The fairy tale blissAny kind of imagination fascinates me. Perception and outlook that are different than my own easily mesmerise me.
Any kind of imagination fascinates me. Perception and outlook that are different than my own easily mesmerise me. I have always loved fables and children’s stories. I grew up reading and listening to fairy tales. My mother still reminds me how stubborn I used to be about bedtime stories. I wouldn’t go to sleep without listening to one. Even when I grew older, all I ever wanted was to live my own fairytale. Oh, how beautiful life would be.
As a little girl, I got to read a few beautiful stories about frogs and their underwater lives. My favourite is the one where the mother-frog tries to show her children that she is mightier than a bull frog, but unfortunately ends up bursting her own stomach. I still smile silly when I think of the story. Such a loving mother frog she was.
However, the biology book on my shelf without fail reminds me how illogical the story is. According to science, mother frogs would never sacrifice their own life for their children. Frogs are not attached to their children like humans are. In fact, ‘no parental care is provided to baby amphibians.’
There is another picture from a fable that I can’t quite shake off from my memory; two foxes getting married in traditional Nepali attire. In the picture, the groom wears a dhaka topi, while the bride wears a bridal veil. I had coloured the veil red, because that’s what Nepali brides wear. I loved that fable. Of course, now it seems very stupid. Foxes don’t get married, and they definitely don’t dress up.
As a child I used to watch a lot of cartoons and my parents didn’t mind. What would a little girl watch if not cartoons? It was deemed age-appropriate. I still love cartoons. I can still watch cartoons for hours. But, if someone finds me in front of the TV when cartoons are on, they make fun of me and call me immature. It is no more age-appropriate. I am required to behave like an adult, watching content that runs on logic, not on imagination.
In fact, I find myself looking for logic in cartoons too. As a child it didn’t matter that the cartoons were devoid of logic, and it didn’t matter that they didn’t get the facts right. All that mattered was how enchanting the stories were; all that mattered was how wild and limitless they felt.
Yes, people grow reasonable with time. But, I sometimes feel like the reasoning comes at the cost of my imagination. I can’t imagine without limiting myself to reality and judgment anymore.
Does one have to grow boring as they grow old? Can I not lose myself in a world that does not exist? Do I always have to be anchored to this world where I am required to think and work like ‘reasonable humans do’?
I remember how I used to wait for my tooth to fall just so that I could place it under my pillow for the tooth fairy to replace it with a coin. I would often imagine and tell the story of what the tooth fairy did with my tooth; perhaps she built a house of all the 32 teeth by joining them with adhesives. The cavities made for the windows.
I still get lost in my thoughts where I dream of being Peter Pan. What a lucky guy, he never grows up. I don’t want to grow up or grow old either. I just want to remain a child forever. But life is not a fairytale bliss. I have to abide by logic and judgment, reality and reasoning. I have to let go of my childish imagination and think, feel, behave like an adult.
The least I can do is stay curious and let the world fascinate me, even it doesn’t come with fairies.
Khadka is a +2 student at St Xavier’s College, Maitighar