Tag Archive: Translated into English


Is it my 100th post already? Wow! I guess it should have come much earlier, considering the fact I started this blog on the 20th of March 2012. But I did procrastinate a bit more last year, so far as my blog was concerned that is. I took a blog sabbatical from May to September 2012. Instead I made quite a few lists and wrote critiques on IMDB last year. Read a lot of books too last year, and blogged about a few; and this year I read very few books, comparatively, and blogged about none.

Paris Sydney through the balcony (Nuwan Sen)

Paris Sydney through the balcony (Nuwan Sen)

So my musings. I do have a very vivid imagination. I have soooooo much in my mind I’d love to put to words, but don’t seem to be able to. When did I start writing? Definitely at a very young age. I loved writing short stories, poems, even wrote a film review once in school, when I was about 10 or 11. But I loathed writing essays for some reason. I still do actually. I even remember writing this looooooog interesting short story, inserting many a fairy tale characters and aliens, again when I was about 10 or 11. Became a journalist too, for a short while, just over a decade ago. But being a journalist and a creative writer are not necessarily the same thing. I tried my hand at writing novels. First aged 12½/13, I started a book called Exciting Eight, Ha!! An adventure story about seven cousins aged between 8 and 13, and their lovable dog/common mongrel, who track down a villain in the guise of a milk man who stole Princess Diana’s crown jewels. Sounds silly and somewhat familiar to Enid Blyton books. Well!!! When I was 19 I found the book so childish I threw it away, something I kind of regret today. My next was in my mid-20’s. That was an epic titled English Spring Indian Winter. Which too I couldn’t complete. And now, thanks to my blog, I actually do get to write on a regular basis. Still, I might get back to English Spring Indian Winter someday, who knows. I just need the peace of mind, pure silence, my own personal space, and nothing to distract my thought process.

My oldest nicest memories. The oldest, is that of my 5th B’day. I remember, my cake of a wall with Humpty Dumpty nicely perched on a it. And running out to the flat balcony with my friends to see a beautiful rainbow.
My memory of the most beautiful place I visited as a kid, was just after my 11 birthday, visiting Kashmir, staying in a boat house and the first time I saw snow. Still aged 11, when we went to Singapore, the realisation hit me that I have actually been residing in a another country for the last 11 years of my life. A fact I always knew, that I was born in another country, but when we went, for a holiday, to yet another country, that’s when I actually felt that I was born, and have been living, in a foreign country. Then 1994, as a teenager, revisiting New Delhi, after a six year break, and visiting my old school, The British School in New Delhi, and walking past the corridor of lockers, bending down to see my name still scratched on my old locker, that year was a uniquely memorable, though somewhat unsettled, year. Ah!! The age of innocence.
And Then I grew up and happy memories seem to start to cease.

My favourites in art : Salvador Dalí, no one can beat this surreal master, as far I’m concerned. Most of my own artworks are inspired by his work.

My favourites in literature : My favourite novel happens to be City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre. I bought it when I was 19, read it when I 20. And hundreds and hundreds of books later, City of Joy, till date, happens to be my favourite. My favourite childhood books: The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton, I read and re-read a number of times between the ages of 8 and 12. And Roald Dahl’s The BFG, a book we did in school, in S-I (Senior I), when I was 11 years old. My first adult/mature book, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, aged 12½/13. And that remained my favourite book, till I read City of Joy, seven years later.
My favourite author : Christopher Isherwood, since I discovered him a couple years ago, when I read Isherwood’s Mr. Norris Changes Trains (prior to Isherwood, Agatha Christie and D.H. Lawrence were my two favourite authors). And then last year, I read a few more of Isherwood’s beautifully stylized works of inventive literature. (and I still have one more to read, which too I bought last year). Speaking of inventive literature, I have to mention my two favourite novellas. Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (a book that found me, in 2009) and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange (a book I had been looking for sometime, and finally located in 2011). My favourite two short stories, Anton Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog, which I read when I was about 14/15 years old and fell madly in love with it; and Daphne du Maurier’s The Apple Tree, which I read two years ago as well.

