Written by: Col Khawar Munir Haroon, Sitara e Imtiaz (Military)
A fairy will come, wag her magic wand, Cinderella will be dressed and transformed into a beautiful stunning princess. She will ride the elegant carriage pulled by majestic white horses and reach the palace to attend the dinner hoisted by the prince charming. Everyone will be stunned to see the beauty never seen before. Prince charming will fell in love in a wink of an eye. Time will fly by. Suddenly, Cinderella will see the clock nearing twelve at midnight. She will run in hurry to reach her home in time before the magic spell will be over. In the process, she will lose a shoe. Prince charming will get hold of it and send out his men to find the owner. They will find Cinderella and there after she will marry the prince charming and live happily.
Ah! My dream is over. Probably not.
Or, I am still living in an illusion. May be.
Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack. He would not work. Jack was a young, poor boy who lived with his widowed mother and a cow in a small cottage. The cow’s milk was the only source of income. When the cow’s milk dried out, she told Jack to sell the cow. On his way to market, Jack met a bean dealer who offered him magic beans in exchange for the cow. Jack made the trade. When he arrived home without any money, his mother got angry, threw the beans out of the window, and sent Jack to bed without dinner.
During the night, the magic beans grew into a humongous beanstalk outside Jack’s window. The next morning, Jack climbed the beanstalk to a land high in the sky. He saw a castle and sneaked in. When owner of the castle, a giant, returned, smelled a human being. He called out,
I smell the blood of an Englishman:
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”
The gentle wife of the giant saved Jack by hiding him because of him being poor. When the giant fell asleep, Jack stole a bag of gold coins and escaped by climbing down the beanstalk.
Jack climbed the beanstalk twice more. He learnt more about the treasures and stole those too, one of them the goose that laid the golden eggs. The stolen magic harp woke up the giant. Jack hurried down the beanstalk and with the help of his mother cut down the beanstalk due to which the giant fell down to the ground and died.
Jack and his mother lived happily there after with the riches that Jack acquired.
I am once again reminded of Little Tom Thumb. His father had desired a son even he was no bigger than a thumb. Tom was born just after three months of conception.The “Queene of Fayres” gifted Tom with an oak leaf hat, a shirt of cobweb, a doublet of thistledown, stockings of apple rind, and shoes of mouse’s skin.
Tom would cheat at games with other boys so they disassociated themselves. Tom would retaliate with different magic tricks to cause trouble. Many uncalled for happenings occurred with Tom. Once he fell down in the pudding, once a cow swallowed him and could only be retrieved by giving laxative to the cow. He was pulled out of the dung of the cow. After a lot of happenings, Tom manages to become a favorite at King Arthur’s Royal Court especially among the ladies. For some reason Tom was imprisoned in a mouse trap till King Arthur forgave him.
His tomb stone read:
“Here lies Tom Thumb, King Arthur’s knight,
Who died by a spider’s cruel bite.
He was well known in Arthur’s court,
Where he afforded gallant sport;
He rode at tilt and tournament,
And on a mouse a-hunting went;
Alive he fill’d the court with mirth
His death to sorrow soon gave birth.
Wipe, wipe your eyes, and shake your head
And cry, ‘Alas! Tom Thumb is dead.”
I am also reminded of a Yawning Doll. She would sing beautifully but yawn a lot. Thus the problem was that the audience would go to sleep. Still people would go to listen her for she was beautiful no matter what she said.
Now comes my hero, Jack the Giant Killer. It reminds me of a movie by the above mentioned name in1962. A simple, honest, and brave Jack. He fights against the two headed giants. He break the spells of the witches. He becomes the savior of the nation by ridding it from evil giants. Fighting with valour and tenacity. He saves the princess from the clutches of an evil giant and his accomplices . He earns the love of the princess and accolades from the king.
My illusion stays.
Ladies and gentlemen any semblance to any characters is ‘accidental’ not ‘incidental’.
The author is ex Principal Garrison Post Graduate College for Men Lahore Cantt, ex Director Academics Lahore Garrison University, and member of the visiting faculty of multiple universities in Lahore. He is MPhil in Education, Leadership and Management.