Feb 24, 2011

'Retold' - Does this word seem significant?

Yeah, the title is stupid! But, considering what I've gone through in the last 4 days, it doesn't seem to me as insignificant a word as it seems to you.

www.flipkart.com.. this is where I do most of my shopping for books. And I'm a Bibliophile (read: Bibliomaniac), so I don't order less than 7 books a month. On Feb 20th I ordered the book, 'Pride And Prejudice' authored by Jane Austen. I was always fascinated by her, and I'd read some part of her book 'Emma', years ago as per a friend's suggestion. I couldn't finish it, as she was shifting from her residence and she was a Bibliophile (read: Bibliocentric) herself; so, she went away taking the book with her, as if it was the last copy of 'Emma' on this Earth; and I completely forgot buying a new book. So, years later, some days ago, I decided that I would complete my then-incomplete feat and read all books by Jane Austen. 'Pride And Prejudice' seemed to me, a title apt to start off with. So, I went ahead and ordered 2 books, the one mentioned and 'Sense And Sensibility'. The books came one at a time, the latter preceding the former. (FYI: flipkart provides Home Delivery on COD basis too :) ).

'Sense And Sensibility' seemed in perfect condition. I read a few pages till 'Pride And Prejudice' was delivered. I was at college when the latter arrived on 23rd Feb. After reaching home at 11.30pm, I held the book in my hand. It was a hard-bound copy. I immediately realized my first mistake. With hardback, comes the issue of convenience; and FYI, I carry a 3kg laptop with me everyday (I usually do most of my fiction reading in the local train while travelling).

So, moving on, I opened the book. My first reaction was 'What the FF...'.. !! The book was, to my horror, ILLUSTRATED and the font size was so big that I'd have to strain NOT a single eye-muscle to read it from even THE MOON. :( .. The real problem had not dawned on me yet. I thought at that time, 'It's ok! It looks like a Fairytale book. So what! My friends would laugh a bit. But it's ok. It's our Jane Austen after all. And that's all I want.'..

I started reading the book; carried it to college too.. Friends sneered.. I said, "WTF is your problem!" I continued reading it, but with a sense of skepticism. Why was my dear Austen using such basic English! And why was she so hell-bent on narrating the story in such short sentences! Why wasn't I being given the description of every single feeling, every emotion! And WHY THE HELL was she addressing some Mr. Bingley as 'her'. Mr. Bingley was a Mr. and that makes him a 'him'. I got seriously annoyed; closed the book and returned home from college.


I searched online for Austen, J books and downloaded 'Pride And Prejudice'. I started reading, and to my horror, the language used was so different and so good as compared to the hard copy I had. I opened the book. And KABBOOMM.. On the 2nd page were the words.. 'Retold by W. Sequeira & A.D' Souza'. I got wild, went online, and checked my order. Nowhere was it written that the story in the book was RETOLD. I wrote to flipkart expressing my disappointment, and asking them to replace my copy. It wasn't my fault I believe, yet, the incident made me understand the value of one word.. 'Retold'.. :)





2 comments:

Anoop KR said...

flipkart is good... i also used to order books....

but pls dont buy books thru odyssey... :P it sucks...n landmark too....they r too costly...

n try indiaplaza..tats good too..less costly than flipkart...

Nethra said...

I had read a fan written version of "a walk to remember" and was disappointed when I learnt that I'd spent hours reading something that's nowhere near to the original story. :( I totally understand what you might have felt.