Fairy tales are something that we all have enjoyed reading since our childhood. If you are looking for a heartwarming fairy tale then “The Fairy Ordinary Princess” is your perfect bet.
This debut novella by Khushboo Shah retains all the charms of a fairy tale and yet is very relevant to contemporary times. It is sure to strike a chord with children and adults. The book cover and all the illustrations inside the book designed by the author herself are adorable.
Princess Nirzari is the teen daughter of Maharaja of Karoda and Queen Avyukta. She calls herself fairly ordinary and is unlike the typical princesses one has come across in other fairy tales. The Princess loves to get lost in the world of books and enjoys the company of her pet parrot Jawab-e-Hazir who talks in witty verses. Her brother Amarjeet, however, seems to love gadgets more than books. Keshavdas, the old gardener who has been a part of the family for many years also plays a significant part in the story.
The story gains momentum when the Princess gets trapped inside a book one day. What follows after that is a magical adventure. Inside the book, she meets her grandma Aaloka who has been trapped for many years. In order to be free Nirzari has to complete the task assigned by Grandsire Dabbu successfully before the purple bookmark comes cascading down. The princess along with her grandma embark on an interesting journey traversing across every page. Is the princess successful in the mission? Is she free? What are the challenges she encounters? One has to read and find out.
I loved all the quirky characters in the story—Nirzar’s pet talking parrot Jawab-e-Hazir, the albino parrot Gustak, Mustafa the monkey, Firki- the spider who can hypnotize everyone with her tales, Grandsire Dabbu. I also loved the chapter about the room of dreams where everyone’s dreams are categorized in different bottles. It was fascinating.
Though the story is adventurous and magical, it also offers nuggets of wisdom that makes one pause and introspect.
Here are some of the quotes from the story that I loved;
” We must learn to do what we need to, to afford to do what we love to.”
” A lot of things in life are unclear when we start. But we must push on till they start making sense.”
“A person can be so many things you know.”
” Sometimes after your eyes have rained, you find a rainbow in your heart.”
” Dreams have no compulsions to coordinate with your opinions about yourself.”
These are just a few. I loved many such quotes and conversations that makes a reader think out loud. The author has also addressed relevant topics in the story which can open room for discussion with children.
If I have to nitpick, I would say the continuity between the chapters towards the end could have been better. Also, a glimpse of authentic Indian cuisine would have satiated my taste buds instead of hamburgers and fries. However, that doesn’t mar the reading experience.
Overall, the book is very engaging and gives one a warm and fuzzy feeling after having read it. A great book for all ages. I hope the author brings out a paperback version and a sequel soon.
Buy the book here;