Saturday, October 24, 2009

I hope there's a fairy tale in her...

My vision stuck to a face that was constantly peeping from behind an ambush of grown-ups. Those glittering eyes with a hint of "kajal", the flowery hair-band on an almost barren head, the streak of lip-colour on those kiddy lips reminded me of something. Someone, to be precise. Me, in my pristine childhood days.
It was an unpleasant bi-yearly event which I resented for the utter humiliating effect it had on my sense of prestige. Yet, I remained silent for the promise of a future that would undo all the suffering. Those were the ignominious visits to the hairdresser. My grandma was of the opinion that shaving the head bi-yearly (if not yearly) will produce a Rapunzelesque cascade of tresses; my mother abided by her word and cajoled me into this routine with the assurance of being Rapunzelesque one day. I put on the I-don't-care-about-your-laughs attitude with a peculiar choice of appearance. I insisted that the hair-band be put on my shaved head. As I imagine myself gliding through the bewildered looks of my batch mates, I break into splits of laughter. Gosh!!! What did I think when I did that??? Several psychological ideas flash through this grown-up brain of mine none of which bears any connection with this article whatsoever. And that brings me back to that little girl who had braced herself up to face all the jeering eyes of her contemporaries. As I saw her, picture postcards of my fairy tale dream rushed back to me. It reminded me of the choice that I had made. It was a choice of forgetfulness. The dream was THE absolute truth. It was the 'real' for me.
As I look at today's little girls, I see in their not-so-twinkling eyes the dreams of Bollywood actresses and fashonistas. They look into the mirror never imagining it to be the magic mirror that would start speaking in this moment. They are independent and mature in the choices they make. But, what are childhoods for if not for the natural ability to create perpetually unreal worlds and accept their existence with nonchalance? There are a hundred thousand reasons, from globalisation to genes which can justify the behaviour of these little girls of today. But, one thing that I know in my heart of hearts, is, if these pretty junior fashonistas do not have their own kiddy worlds today, they will lose a smile in their future. The not-so-perfect choices of childhood give a reason to smile in the not-so-perfect futures. As I caught that little girl's eyes I hoped dearly, that, she has her fairy tale dream too...


Arindam said...

Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise,
we love the play-pace of our early days,
the scene is touching and the heart is stone
that feels not at the sight, and feels at none;
the wall on which we tried our graving skill,
the very name we carved subsisting still,
the bench on which we sat while deep employed,
though mangled, hacked, and hewed, not yet destroyed;
the little ones, unbuttoned, glowing hot,
playing our games and on the very spot;
the pleasing spectacle at once excites
such recollection of our own delights,
that viewing it, we seem almost to obtain
our innocent sweet simple years again