in ‘Revolution 2020’ by Chetan Bhagat, the writer who revolutionised book reading in the India. And well, it was an average book with witty bits sandwiched between some mediocre bits.

Somewhere in between I also picked up ‘The Return of the Native’ by Thomas Hardy but sadly it was a failed attempt. Again.

And on the day before Leap Day I started ‘Charming Billy’ by Alice McDermott and boy was I shocked to find myself reading about a funeral! Well, I couldn’t pull myself to read it in a day and I suppose I’ll finish it now. Or maybe not. Maybe I need something more cheerful.

So, that was that. How was your February?

 

Jane Austen January: The Final Chapter

Jane Austen SOURCE: Google

It feels a bit disheartening not to be able to complete the fourth book in my attempt to read four of Austen’s fantastic novels this January. But what with tight writing schedules, other readings to get done, a bit of health issues too I’m happy to have experienced three delightful books by ‘The Lady’- Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

What I learn from Austen every time I read is the credibility of characters more than anything. The stories just seem like normal love stories but beneath them lies the world that I so take pleasure in knowing and understanding. I love the bows, the dinners, the manners, the ribbons, the dresses, the manners, not to mention the wonderful suitors. Though live back then is touted to have been boring by the children of technology of today’s world, in my view it is quite the contrary. With grand and elegant pianoforte’s to be mastered, room full of books by the masters of English Literature to be devoured, long and insightful letters to be written to the dear, courteous notes and calls to be given to neighbours, breathtaking parks and mansions to visit where was the time to be idle? Living like that has always been one of my many utopian dreams.

But Austen more than sufficiently provides for my fancies. Whatever views literary critics may take I for one will always admire the novels and turn to them for comfort and camaraderie.

Now I thought I might share some of my favourites out of her six popular novels.

Favourite Setting: Barton Park from Sense and Sensibility

Enjoyably Annoying character: Mrs. Jennings from Sense and Sensilibity

Favourite Non-heroine Sibling: Mary Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

Favourite Notorious Character: Frank Churchill from Emma and Lydia from Pride and Prejudice

Favourite Stately character: Sir Thomas Bertram from Mansfield Park

The character(s) I laughed my off reading: Collins and Catherine De Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice

Favourite hero: Fitzwilliam Darcy( I know, very typical, but that’s that)

Favourite heroine: I just cannot zero in on one. It would be pointless to cherry pick for the Austen fan that I am.

Favourite lucky character(s): Fanny Price from Mansfield Park and Wickam from Pride and Prejudice.

Favourite Parent/ Parents: The Morlands and Mr. Woodhouse

Favourite Saint: Anne Elliot from Persuasion

Favourite kids: The Musgroves pack from Persuasion

And the list is endless I think, so it would be best if I just let it be.

And now it feels like I have come to the end of something so enjoyable and invigorating. Nonetheless, I will continue to read them in the future. And it was a bang-up start for the year and thanks to all of you who joined in to make it an even more pleasant experience.

Jane Austen January: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favourites. Yeah, I know. But come on liking a book must not become a cliché and talking about it too. So to establish the practise I’m going try to pontificate now. Whenever I ponder about its universal popularity only one fact resurfaces over and again- we are all human beings who pull through the hardships of life sustained by love and a happy ending.

For those of you looking for a review of the book, new-timers, this is what I can say. It’s a beautiful story and you must go read it. It wouldn’t do justice to the book to describe it as a ‘timeless classic’, ‘immortal piece’, etc. Go read it and experience it.

Now, Elizabeth Bennet according to me is the perfect girl that every noble man on earth should lust for. Elizabeth is quick witted, loyal, sensible and altogether so endearing that no scene can do without her. If the people and places came to life, it would feel completely exanimate without her presence. She is one lady whose very flaw extols her beauty more than her virtues. So it’s not just the friction factor here that makes Darcy and Lizzie the most sensible pair. And there obviously lies the ingenius Austen touch.

