Sunday, January 27, 2008

Apocalypse Now - A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there lived Handsome Prince who left The Capital to go to The Far Far South. Though his friends laughed at his prospects there, he did not lose hope. He was duly rewarded for his optimism and confidence in the form of Beautiful Maiden who fell in 'like' with him.

It was the calmest of nights. Prince and Maiden were walking alone when he (being a daring fellow) thought it will be really adventurous to check out a damp and abandoned shed, whose thatched roof had caved in. Once inside the two shared deep personal feelings (the ambience brought it out) and comforted each other. Maiden, quite overcome, put her head on Prince's lap.

Prince was immediately struck by a strong feeling of deja vu. He recalled another intimate incident when Hot Maiden had put her head on his shoulder. Being quite young at the time and having a rather reserved upbringing, he had no clue what was to be done and all that resulted for Prince was a backache. That was the one high point of poor Prince's life and, together with his friends, he had long lamented his naivety.

And lo! There he was staring at another opportunity. Armed with intensive research into the subject (he is now a known authority in his kingdom), he made his move. Everything went smoothly and Prince's happiness knew no bounds when the theory translated into practice so effortlessly. He was now a step closer to salvation. He went back to tell his disbelieving friends (even making a couple of long distance calls in the process) he had conquered what they still aspired for. By the end of next day, he had gone even further - with the shining moon witness to his beaming face.

Soon, Prince and Maiden returned to their respective dwellings. Life turned difficult as they stayed quite away from each other. But for Prince it did not matter much. He met Maiden occasionally, and on those occassions, osculated frequently. He was basking in the glory of his Cool*-ness and was making waves everywhere the word of his conquest spread. Congratulations poured in. His success was unimaginable. He was drowned in suggestions to write a book on his conquest. He was invited to give talks. His model was used in endless case studies. Needless to say had Prince died at that point he would have died a very content man.

One day, Maiden called Prince for advice. She was undecided on going for a College Trip to The Far North as none of her friends were going. Prince strongly recommended that she does, and while she was gone, he immersed himself in the amusement of flirting with Other Maidens.

When Maiden came back, Prince was horrified to hear from her that she no longer wished to do him lip service. He blamed himself for letting the bird fly out of hand. He tried devious means to cajole her back, but to no avail. As the Elders had said before him -

A Maiden who has made up her mind
Is better left alone than defied

For months and months, Prince showed remarkable strength of will and character. He was proud of himself. His friends were amazed at his continence. Again his model was used in endless case studies. And he was pleased to notice that he was rapidly falling in something more than 'like' with Maiden. The signs were all there - He was worried when she talked to Other Princes. He was worried when she did not answer his calls. And he wanted to meet more often.

When his worries got a bit too much for him, Prince decided to tell Maiden 'Where he is' and ask her 'Where she was' and discuss 'Where they were going' – the three pillars of any successful relationship. Maiden summed up the situation in a terse verse (she fancied herself a poetess) -

You wanted it Cool, and I wanted it Close
Now you want it Close, but I want it Cool

Prince thought this was plagiarised from a rhyme about porridges he had learnt as a child:

Some want it Cool (oooh)
Some want it Close (aaah)
Some want it in the Sack
Till they grow Old

At least that was what he remembered. But Maiden burst upon his wandering mind. As long as they were telling things, she had a confession.

Prince held his breath.

While she had been in the jungles of The Far North, she had met a Big Ugly Toad, she said. She had read as a child how a Princess would turn a Toad into a Handsome Prince by kissing him. Now the Maiden really missed Handsome Prince. So she kissed Big Ugly Toad. When nothing happened (after all not all fairy tales are as true as this one), she kissed again while the Big Ugly Toad (clearly enjoying himself) pawed her about.

Maiden was ashamed at what had happened. Prince aghast. He could see his life unravelling. This model will be used in endless case studies. What would happen when his overawed friends heard of this disaster. They will realise that Prince is just as much a loser as a commoner like one of them. Maybe a bigger one. This was all too much to take in as he was busy taking his breaths in huge gulps (on account of holding his breath too long).

He went through the first two of the Five Stages of Grief: Denial (it can't be happening) and Anger (why me? its not fair). So he sat down to write an entry for his Royal Blog. At least his friends will get valuable lessons from his tragedy, he mused (Third Stage – Bargaining). Actually he didn't feel like doing anything else anyway (Fourth – Depression). By the end of his typing efforts Prince was already feeling a lot better and reckoned everything was going to be just fine (Acceptance). Prince published his post.

Oh, and then of course, they all lived happily ever after...

*"But at that age - heck most of the time - it all boils down to cool.
Cool don't ask no questions.
Cool don't want nothing from nobody.
Cool is self-suffiecient.
Cool waits for things to happen because things happen to Cool.

Love is the ultimate loss of Cool as it brings rejection in its wake."

- from Surviving Women by Jerry Pinto


  1. dost... what you write is the story of an everyday common man.. although put in a very "princely" manner.. it just describes the cycle of every man who choose to commit a mistake called love.. (or should I say 'like')... just hang on.. there death on its way :)