The other day I was watching the 1958 cinematic adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities starring Dirk Bogarde as Sydney Carton. Having read the novel for the first time in middle school, I remembered once again how irritating Lucie Manette is. Like most of the women characters throughout the history of literature, she has little function, little spunk, and has the likes of the brooding and melancholic Sydney Carton falling fatally in love with her. Perhaps it has some thing to do with her being beautiful, excessively campy, and looking virginal. Dorothy Tutin of course embodies exactly these qualities to perfection. In a fit of boredom, I was trying to imagine which woman character would be a perfect foil to Sydney Carton. The perfectness of my answer startled even me: Portia from The Merchant of Venice! Just imagine how that would be.
A couple of days ago I had an extremely animated telephonic quarrel with a representative of a private airlines company. It all happened on the premise of my asking for a free ticket on the basis of the miles I had accumulated. That wonderful woman informed me that I wasn't qualified yet, because my accumulated flying miles were short of the distance I was intending to fly. On exclaiming my surprise, she expressedly said, "The distance from Kolkata to Varanasi and back is more than the distance from Kolkata to Brussels and back, your last trip." After my telling her, "I'm sorry, but have you lost your mind?", she asked me to hold the line to ask her seniors, and came back after nearly ten minutes to say that nothing could be done. Through a text message I was informed that I didn't have adequate miles to claim a free journey. All because a few executives from an airlines company believe that Brussels, where I travelled to last January from Kolkata, is nearer to Varanasi, where I plan to travel this autumn.
I did not have enough energy to pursue the case.
What is this world coming to?