by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

Have you ever noticed that all the stories you hear as a child always end in a good way? Sleeping Beauty wakes up. Rapunzel’s hair brings her a prince. And Cinderella? Of course the glass slipper fits.

And even as you get a little older and start reading for yourself, there’s always a happy ending. Though, admittedly, it’s a little harder to get there. Still, Laura does indeed marry Almanzo. Gilbert and Anne – don’t worry, they reconcile.

And even if, like myself, you gravitated towards more fantastical forms of prose – The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of The Rings – good ultimately did triumph over evil. Always.

The first story I read that didn’t end happily was The Bully of Barkham Street. I think I was around seven at the time. I remember finishing the book while lying in bed and then turning over to put my face in the pillow so no one would hear me as I cried.

But that’s reality, isn’t it? There isn’t always a happy ending. People get hurt. People move on. And the metronome of life keeps tick-tocking along.

People have told me on several occasions that I, for some unfathomable reason, seem unable to realise that ‘life just doesn’t work that way.’ And maybe it’s true.

Maybe I am too much of an idealist. Too much of a romantic. Too much of a dreamer. But I’m slowly beginning to realise that I’m okay with that.

So while this most certainly means that I’m going to often be disappointed and let down and hurt – and do my fair share of the like, I suspect – it also lets me take life on my own terms.

And that, I think, is the only way that, just maybe, real life can have a happy ending too.

A Minor Incident
Badly Drawn Boy
From the About A Boy OST

There’s nothing I could say
To make you try to feel ok
And nothing you could do
To stop me feeling the way I do
And if the chance should happen
That I never see you again
Just remember that I’ll always love you

I’d be a better person
On the other side I’m sure
You’d find a way to help yourself
And find another door
To shrug off minor incidents
And make us both feel proud
I just wish I could be there
To see you through

You always were the one
To make us stand out in a crowd
Though every once upon a while
Your head was in the cloud
There’s nothing you could never do
To ever let me down
And remember that I’ll always love you

I did manage to get my writing samples in some sort of shape. So thanks to all of you who inquired and wished me luck.



  1. venus #
    May 17, 2006

    Always belive in happy endings, they get you thru hard times and gives hope.

    BTW Rohinton Mistry’s “A Fine Balance” has to be the most depressing book I have ever read. The reality hits you like a truck full of bricks and its very difficult to shake off.

  2. May 26, 2006

    [a nostalgic sign]…i miss the books of my childhood and the special feelings that accompanied reading them…i revisit some of them still but its not the same of course…for example, if i pick up a beverly cleary book, i start paying attention to the parents and their life issues (things i wouldn’t focus on too much as a child reader) more than i did when i was younger…i think i have read the book that you mentioned in this post when i was younger too…the name sounds familiar.

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