Kaali – much like her name was a bold teen with a free spirited personality. Kaali was deeply fasated by the world of fantasy and ideas imagination can give birth to- magic, witches, mermaids, fairies, enchantments and magical lands. Every night her mother would read her a story from book of fairytales. And tonight it was the story of Rapunzel. How a beautiful woman is captured into a tower and her beautiful long hair come to her rescue enticed Kaali so much.
Ma: “He led her to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented.”The End
Kaali: I wonder why such a long story, it could have simply ended like “So after years of being caged in the tower, Rapunzel finally had the right ingredients to set herself free. For past 16 years she had been growing her hair and not cutting them, every full moon day she would lower them to check the height and finally today her hair reached the bottom of the tower. So she cut her hair- all of them and tied them to the window to climb down in the dead of the night and escape from the treachery old witch! The End.”
Ma: *chuckles* No baby then this won’t be a fairytale..
Kaali: What is a fairytale exactly?
Ma: A story with magic, mystic and [Kaali interrupts]
Kaali: and with girls who are weak and pushovers. Who are always waiting for their prince charming to rescue them?
Ma: No baby it isn’t like that.
Kaali: but no mom, see all stories have such meeky characters – Cindrella, Snowhite, the sleeping beauty, Jasmine from Aladdin all of them. I am not like this and I am a girl too. You know even the princess from Mario needs Mario! It is not even a fairytale still..
Ma: Oh Kaali! You are so innocent. Fairy Tales are a reflection of 16th century European morality and do not hold any ground in 21st century. But you know women are not meek and submissive, anymore atleast, don’t you?
Kaali: Then why are FairyTales still popular?
Ma: Because they take little children to a fantasy land and make them learn how good wins over bad..
Kaali: But only with help of a boy. All fairytales are so similar.
Ma: What do you think would be unique and fun then?
Kaali: Stories that teach not just that good wins over bad but also that anyone can be their own hero! Where girls are independent and fighters. Who can put pretty pink nail polish and still pick a bat to kick some bad person.
Ma: My baby Kaali is so sensible. Why don’t you start writing your own fairytales?
Kaali: No my stories will not be called fairytales.. they will be better .. they will be Kaalitales!
Ma: That actually sounds nice! Ok I think my little Kaali should get some sleep now that she can think with a fresh mind tomorrow for her fai..I mean Kaalitales.
This was not the first time Kaali was having a conversation on fairytales with her mother. But this was the first time that she questioned the existence and the character’s traits in FairyTales and it did lead to an epiphany.
Tonight was different because the writer in her had finally found it’s story and it was going to be dreamy, magical and enchanting. She would write a fairytale that would be much more marvellous and dreamful – a Kaalitale.
She decided that her KaaliTales’ characters would be brave enough to be themselves and gender stereotypes and still have a “happily ever after”. These would be stories that talk about women who don’t wait for a prince charming or destiny to work it’s way but take things upon themselves to get much more than just a “happily ever after”.
She picked up her notebook and got down to scribbling.
“Once Upon A Time.. in a land faraway..”
Why once upon a time you ask?
Because once upon a time, one girl chose to have a Kaalitale because a fairytale was just not good enough.