Friday, May 25, 2007

What The Dickens !

Like many of the English-medium school-goers in India
I was privy to the wonderful world of Charles Dickens via
the unofficial 'required reading' subtly passed on to the
Anglo-Indian school system, which thrived gloriously in
the '50s and '60s. As Indians we were fully qualified to
relate to the hardships, misery and simple ways of life
that Dickens wrote of, since those living conditions were
visible to us everyday, everywhere. Coming out of church
dressed in their Sunday finest, churchgoers could walk out
of the exit gates and be faced with beggars, cripples, lepers,
vagabonds, ragamuffins, hucksters and livery drivers same as
in any of Dickens' novels. The same could be said for the
entrances to Mosques, movie theaters and restaurants - and
the same unfortunately may be said now, even though the local
authorities are trying to sweep the unfortunates under the rug
and out of sight. That's India, some things will never change.

It's a different world in the West, of course. A precious resource like
Food is flung across tables in Renaissance period re-enactments
like 'Medieval Times' and on MTV Game shows in the name of
'Entertainment'. Enough food to help dying children on many continents.

Now Entertainment takes a new turn to satisfy the jaded pleasure-
seeker, as reported in a recent Christian Science Monitor article :

Bemusement park: Where Dickens meets Disney |
Welcome to Dickens World, a theme park with a difference.
If you thought theme parks were all about thrilling roller coasterrides,
wolfing down hotdogs and cotton candy, and shaking
hands with overgrown mice and goofy dogs, you're in for a rude
awakening. Dickens World recreates the filth, squalor, and even
the unpleasant whiffs of Victorian London, the city in which
Charles Dickens lived and breathed, and wrote so memorably
about in "A Tale of Two Cities," "Great Expectations," and
"Oliver Twist." It's less a theme park, and more a "grime park."

Related : Great Forebodings

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  1. Dickens World, a theme park with a difference.........
    would love to visit this park one day.

  2. Thanks for the comment, it's a rare treat when people take the time to share their feelings and opinions.