My favourites in Cinema : My all time favourite film director, Alfred Hitchcock.
My all time favourite movie, Roman Holiday (1953); my all time favourite film star, Audrey Hepburn.
My two favourite stars of the 21st Century, Jude Law & Kate Winslet.
My favourite British movie : Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971)
My favourite European movie (non-British) : The new-wave French classic, Jules et Jim (1962) directed by François Truffaut.
My favourite European movie (non-British) from the first decade of 21st century : The Spanish film, La Mala Educación (2004) directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
My favourite film from the last decade : Mike Nichols’ Closer (2004).
My all time favourite Indian movie (non-Bollywood) : The art house (Parallel Cinema) Bengali/English bilingual film from the state of West Bengal, Aparna Sen’s The Japanese Wife (2010)
My favourite Bollywood flick (Indian commercial cinema, Hindi language film, from the state of Maharashtra) : Arth (1982)
My favourite Asian film (non-Indian) : Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)
My favourite film from down under : Gallipoli (1981)
My favourite film from down under (from this century) : Ten Canoes (2006)

My favourites in music : Being a child of the 80’s, I grew up loving pop stars, Madonna and Michael Jackson. They are definitely the last two pop stars to make such a strong impact in the music industry. Nobody since, has come up to their level of fame. But as a teenager I started loving the Beatles more, and more specifically John Lennon. Not just for his music, but also his peace activism. Especially, Lennon’s post Beatles activism, alongside his second wife Yoko Ono. My favourite English song happens to Lennon’s Imagine. My favourite Hindi song : Kabhi Kabhie by Mukesh. The tunes I tend to hum on a more regular basis though, since I can remember are : English songs, Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain and The Beatles Hey Jude ; Hindi songs, Nazia Hassan’s 70’s disco number Aap Jaisa Koi, Asha Bhosle’s Hippie number from the 70’s – Dum Maro Dum, and again Bhosle’s 70’s romantic seduction that is Churaliya.

Places Places :  The most beautiful country I’ve seen : Switzerland
My favourite city : Paris (As a country Switzerland is definitely the most beautiful, but when it comes to concrete jungles, Paris is the most beautiful, with it’s old architecture, Art galleries, Artists houses, and other museums. The Champs-Elysées, the cinema’s, the Cinémathèque Française, and just losing yourself walking along the River Seine, on those brick laden roads.
Most beautiful, scenic, warm climate, location : Definitely the South of France, the French Riviera, Côte d’Azur; including Monaco.

My own artworks :-
I’ve never got a chance to blog about my works of art, except for a couple of posts, where I attached some of my works in relation to that particular post, but besides that I haven’t posted anything about my art. Makes sense, cause the last time I held a paint brush was just over two years ago. And so far as my sketches/drawings go, I haven’t touched a pencil for some months now. So, this my opportunity to showcase some of my artworks in my blog. Thus, since I should limit the amount of works I can post here, here are some of my works done within the last five years, starting from the latter half of 2008.

Right on top, you can see Paris Sydney through the balcony. The last painting I’ve done so far. A painting I did between June-Oct 2010, and completed it, giving it, it’s final finishing touches, in a day, in Oct 2011. I haven’t touched a brush since.
Paris Sydney through the balcony, is a painting where I’ve incorporated the six countries I’ve lived in, till date, since childhood. And named it after two cities I loved living in for two different reasons. Sydney, I had a great group of friends and was the most happiest, and Paris, I fell in love with the city of love itself, for it beauty, artistic vibe and historical significance.

The concepts behind majority of art, happens to be based on Cinema.
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So, my works on Cinema

Sex & Literature - The Reader ( Feb 09')
Sex & Literature [The Reader] (February 2009) : I waited for Kate Winslet to win the Oscar, before I worked on this drawing. Finally my favourite actress of today won the Oscar she deserved to win. Of course this drawing does not depict Kate Winslet, but the character of Hanna Schmitz, Winslet played in the movie The Reader (2008). I hadn’t read Bernhard Schlink German novel, translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway, that the movie is adapted from, at the time. I read it, and loved reading it, only the following year, June 2010.

