Venice : The Mighty Queen of Adriatic.

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“Venice is a cheek-by-jowl, back-of-the-hand, under-the-counter, higgledy-piggledy, anecdotal city, and she is rich in piquant wrinkled things, like an assortment of bric-a-brac in the house of a wayward connoisseur, or parasites on an oyster-shell,” writes Morris on Venice.

Truly there’s nothing more to add or subtract here, Venice, my readers is summed up with brilliance shining off from every word written.

Honestly, Jan Morris does the job in three lines that I would barely accomplish on three posts on Venice. And it is just one of the hundred books written on Venice. But seriously, one is enough to put me back in my place.

 

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The utopian Venice

 

I knew Venice much before I knew there was a London and a New York or the likes in the world. Everything elsewhere was summed up under one roof called ‘foreign’ but Venice was different. Venice and I go way back together. Way back when we started reading ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in our english literature class. I loved the story, the drama, the embellished dialogues said with flourish, the larger than life characters that lived and grew with me, at times even pained me but generally humoured me for two years of my life.

I still clearly remember my text book and its dark gloomy cover. I can recall a few dialogues too. But my fondest memory of it is when we were shown an old eastman colour Merchant of Venice movie in our boxy school T.V room. We hardly understood of what permeated through all our excitement, the actor’s accent and Shakespeare’s english, shifting from bum to bum to prevent the soda-running-through-the legs feeling. We cracked up at the entry of ‘Prince of Morocco’ and giggled and nudged on the modest kissing scene. We were all a bunch of class 9 students typically are or rather were, watching a movie that was basically a visual treat of a timeless telling of love and friendship set in a queen of a place!  Although the purpose to show the movie was to overtake the anachronism & make us see the characters in flesh and blood, which otherwise would be hard to imagine by kids sitting many cultures, lands and seas apart. But most of all it meant a good getaway from our usual classes. 🙂

The book was so dear to me and will always be.

I visited Venice a long time after I put the book down. I was charmed beyond words. Utterly grateful to realise that my longing to see Venice after reading the book was so justified. I have a whole stock of memories now, so many new and some good old ones.

 

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The charm of Venice can carve out a poet out of anyone!

 

Back then, I had my own imagination of Venice and identified it with nothing more than a black gondola in a narrow canal and some heavily cloaked characters treading around with purpose on mind and a ducat filled cloth pouch in a hand. It was only later, courtesy bollywood movies, that I began relating to the venetian masks and small bridges too.

Well, down the centuries it hasn’t changed much. However, you don’t see people carrying ducats anymore.

 

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Good old Venice!

 

Few things in this world survive unchanged, Venice is one of them.

 

 

PS: Venice is going to be up next in my travel section. And it is going to more of a visual treat just like I had, many years ago in a small TV room, in Class IX. But picture quality will be HD this time 🙂

read the next post here

Comments

  1. Nice depiction—————classic n spectacular.