Why did it take me 30 years to appreciate Shakespeare’s Greatness!

It was 30 years ago that I read multiple works of Shakespeare as part of my university course, among them King Lear, which I thought was the most boring. I was only twenty years of age, but was it okay for a literature student to not appreciate a great work by one of the greatest literary figures ever!

And suddenly this morning it all clicked into place, the essence and truth of the theme of King Lear. IT IS AN AGELESS PLOT, but you can only comprehend it fully when you get to live it, in life!

This morning, at 4am,as I reread the scenes, I can’t stop my tears from streaming down , for in this now, the scenes unfold with such clarity and meaning it hurts me real painful.

The story briefly:

The story opens in ancient Britain, where the elderly King Lear decides to give up his power and divide his realm amongst his three daughters, Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril, intending to give the largest piece of his kingdom to the child who professes to love him the most, certain that his favorite daughter, Cordelia, will win the challenge. Goneril and Regan, corrupt and deceitful, lie to their father with sappy and excessive declarations of affection. Cordelia, however, refuses to engage in Lear’s game, and replies simply that she loves him as a daughter should.

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KING LEAR: Now, our joy,

Although the last, not least; to whose young love

The vines of France and milk of Burgundy

Strive to be interess’d; what can you say to draw

A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

CORDELIA                Nothing, my lord.

KING LEAR               Nothing!

CORDELIA                Nothing.

KING LEAR               Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

CORDELIA                Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty

According to my bond; nor more nor less.

KING LEAR               How, how, Cordelia! Mend your speech a little,

Lest it may mar your fortunes.

CORDELIA                Good my lord,

You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I

Return those duties back as are right fit,

Obey you, love you, and most honour you.

 

KING LEAR               But goes thy heart with this?

CORDELIA                Ay, good my lord.

KING LEAR               So young, and so untender?

CORDELIA                So young, my lord, and true.

Her lackluster retort, despite its sincerity, enrages Lear, and he disowns Cordelia completely.
Meanwhile, the King of France, present at court and overwhelmed by Cordelia’s honesty, asks for her hand in marriage, despite her loss of a sizable dowry. Cordelia accepts the King of France’s proposal, and reluctantly leaves Lear with her two cunning sisters. Now that Lear has turned over all his wealth and land to Regan and Goneril, their true natures surface. Lear goes to live with Goneril, but she reveals that she plans to treat him like the old man he is while he is under her roof. So Lear decides to stay instead with his other daughter, but soon realizes that Regan is conspiring with her sister against him.

News arrives that Cordelia has raised an army of French troops that have landed.

Tired from his ordeal, Lear sleeps through the battle between Cordelia and her sisters. When Lear awakes he is told that Cordelia has been defeated. Lear takes the news well, thinking that he will be jailed with his beloved Cordelia – away from his evil offspring. However, the orders have come, not for Cordelia’s imprisonment, but for her death.

Despite their victory, the evil natures of Goneril and Regan soon destroy them. Both in love with Edmund (who gave the order for Cordelia to be executed), Goneril poisons Regan. But when Goneril discovers that Edmund has been fatally wounded,  Goneril kills herself as well.

As Edmund takes his last breath he repents and the order to execute Cordelia is reversed. But the reversal comes too late and Cordelia is hanged. Lear appears, carrying the body of Cordelia in his arms.

imagesKING LEAR: “Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:

Had I your tongues and eyes, I’ld use them so

That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone for ever!

Mad with grief, Lear bends over Cordelia’s body, looking for a sign of life. The strain overcomes Lear and he falls dead on top of his daughter.

 

Gratitude…

I wish to thank all of you who have checked out my book ‘Past Life’ and for those genuine feed backs. I am especially moved by those touching comments (something I never got for my previous books). I know why this book was special for the reader in spite of it being a one woman show written and put together in a span of less than three hours – it is a story told from my heart. Besides, we humans know how to see real from fake instinctively, intuitively rather.

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#7 in Kindle ebooks religion and spirituality…

At one point when I checked my Amazon rank I found myself in #7 in my category, qualifying me to call myself Amazon bestseller, I guess. I was not constantly checking my sales rank, so maybe I missed a point in time when I possibly could have been on the #1. I don’t know much about marketing or algorithms etc. So I won’t claim any fame.