My favourite movies by decade ----
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(Checkout my list of favourite movies by decade on IMDB. Link:-My Favourite movie by decade)

My Favourite movie by decade - 1he 1960's (Janvier 2011)
My Favourite movie by decade – The 1960’s (January 2011)

My Favourite movie by decade - The 1940's (Février 2011)
My Favourite movie by decade – The 1940’s (February 2011)

My Favourite movie by decade - The 1990's (Février 2011)
My Favourite movie by decade – The 1990’s (February 2011)

My favourite Film on Film Buffs (Février 2011)
My Favourite Film on Film Buffs (February 2011)

Drawings - Hepburn at Cats (Jan 2010)
Hepburn @ cats (Jan 2010)

April 2012
Marilyn and the 50’s (April 2012)

My Works Priyanka (Nov 2008)
Priyanka Chopra (November 2008)

My Sketches -The Roaring 20's, Talking Pictures & Singin' in the Rain  (April 2009)
The Roaring 20’s, Talking Pictures & Singin’ in the Rain (April 2009)

Equus [The Love Scene] Version A (Feb 2009)
Equus [The Love Scene] Version A (February 2009): Surreal version

Equus [The Love Scene] Version B (Feb 2009)
Equus [The Love Scene] Version B (February 2009): Distorted & Abstract version

BUtterfield 8 (Jan 2013)
BUtterfield 8 – Book & Movie (January 2013): Showcasing the difference between the lead character in the book and the movie. John O’Hara’s novel, BUtterfield 8, was written and set in the early 1930’s, and was based on a true story. While Daniel Mann’s movie BUtterfield 8 (1960), starring Elizabeth Taylor in the lead role, for which she won an Oscar, was made and set in the late 50’s.

My works on Paris

Horny Gargoyl watching over Paris (Feb 2010)
Horny Gargoyle watching over Paris (February 2010)

Paris Je t'aime (Drawings on Paris) Feb 2010
Four artworks of mine paying tribute to my favourite city (February 2010)
–  Horny Gargoyle watching over Paris (same as above)
– A rough sketch of Paris Sydney through the balcony (before I did the oil painting)
– The Girl who stole the Eiffel Tower
– Champs-Elysées & Cinema

Still Life/Miscellaneous

Still Life - Vase and Lipstick (Feb 2010)
Still Life with Vase & Lipstick (February 2010)

The Hanger and the French Beret (Apr 2010)
The Hanger & the French Beret (February 2010) : Depicting two of my favourite cities. The French beret, symbolising Paris; and the hanger, Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.

My Sketches - Going French Cuisine (May 2009)
Going French Cuisine (May 2009)

Mental Liberation (Feb 10')
Mental Liberation (February 2010)

Tintin at Mad Hatter's Tea Party (April 2010)
Tintin @ Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (April 2010)

Tension Unmasked (Feb 2010)
Tension Unmasked (February 2010)

Mercury Cloning (Feb 2010)
Mercury Cloning (February 2010)

My Sketches - Fruity intimacy (May 2009)
Fruity Intimacy (May 2009)

My Sketches - The Third Eye [Man & Machine]  (May 2009)
The Third Eye [Man & Machine] (May 2009) : Tribute to Sci-fi works, nothing specific.
My Sketches - Beautiful Legs resting on a footstool (June 2009)
Beautiful Legs resting on a footstool (June 2009)

Tribute to (inspired from) past artists/artworks

Après Moreau (Jan - Feb 2010)
Après Moreau (January – February 2010) : Two distorted and abstract works based on Gustave Moreau’s famous works. Above – from Fairy with the Griffins. Below – from Galatea and Polyphemus the Cyclops. A lot of Moreau’s works were inspired by Greek mythology and I was a student of the classics (Greek & Roman Civilization).

My Works Van Gogh in Paris [Sept 2008]
Van Gogh in Paris (September 2008) : Depicting the Artist, and Rue Lepic, the area of Paris he resided in.

Year 1503 (May 11') My Art
Year 1503AD (May 2011) : Inspired by 16th Century attire; and by photographs taken by photographer Christian Tagliavini.
Fashion 1500's (May 11') My Art
Fashion 1500’s (May 2011) : Inspired by 16th Century head dresses & ruffled collars; and by works of photographer Christian Tagliavini, titled 1503. Tagliavini, himself was inspired by various artists of the past.

Royal Indian Elephant - 18th century (April 2011)
18th Century Royal Indian Elephant (April 2011) : Inspired by a cut-out of a late 18th century Indian miniature art, from central India, depicting Raja Vikramjit riding on a Royal Elephant.

My Sketches - Vanity Venus (May 2009)
Vanity Venus (May 2009) : At that time (Spring 2009) there was a new discovery of an ancient ruin, which was know as the oldest Venus unearthed at the time. Inspired by that statue, I incorporated the oldest Venus with modern day feminine accessories.

