Debut Asian Author Ms Faiza Mirza has surpassed people’s expectation’s of an adaptation of Cinderella. The fairy tale is an enchanting and magical version of the classic fairy tale, with swarovski crystals, fairy dust and a golden pumpkin smelling of perfume and ‘real fairy clouds’.
The story of Cinderella is an ancient tale, and the need to create more and more adaptations of the classic fairy tale seem to never end. The adaptation of Cinderella by Ms Faiza Mirza is a sweeping and very subtle love story between Cinderella, the main character and a mysterious Prince who watches over the long long forgotten Princess through the stars, moon and sky. As they pass over lonely Cinderella’s old palace he watches every night and sees their anticipation build as they find ‘Cinderella’ sleeping peacefully, slowly becoming her only friends in the world. She endures the taunting and isolation of the wicked and evil stepmother and her two ugly stepsisters, every day, and dreams at night to escape her troubles.
When asked why she wrote Cinderella, Debut Author Faiza Mirza was quite self-effacing about the entire affair. She claims she was ‘bored one day of reading the same regurgitation of the classic fairy tale’, and decided to write my own’ and although modest about her exceptional writing skills, wanted more ‘extravagance and escapism’ within a fairy tale, and thus decided to write her own version.
‘…That night Cinderella slept underneath the twinkling stars and scintillating stars that shone across the palace gardens and dreamt that she met a beautiful Prince. A soft dusting of moonlight and starlight illuminated Cinderella’s old palace as the young girl dreamt of love. She dreamt she met an amazing prince and was falling deeply in love. Her beauty was almost supernatural the night she dreamt of love…’
‘I really think it is important to remember the importance of fairy tales for girls, and Women as Cinderella is an archtype female character, that captures the imagination of girls within their formative years. This means our ideals and standards on goodness, style, and beauty are sewn together and shaped by Cinderella, and how you interpret the story and most importantly, how the tale made you feel – just swept away!’.
When asked what her version was about, she claimed it was a ‘sweeping, and very subtle love story between Cinderella and Prince Charming… blink and you’ll miss it!’.
The adaptation of Cinderella begins when the beautiful Cinderella get’s the ‘evil eye’ from people who visit her palace. Her parents pass away, and then she is chaporoned by none other than the wicked and evil stepmother who claimed she used to secretly ‘date’ Cinderella’s deceased father, and that she had a ‘steak’ in the rights to the palace after his untimely death. Although, it may seem bizarre to onlookers, the wicked and evil stepmother claimed that Cinderella’s father was ‘no longer alive’ and couldn’t prove she wasn’t his having an ‘illicit affair’ with him. She promised to ‘of course, treat Cinderella, like her own child’, and then promptly took over the rights to the palace and Cinderella’s entire life. After that, she forced Cinderella to live the life of a slave within her own palace walls, and asked the ‘ex- princess’ to forget about it, and do all the chores and daily housework!
Faiza Mirza’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale is also very, very funny. The Author wanted to create a story which lampoons and makes ridicule of the wicked and evil stepmother and also the two ugly sisters – who all helped Cinderella look ugly. The Author hints at the idea that ugliness comes from ‘the heart’ and in the case of the two ugly sisters and evil stepmother this is truly the case. They spend all day long hurting Cinderella, taunting and jeering and ensuring that there are daily complaints about the princess. She becomes isolated and despondent within her own palace, which becomes the sole property of the wicked and evil stepmother.
The debut Author wanted to surface the themes of secret jealousy within women in an all female home. She has created charatcers which convey to readers some of the truth’s we all face, when three women, all related are left to their own devices, with access to a palace, and all it’s delights.
Cinderella feels so alone, she feels that her only saving grace is the company of the stars, moon and night sky, as she is forced to sleep outside as the wicked stepmother indulges her whims and desires by locking out Cinderella – forcing her to sleep in the palace courtyards in the cold.
One night she experiences a lucid and amazing dream. She dreamt that she met a handsome Prince, and in the dream fell in love. The wicked stepmother sees the palace ‘in lights’ as the long forgotten princess dreams beautifully. Jealous and threatened by her beauty she promptly invites the palace wizards and withces to cast a spell on poor Cinderella – demanding she get’s a big nose that makes her look like a witch!
When asked why she wrote a chapter that conveys Cinderella’s plight in such a way, the Author replied that ‘it is important to portray the problems many Women still face, one is the idea of Schadenfraude – the idea that people are happier seeing others fail in some way, it may be poverty or an appearance problem. In Cinderella’s case this is completely true, as the evil stepmother and evil stepsister’s feel complacent when Cinderella is trapped, and upon seeing her dream about one day escaping from her troubles, the stepmother quickly tries to change her appearance to make sure she remains within her reigns. Which is quite sad, enjoying other people feeling hurt or small in some way, but many people use this crutch to get through life – they have to understand their failings too, not give other’s more’.
In summary, Ms Faiza Mirza’s Debut book is a story about the problems Cinderella encounters, the insipid stupidity of the wicked stepmother and her two evil daughters, and the shrewd and evil manner in which they ‘handle’ Cinderella. The story sees Cinderella vanquish and overcome obstacles sent by her enemies, and sees Cinderella dream about a Prince who saves Cinderella from the evil stepmother and the two wicked stepsisters. Cinderella dared to dream until one day her dreams came true!