I grew up on fairy tales and fables. They instilled my fertile mind with the power of imagination and an incessant love for reading. Even today, I love to talk about these fairy tales and their magical world.
Beautiful childhood memories are sub-consciously associated with the fairy tales that I heard as a child. Porridge always reminds me of Goldilocks; my truancy even as an adult is so Red Riding hood-like; Blueberry jams and red-checkered table cloths bring back memories of quaintly painted fairytale book covers; blondes with plaited hair are Rapunzel for me; and dropping peas while shelling the pods makes me wonder about Jack’s beanstalk! The list is endless, and so is the beautiful sensation of childhood, bedtime stories and long summer afternoons of browsing through pages and pages of pastel colored miraculous worlds.
As a teenager, I migrated to Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, abridged classics and Shakespeare’s tales, and I owe a lot to that genre of book reading. However, nothing can beat the strange tingling sensation of remembering a childhood surrounded by fairy tales. It is amusing how a morning backache makes me think of the tale of the Princess and the Pea, when the proof of a princess’s claim to nobility was getting up in the morning, black and blue all over, because a pea had been hidden underneath the mattresses and the eiderdown feather beds. I may not be a “real princess” but in the realm of my imagination, I can still relive the fairy tales that my parents so fondly told me.
Today, as a grown up, I can sit back and analyze the hidden imagery and the inherent lessons in each of these stories. However, the child within rebels and stops me from giving modern meanings and hidden truths to these stories. For me Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass will always be dreams of a naughty little girl on a lousy summer afternoon, and not political allegories. My adult, logical musings do not permit me to give earthly meanings to the fairy tales of years gone by.
I remain enchanted by fairy tales and if you have also known the magic of this world, then pass on the charm and start by gifting a book of fairy tales to someone close to you. I just passed on the charm to you, by rekindling the lure of the fairy tale.