If I have to say I love something more than the rest then that would be Wickam. Yes the infamous cad who is so impossibly smooth. When I imagine a fictitious scene set in the Regency period I can’t conjure up anything but ‘handsome mansions’, elegant young women, wealthy noble suitors and balls(of course). It’s just so incredible to encounter a person like Wickam. I can never think about him without remembering Maugham’s Tom Ramsay. They are two characters from fiction that I adulate despite their notoriety. You’ve got to be smart to be bad too. I mean one cannot possibly reject “a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address” unless of course the post-conflict Darcy comes around with his ‘bewitched’ heart.Collins, the annoying puny fellow, is the core spice of the story according to me. Where else would Lizzie go to but his humble dwelling(with its benefactress the Lady Catherine de Bourgh) and how else can Darcy do what he does?

It’s all too perfect, just there for the reader to revel in. Austen certainly poured out all the passion she had into this novel. How else can it survive the vagaries of fads over two centuries?

And I’m seeing stars now because as I was typing this post I also took this quiz and voila!

I resemble Elizabeth Bennet! Strangegirl.com you totally made my day! And why not take the quiz yourself and post your results. I’m more than eager to know.

 

 

 

 

 

South Asian Writers Challenge: Gently Falls the Bakula by Sudha Murthy

I’m so happy to have started off with my reading for the South Asian Writers Challenge hosted by S.Krishna’s Books. Before I get to the book here’s a bit about the author.

Sudha Murthy

Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of theInfosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.
Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan’s Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

SOURCE: PENGUIN INDIA

The book is a short read but a very impactful one. It’s simple in tone and took me very less time to get into its core though the settings are quite unkown to me. The story parodies the life of a couple, both of who are talented and ambitious in their own ways. It starts off with their early conflicts in schools and flows through the subsequent years where Shrikanth and Shrimathi, the hero and heroine, fall in love and feel they are entangled for life. The domestic disputes between their families, which had lasted for years as far as they remembered, shadows their relationship throughout passively. Though their differences don’t enter directly into their combined happiness, it still penetrates into their personal peace. Life and strife gets the better of them as years progress and Shrimathi feels the pinch of the sacrifices she blindly made for the man she loved. Despite the advice of her mentor, an old Professor from the United States, to pursue her passion for history she goes on to give up all her personal goals for the good of her husband. But even after ten years of unfaltering devotion to her family she finds all her sacrifices being neglected and even worthless. The pain unrequited love is felt clearly through the lens of Shrimathi’s character.

The book deals with a heavy, multi-layered topic of complicated family matters very typical of the Indian society almost thirty years ago. It shows in

crystalclear terms the impact of the IT boom in a conventional gild. A strong feminist voice speaks throughout which is the aspect I most loved about the book. Thetenderness and sensibility of a woman, her sacrifices, her fortitiude, her aspirations and her suppression is all set on a platter for the reader to assimilate. Over and above everything is the beautiful metaphorical allusion to the fragrant Bakula flowers, from a variety of ornamental tree that grows in India.

Shrikant was restless . . . Holding a bakula flower in his palm, he was wondering why he was fascinated by this tiny flower, that was neither as beautiful as a rose nor had the fragrance of a jasmine or a champaka. And yet, it was very special to him. It held an inexplicable attraction for him.’

The book is also pretty informative for a short novel that it is. There’s plenty of love professed generously for the poignant Indian king Ashoka the Great , even more admiration for the artistic ancient cities and marvellous monuments of Western and South India. In tiny little bits in between the flow of the story there’s much beauty to discover in the form of facts and little characters.

I completed the reading in about four hours but the story left me with a considerable impact. As a self-professed student of Hemingway in matters of writing and reading, I say the book was a good one because it ‘hurt‘ me. It left me thinking way after I was done reading about women and life.

