Sunday, January 07, 2007

Of fairy tales...or mebbe not

Life can be pretty scary sometimes.
There was once a poor maiden who dreamt of being a queen(no this is not Cinderella..thts just so passé).This is a modern day fairy tale, the kingdoms and queens are just for atmosphere.
So armed with her favorite book she set out. No she couldn't read, but she had found the book lying near the brook one day, and the embossed gold lettering had fascinated her(In those days, gold not diamonds were a girls' best friend).She instinctively knew that it was meant for her. Now our pretty little beggar woman (BW), (and yes she was pretty) never bothered her head too much over such trivialities as ethics and possessions, I mean get a life..she was a beggar, so obviously she would grab it.
So she set out to where she knew the castle would be, it was dangerous terrain, through a forest, and the usual paraphernalia. She could see the spires of the castle from her hut. She was excited.
On her way she met Jack, of the beanstalk fame. He had just purchased the magical beans and so was thrilled. He hailed her. She was impressed with the sparkling beans and her eyes nearly popped out when the beanstalk grew.
"Lets climb", said Jack excitedly. Now our BW was doubtful for who knew what lay ahead? And besides she couldn't climb to save her life, having tried it once when chased by the neighbors’ Alsatian.

But this climb was simple. But she was scared of what she might encounter.
"Well from the little general knowledge I have:, said Jack,"u are accosted by a giant, u kill him and then we can be king and queen", he said looking at her fondly.
Now BW was practical. The probability of being a queen after being "accosted" by a giant , seemed pretty microscopic. But she was sorely tempted when she heard the queen part.
In a fix, she opened the book.” Run away" said the book(she could understand what was written, fairy tales don't bother with such technicalities, nor do the K serials and both are equally popular). Chuck this Jack, I’ll find better looking guys. I mean no offense meant , he might be brave and all that, but Jack was hardly a Brad Pitt, and one did want some romance in ones life, even when one was a queen.” Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown", she thought in a moment of inspiration, but it should be regal looking head at least.
The day wore on, and she carried on. Our BW was a determined one. But she had had nothing to eat all day, and fainted on the way. When she woke up she was in the house of the 7 dwarfs. Moody the talkative one , being in a benevolent mood, came to her kindly. She told him about her ambitions.
"Well that’s easy", he said.” Statistically speaking, if u stay with us and cook for us and the likes, there would be a day, when u eat a poisoned apple and die and are then rescued by a prince".
The mortality rates for wannabe princesses seemed to be unusually high, reflected BW."What if I die?", she ventured.
" What is life without a few risks?”said Mopey uncharacteristically.
The BW considered this and agreed. But the days wore on and she grew impatient. Plus these dwarfs were a demanding lot. She finally decided that the elusive apple could be eaten by some other nutty maiden. She opened the book.” Run off ", the book suggested again.
On her way she met Jack, now a king with a beautiful though anorexic looking (she thought unkindly) queen, and felt a stab of jealously.
She noticed a tower with a beautiful maiden, whose unusually long braid hung from the tower. It, was tempting so she climbed up and heard Rapunzel's story.
She was irritated. The world seemed to be full of these starry eyed maidens all looking for careers in the queening department, and willing to go to any lengths (literally!!!), and letting their hair down(again literally!!!!), in the disgusting fashion, for every passerby prince.

She thought fast.” The prince is already married", she told Rapunzel."U had better escape. Here, let me cut your hair and tie it to mine, and then u can escape."
Now Rap, sans the weight of her heavy locks was actually a feather head.
Our BW settled herself at the window and began a soulful rendition of "Unbreak my heart”. Sure enough the prince arrived and began climbing up. But the knot was not strong enough and a horrified BW felt it loosening and before her eyes her prince charming fell flat on the ground sustaining a broken rib by the sound of it. He was rescued by Rapunzel who had lingered on, near the bushes.

In desperation BW turned to the book. A blank page stared at her. She felt a movement behind her and saw the witch.” It wont tell you anything ", said the witch. This book only tells people what they most want to hear. Its one of my favorite bits of magic ",she said proudly.

“And what use is that?,” said BW unkindly. "Well its for people like you, who are too scared to follow their own hearts, but readily agree when it is sanctified by someone else even someone as insignificant as a book. Plus my dear you never had it in you to become a queen. You lacked the courage of Jack, the patience of Snow White and the perseverance of Rapunzel".

Oh don’t sound like one of those self help books”, said BW crossly. "All these emotions are so outdated!!!"

"Well you don’t have too many brains either", said the witch now affronted. At this our BW burst into tears, and the witch felt sorry for her.” Well think of a fairy tale you want to be in, and I promise u shall be the queen if you stick it out".

But BW was not sure. She glared at the book which was now flashing "Cinderella" in gold leterring" .I am not even sure I want to be a queen", she ventured.” But I don't want a life which is pre-decided for me at least".

And she went back to that brook and kept the book beside it. She was a spiteful one, and knew there would be many more wannabe princesses, u just couldn't be too careful in these matters. Being a queen was serious business.