Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Samosas and Sensibilty: 'Bad Austen' Entry

I love Jane Austen.

She is my go-to gal, my author of choice, my emotional salve, my comfort food... name your metaphor, she's it for me.

Well, her novels and The Lord of the Rings, but that's a longer, more complicated story about the obvious overlap of Austen and scifi/fantasy fans. Think about it: The world building (England, Mordor), the nuanced social mores (don't pay a first social call for more than 10 minutes, don't ask an Orc to tea and crumpets), and of course the romance! (Elizabeth is to Darcy as : a. Arwyn is to Aragorn b. Eowyn is to Aragorn. c. Legolas is to Gimly d. all of the above)

And I'm not even touching on the fabulous films made of her books - the A&E miniseries of Pride and Prejudice is definitely worth a whole long blog entry at some point of its own (Colin Firth as Darcy in that "oh, look at that! my shirt is wet and clinging to my manly chest" scene still gives me flutterings and palpitations and makes me, like Mrs. Bennett, worked up in a tizzy, bleating "my nerves, have you no regard for my poor nerves?").  

So...  in the great, er, bizarre, traditions of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters, I've written my own "Bad Austen" mashup, and now you can too, by entering the 'Bad Austen' contest here.

Perhaps my story isn't quite as much like the 'Miss Austen meets the supernaturals' tales above as it is like fun and fabulous Bend it Like Bekham director Gurinder Chadha's Bride and Prejudice (ruined for me, sadly, by the atrocious acting of model turned Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai), an Indian revisitation of Pride and Prejudice.

In fact, Ms. Chadha, if you're reading this blog and overcome by the need to make my 800 word story into a feature length film, please feel free. (And disregard my previous uncooth comments, cast Aishwarya Rai, by all means!) Oh, and I REALLY liked your movie Bhaji on the Beach too...

But I digress...

So I'll excerpt Samosas and Sensibility here for you, dear readers. And if it should suit, please do consider visiting the site and voting for my story. And know that I do appreciate the honor you humbly bestow upon me. There will be crumpets awaiting you in the parlor...

Samosas and Sensibility
By Sayantani DasGupta

The Family of DashGupta had been long settled in Parsippany, New Jersey. Well, since Mr. DashGupta got sponsored for his green card back in 1988 and managed to convince INS to grant Mrs. DashGupta a spousal visa, that is. 
Their residence had initially been in the Indian enclave of the Sussex Gardens Apartment Complex off Route 46, but as Mrs. DashGupta was from a distinguished and old, if ridiculously impoverished, Bengali family, the rough society, marked by the sounds of Punjabi bhangra booming through souped up car stereos, was quite more than her poor nerves could bear. Having a healthy respect for his wife’s nerves, Mr. DashGupta transferred his wife and infant daughters posthaste – or rather, as soon as he was financially able, to the decidedly middle class subdivision of Norland Estates. There, for almost two decades, the DashGuptas had lived in an unremarkable medium-sized McMansion, in so respectable a manner as to be completely unknown by their surrounding acquaintances.
To Read the rest of this story, or vote, or submit your own story, please go here on Bad Austen.com
Even better, curl up with your favorite Austen!

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