Book Review: A Room with a view by E.M.Forster

A Room with a view

It’s not every day that I come across a book as profound and Edwardian as this one. Almost everything that is lovely and sensible features in this compact novel about a girl Lucy Honeychurch. The story starts off in a pension room in grand Italy. Lucy and her chaperon have come to tour Italy and take in its beauty to the most. Their place of stay, the interesting Bertolini brims with vivid characters who take the plot forward. After an untoward experience with a young man George Emerson the two girls leave for Rome abruptly ending their Italian trip. Then the story shifts to the household of the Honeychurches. Lucy who returns from Rome gets engaged to one typical English man Cecil. But something inside her disturbs her keeping her in perpetual disquiet. The memories of George keep returning and finally fate contrives in bringing George to Lucy’s very neighbourhood. Stuck in this tumultuous mess Lucy tries to disentangle herself and this forms the rest of the story.

This is the first book Forster’s that I read and I have certainly fallen in love with his writing. The narration throws such beautiful words of wisdom that I was wonderstruck even as I read it. People and places are so lively even in the most serious of times. There is every possible kind of character in the story, from clergymen to novel writers. The two characters out of the bunch that interested me were Lucy and old Mr.Emerson, the father of George Emerson. This old man is crude in manners, loud and asserting. Yet his kindness which is celebrated by the author himself shines forth rendering a hero image to him. This I think is justified also because he is instrumental in clearing things up in the end. His character is consistently shown to be good and eccentric in equal measure. The old man can be rightly described to be strangely intellectual for one with many weird idiosyncrasies.

But Lucy, the female protagonist whose life the author tells, is only constantly changing. It feels like you’re being shown different facets of her through a kaleidoscope. And I love dynamic characters like her.

It’s not just the characters that make this a classic. No book can become a classic without originality in perspective. And Forster is simply wonderful in this aspect. He tells: Do you suppose there’s any difference between Spring in nature and Spring in man? But there we go, praising the one and condemning the other as improper, ashamed that the same laws work eternally through both. This one dialogue speaks much in its depth. We come to know clearly that the society and its mindset weren’t much different from the present. Love was seen with equal disgust as it’s seen today in some societies.

There were moments while I read when I was astounded by the little commentaries on life and nature in general. Imageries are found aplenty in this one and my favourite was that of the little pool of water that Lucy calls a Lake. Some of the deepest insights on her character that is perceivable derives its core from this particular image. A side so naive yet so earthy comes to light every now and then in the presence of this symbolic Lake. It stands for memories, the lighter and more enjoyable side of life and the most mystical period of life too- childhood.

The book also is idyllic because of the realism in the settings. The Italian paintings, galleries, dark alleys and Piazza’s, hills and picnic spots, quiet English neighbourhoods are strikingly tangible and it’s not hard to make peace with the surroundings. Forster must have had a real thing for Violets because they so powerfully render a transcendental quality to the atmosphere, at the right time, where love happens.

…,and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam…

The chapters are so aptly named, without any unnecessary sophistication and that adds beauty too. With so much of beauty packed into one small novel it is just on overpowering experience to read it. This is by far one of the finest books I have ever read and is certainly one of the best books I’ve read this year too.

 

 

 

Book Review: Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai

Via Google

A rich Chekovian novel by one of the most gifted of contemporary Indian writers.’- THE NEW YORKER

And I couldn’t have agreed more on this one. This is one novel which picked up from my local library by falling in love with its title at first sight. I also happen to be a fan of Anita’s rustic A Village by the Sea. So, I only had to walk up to the librarian and get the book issued.

Anita’s delicate yarn of a tale excited me with its characteristic slow and observant attitude. The plot in simple terms is about the awakening of reality for the characters and a subtle reunion or rather peace-making. The book has powerful core of nostalgia which steers the story forward. It is essentially a family tale- about a lonely, crude woman Bimala, her sensitive and delicate sister Tara, their romantic hero of a brother Raja and Baba, an autistic sibling. Bimala resides alone in their home since childhood taking care of the autistic brother while Tara is married off happily to an NRI and Raja leaves home to pursue his passions. When the family reunites there’s much disconnect between the characters and how everything becomes one again makes the whole story.

