A Fairy tale retold.


I was called Prince Charming. I was told that I was the luckiest man alive for having married the prettiest girl in the world. How little they knew about what my life was going to be with her!  ‘.. and they lived happily ever after’.Bah!

It is true that on that day of the grand ball, I did have a few drinks which had gone to my head. In the brilliant hall with the glittering crystal chandeliers I was looking out for a girl to share my life and be my queen. But alas, all I could see was a crowd of ugly girls, overeager and cheap, looking very artificial in their designer dresses and cultivated court manners. I could also sense their mothers looking on hawkishly to see if it was their daughter who would be lucky enough to catch my eye. In particular, there was this middle aged lady who could not stop talking about her intelligent daughters and the foreign education they had had. Yes, the girls could indeed keep their listeners engaged with their clever talk. Ugh, but their looks! No amount of sophistication could hide their ugliness.

Then, in walked the prettiest girl Cinderella. Her get up was perfect, her ensemble most attractive and becoming. The golden curls piled in a lovely hairstyle had imparted an angelic halo to her pretty face. Her pouty, pink red lips looked so kissable. Her glass slippers fitted her little feet with painted toe nails so elegantly. When she danced with me, her sylph- like body was totally pliable in my arms. I never wanted to let her go. But, when she ran away at the stroke of midnight, I felt I had lost the most precious jewel in the world. But, when her glass slipper which had slipped off from one of her pretty feet was found, I was happy and ordered my menials to trace the golden girl. The search did lead to a simple but sweet and innocent country girl whom I married and thought myself the luckiest man on earth.

But how do we know what future has in store for us?

It is now a couple of years since I made her my queen. Cinderella has now grown fat and dowdy. Her hair is now  hay colored mop, frizzy and unruly. Her feet with unkempt toe nails have grown big and ugly for want of pedicure. She says that she just could not be bothered about make up or any fashion. She says she has always been comfortable in the home made dresses made by her. All that she can talk about all day is cooking and eating. She says that it was all the idea of her Godmother to send her to the ball with the fantastic make over just because she had a score to settle with her step mother who always boasted about her intelligent and sophisticated daughters. As for her own knowledge about the worldly affairs, Cinderella without education knows only how to keep the cinders burning in the kitchen and fireplace.

These days I find myself spending more time with my sisters-in law whom I have employed in good positions in my palace. I find them well dressed, cultured, sophisticated, well informed. I find their company stimulating. They are even capable of discussing matters pertaining to my administration and giving good suggestions.  How I wish I had married one of them (or both?!). Whatever had given me the stupid idea that a queen should be good looking?

Now with this dumb dodo for a wife all my life, I would like to announce to the world to end my story as “…and they lived unhappily forever”.


9 thoughts on “A FAIRY TALE RETOLD

  1. Sneha says:

    Vimala, I feel your short-story anecdote is a subtle critique on society and the ‘outside beauty’ they so crave to see always. Right since the beginning, the prince abhorred all things ugly and kept looking for someone who looked physically striking and appealing. A lot of us people live ordinary life; and there is something so beautiful about it. Weight can be put on and lost as well, wrinkles set anvil – – yet I’d like to believe that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and not the other person itself. Obviously, a lot of times, I even say this to people I know – – the outside physical attraction will wean, it has to sometime. What will remain is the inner beauty only. While we all know you for humor being your forte, you’ve become satirical. I love the way this is formed – – the story is wonderful, with subterranean hues. Most fantastically written. Incredible, Vimala.

  2. Nuggehalli Pankaja says:

    your imagination is fantastic! Cindrella has always been a myth, creating beautiful dreams for teenagers, but now,with your shrewd brain you have ripped it open and exposed reality! You have paved the way for a new modern version of the legend! It is time men become practical and look for far more suitable qualities in ‘vadhuparikshe’ than be carried away by glamour!

  3. Well I had written out an elaborate comment which did not get uploaded somehow. Now I am left with only one simple question …since when did men start looking for intellect in women? 🙂

  4. Realistic, satirical, hard hitting, subverting the illusory….where does all that lead to ? A world riddled with more imperfections where all that glitters is not gold and all those Cinderellas taken together fail to tempt the men coz they are looking for that extremely uncommon and elusive grey component ( by the way why is the colour grey …another mystique) ‘brain in the blondies’….I’d say V for victory and versatile and V-I-M-A-L-A….:)

  5. Dear Geeta, Your long comment has indeed reached my site. But like my hero, though people fall for looks at initial stage, they look for grey matter as soon as the conquest is over !

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