F for Fairy Tales

Cinderella

Cinderella

Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Lochinvar, Alladin are few of the characters that we grew up with. Fairy tales, fables and folk-lore are store houses of imagination and creativity and moral values. Fairy tales are not just bedtime stories for kids, they are in fact the carriers of culture. They are a source of inspiration. They set the values, expectations and the moral right and wrong. They have a deep impact on us during our formative years. The have a big role in shaping us into who we are, our attitudes and beliefs.

I happened to attend a session by Laura Liswood this week and found a new perspective on the fairy tales. She categorizes the fairy tales in two categories

  • Hero’s Journey – The hero has to slay a dragon, save the kingdom,…., overcome great odds in spite of a powerful enemy and in return when he comes back he gets a part of the gold, keys to the kingdom or the fair maidens hand in marriage. Most Hollywood and almost all Bollywood movies use this theme. I am sure you will come up with n number of examples for this. These are the ones preferred from a leadership perspective since they inspire and teach you perseverance, fighting against odds and the like
  • “Rescue Me” Story – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel. In all these stories it is the beautiful maiden who is in trouble (evil step mother, evil step sisters….) and rescued later by her prince charming.

Turns out these fables also set perceptions of gender appropriate behavior within society apart from other morals. This shows how girls are acted upon rather than active. Beauty seems to be the key factor for girls as opposed to boys where power, strength, and wit are the key factors.The rescuer or hero is always the white Knight.To be found by your prince charming/getting married to your prince is the only way to salvation for a girl. Beauty and ghar ka kaam kaaj(household work) seem to the defining factors.

These stories reinforce the gender stereotypes and it conditions children to think of the world thus.This way we are giving a very subtle message to the children on the accepted behavior for one self and also what to expect from others. One may say that these had been written long time ago. Nevertheless they still have a profound impact on the young minds.

I guess we need some new fairy tales for the modern times. Time to let go of a few Cinderellas and find new ones.

Link for ABC Wednesday here

Saat Khoon Maaf -Movie Review

 

7_khoon_maaf

7_khoon_maaf

Saat Khoon Maaf is a Vishal Bharadwaj movie based on Ruskin Bond’s “Susanna’s Seven Husbands” . A dark-comedy about Susanna and how she kills her seven husbands. The beautiful, confident and zesty Susanne loses Mom and Dad early in life and hence their love. Later she is married to Maj. Rodrigues, her Dad’s choice. The perfect Indian husband boring, possessive, insecure. Her search for true love starts there and never ends. In the first half of the movie you sympathize with Susanna  for her choice of husbands but in the second half her irritability reaches a new high. Each of the husbands seem to have a despicable  flaw that she seems to grow weary of and decides to put an end to it. Some of the dialogues are worth remembering like “Miss Saheb apna Raasta nahi badlti, kutto ka khopdi udati hai”. In one of the scene during their wedding vows when they say “Till death do us apart” and you can’t help notice the wickedness.

 

Though you know what is going to happen next it still keeps you glued. The performances are all power-packed. Piggy Chops is all set to become the next Madhuri of the industry. Her acting and make up are both worth a mention. Neil’s character is damn convincing too. “Darling” – song is definitely the most beautiful part of the movie.  The music is good too. Only I would have preferred the ending presented in a better way. I know most people found the moving boring but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Dark is the new flavor of the season. Finally, one hindi movie I could write nice things about. Experimentation is a good thing not every experiment has to be huge success.

E for Epitaph

Kohima_Epitaph

Kohima_Epitaph

This is the famous epitaph on one of the war memorials in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India.

The epitaph says

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

The Kohima 2nd Division Memorial is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on behalf of the 2nd Infantry Division. The memorial remembers the Allied dead who repulsed the Japanese 15th Army, a force of 100,000 men, who had invaded India in March 1944 in Operation U-Go. Kohima was a vital to control of the area and in fierce fighting the Japanese finally withdrew from the area in June of that year.

According to the Burma Star Association the words were used for the Kohima Memorial as a suggestion by Major John Etty-Leal, the GSO II of the 2nd Division.

This is thought to have been inspired by the Greek lyric poet Simonides of Ceos (556-468 BC) who wrote after the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC:

“Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by,
That faithful to their precepts here we lie.”

Link for ABC Wednesday