Thursday, January 25, 2018

10 Reasons Why

I am very big on repetitions. Be it food, restaurants, books or movies. I love the comfort of familiarity that comes with the things that are known. Although I am always up for new adventures, a part of me craves tried-and-tested. When it comes to books, I just cannot not reread a book especially if I own it. Some people find it very weird but I just cannot imagine not re-reading a book I loved. Not only does it refresh your memory, at every stage you also tend to analyses the characters and the situations in the book differently, sometimes in the first read we tend to miss a lot of facts or not understand them at that particular instance. But when you read it again and this time already know how it ends you somehow understand the underlying emotions, little details and empathize with the characters a bit more. I read the book Jane Eyre when I was in 5th standard. Now obviously that time I could not understand the entire thing. When I re-read it 9th standard it was like I was reading a completely new story. Another reading fest in 12th standard made me notice parts which I had totally missed or thought to be inconsequential in my earlier reads.

Another book which I re-read at least once a year is Gone With The Wind. Now at some 1000 odd pages this is a brave task to intake. But I eagerly look forward to this task every year. I first read this book in 2008 back when I was in college and since I could not afford to buy the book I did the next best thing. Read the PDF version on my laptop, twisting and turning it at awkward angles in a quest to accomplishing something akin to “cuddling with the book”. I still remember when I finished reading the book. I felt like I just could not go on living normally, like nothing would ever be the same, like OMG. Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Melanie, Mammy, Auntie PittyPat all of them just kept revolving in head and dreams for days altogether. I knew that I had to re-read this book again. And I continued to do so on my laptop reading the same PDF. However this year husband has taken pity on my eyes and decided to buy me the real thing. Flesh and blood. So 2018 will be all about cuddling with my beloved Gone with the Wind.

The book reading is also followed by watching the movie, which is easily the best book-inspired-movie ever made. In a duration of 4 hours they have tried their level best to fit in as many important milestones as possible. This ritual of mine (of reading the book followed by the movie) makes me somehow ready for the year. Ready to face on new challenges and various ideas to execute them. There is just so much to learn from this book – perseverance, the love for home, starting up from scratch, the pain of hunger, the ruthlessness of wars, the damn Yankees, pretense of helplessness, beautiful flowy dresses and bonnets, tiny waists, mammy and the dreamy Rhett Butler. But none of this matches the love I have for the Ultimate Queen of Sass – Miss Scarlett O’ Hara. The scandalous, un-heroine, manipulative belle with zero fcuks to give. Whenever I read the book, I find Scarlett’s character like a breath of fresh air amid the overtly proper and sacrificing ladies. Published first in 1936, it is undoubtedly the most progressive and remarkable character ever written. Played with equal aplomb by Vivienne Leigh. Out of so many things to love about Scarlett, let’s go through some that make her so adorable and different from the crop of Miss-Goodie-Two-Shoes protagonists we are so used to.

Making the first move:

Now this is something which is still very touché. Should a girl make the first move or not? Well Scarlett did not give a damn and made her feelings very clear and demanded a reciprocation. She was snubbed and humiliated no doubt but at least she had the guts to try and find the truth rather than believe the floating rumors.

The super loser Ashley! How I hate him

Dance Dance baby:

Women are always taught to behave in a proper manner and never be overly enthusiastic about anything in public. Scarlett pretty much did not care about this rule when she danced away with Rhett Butler at the benefit to organize funds for the war. The fact that she is a recent widow did not cross her mind but she left others at Atlanta pretty shell shocked with her stunt, especially poor Auntie Pittypat who had to be revived with smelling salts.

She is wearing black because she is in mourning for her first husband.

The love for Tara:

The Irish blood from her father gave Scarlett a very strong love for her land. She did whatever possible to retain Tara with the O’Hara family. Also made sure to feed hungry mouths by taking charge of working in the cotton fields herself. She had to let go of vanity by exposing herself to sun and blisters. She even went to the extent of stealing her sisters’ beau so that she could extract money to pay off taxes for Tara. When I first read the book I found this action wretched but now I understand she did it only to save her homeland.

Running to meet her Pa, with the Tarleton twins behind

Curtains Down:

The idea to make a dress out of deep green velvet curtains was questionable but the result was very good. No two ways, there is just no one on this planet who would look as gorgeous as Scarlett in the iconic dress.

The epic dress, don't miss the smart use of curtain-tie


Clearly a definition of women of substance. Scarlett O’ Hara was not just about ball gowns and bonnets. She showed immense steak of strength when she acted as a nurse to those wounded in war. When she delivered Melanie’s baby without any help. When she took charge of Tara household after her mother died. When she started a business on her own. And I almost forgot, she also killed a Yankee. Well, Melanie pulled the trigger but she got the power from Scarlett.

The resolve to never go hungry again!


Before you all go Whaaaat?!!? Behind the shrewd, manipulative and mean persona there is a very tiny brink of Kindness. She always treats the darkies well. She even gifted her father’s gold pocket watch to Pork. Trusted Mammy more than her own sisters. She did hit Prissy a few times but then Prissy herself was up to no good.

Some chit chat with Mammy and Mel

Back to business:

In her resolve to never go hungry again, Scarlett rather than sit around waiting for her husband to get money got to her feet. Since after the war construction was at its peak, she decided to start a lumber business and made sure it flourished. Her going about alone to the workshop, negotiation deals with strange men and hiring ex-convicts as her employers made her the talk of town (not in a good way). But as long as her business was successful she never looked back. Too bad her husband number 2 has to die taking revenge for the attempted molestation on her. But then he gave way to husband number 3 – everyone’s favorite Rhett Butler so yeah!

The business woman in fabulous checks and collar

Got it, flaunt it:

When she married Rhett and had all the riches of the world, she did not hide her glee. She made it a point to build a big house, decorate it lavishly and most importantly rub it in people’s faces. She made it very clear when she told Rhett – “I want everybody who's been mean to me to be pea-green with envy.”


If looks could kill:

When Ashley and Scarlett were caught canoodling by India, it was sure that India (who already hated Scarlett for stealing her beau) would leave no stone unturned in making sure everybody in town heard of it, including Ashley’s wife. And as fate would have it Scarlett was supposed to attend Ashley’s Party on the same day. Although she did not want to go, Rhett forced her and made sure she looked her part of the other woman.
That smoldering glare though! And that dress!


The one liners:

Scarlett’s strength and wisdom came from setting her priorities correct. She never worries about trivial things and worries about big ones when she can handle them. She always addresses the elephant in the room and never minces her words. She has perfect words for each situation in her life. Some of the popular ones are – Oh fiddle-de-de, Tomorrow’s another day! Another famous line from the book is the one spoken by Rhett towards the heart breaking end of the story - “Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."


Well that's all for now! Maybe I will add few more reasons after this year's read. Till then - tomorrow's another day and the South WILL rise!