I was browsing through some books at a book shop the other day, when my eyes fell on the ‘kid’s corner’ section to my left. There was a rack filled with several old, popular fairy tale books that I had read as a child and ‘Cinderella’ was among my favorites. The story’s popularity had tempted several film makers to make successful movies of it but Walt Disney’s version was the best.
As I was leafing through the book and reading the story after maybe over two decades, I felt a sense of nostalgia for that ‘little innocent and naive girl’ in me who believed in ‘knights in shining armors’ and the ‘happily ever after'. Things were so different then. Girls married as a rule and wanted to raise a family although they secretly yearned for a prince to sweep them off their feet and whisk them off to a distant castle to live happily ever after. Sure, there were dedicated girls who wanted careers, but there were an exception, not a rule.
Fast-forward to the present day and age, the current generation of liberated young people, who are very focused in their careers. They are a generation of achievers, tech-savvy, enthusiastic, aiming great heights with killer instincts to match. They interact more with appliances like mobiles, iPad, computers and other devices, than with humans, leaving them with poor social skills and aggressive tendencies.
Family bonds are deteriorating and going out together as a family has become a thing of the past. ‘Each to his own’ is the present norm. The young girls today, unlike our time, regard marriage as a means not an end and it is last in their list of priorities. They are more realistic about the practicality of fairy tale endings and analytical about the plot. They wonder if Cinderella was really excited to meet the prince or was she just keen to go to the ball and thrilled that she could outwit her stepsisters? After marrying the prince, did she really live happily ever after? Did he turn out to be a wife-beater or a sadist or a drug addict or even worse, a serial killer? Did she wish she was back where she came from, in her bedroom up in the attic, with the birds and other furry animals to wake her up every morning?
Back then, we never questioned fairy tales, preferring to lose ourselves in the story and believing that there was a ‘happy ever after’ and ‘true love’ forever. Maybe I’m being foolish but if you realize that true love need not be equated with perfect love, then you will certainly find your way to ‘happily ever after’.