By Jyotsna Shenoy

Maddie remembered Wanda telling about one of her dresses, a brilliant jungle green one with a red sash. “You’d look like a Christmas tree in that”, the girls said in pretended admiration.    -Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses

Here’s my first book reviews from amongst my favourites and the best narrated stories. One inspired in childhood taking me back to those old schools days, the other a dramatic story set in the period of youth. In the former short story, the author uses the occasion of Christmas to set a turning point in an alluring tone to enhance the side of a happy bittersweet ending, while in the latter the writer combines darkness with the joys of Christmas cheer to create chaos and further complexities in the tale.

 

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Wanda Petronski’s strange last name is just one of the many attributes that makes her odd in the eyes of her classmates. The Polish girl lives in the shabby neighbourhood of Boggin Heights. In school, everyday she wears the same old blue dress although she claims to have a hundred dresses in her home closet. A girl name Peggy frequently teases Wanda and the former’s reluctant sidekick, Maddie; a poor girl herself,  joins the taunting to avoid getting teased. It is only after seeing the display of drawings of a hundred dresses made by Wanda, do the Peggie and Maddie realise how they have hurt her and they decide to make amends.

 

However prior to their realisation it is brought to the readers notice that the Petronskis have moved out of Boggin Heights to a big city for good. Peggie and Maddie try ways to contact Wanda but their ideas do not come to fruition. It is on the account of Christmas that Ms. Mason, their teacher receives a letter from Wanda wishing all her friends well on the festive day and adding that her current teacher does not equalise with her. She makes a special mention of Peggie and Maddie and adds that both of them could have her drawing of the dresses confirming that there is no bad blood between them. The duo remembers the times that they used to annoy Wanda and understood what the game really meant to her.

 

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

In a completely different dimension and time period, set in a fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania a bevy of pretty little liars paint a pretty picture together in their high school years and further on embark on their own journeys as they begin to outgrow each other, leaving a trail of imperfections in their otherwise perfect lives. The series follows the lives of four best friends Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin and Emily Fields whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of their team leader Alison “Ali” DiLaurentis. A year later, the estranged friends are reunited after they begin receiving blackmails from a mysterious figure named A.D. who threatens to expose their deepest secrets.

Season 5 Episode 13: Christmas Special episode of Pretty Little Liars (Literary adaptation)

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As the series reaches the middle of the road, a chapter opens its curtains to a Christmas theme which ties the whole story together. The liars have banded together against their former friend Ali and have come to a conclusion that she is infact A.D. The story takes a hypothetical leap in the future which shows that Ali may be deceased and at some point makes it convincing enough that Ali may actually be a victim in the long run instead of a villian, which leads the viewers to believe that Ali can’t possibly be A.D.

Two really contrasting stories but what brings all the characters together from both the tales is their fondness for pretty attire. And here’s to translating this into a simple origami:

 

Paper Dress

Requirements: A square sheet of paper

Procedure:

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  1. Take a square sheet of paper and make eight vertically long equally spaced folds.
  2. Take two extreme folds on one end and fold it inwards overlapping on one fold.
  3. Repeat the same procedure on the other end.
  4. That’s what it looks like after the step 2. and 3.
  5. Turn it over on the other side up.
  6.  Fold it inwards in an exact half.
  7. Take one half and curl it a bit so that one side is a bit smaller than the other.
  8. Fold over the lines properly.
  9. Turn it over again.
  10. For the front collar, make the triangular folds as shown.
  11. On the longer side, lift the flaps on both sides outwards.
  12. Adjust the flaps on both sides carefully.
  13. Turn it over yet again.
  14. Fold both sides at the end as shown.
  15. At the top centre, for the collar part of the dress, do the folds as shown.
  16. That’s how the colourful side looks.

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Finally for the sleeve make the triangular folds on either side as shown above.

Turn over the other side, and that’s a paper dress!!

And yet, this is not the end of the road!

Look out for this Digital Art video, another Christmas special made by my talented and very good friend Divya Nayak –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYgi12-uqC0 and check out her other website handles.

Youtube main channel —->    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFsvASFAfUG1OgSi4wmO3w

Instagram —-> https://www.instagram.com/princess.div/

Thank you!