Beauty and The Beast was the first book of fairy tales that came as a gift from an aunt. A cherished book till date, I had taken a fancy for its dream-like pictures that told the story below each page. The big prints and its simple language made it an easy to read book.
I read and re-read the book for I could never understand the relationship, or the concept of the story. My mother tried to explain the theme of the story as “a love story that speaks about selflessness, kindness, loyalty, and above all loving your family.” The fear of the beast was soon erased from my little mind. Since then I have been reading the story from a different perspective.
My approach towards Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the story of the Three Bears and such other tales, had changed by then. The pictures gave me pleasure, but the stories were read “thoughtfully”. They became inspiring and moral stories. The question “why so” became a task my mother handled carefully.
With passing ages, these books became objects of beauty. Yet, the stories remained strongly ingrained. However, it was amusing to watch the familiar stories when I was introduced to television. The trend continued with movies being made on these stories, upholding the traditional themes but interpreted in a more realistic setting.
The latest movie, Beauty and the Beast, simply reiterates the fact that the classic fairy tales are indispensable. No matter “how they are retold”, they are captivating and enduring. A fantasy of everlasting relationships. “And they lived happily ever after”.