Saturday, November 06, 2004

Gratifying the perpendicular pronoun

There's a good chance that I won't publish this today - anyways, here's the idea, the context, and the piece
Back in school, we had enacted one scene from Count of Monte Cristo (CoMC) which I for a very long mistook to be the original. Now, I remember just one line of that big passage that I had delivered as CoMC. For no reason in particular, I feel like rewriting that passage in my own words - I am sure the original is a zillion times more poetic and emphatic and I make no efforts to compete with it. The voice is of Alex. dumas, the words are mine.
Count of monte cristo has just accepted the challenge for a duel by Count of Morcerf's son. Count of morcerf incidentally is in prison due to a vital piece of evidence brought to court by CoMC. So, his wife is there at Monte cristo's house pleading for her son's life. She - who in reality was CoMC's lady love a long while ago.
Take a seat lady and let me tell you a story - a story of a young sailor called Edmund dantes. It's quite a distant past but the details are clear as a crystal- every word, every feeling of flutter, every tear and every ounce of flesh that burnt in anger. This is a story of a young man who traveled far and wide hoping to come back to his land one day to marry the love of his life, Mercedes. Mercedes - you my lady, would have never met anyone so pure and beautiful. As waves hit his deck, and as sailors sang merry, he sat in a corner looking for her eyes waiting for him like storm lanterns in the dark. The eyes did wait and he did return. And the chosen moment arrived when the young man landed in his lands to claim her hand. But alas! that was not meant to be - there in the same town lived a evil, slimy young man called Ferdinand. Blinded by lust, he hatched a ruse against Edmund dantes, the most devilish plan ever hatched against any human mortal. Poor Edmund fell prey and was locked off in prison for the rest of his life.
Deep in the debris within Château d'If - a castle of walls where light and hope were locked out at the doors, he had all the time to realize the misery of his existence - to be scared by the enveloping darkness that doesn't seem to end both in space and time, to scream just to listen to human voices once in a while, to dread images of an evil man's hands touch the most delicate parts of his lady love when he wasn't even worth standing under her shadow, to lose sleep for the rest of his life disturbed by those fateful waves that forever hit the walls he rested his head on and to finally resort to a fragile old man as a single human acquaintance and endlessly listen to his ramblings of a lost treasure night and day, every minute, every forsaken second. You would be amazed at what lonliness can do to somebody - to trade one's innocence to deceit, hope to cynicism, love to burning hatred, flesh to a glimmer of life, a sailor's past to a count's future, a lifetime's dreams and fourteen years in prison to an insatiable hunger for revenge - for blood and complete annihilation.
Fourteen years Mercedes - fourteen years is a large slice of a man's life. And today, in this crowning moment of achievement you want to take it all away from me citing the same reasons that forced me to waste my life behind those walls - love. Unrequited, unattainable love! So, what do you want from me - to walk out in disgrace out of a duel when it wasn't I who asked for it, to let the man who ruined my life walk free in these roads untouched by his evil past, to bleed to death for someone who could have once be mine but could never ever be.
Strange don't you think - that after so many years when we met, we passed off as strangers and you never made an effort to let me know you remember, strange that today you are here at my doors calling my name requesting me to vanquish the one thing that has fuelled my existence, strange that I am standing here talking you just as Edmund dantes would have decades ago, and stranger than all that despite everything you and your kin have done to me - I shall agree to every word of what you ask for, without a word or deed in return.
You may go now, Countess of Morcerf - your son shall come back alive to your abode before night fall tomorrow. My bullet shan't touch his shadow and you shall have him for the rest of your life. Leave now, before someone would see you here and shall doubt the valour of your son in tomorrow's duel.
But, in the days that follow - if ever you would find time to think of a past that's lost and a future that might have been, stop by my coffin and shed a tear Mercedes. A brave man never walks out of a fight and the one you loved is no coward. I shall take the bullet on my chest - but smile, for in life I couldn't keep you happy but in death I would.
You may leave now. my steward will show you the door.
PS: Thanks Pon C, for the title :-)


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