Now what makes for the beauty of the novel though is Anita’s sharp eye and eloquent pen. I couldn’t help loving those light crisps of witty comments on nature, people, society and the like. This extract can well acquaint you with the point:

…Bim had never seen anyone so dressed. So bathed, so powdered. She seemed to be dusted all over with flour. Perhaps she had fallen into a flour bin, like a large bun. But she smelt so powerfully of synthetic flowers, it must be powder after all. And her white sari crackled with starch, like a biscuit. And her hair gleamed with coconut oil, and flecks of gold glinted at the lobes of her ear and in the ringed folds of her neck. Altogether a piece of confectionery, thought Bim.

A human being called ‘a piece of confectionery’ is something so out of the realm and undeniably original. This sense of freshness that is garnered to every mundane aspect of life drew me deeper into the book. Honesty is another parameter that keeps throbbing in me to be ticked off while I read any book. And the truthfulness with which the identity crises and the unsettled pasts of the NRI’s is handled really appeased my anger from reading several other poorly presented soups on the same issue.

The several quotes of peotry from Lord Byron’s collections, Iqbal’s royally enchanting verses provided more insight and food for thought. When I read a book it is these extra things that add richness to it. Anita seems to have a natural way of adding richness and elegance to her works. The book is Chekovian in the sense that it subtly brings to terms the reader with the tale and the tale with its proceedings. This added to the typical flavours of the Indian sub-continent made the book one idyllic read.

This is my one other favourite line from the book: An invisible cricket by her feet at that moment began to weep inconsolably.

Jane Austen January Blogfest

For all of you Austen fans who are ever so excited to join the blogfest mentioned in my previous post here’s more about it. This will be a celebration of the love and passion that we have for the genius writer, Jane Austen. And according to me it will also be a super exciting and appetising way to welcome th new year. The prime purpose of this venture is to indulge in reading together. In this era of incessant office conferences, board meetings, assignments, homeworks and all other such humdrum activities, where’s the time to get together and do some group reading? But then if we all only ponder and sulk about the fact nothing’s ever going to happens. Hence, the fest.

What exactly will we be doing?

In three words- Everything Jane Austen!

We as ardent lovers of Austen’s characters, places and plots can come up with a little more than a million ideas to add pomp and colour to the fest. To name a few:

~The reading experience which will be the greatest and the first joy.

~ Discussions on your new finds from the books and confessions like, “I actually didn’t mind Lydia!”

~ Quizzing and discovering what’s it that we love best in the books…

~ Sharing links and spreading the joy of reading, Jane Austen…

~ Debating on which movie did closest justice to the book…

~ Taking sides: Darcy or Wentworth? Edmund or Henry? Fanny or Catherine?

~ Discover a Darcy maybe 😉 (Now that caught you in the net!)

~ And what not!

I invite suggestions for more fun inclusions to the event. Books we will be reading:

~ Northanger Abbey

~ Sense and Sensibility

~ Pride and Prejudice

~ Mansfield Park

~ Emma

~ Persuasion

And now for the rules:

1. You must be serious about the fest. That’s the least respect we could show to our beloved writer.

2. You are required to read atleast 4 of the 6 books keeping in mind the busy schedules and not to mention the new year partying.

3. You are required to write reviews/ share thoughts on the books we will be reading. If you have a blog you can leave links to the reviews here. The idea is to diffuse your joy to all the others out there.

4. You MUST ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE.

That’s all 🙂

Optionally, you could tweet/blog about this fest for the only reason that I wish as many people to share the joy of reading together 🙂

So, come lets feast together!

Mixed Bag: Audiobooks, Austen, Nostalgia, Fest…

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.  ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860

This is the first time I get to tell you that I heard a book. Yes, Love and Friendship taken from Jane Austen’s Juvenilia is the first audio book that I ever listened to. Firstly, the listening experience was undoubtedly different from the reading experience. And much to my surprise I wasn’t guilty of not reading the text. I could just as beautifully perceive an unfledged Austen’s world. So, I’ve actually broken the shackle at last when it comes to audio books at least.

Secondly, I have to give credit to the narrator whose voice was so sweet and enticing to listen to. I was in fact transported to my early school years as I sank deeper into the story being narrated. Back then I was a lovely story-teller or so they said. But I’m convinced about the truth of the matter a tiny bit thanks to the certificates that adorn my drawers. Well, I remember enjoying myself completely while narrating about Cinderella’s enviable glass shoes or the poor old grandma in Little Red Ridinghood to my classmates. Little did I know that I was being marked for the act but anyway it was a win-win situation for me fortunately.

