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Jailbreak stories

We have a fascination for escape tales, don’t we? I recently saw “The Shawshank Redemption”, after reading Kiki(?) rant over it in a few posts. The movie was very good and deserved the No.2 rating in IMDB currently. I must be one of the laggards to watch it. There are several memorable moments in it. I liked a part of its tagline, “Hope can set you free”. An innocent chap is jailed because he is icy. He changes the life of the inmates in a pleasing manner and cleverly escapes to the Mexican bay for a free life. The turmoils he encounters in the jail and the manner in which he handles them make for very involved watching. I have to read the book now, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”. The part I liked best was when the Irish (he’s Black but) prisoner describes the icy chap as ” He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place.” How I wish I can be like this!

The first story of this type has got to be “Chateau’d If”, a part of the celebrated “Count of Monte Cristo”. This was in our Gulmohar English textbook, Class 7 or 8. I was hooked the first time. I had a habit of reading the stories even before they were taught. I continue the habit to this day, but only the stories happily. Our English teacher also whetted my appetite calling the book fantastic. Every time Appa and I go to Madurai, I would insist that we walk to a bookstore opposite the railway station and get novels. Some time in Class 9, I got an unabridged Count of Monte Cristo, all of 1034 or 1069 pages. That was my first big book. I didn’t get to read it fully till our even longer vacations between the Class 12 board exams and the first day at engineering college. But I liked it immensely and count it as one of the greatest books I have ever read. The innocence of his love, the infidelity of his friend, his stint at the prison (Chateau’ d If) and the Sinbadi way he gets his revenge are all out of the world when read the first time. This book gets mentioned in the Shawshank Redemption too.

Another similar book I knew pretty late was Papillon. My college companion Amal referred me to it. I read his copy of the book when we were in our final year with all the time in the world. I don’t remember much of it, but I liked it that time. Amal was a latecomer to books, but started getting fond of them pretty fast. We bought books at an old bookseller in the Adyar pavement close to Adyar Signal (the flyover shifted him close to the bus stand) and at the many shops in T Nagar. He killed himself a year or later after we passed out. It is interesting that unless you meet folks frequently, you can just imagine them living forever! Cheers to all the innocent tales that abound in jails.

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Categories: Books
  1. Jax
    20 January 2006 at 9:53 am

    Somehow jailbreak stories are loved by people, either if it is in hte movies or in books. They provide great entertainment, from my experiences.

    Looking at it philosophically, maybe each one of us is a prisoner struggling to break free from the shackels that bind us.

  2. 6 February 2006 at 8:00 pm

    I ranted on the Shawshank Redemption? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ My one attempt to write something straight from the heart was a failure then. Ok, I was joking.

  3. 6 February 2006 at 8:03 pm

    Umm…why the question mark after “Kiki”? Yeah, if you like, you can call me that way. A lot of people who can’t pronounce my name do so.

  4. 7 February 2006 at 3:39 pm

    well, sk called you kiki. since i didn’t know if you like it or not, i put the ?. that’s the reason ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 10 May 2012 at 11:57 am

    I’ve been searching for a poem for the last couple of months, but I haven’t even come close to finding it. I’m posting here because I know it was in one of my school English books, just not sure if it was Gul Mohar or the other one we had. The theme of the poem goes like this – a man is sitting in his library / garage and thinking fond things about his wife. Suddenly the wife barges in to the room / his thoughts and all fond thoughts disappear. He’s again filled with resentment towards his wife. I think I made it sound very prosaic, but I remember it as a short, fun, and now very meaningful ๐Ÿ™‚ poem. No idea about the title or author. Any help would be highly appreciated.

    And yes, both Shawshank Redemption and Count of Monte Cristo were very interesting ๐Ÿ™‚ I myself recently read some Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I loved the lyrical style of his prose.

  1. 20 January 2006 at 2:24 pm

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