A Fair(y) Tale

“And they lived happily ever after”, I read out from the book. I closed the book and checked if Rhea was asleep. She hadn’t said a word for a while, and that’s unusal for her if she is awake. Today, however, she was wide awake and silent. She looked back at me with infinite sadness in her eyes.

“Pa, why do fairy tales always have happy endings?”

That’s because, I wanted to say, what would we look forward to if even fairy tales started being realistic? But then trouble is, even at her tender age, Rhea would have known exactly what I meant.

“That’s because”, I said, “the story uncle has to move on to tell other tales”

“You mean, the story uncle lies about the end?”

“No dear. The story uncle just doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the end. He sees the happy princess and he thinks she’s going to be happy always”

“Pa, why you and mommy not living happily every after?”

Ah, the dreaded question. Not because it’s the first time she’s asked this, but because everytime I have to be consistent. Any sign of inconsistency with previous versions, and she’ll give me that look!

“We are! It’s just that we’re not living together”

“Is mommy happy?”

“She is trying to find happiness, dear”, you cannot lie to kids. They’ll catch you sooner or later. And then they stop believing even in your truths.

“And what about you, Pa?”

“I’m happy, too!”, didn’t I say you cannot lie to kids? “I have you with me. That’s all I need”

“But you would be happier if Mommy was here”

“Of course dear! But we must manage, just two of us. We agreed about that, didn’t we?”

“But Pa why doesn’t mommy love me?”

“How could you even say that? Of course she loves you”

“Then why did she leave me”

“No Rhea, She didn’t leave you, she left me. When the story uncle leaves, things start to change a little. Mommy and I realized way after story uncle left, that it was by his mistake that we had met each other. You know dear, when story uncle makes mistakes, we have to correct them”

For a while she stared at the ceiling.

“But Pa, didn’t she want to live with me?”

“She did, but both of us agreed that I needed you more than she did. And she roams all around the world, na?”

“But she never writes to me, never calls me!”

“We can’t make it more difficult for her, na? She is trying to rewrite all the story pages where the story uncle made mistakes”

“I hate story uncle!”, she said finally.

“So do I, dear”

“When you write stories, Pa, promise me you wouldn’t make mistakes”

“I can’t promise beta. But I promise I’ll try very hard”

That made her happy. A faint smile crossed her lips as she said, “I love you, Pa”

“I love you, my princess…”, I said very softly, because the princess was already ruling the kingdom of dreams.

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10 thoughts on “A Fair(y) Tale

  1. Aria says:

    Last night I was reading a story .. about a couple on the verge of divorce .. they are having one of their heated discussions .. when the woman is crying and the man irritated .. right then their little girl comes back from school and asks her dad .. why is mom crying? And the kind of the conversation the father and daughter have .. is so heart-warming . .something similar to this . .when you are talking to kids knowing you can’t fool them . .so you are whimsical enough but trying to sound serious.
    By the end of it .. the child is simply satisfied with the answer but the couple realizes so many things about their relationship in that offhanded moment ..
    I really liked it ..

  2. cheti says:

    Hey Asuph

    After a long time, a non poetic blog from you ! As usual, you sneak into the most uncomfortable corners of relationships and portray it in a very comfortable way.

    I just wonder how real this conversation can be !!! Since I am not able to deduce the age of the daughter accurately and can only put it at around 7, I am not sure if a girl at that ask those questions.

    The questions are relevant no doubt, but can a 7 year old think and talk like that ?

  3. asuph says:

    mayur: thanks. glad you liked it of all people 😉

    aria: it’s all about vantage points, itsn’t it?

    cheti: thanks for the elaborate comment. about the “reality” of the conversation, i don’t know. i purposefully did not disclose the age of the child. but from what i’ve seen of kids theses days, i’d not be surprised if even a 5 year old asks such questions. anyways, other people might be able to validate this claim better.

    thanks everyone,
    asuph.

  4. Alapana says:

    Long long back a little girl who was still dreaming about story uncle and fairy tales and happy endings stood staring at the empty house,the furniture was being divided,the almarah’s were being emptied and her mom stood silently besides her.She wanted to question the person who was busy dividing the furniture and assets and cash “How will you divide me and my little brother” but the question didn’t arise,He never looked back and that night in the darkness of their house she stopped believing in story uncle:)
    Most of the stories are someone’s real life experiences sometimes,Is it not?

  5. asuph says:

    ardra: glad you liked it.

    alapana: welcome to my blog :). i guess stories would rarely beat the reality. so yes, stories will coincide with someone’s life experiences. if you’re asking if this one was *based* on someone’s life experience, then no. but it’s not too hard to imagine, is it?

    -asuph.

  6. Alapana says:

    No,Stories can never beat reality,if they did we would never believe in fairy tales,Well,i am no more a kid but i still feel good going through those fairy tales.
    I am not asking you if this is based on someone’s experience but it reminded me of my experiences,I dint need imaginations here,The memories came back in a rush and that says you are a good story teller.
    Asuph, if i am not wrong you are a part of DSS,isn’t it.

  7. asuph says:

    alapana,

    that’s probably the biggest complement a writer can get, and yet in a strange way, it doesn’t leave behind a very happy feeling. i hope you negotiated with those memories now.

    yes I’m a part of DSS. do you frequent there?

    regards,
    asuph.

  8. Alapana says:

    I fought with memories instead of having happy deal or negotiations with them and ended up loosing at times and winning many times, and trust me,how much ever you know that it was all for our good it doesn’t feel good,it only relieves from a nightmare but then life is like that.All experiences need not be good or bad,some leave you just blank:)
    and when you realize how different life has become after such one exp is when you have new nightmares to fight and then survival becomes the goal and we all keep fighting till we find that inner peace which calms us down.
    I really hope that i am out of the feeling which leaves me empty and makes me feel incomplete,where i kept wishing for small pleasures which could never be fulfilled. Maybe thats why after 6months of my wedding i am already telling my hubby what all he needs to do to our kids {when we have them} as a father.I want to see them smile along with him,i want to feel his love for them,their affection for him.I miss it still,i do:)
    I am not a part of DSS,but after i have close blog friends who are a part of it and i regularly used to visit their blog,and read quite a few posts written by you also,and i used to religiously follow the masti on the chatter box in the blog,now though its open only for members and i am not one:)

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