My gratitude to one and all who downloaded and read my book, and my prayers to all those who have gone through similar feelings at some point in their lives. I didn’t mean to make you sad, recall your lost loved ones. Forgive me if I have unintentionally made you relive sad times. My intention was not it, honestly.

In gratitude, I have made the book a free download today (June 22). Those who haven’t read ‘Past Life’ yet, please do.

The links are: (and so on according to your region of purchase)

https://www.amazon.com/Past-life-Journey-my-Soul-ebook/dp/B01H941XA0

https://www.amazon.in/Past-life-Journey-my-Soul-ebook/dp/B01H941XA0

 

P.S. While you are there, please do check out my contemporary fiction work ‘Meantime Girl’. It is a love story and a lot of work, time and money was invested in the production of it. And honestly I think, I have done a good job with it. You might differ, but do check it out. Or, alternatively, you might love it. I hope you will.

Dad

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Dads don’t die

I didn’t know today was going to be father’s day until this moment! Isn’t it a strange Dad coincidence I am promoting my shortread book (Kindle book) ‘Past Life’ dedicated to my late father today, a decision I took last evening! It goes with the theme of my book though.

I should admit, I haven’t got my book edited, for I really had this terrible urge to write and publish this book in one day. Do let me know if you spot blunders, or even minor errors.

This book is a tribute to my father, my guide, guardian, philosopher.

Amazon.com link: https://www.amazon.com/Past-life-Journey-my-Soul-ebook/dp/B01H941XA0

 

Remembering my father

images (1)April 12, 2015, close to 10.30 a.m, a nurse knocked the door and told me I was called to the Medical Intensive Care Unit of the Medical College Hospital, where my 84-year-old father was undergoing a really painful course of treatment for his diabetes-induced kidney failure and the resultant multiple organ collapse for seven long days. He had earlier been in and out of hospital for over a month.
When the doctor told me that my father had suffered a cardiac arrest a few minutes ago and was no more, all I said was: “So, he has escaped all that pain?”
Did I weep that moment? No.
I felt shockingly relieved that his “torture” was finally over. “Please ask them not to torture me,” his words – between sleep and wakefulness, amid groans two days before he passed on – had left my heart bleeding ever since. And for two painfully-long days, I tried pleading with doctors not to put any more needles into his red, swollen body, with endless needles and tubes sticking out from every possible spot – if they could not administer painkillers or sedatives alongside. They insisted his weak body could not take painkillers and dialysis was the only course of treatment to keep him alive, so they could try and treat him for the urinary/blood infection he had!
I tried to convince them that if administering pain was all they had to offer in the name of treatment for someone on the verge of death – I knew he would go any day, I believe they did too – it was a pointless direction they were heading. They said that was what they HAD TO medically do! It made me feel so USELESS.
The last time he spoke to me cheerfully was a month and a half ago, when he was unwell, in a hospital bed, but in a better condition. Back then, he had many bad days, but definitely some good days. His face lit up and his arms closed me in as he lay there exhausted and in pain but conscious. His lips spoke clearly and lovingly.
“See, my little daughter is here, my little daughter is here.”
The affection in those words was priceless. It made me realise that he too saw me as I really were. I had never ever grown beyond the five-year old me mentally. Though caught in a 45-plus body, my soul forever remained scared, stranded, lost, as confused as I used to be at the age of about four or five.
Achan (Dad), if you can read this or hear my soul speak, I want to say; I am really truly sorry for the many times I have disappointed you perhaps, disobeyed you, disgraced you. But now you also can see-I hope-I was LOST, each time, every time I did something wrong, inappropriate. I was only trying to fit in initially, then break free, desperate to find myself, feel accepted, loved the way you did love me when I was the tiny girl you walked to the temple YEARS ago.
Please guide me, drop hints in my dreams, maybe we can still communicate, telepathy, some signs, clues, influence my thoughts somehow. I need you to tell me when I am wrong, stop me before I mess up things, people. I still do not know which path to walk, when to stop walking, when to sleep, when to wake up, when to weep and when to laugh. I am still your little girl, I need you, every wakeful moment, and other times.
We will sit down and have a long chat someday, when my time comes to leave this body and meet you, at leisure. Then, I will explain, every wrong thought I ever had, every wrong word I ever uttered and every wrong turn I ever took in my life’s journey. I know you will understand and forgive me, unconditionally, as you always do. Till then, stay close, stay safe, stay happy. Love you achan…