A/N: Sooooo sorry for the long wait, people. The worst thing is, I really don't have any excuse except… I had a bad case of author's block.
Anyway, people who have watched the movie, a question for you: You know when Darcy goes, "I'm not British, I'm American."? What does Lalita say before it? "I don't you turning India into a theme park. I thought we got rid of ... like you!" I've listened to it a million times, but I could never get what she said. If anyone knows, can you please review and tell me?
Thanks. Now read. You know you want to… well, actually you probably don't. But read anyway. And review. Yes, review. Reviews make me feel warm and happy inside.
A/N2: Thanks a lot to the Mouse in the Opera House for telling me the answer to the question above. (Answer: 'imperialists').
After a delicious lunch, they all lazed about around the pool, swimming after an hour had passed since the meal. Lalita didn't really have anyone to talk to, since Jaya and Balraj spent all their time together. She, Kiran and Darcy all kept mostly to themselves, or grouped together, the three extra wheels.
When she was five, Lalita had loved going for long walks around their farm, so she had set out everyday to explore. She was friendly with all of the workers, and knew them all personally. One day, she had stumbled upon a pool of clear water into which the river flowed in and out. She often swum there still and had taught herself to swim.
Needless to say, she won every race that the five – or sometimes, three – of them held that day. After a while, she got bored of swimming around. A luke-warm, chlorine-filled, torpid swimming pool just wasn't as exciting as a rushing, moving cool mass of water with trees and plants surrounding it and little fish swimming around. Also, Darcy and Kiran had already gotten out of the water, tired of her winning every race they held.
She climbed out of the pool and dried herself off a bit with her towel, so she wouldn't drip on the book she wanted to read. She pulled out her copy of Pride and Prejudice and had started rereading when Kiran said lazily, "Darcy darling, could you tear yourself away from the love of your life long enough to put some sunscreen on my back? I don't want my skin to get too dark."
Darcy set aside his laptop and squeezed some sunscreen on his hands. "I'm writing to my little sister, Georgie," he defended.
Kiran turned so that her back was facing Darcy and she spotted Lalita reading. "Oh my God!" she exclaimed incredulously. "You lugged that all the way here? Well, that explains why you don't have much room for outfits."
Lalita barely looked up from her book, turning over the page. "Do you have something against books? And you just resent them because they leave less room in your bag for your make-up?" She looked up to see how Kiran would react.
She looked taken aback and said rather defensively, "No; I just never have time for them. Indians here have a lot more free time, you know."
Lalita, who had been about to go back to reading, looked up sharply. "Or maybe you're just a much more accomplished woman than I am," finished Kiran huffily.
"Maybe," she replied mysteriously, going back to her book. She heard Darcy laugh; he had been watching their minor disagreement with amusement.
Suddenly, she stifled a laugh. She had just realized that there was a rich snob called William Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And the heroine, Elizabeth, hated him. Well, she did at the start. At the end, she fell in love with him. Damn. The beginning at least seemed like the story of her life.
"Darcy's a great reader," said Kiran loudly, making Lalita look up slightly. "In fact, I think a love of books is on his list for his ideal woman." She said the last very deliberately. Lalita slipped her bookmark in her book. It seemed like Kiran would take torturing Darcy over insulting Lalita; this looked to be interesting.
"I think you've had one too many seabreezes," Darcy retorted.
Kiran continued, oblivious to his warning glare. "No, I clearly recall a very drunken night in Oxford where you recited this list. I repeat, she had to be smart, speak several languages," Kiran gestured to Lalita, "be graceful, witty, oh and voluptuous, of course, athletic –" Here, another meaningful look was sent to Lalita.
"Kiran, would you drop it?" asked Darcy, sounding weary and annoyed. It might have been the fact that he was sunburnt pretty much all over or more likely that he was uncomfortable with the topic. Or it could have been a mixture of both.
Lalita said loftily, addressing Kiran, "I'm not surprised Mr Darcy hasn't found his ideal woman with a list like that," she paused, directing the last at him, "or maybe his standards are too high."
Darcy pulled his laptop back on his lap. "Touché," he said, sounding partially amused.
"Does this mean you're an ideal man?" Lalita asked sarcastically.
Darcy looked at her. "Well, I guess you'd be a better judge of that than me," he replied, completely missing the sarcasm.
Lalita rolled her eyes. "Well, I haven't as yet met one," she said, as if that should be obvious. "As far as I can tell, most men have faults: arrogance, pride, vanity…" She looked pointedly at Darcy.
Kiran, who had been watching this exchange with high amusement, laughed, "She's certainly read you like a book, Darcy!"
"No," said Darcy, shutting the lid of his laptop and putting it aside, turning to face her fully. "I think you've got me all wrong."
Lalita ignored him and continued, "Well, you'd certainly have trouble finding your ideal woman in India. Women here are of the simple, traditional, subservient type."
Darcy leaned back in his chair and wearily raked his fingers through his hair. "Oh, come on," he muttered. "Gimme a break. Now you're twisting my words."
Lalita continued in that same lofty tone, "You said it yourself, Mr Darcy. I'm sure you think India's beneath you."
"If I really thought that, then why would I be thinking of buying this place?" he pointed out, sitting up straight and observing her.
Turning completely serious, Lalita spluttered incredulously, gesturing around her at the swimming pool, the palm trees and the sparkly hotel, "You think this is India?"
Darcy frowned slightly as if in puzzlement. "Well, don't you want to see more investment, more jobs?"
"Yes," she asserted impatiently, "but who does it really benefit?" At this point, Jaya and Balraj swam over to them, looking slightly concerned and quite puzzled. "Isn't this what all tourists want when they come to India? Five-star accommodation with a bit of culture thrown in? You want people to go to India without having to deal with Indians!"
Darcy considered thoughtfully what she had said. "That's good," he said, referring to her last sentence. "Remind me to put that on the tourism brochure." The fact that he said it completely seriously, without a trace of jocularity just made Lalita's blood boil more.
As he noticed her glaring at him, he said defensively, "What? Your government wants the tourism; I'm not the bad guy here!"
Her eyes narrowed to slits, Lalita hissed, "I don't want you turning India into a theme park. I thought we got rid of imperialists like you!"
Darcy actually grinned. "I'm not British," he said. "I'm American."
If looks could have killed just then, Darcy would have been six feet under. "Exactly," she said, and stormed off.
Will watched as she stormed away, wondering what exactly he had said now that was so offensive to her. Why was it that he always seemed to say the wrong thing? Was he really as insensitive as she evidently thought him to be or was she just overly sensitive?
He followed after her, intending to apologize or something, but she turned around and gave him such a glare that he quailed and decided to give her some Alone Time.
A/N: I was inspired by this movie to read Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (it's so sad, I know; I hadn't read it before), and I thought it was a really good book. A bit slow in some places, but otherwise really good. Lalita in the movie is exactly like the character she's based on, but I thought Darcy was a lot different in some ways. And Kholi's definitely funnier in the movie. The mom is exactly the same.
But enough of that. It was a really good book, read it! Rant over now. I want to do a survey: How many people have read Pride and Prejudice before they saw the movie? How many hadn't when they saw the movie? Review with whatever is you. Did that make sense?