Monday, 25 March 2013


Love story. Historical romance. 

How about Novel About The Futility Of War instead? 

The first time I read Gone with the Wind, I was awed. Melted into a mushy puddle, even. Who could resist the charms of Scarlett, or the suave and dashing Rhett Butler? Not that I can even today, some multiple (in the range of 19) reads later. But with every read - and the passing years - it's come to mean so much more than just a romance that had infinite appeal to my (then) teenage self. It's like an onion, really - intricate, complex layers that you peel away each time, discovering something new along the way.

What starts off as a genteel romance is suddenly catapulted into an entirely different league altogether, and is symbolic of so much more. Note that I'm not siding/ opposing anyone here; it's just my understanding of a wonderful book. Neither am I going to get into should-we-fight-wars or why-can't-we-live-as-one or anything of the sort. There is always an opposite to everything, so I guess in some twisted, warped way, war is the way that is chosen(?) to counter peace.

I'm now at the post-war Reconstruction bit, and what Scarlett realises is so true - the war may have ended, but their troubles have just begun.  A battle, be it of any kind, leaves scars, most of which fade only over a long time - if at all they do. The energy one would have spent to safeguard themselves during the war is now expended towards rebuilding the tattered remains of life after. It's an uphill struggle, with pitfalls all along the way, and it's the survival of the fittest. These scars and the aftermath of war are felt for generations to come, in some way or the other.

As for the romance, that too changes. From schoolgirl to mature, Scarlett's relationships undergo a paradigm shift. From fun to calculated to deep and meaningful - the various shades are there for you to see, should you choose to.

I'm not sure there's any other book that I enjoy as much, each time I open it up. Back to reading, and possibly more observations as I go along...

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