As I listened to the story proceed in my player I realised how much I missed story telling and how many years have flown by without being told a bed time story. I prided in knowing every bit of detail in the mythologies and ancient stories that my grandmother so lovingly told me every night as a child. There was a certain speciality in the was she narrated. She would first get on with story in its entirety, establish the morals and allow the story to instill in my mind before telling me which God/ famous hero that tale pertained to. I remember being delighted on hearing, “And that Prince was none other than Lord Rama!” Childhood is something so precious beyond explanations and I’m not even ashamed of reiterating here. It’s just that nostalgia is so powerful and I’m just having a bout of it now.

Yes and getting back to the audio book- Emotional on one hand and ecstatic on the other I completed listening to the collection in a few hours. And then when I was a little more settled I wondered about the Jane Austen that I had just experienced. I only marvelled at that a girl of twelve could write so fluently in matters of love and friendship. Austen, the literary genius, never failed to deliver even as a child. My veneration for Austen has only increased for even those early works of hers has a lot to offer to the reader and more so for the aspiring writer. Simple though the plot and scenes are there’s much in terms of insight and voice.

Overwhelmed by the whole experience I vowed to continue with audio books and with Austen who happens to be my literary God. In continuation with this renewed Austen fervor, I planned to dedicate January 2012 to re-reading all of Austen’s works in one shot; something like an extravaganza. Reminds you of  a certain movie? Of course.

And it’s no fun doing these things alone. So, I request you to join in and make it an event/blogfest. We could have a lot of fun, you know. Who’s to predict where this might lead us all to? Pemberly? Mansfield park? Please let me know, in the comments section if you’re hopping aboard. Add your name, your blog(if you have one) and your reason for participation. I would really appreciate it if you spread word on twitter, FB, etc. and brought along more lovely Austen fans.

Update: Our twitter hashtag will be #JAJ for Jane Austen January.

A chilly read

Every book of Charlotte Bronte’s takes me one step closer to her noetic world of fiction. I was fascinated by Jane Eyre’s sensibility, William Crimsworth’s fine affairs but it was the ever pervading sense of cold morality evident in Villette that struck me. Villette opened up to me a completely different portal to Charlotte’s writing, one that I hadn’t perceived earlier from her other works.

The story unfolds with the childhood of Lucy Snowe and rolls through the adventures or rather the misadventures of her life. A pretty usual plot for a writer from the Victorian Era but it is in her style that Bronte, as always, secerns herself. Like any other book of hers I kept flipping through the eloquent pages to reach the end of it. But the beauty if the book presented itself to me much after putting it down. At first I was as overwhelmed by the story as I am after ravening a Bronte book. It struck me later that this one had been quite different in its tone.

There was much uncertainty in even hoping for clear skies, many a dilemma and what hit me hard was the strong presence of the supernatural themes. Lucy Snowe is encounters several spine chilling experiences and I wondered if I had to start believing in the supernatural too. Conviction is something that Bronte has taught. Bronte’s writing never fails to show me that she was much convinced about what she wrote and I can’t be helped from being influenced from such a strong personality. Of course the explanations for them come by eventually, but the credibility of the preceding events amazed me.

There’s a lot to be had from the book- ruthless storms and biting winds, revealing nights, powerful mistresses, learned men, compassionate physicians, loving aunts, flirtatious young women, unknown places, fete’s… But the one stark and quite intimidating aspect too is the protagonist, Lucy Snowe. I was unable to place her until after I read the book and then it all became clear to me. She passes through the rough tides of her life with morality as the base lying beneath her all the time. She’s passive yet knowing, sensible yet juvenile, brave yet weak when emotions overwhelm her. Her solitude is her greatest companion and finally gives her the much-needed solace. Critics and some people are of the opinion that this is a rather slow book but it has a world of things to offer in its elaborateness.