Karl B on my My Art Wall Complete (31st March 2010)
Après Karl Bryullov (February 2010) : Seen on my Art Wall (see My Art Wall section below) Distorted and Abstract Sketch based on Karl Bryullov’s Girls gathering grapes in the environs of Naples.

My Art Wall

My Art Wall Complete - Right side (31st March 2010)
My Art Wall (March 2010), in my room (right side)

My Art Wall Complete - Left side (31st March 2010)
My Art Wall (March 2010), in my room (left side)

Me in My Room Left side of my Art wall (April 2010)
Me in my room (mirror image), opposite the left side of my Art Wall (April 2010).

My Art Wall Left side renewed (Février 2011)
My Art Wall, in my room, renewed (February 2011) : left side

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Check out some of my older works (2006-2007) at the COFA Annual 07 website. Link :-
http://annual.cofa.unsw.edu.au/2007/profiles/nuwansenadhira/4/?discipline=painting (Link available on my Gravatar page as well)
Also check out my various lists/critiques on IMDB. Link :-
nuwansdel_02 & See all lists by nuwansdel_02 (Links available on my Gravatar page as well)
And my Top-10 all time favourite movies. Link :-
Why I love …. (Link available on my Gravatar page as well)

Nuwan Sen

Elisabeth, the Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary, was known for her beauty, free spirited attitude, modernity, intellect, taste in fashion, diet, exercise, horse riding and her long dark tresses.

Empress Elisabeth

The elegant nature loving beauty, daughter of Duke Maximilian Joseph and Princess Ludovika, of Bavaria, became Empress of Austria when she married her maternal first cousin, Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria, and later was crowned the Queen of Hungary (She subsequently held the titles of Queen of Bohemia and Croatia as well). Empress Elisabeth was assassinated, 115 years ago today, on 10th September 1898, by an anarchist named Luigi Lucheni, who had just wanted to kill somebody of royal blood, didn’t matter who.
Elisabeth, was affectionately called “Sissi”, by her loved ones and close friends, since she was a child. She was an Austrian icon during the Victorian era, and had a great role influencing Austro-Hungarian politics.

Romy Schneider as Sissi

Sissi et moi
Back in the 80’s & 90’s, our mother, who loved telling us intriguing stories of books and movies she had read and watched when she was younger, had mentioned many a times about this beautiful love story she had watched, back in the late 60’s, called Forever My Love (1962), when it was shown on the big screen in Colombo, which she had never managed to locate afterwards.
Thanks to the invent of the internet, and more specifically the Internet Movie Data Base site (IMDB), I realised Forever My Love was actually an edited condensation of the Austrian Sissi trilogy (dubbed into English); Sissi (1955), Sissi – Die Junge Kaiserin (1956) and Sissi – Schickalsjahre einer Kaiserin (1957); a trio of films based on the early life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
But it wasn’t until 2009, that I located the three films. Not that I actually went hunting for them, but I never accidentally came across them either.
It was by fluke, in late August 2009, whilst residing in Paris, I just happen to walk into the ‘Virgin Stores’, in the Champs Élysées (a favourite haunt of mine), to see what newer books and films they had in store. To my surprise, I came across the trio of Sissi DVD’s, dubbed into French, but alas there were no subtitles included. I mentioned this to my mum, when I called her up. She was delighted, and told me to buy them, it didn’t matter that it didn’t contain English subtitles, she knew the movie by heart. After all, she had waited four decades to re-watch it. The Sissi movies to my mum, were like what Woodstock was to the people who had witnessed it. In fact in 2009, Paris shops were celebrating 40 years of Woodstock and Summer of 69’.

Romy Schneider as Sissi

Romy Schneider as Sissi

Sissi Films
Before I bought these films, I had already watched Luchino Visconti’s Ludwig (1972), in Paris itself, a bio-pic on Ludwig-II of Bavaria, cousin of Empress Elisabeth. For Ludwig, Romy Schneider (who had previously played the role of Sissi, in 50’s Sissi trilogy) reprised her role of, a more mature, Empress Elisabeth. Schneider being more mature in age by then, she was perfect for role.
Unexpectedly, I really enjoyed the Sissi DVD’s, when we watched the films four years ago, sans subtitles.

