Kali Bhandari reintroduces a diverse Cinderella for the millennial reader
posted by Gomathi Kannan, March 06, 2019
One of the most famous fairy tales of all time is given a diverse, empathetic and feminist spin in this superb book by Kala Bhandari.
We grew up with stories like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and other fairy tales presented as female-oriented stories targeting the female section of the community, but actually male-domination in disguise. The protagonists of these age-old classics are actually dolled up beauties waiting for their prince charming to 'save' them. Many generations of girls allowed stories like these to be deeply rooted in their minds until authors like Kali Bhandari cared to rewrite them in a truly feminist way and I'm glad they did.
The Cinderella Story
Let us take the classic Cinderella story, A beautiful girl endures the ill-treatment of her stepsisters, do nothing but crib about the injustice done to her. With some luck and magic dust, she fakes a royal life that is a short-lived mirage, meets a prince who fell in love with her at first sight. Minutes before the magic fades, she had to flee the scene in fear of revealing her true identity, stealthily
returns home and hide her feelings until prince charming comes back looking for her. The story concludes with 'They lived happily ever after' but I highly doubt that.
This fairy-tale is wrong on so many levels to be claimed a children`s story. What are we teaching our daughters? Do we want them to be silent victims who cannot voice her thoughts against injustice? Do we want them to be ashamed of their identity and dream to be someone they are actually not? Do we want them waiting for a fairy or prince charming to be able to live their life? Absolutely not!
Why this book is important
Kali Bhandari`s book 'Cinderella', is the new age revision of the classic Cinderella. A Cinderella that is devoid of fairy-tales. A Cinderella who battles her way through all odds to become a role model, a true heroine. The story is a well-thought revision that replaces all whimsical and immoral instances of the classic with closer-to-life scenarios. We loved that the new age Cinderella decides to muster the courage to confront her stepsisters and reunite with the earlier family. Revisions like these build
We loved the illustrations of 'Cinderella' by Sofia Cardoso especially the outfit of Cinderella portraying the look of an adventurer. A wonderful transformation of a timid girl to a courageous daughter
could not have been depicted better. Oh, we did love the cute makeover for the family picture!
To attempt a revision of a classic tale takes courage and to do it the right way is truly commendable. A salute to '