September 15, 2007

Serendipity

Since I have been away for so long, I thought I should make my comeback with a charming word and there's nothing more charming than serendipity. I think the credit of popularising this word should rest with the movie, which is how I too became aware of its existence. If started eulogising about the movie, then the origin would take a back backseat so all I'm going to say is that its ridiculously romantic and lovely.I'm not spoiling the story for anyone who has not seen it by recounting the story.



Serendipity is described as the effect of discovering something fortunate while looking for something else.
The credit for coining it goes to Horace Walpole who used it in a letter to his friend Horace Mann. He claimed to draw inspiration from a Persian fairy tale. His exacts word are as follows

"It was once when I read a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass was eaten only on the left side, where it was worse than on the right—now do you understand serendipity? One of the most remarkable instances of this accidental sagacity (for you must observe that no discovery of a thing you are looking for, comes under this description) was of my Lord Shaftsbury, who happening to dine at Lord Chancellor Clarendon's, found out the marriage of the Duke of York and Mrs. Hyde, by the respect with which her mother treated her at table."

Trivia:
The Three Princes of Serendip is an old Persian fairy tale about three men who were on a mission but they always found something that was irrelevant but needed in reality. They discovered things by good fortune and sagacity.
Serendip is the Persian name for Sri Lanka. Which makes the word much closer to home.

Sources:wikipedia
Image: A scene from the movie Serendipity

11 comments:

yogsma said...

Wow..I always loved this word,but never went for asking or searching its meaning. Loved its trivia.Welcome back Suramya.

If I am not wrong , Kate Beckinsale is 666's favorite actress..
@666..do you remember those days in hostel when you had watched Pearl Harbor and was ga-ga over Kate.

Radha said...

great comeback post Suramya :-)
'serendipity' has to be voted the #1 most romantic word ever :-) and i lked the movie too!

666 said...

Classic example of serendipity - Kate Beckingsale is my favourite actress:-))

Good post Suramya

Moi said...

It's a lovely word, Su!!!! i love not just the meaning, but also the musical touch to the word.....beautiful post, it's one of my fav. movies.....the fact that i watched it in the early days of my relationship makes it all the more special :)

and Brit actresses have a unique charm..i like Rachel Weisz, Keira Knighley, Kate Winslet, and above all Catherine Zeta Jones :)

Radha said...

I somehow dont like Keira Knitley... especially after Pirates of the Carribean. I think she frowns too much too often :-)
I really like Rachel Weisz though. She just looks like she must be an intelligent & compassionate person.

This is so besides the point!!! :-))

Moi said...

haha......trust us women to transform every single opportunity into a chatting zone for ourselves.....I havent watched any of the Pirates ....but I liked Keira in Pride and Prejudice.....tho' i know several who don't......and i adore Rachelcan watch The Constant Gardener hundreds of times (more for Ralph Fiennes than for her though) :DDD

Radha said...

oooooh, I love Ralph Fiennes!

suramya said...

I thought I had left a comment here and now that I check back its disappeared. looks like the bad fairy is at work again.

666, yogsma: thank you and glad to know knightley is 666's favourite.

moi and radha: I love zeta jones, somehow have always had a soft spot for the welsh, irish and the scots more than the english. I don't like ralph fiennes though, his face is too funny.

suramya said...

sorry for the faux paus in the last comment, I meant beckinsale not knightley.

GMG said...

Hi Su,
Thanks for your comment on Blogtrotter.
Haven't seen the movie, but the post made me curious...
Have a great weekend!

suramya said...

gmg : I hope you satisfy your curiousity, its a great movie