Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.


I have wanted to do a post of Anne of Green Gables for the longest time, but the timing was never right. To do proper justice to Anne-with-an-e Shirley and everything she represented, there had to a proper time, place and feeling.

I discovered Anne of Green Gables when I was 10. I had borrowed an abridged illustrated copy from a friend and I felt hopelessly in love. An orphan who was sent by accident to a brother-and-sister, she managed to transform their lives as well as the pretty Canadian town she lived in. Between the ages of 10 - 15, I managed to track down all 8 of her books - dating from her childhood, to the lives and loves of her own children. My collection of Anne Shirley's life has and always will be one of my most prized possession. She was and is one of my best friends. Her colorful imagination, her lyrical flights of fancy, and her all encompassing sense of love makes her far more than a mere fictional character. The fact that she was far from perfect helped too - a perfect person would never manage to dye her hair green, her nose blue, get her 11-year old friend drunk, bake a cake with anodyne liniment etc. Anne Shirley creeps her way into your heart because she is so...human.

One of Anne's pet theories, is one of kindred spirits. A kindred spirit is much more than just a friend. A kindred spirit, is someone who understands unconditionally, without even trying. Someone who becomes a part of your life without even trying, whether you like it or not, because somehow or the other, she/he just knows what you're saying/thinking/feeling. That someone will not only tolerate your incessant ramblings but will manage to acquire the underlying sense behind it. That someone gives you far more than love or friendship - that someone "gets" you, which is much harder to find than love/friendship.

Since Anne Shirley explained the concept of kindred spirits to me, a decade ago, I have been on the lookout for them. And I have found them, perhaps not as much I'd like, but I love the ones I have with a deep deep devotion. My kindred spirits shared a flaw however. They never understood the concept of kindred spirits. I could explain till I was hoarse, I could attempt to shove poor Anne down their throats, and they never really got it. They liked the way it sounded, and thought it amusing that it meant so much to me, but never really understood the significance of a kindred spirit the way Anne did.

But recently, I found a new kindred spirit, one I have never even met. It is surreal in the nicest possible way knowing that you and someone can "get" each other, without ever having met. But this someone, when told she was my kindred spirit, knew enough to exclaim"Anne of Green Gables!" This someone knew what being a kindred spirit meant, and understood enough of Anne-with-an-e's own spirit to know how yay it is to find one. This particular kindred spirit excites me more than the others I have, because if we can "get" each other when we have never met, I would love to know what it'll be like when we DO meet.

At age 10, Anne Shirley became a kindred spirit for life. One of the few fictional characters in my bookshelf to hold that title. But more than that, she paved the way for me to find kindred spirits of my own, apart from her. She taught me that once you find someone like that, you keep them. She taught me that an imagination can be the greatest comfort when you are "in the depths of despair" and she taught me it doesnt hurt to dream, even if you have freckles and red hair.

And most importantly, she taught me to always look at the bottle before you attempt to dye your hair. Green hair is not...becoming.

“Kindred Spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. Its splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world" - Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables


4 responses to "Of Kindred Spirits and Anne Shirley"

  1. you totally beat me to a post on Anne-with-an-e. i was thinking of writing one after our conversation today. but i'd never have been able to do justice to the series the way you did, so i guess it's good you beat me to it!
    i love the post, love the kindred spirit reference - it is surreal indeed, and oh-so-yay. and when we DO meet - it's gonna be oh-so-yayer! (again, it IS a word beginning now)
    you're the best.

    Mehvs

  2. Jeez Thank God. Finally we'll have some hits again.
    I'd say oh 'I'll totally read her now' or something but I'm kind of late with the last book I'm supposed to read.
    However. Not having read any of the books, it's always been quite clear how big a deal she really is, and while I may not understand the idea of a Kindred Spirit the way you and Mehvash do, I must say, the little I do get is pretty freaking sweet.
    Especially when moving to a new place. The fact that someone else shares a wavelength or even an entire radio channel (Pun for Tejas) is quite freaking awesome. The fact that I'm involved as intimately with most of my kindred spirits as I am (No pun, but is for you!) is really something quite special.
    You know what else is special? YOU! So keep freaking posting. Jeez.
    Word today is couest!

    Harry

  3. finally....finally...my deepest longing to know if anyone my age has ever read anne has come to an end....8yrs of searching and meeting a few kindered spirits on the way...i will always be grateful to my grandma for this treasure!!!

    Thank you anne for being my kindered spirit for the longest time ever!!!You always understood and stood by me!!

    @mehvash:in case you're interested in reading emily of new moon by the same author do let me know :)

    @kyra:sniff...beautifully written....have the whole series too....this means sooo much :)

    Michelle

  4. Mehvash - Well, it's only fair considering you beat me to a post about kindred spirits, which I was dying to do after our conversation! But you did it beyoootifully, more beyootifuller than I could have done. So we is even. Like I said before, I cannot to wait the you. And YOU, my frand, are the best =D

    Harry - Your FACE is a hit while you are a khokhla. You have a longass freaking reading list ahead of you, my frand. Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, The Fountainhead etc. Get cracking. And you can't google quotes from these books and impress me with your khokhla knowledge. I know your shady ways.

    Michelle - Thank you, Im glad you liked it =D I too, am very yay at finding people who love Anne like I do. By the way, Emily of New Moon, is awesome! She's very like Anne, only a little more practical I think.

    Kyra

The All of us.

The All of us.