The Real-life Sissi: From Duchess of Bavaria to Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary
On Christmas eve, the 24th of December, in 1837, Duke Maximilian Joseph and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, gave birth to their fourth child, Duchess Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie (a.k.a. Sissi). Little did they know that someday she’d be amongst the most famous, pre-feminist era, feminist, a sovereign, a political mediator and a fashion icon. Maximilian was known for his love for circuses, and often travelled in the Bavarian countryside to escape his duties. The family lived in Possenhofen Castle, thus Sissi and her siblings grew up in a very unrestrained and unstructured environment, far from court protocols.
In 1853, Princess Sophie of Bavaria, the domineering mother of 23-year-old Emperor Franz (Francis) Joseph of Austria, wanted her son to marry her sister, Ludovika’s, eldest daughter, Helen. The fun loving 15 year old Sissi, who had no desire what so ever to be a queen, accompanied her mother and elder, 18 year old, sister Helen, on a trip to the resort of Bad Ischl, Upper Austria.
Helene was a pious, very quiet, young woman, and when she met the Emperor, the two had a tensed unease creep between them. Meanwhile the Emperor was infatuated with the innocent bewitching beauty, Sissi, and her perky carefree attitude. For once the Emperor defied his mother saying if he could not have Elisabeth, he would never marry, period. Five days later they were engaged and it was officially announced that Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria was to marry Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria. The couple were married eight months later in Vienna at the Augustinerkirche on 24 April 1854, changing Sissi’s title from Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria to Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
Post marriage, though happy with her husband, her life was made miserable by her mother-in-law, Princess Sophie. On 5th March, 1855, almost eleven months after her marriage, Elisabeth gave birth to her first child, a daughter. Sophie at once took away the new born baby from the mother, and named the child after herself, (Archduchess Sophie of Austria), without the mother’s (Sissi’s) knowledge. Not only did Sophie take charge of the new born, she didn’t let Elisabeth even breast feed the baby, nor allow her to see her own child. On 12th July 1856, when she gave birth to a second daughter (Archduchess Gisela of Austria), the same fate arose for the second child.
The fact that Sissi hadn’t given birth to a male heir made her more of an outcast in the royal palace. One day Sissi found a pamphlet on her desk, stating that,‘‘…The natural destiny of a Queen is to give an heir to the throne….she should by no means meddle with the government of an Empire, the care of which is not a task for women ….. If the Queen bears no sons, she is merely a foreigner in the State, and a very dangerous foreigner,….she can never hope to be looked on kindly here…..’’. The jealous mother-in-law, Sophie, is generally considered to be the schemer behind this malicious pamphlet to Sissi. When Sissi travelled to Italy with her husband, her influence on her husband, regarding his Italian and Hungarian subjects; where she persuaded him to show mercy toward political prisoners; was the accusation of ‘political meddling’ referred to in the pamphlet.

Empress Elisabeth of Austria
In 1857, when Elisabeth visited Hungary for the first time, with her husband and two daughters, she fell madly in love with the place. So much so, that she began to learn Hungarian. The Hungarian people reciprocated with their adoration of her. But this same trip proved fatal for her children. The two little girls became ill with diarrhoea; while the younger, Gisela, quickly recovered, two-year-old Sophie, died (today assumed that she might have died of typhoid fever). The death of her eldest child threw Sissi over the edge of melancholy and onto the brink of a deep depression, and became bulimic, which would affect her the rest of her life. By December 1857, Sissi was pregnant with her third child. Sissi, who was very close to her parents, was nursed back to health by her mother. On 21 August 1858, Elisabeth finally gave birth to a male heir, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. Once again Sissi was blocked from the upbringing of her new son. By now, more mature (aged 20), she openly rebelled, but to no avail.
Having no say in the upbringing of her children, Sissi decided that she would not have any more children and withdrew from her husband sexually, saying what’s the use of having children only to be taken away from her. Which upset Princess Sophie, as she had expected to have a new grandchild on a regular basis. Sissi took an interest in politics, helping paving the way for a peace negotiations between Austria and Hungary. And she started a beauty and exercise regime. She daily took care of her long dark blonde to chestnut hair, which took almost two hours, though she used very little cosmetics and she believed in her natural beauty; instead relying on natural products like sweet almond oil and rosewater.
Throughout the 1860’s Sissi was ill, with coughing fits, violent migraines, fever, anaemia, and had contracted a lung disease. Around this time there were rumours that Franz Joseph was having a liaison with an actress named Frau Rollthe. At this time Sissi left her husband for short period, as a fresh rest cure was advised, and she went off to Corfu Island. After a two year long recovery she came back just before her husbands birthday. But soon she was ill again. But now Sissi became more assertive than ever before in her defiance against her mother-in-law, and openly opposed her and the Emperor, on the subject of military education of Rudolf.
Meanwhile she warmed back to the Emperor, and she would soon be pregnant for the fourth time. She was in the frontline to political negotiations which ensured Hungary to gain an equal footing with Austria. The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 created the double monarchy of Austria and Hungary, and Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth were officially crowned King and Queen of Hungary with the coronation held on the 8th June 1867.

Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary
Sissi gave birth to her youngest child, a daughter, Marie Valerie, on 22nd April 1868 in Budapest, ten months after their coronation. Sissi finally had her way as Sophie’s influence over her grandchildren and the court faded, and she died in 1872. Sissi poured her repressed maternal feelings, love and affection; which she wasn’t allowed to give her earlier children; to her youngest child to the point of suffocation, that Marie Valerie grew to resent her mother.
Meanwhile, Austrian subjects were resentful of their royals having two titles, and rumours of Sissi having many a lovers spread, including that of an affair with George Middleton, an Anglo-Scot, although there is no verifiable evidence of her having an affair with him or any one else for that matter. Meanwhile, to a certain degree, Sissi tolerated her husband Franz Joseph’s affair with yet another actress, Katharina Schratt.
On 30th January, 1889, thirty-year-old Crown Prince Rudolf (Sissi’s son), along with his young lover, Baroness Mary Vetsera, were found dead together at the Mayerling, Rudolf’s hunting lodge in Lower Austria. An investigation suggested it seemed like an apparent murder-suicide by Rudolf. This incident came to be known as The Mayerling Incident. Elisabeth’s life was shattered by the death of her only son.
Sissi never recovered from this tragedy and sank into a even deeper depression and melancholy. Within the span of a year, her mother, her father, her sister, and now her son, had died. From then onwards she dressed only in black for the rest of her life. Even this became her new fashionable trade mark, with her long black gowns that could be buttoned up at the bottom, a white parasol made of leather, and a concealing fan to hide her face from curious onlookers. From her 30’s she stopped sitting for portraits and wished not to be photographed. Only few photographs of her, taken later in life, by press photographers who were lucky enough to capture her without her knowledge, remain. (today they’d be called paparazzi pictures). These snapshots show a woman who was graceful, but almost too slim, and unhappy. Later in life she became bitter, avoided royal duties, and started to travel extensively. But towards the end of her life she became close friends with her husband and shared a platonic relationship with him, and continued seeing the world, and travelling to places like Morocco, Algeria, Malta, Turkey, and Egypt; countries where European royals usually didn’t travel to. Her favourite destinations includes the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), Lake Geneva in Switzerland and Bad Ischl in Austria.

Last photo of Empress Elisabeth, the day before her death, at Territet, Switzerland

Last photo of Empress Elisabeth, the day before her death, at Territet, Switzerland

The Assassination of Sissi
In 1898, Sissi travelled incognito to Geneva, Switzerland. On 10th September 1898, the sixty-year-old Elisabeth, and Countess Irma Sztáray de Sztára et Nagymihály, her lady in waiting, left the hotel on the shore of Lake Geneva on foot to catch the steamship Genève for Montreux. They were walking along the promenade when the 25-year-old Italian anarchist, Luigi Lucheni, stabbed Elisabeth. Unaware of how grave the situation, she still managed to walk and board the ship. Bleeding to death from a puncture wound, not noticeable due to the corset, Sissi lost consciousness and collapsed, when she regained consciousness, and was asked if she felt any pain Sissi died uttering her last words, ‘‘No, what has happened?’’

Nuwan Sen’s Historical Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Les Enfants Terribles

Just completed reading Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau about half an hour ago. Loved this beautiful tragic tale about a tightly close knitted relationship between two siblings and their surreal game world in their private room entitled – ‘The Room’.
The two siblings reminded me of the brother and sister from The Dreamers (2003), my favourite movie on film buffs, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

Les Enfants Terribles, is a fascinatingly unique French novella, beautifully translated into English by Rosamond Lehmann.  Loved it, and I highly recommend it.

Bookish Nuwan