Virginia Woolf in her collection of essays, “The Common Reader Vol. 1” beautifully comments about the ending of Villette. She writes:

It is with a description of a storm that Charlotte ends her finest novel Villette. “The skies hang full and dark–a wrack sails from the west; the clouds cast themselves into strange forms.” So she calls in nature to describe a state of mind which could not otherwise be expressed.

The imaginary town of Villette is another enamouring block of the book. The settings are as vivid in this volume as in all of Bronte’s other works and its gravity is ever so absorbing. Events take turns in the most unpredictable manner and this only adds to the finery. Bronte’s mastery  over story-telling is remarkably conspicuous in this book and so are the principles that she believed in life. There’s a lot more mentioning about churches, Father’s and sins.

The marvellousness of the work lies in the fact that though Bronte conveys a lot she does it in the most elegant, light yet impactful manner. There’s ever so much to be learnt from Bronte. And I recommend Villette to anyone whom I meet across the road.

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You can read Virginia Woolf’s, “The Common Reader Vol. 1” here. And Villette is pretty much available in everybook store.

Rule of Three: Evanescence Part IV

Rule of Three

I’m really excited to present Part IV of the story today. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience writing for the Blogfest. It’s the sense of community that this blogfest brought about that I liked the most. And I hope you find this final installment enjoyable.

“Who would have thought that Assart held so much at its heart? This place a living secret in itself” marvelled Maria as the party walked the quiet corridors of the ever expanding cottage.

“And I never knew that the line between life and death was so thin. Yes, we have all learnt a lot” said Elaina.

“There’s so much hidden in the beauty of the wild. And the wild is ever so beautiful and deceptive! These pictures are deeply etched in our minds and their virility will never dampen. We will never have to wander anymore for inspiration” joined Helena hand-in-hand with Richard.

“And dear Elaina, forget the mishap graciously now. No harm was done and we only have to thank God for that” Richard said sensing distress on Elaina’s countenance.

No sooner had Richard completed than a familiar noise was heard. An arrow came swooping through the corridor and pierced its way onto the wooden wall opposite them.

“It came through the open window there!” said an alarmed Elaina. On taking a closer look a scroll attached to the arrow was visible. Richard removed the string to loosen the scroll and read out its contents aloud:

Dear Richard,

Firstly, I entreat you to kindly explain to your friends that my shooting them was purely by mistake. I sincerely feel for the harm that my action may have caused. There have been many intruders and truants of traders who have managed to mischievously steal our ancient herbs and plants. Thinking them to be such bad hats I shot a hasty arrow and regret it. I hope you would make them understand.

And, comrade I have also decided to move away from here. The muscles of my heart are yet strong and I wish to discover more of what this worlds holds for me. I am too restless to harbour myself at this century old place that I have lived since my childhood. But I love it dearly. I ask you, good friend, to preserve this temple to my great-grandparent’s memory. I knew you were the one for it from the very moment we became friends.

But now is the time I have decided to take leave, just before the whole world can wake up to the secrets of the Freus’s family.  It was their wish to remain silent forever in this way and my duty to uphold that.

 So now I leave in good hope that I have left a part of my soul safely and wish you and your friends a great life ahead. May His grace be upon you always.

Your dearest

Erichton Freus

“I should have known! Erichton would fly away eventually” Richard’s voice cracked.

“After all he’s the great-grandson of Lady Freus!”

“Pity! I wanted to see my villain” Elaina rebuked.

“You can very well do that in here” Richard said pointing to his heart.  “After knowing so much about him and his ancestors it certainly won’t be hard to imagine his picture”

“But it was wicked of him to run away like that”

“No, Elaina. It was his duty to withhold the secrets of his family. After so many years of disappearance of the line it was only natural of him to want to keep away speculations. He wanted to leave his family in peace and his sacrifice is a great one”

Elaina reddened. And Helena’s hug came in time to comfort her sister. “And what’s important for me is that we are all safe!”

The setting sun searched out the group huddled in the corner to witness a gathering united by love and secrets.

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Word count: 600

Prompts used: The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.

Read Part I, II, III.