Friday, July 07, 2006

Anna Karenina

I had read Anna Karenina in my teens and watched the movie this afternoon. Ofcourse I remember the famous opening sentence "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." That had set the tone for the rest of the book. It was a spectacular read - the kind that teaches you life lessons unawares.

Having grown in experience since my reading of the book, I was able to relate to the story at a more personal level as I watched the movie. Like Anna I have been mother trapped in a loveless marriage only I was fortunate to be able to escape it along with my child.

A Count Vronsky will irrupt into a woman's well-ordered life, dare her to follow her passions instead of convention. He will persist tenaciously until she gives in. Tolstoy's depiction of Anna's inner turmoil is relevant even in modern societies where woman don't face the censure and reprobation that Anna did.

For the brief period of time that there was a "Vronsky" in my life, I found myself being irrational, insecure and jealous just like Anna had been. It was only when this volatile and self destructive relationship ended that I found peace again. While my life grew richer for the experience, I was glad that I had not perpetuated it. I must have learnt from Anna.

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