My elder one smirks when Mr Bennet comments on how Elizabeth Bennet will risk losing one parent whether she chose to marry or deny Mr.Collins, and she shakes her head disbelievingly when Darcy declares that he had chosen Elizabeth against his better judgement (Really, as in really?) I grin to myself : that feeling of having a sensitive companion is ineffable. Considering that till a month before she thought “Pride and Prejudice” was “amma material”, it was a welcome change!
“Not bad, eh?” she comments after we watch all possible versions of Jane Austen’s classic as available in you-tube. Only the little girl is annoyed at why we laugh at certain places, because she does not find anything funny. I tell her that though many of her unwittingly rendered remarks are ironic by nature, her brain is technically not developed enough to appreciate subtle irony. She snorts in response. Even Lydia could not have rendered the expression better.
“I thought you knew only boring stuff…” my daughter says, as I grin. “Try watching Jane Eyre now and revisit the book,” I opine.
Ahh, if you start me on classics my girl, we will show you that marvels exist not only in cosmos but on dear old Earth. “Sometimes it is necessary to read stuff totally unconnected with your major area of interest,” I suggest quietly.
“Yeah, amma, you try reading Roger Penrose for a change. You read too many short stories.”
I search for Anatole France’s classic short story, “The Procurator of Judea” and read the ending aloud: Pontius Pilate contracted his brows, and his hand rose to his forehead in the attitude of one who probes the deeps of memory. Then after a silence of some seconds: “Jesus?” he murmured, “Jesus—of Nazareth? I cannot call him to mind.”
My daughter raises a quizzical eyebrow. Then she says, ‘Wow!Cool!’
Indeed. And about time too. And she has not even started Faulkner.
“There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy…”
Old amma scores this time.