It’s difficult to write for children. Trust me, it is. I don’t know what hit me this morning but I just thought of writing a bedtime-story-for-tiny-tots kind of story – and for the world of me, I couldn’t! You know the ones with animals and far away kingdoms, with a moral at the end of each story – no siree, not me. We’ve gotten so entrenched in our everyday life and it’s reality that it takes a huge effort from our side to imagine a completely different life and time (where animals talk, carpets fly and Gods have a weird sense of humor), and make an interesting story out of it without our sarcasms, without any judgemental lines, just pure entertainment and a lesson-learnt message at the end. (And that was a really long sentence I just wrote! What’s wrong with me?!!)
Nevertheless, I’m going to try –
Let’s do it one at a time then – first my characters: I need
– at least one monkey to act all goofy – the fun part. He might also become my hero in the last chapter
– a prince and a princess for all the mushiness
– two peacocks ‘coz they’re so beautiful to hang around with
– a herd of elephants, so the princess and the **cough** prince won’t feel she’s fat
– one donkey to make fun of…er..fool of, too
– some doves to denote love and peace and all that crap
– a flying carpet (I love ’em!)
– an elf who makes shoes at night (sounds familiar? just keep quiet will ya?)
– one nasty villian who keeps saying ‘Mogambo khush hua’ everytime something happens. The good part is, his name won’t be Mogambo. Muahahahaaa!
– an old witch with straggly white hair, no teeth and sitting at a spinning wheel. (Yeah yeah, I’ve read Sleeping Beauty, so?)
Now for the story line: I dont want a love story. I dont want a villain-kills-parents-so-take-hero-takes-revenge story. I want something fun. **thinking**
Ok..thought enough..here goes…
Once upon a time in a far off land, there lived a monkey. He was a happy monkey, doing monkey things, eating monkey food and living with other monkeys. He lived in a forest near a big kingdom ruled by a young prince. He cannot be called king yet ‘coz ‘king’ doesn’t quite sound as romantic as ‘prince’. So he was a prince. And he was handsome. And unmarried. And in a nearby kingdom lived a beautiful princess who was conveniently ruling over her kingdom in the absence of her parents who had died 10 years ago. (Author’s note: I don’t need to parents and parents-in-law – too much complication, keep it simple.)
The prince used to correspond with the princess regularly using her doves and his peacocks. The peacocks couldn’t fly very well, but they helped by bribing the donkey to carry the message to the princess. In return, the peacocks used to hang out with the donkey thereby making him look cool among other donkeys. All was well with the two little kingdoms with their love stories, animals and other people.
But one day, there came a man at the door of the prince. He was shabbily dressed, hair unkempt and looked emaciated. (Author’s note: Kids should learn new words). He had a curved stick in his hand, much like what Moses was carrying in the animated ‘Prince of Egypt’ movie and a rolled up bundle under his arm. The rule at the prince’s palace was to welcome any guest and treat them well. So the ministers and the others took the man inside, cleaned him, clothed him and gave him food to eat. But all the while, the man never let go of his stick and bundle. This made the Prime Minister get very suspicious about the contents of the bundle. So before leaving for the night, the PM kept a window open in the room given to the man. He would come a bit later in the night and see for himself.
The royal clock struck 12. Actually, the tiny guard moving the gong struck 12. All was quiet and silent at the royal palace. The Prime Minister, dressed as a common man, came to the window of the man’s room and peeped in. It was dark inside, the candles were not lit. Once his eyes got adjusted to the darkness, the PM saw a very strange scene. He stood rooted to the ground and watched the macabre unfold in front of his eyes.
And thereby hangs my tale… will get back to it in my next post.