Gone are the days of fairytale

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 25 Aug 2017, 20:00:49

Gone are the days of fairytale

Gone are the days of fairytale
Nilratan Halder
Gone are the days of fairytale with the wind of technology transformation. Today, children experience fairytale firsthand. Incredible things happen or appear on the screen of smart phone or computer monitor. And this is with the slightest touch of the fingertip! When the colourful pictures move and talk at the command like the monster released from a jar does in fairytale, the imaginary all-powerful genie gets relegated to the back burner leaving the stage to the live or recorded show.

Miracles made to look so real cast a spell on the young generation. Children in particular are so fond of fantasies that are presented in the form of video games. Once drawn to those, they develop an addiction to this world of fantasy and feel they have power to control the fate of the characters involved in the game. To them at some point the real world goes obliterated and the gossamer become real. Their world turns topsy turvy.

Even those children who can differentiate facts from fantasies lose something very vital. It is the power of imagination in one's own very special way. Do children figure out something or some incidents taking place according to the description given by someone or in a book? Or there is a gap between what s/he imagines or what it would have been according to the description!

Earlier, a fairytale told by grandma or grandpa to a child snuggling into the cosy comfort of the former's nearness had weaved a magical charm. The descriptions left a child spellbound so much so that his or her world continued to challenge his/her imagination. Two imaginary forms were rakkhas and ghosts along with fairies. Today every child knows that there is no such thing as rakkhas. However about ghosts not everyone is sure. Some modern and well educated people do still believe that there is the existence of such spirits.

There are stories galore about ghosts and some of the finest varieties have been delineated with in Bangla stories. There are several varieties of ghosts who become so after their death. Now one needs powerful imagination to inject humour in the stories of ghosts. Rakkhas does not feature in today's stories. But extraterrestrial beings are there in place. These beings have been portrayed as very benign and strong characters in some of the fictions or films. Yet they smell of technology and science, not like fairies.

The other variety of fairytale is the romantic prototype where a prince and a princess take the leading role. Fairies often take a leading or side role to add romanticism to the stories.But today disbelief will reject those outright. The thrill and suspension of disbelief have taken leave of today's children. Princesses are no longer abducted by monster of yester years, they are actually done by monsters of flesh and blood of today. And that does not make a fairytale. The world of blue fairies, red fairies and other such imaginary creatures have been obliterated from the mind's eye.

Today, the invasion of electronic gadgets including cable TV channels and smart phones has made all the difference. Even village children also have the opportunity to witness channel TV programmes and they are equally attracted by colourful ads and other programmes. Teenagers develop a near fatal attraction for serials. There are other dangerous forms of visual contents enough to lead uninitiated minds astray. Such contents in the name of entertainment are also easily available now in rural settings. When things are concrete and explicit, little scope is left for imagination. Fairytale is thus pushed out of the scene and children are found wanting in their imagination. Someone else does the imagining for them. This indeed is a loss to them.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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