When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
- Ernest Hemingway
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It was pitch dark. Night time I guess. There was a gorgeous and sweet looking girl dressed up in rags and dirty slippers. She was crying sitting all alone. There was not a single soul there to hear her wailing. Suddenly a woman in a tremendously huge gown appeared. She had a wand in her hand. She stopped that girl from crying and transformed her wore down dress into a brand new blue coloured gown. The woman also created a pair of glass slippers for that girl as she was about to step in a magical pumpkin chariot. But as the chariot moved the T.V. shut down and my sister gave a loud cry sitting glued in front of the blank screen. On the other hand I could not utter a word. Just a few minutes of that story had left me spellbound. I could not stop thinking of what happens next with that girl. Does she reach the palace? Does she meet someone? Is she able to return before midnight. I was restless. When I asked my sister about it she teased me that boys don’t watch fairy tales. I was surprised that how could a story be limited to a gender or a group of people. After all it was pure magic. The next day when I went to school I asked my friends about the story and all of them started laughing. The whole day I was made fun of. There were a variety of jokes from every direction of the classroom bombarded on me. I was less offended than confused that how a story was able to make a laughing stock out of me. That day during dispersal when I was walking my bicycle through the school gate, Nidhi ,one of our classmate came and narrated me the ending of the epic fairy tale that was Cinderella. I was mesmerized listening to it. She told me that she had a whole collection of fairy tales at her place and she would love to lend it to me. I was so happy that I thanked her a 100 times. The next day I was very careful while taking the books from Nidhi as I didn’t wanted anyone to make fun of me. That night the books took me to a faraway land with fairies and witches, princes and villains, magic and spells ad above all a happily ever after. I started taking cut outs of different fairy tale characters from newspapers and magazines. I spent time watching cartoons and movies related to them. My parents were worried. They didn’t know what to do with a 12 year old boy who was in love with a girly hobby. My father started taking me out for some manly sports. I loved that too but would always return back to my magical world. As I grew up I understood their fear and also society’s way of thinking. I didn’t stop liking fairy tales I just started hiding the fact that I did. Years passed by and my parents were relieved that I was normal. I was just waiting for my college years to start so that I could be myself away from home. But it was not as easy as I thought. I had read about this but the experience was a whole new thing. Telling the truth was going to take a lifetimes courage. Everywhere I went and everyone I faced had the same questions. How? Why? From when? As if I had a choice at this. It was after all my hearts wish. But then I didn’t know how to make everyone understand. My parents were shocked to hear this news. All my explanations went on deaf ears. I struggled hard for many years and finally the first print of my book came out. Standing there on the dais on my first book launch I saw Nidhi blowing me a kiss from the front row and I thanked all the fairy tales, especially the girl in the blue gown who helped me find my passion of writing and inspired me to achieve my happily ever after.