Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A childhood with Ms.Blyton

Recently,during one of my regular window shopping visits to the mall,I entered my favorite bookshop.The smell of books never failed to enchant me and this time was no different.The charm of Jeffrey Archer, the crisp James Patterson,the chills that Stephen King always produced and oh,the classics-the prim yet cheeky of Jane Austen,the haunted breeze that was Emily Bronte's forte and the blunt Charles Dickens was always a pleasure to revisit!

Going back to bookish nostalgia is only second best to browsing in a bookstore.With the pursuit of tracing back all my favorite childhood authors,I went aisle hopping.Mark Twain,Agatha Christie,J,.K.Rowling,Meg Cabot,Caroline Keene and even Herge passed by,but my eyes were searching for someone more important.Someone who had introduced me to mystery,to school stories and  the adorable Noddy-Enid Blyton.

I remembered the thrill of spotting her signature on her books (which I had initially misread as Grid Blyton,and wondered what kind of a name Grid was.Enid didn't make much sense either,but what's in a name?).I remembered how on a serendipitous trip to the bookstore,my dad had allowed me to select a book of my choice.After a few hours of browsing,I picked up a book called "The Twins at St Clare's",because it seemed " very nice" in my mind.Little did I know that that would spawn a lifetime of fascination for Ms.Blyton.I kept appearing in the top ten of my class and hence collected the entire series of St Clares.The school library had me going back for more of Miss Blyton's books.She actually made me look forward to the prospect of a boarding school!By the time I had reached 8th,I had completed the St Clares,Malory Towers,Famous Fives and a few Secret Sevens. Julian ,Dick, George,  Anne Timmy, Pat, Isabel,Janet, Darrell, Sally, Alicia, Felicity, Jack,Susie and the much earlier Amelia Jane-these characters are still ingrained in my soul.Remembering these characters brought alive the child in me,and I rushed to the children's section.

Almost immediately I was surrounded by vampires,and dragons and superheroes and mythical creatures,most of them grotesque.Flinching away from a particularly nasty looking book cover,I turned to the more pastel colored shelves,hoping to spot atleast one Famous Five.It was like searching for a needle in a haystack- I saw something about a diary,or a mouse,but failed to see an Enid Blyton. Finally I found one book of the mystery series and literally pounced on it.It felt different.I opened the book to see an illustrated and more childish version of the original.It felt new,and weird,but atleast it was a Blyton.

I remember the aisles being full of children clamoring for Enid Blyton books.Now I see all the chairs in the bookshop occupied by kids with IPads or mobiles in their hands.There was a time when we secretly read books during boring periods at school,hiding them below our desks.Now children play Angry Birds or Candy Crush saga.There was a time when childhood was innocent,carefree and playful,where TV and eating outside at restaurants was a luxury,where books or toys were reserved for occasions like birthdays or result days,where happiness was found in little things---soap bubbles,the tazo in the bag of chips and the chocobar ice cream from the local dairy.Enid Blyton represented that generation for me,and that innocence,that excitement,that laughter is all what comes to my mind when I even think about that scrawny signature.That is why even today,my St Clare's series are neatly preserved,hoping that someday,the next generations derive the same pleasures form them that I did.That will not only be my selfish wish,but also Ms Blyton's selfless one.Thank you ,Ms.Blyton,for giving generations of people a bit of their childhood back.

6 comments:

  1. Beautifully crafted.
    It has raised interest of a not so fond reader of novels.

    Great job :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading!it means a lot :-)!

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  2. U know wat... I read ur entire blog ;)

    I lykd the thought .. And hatsoff to ur love for novels.. COLLECTION ;)

    Gud (y) .. Keep blogging :)

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  3. Nicely put in . Enjoyed reading it & I can also relate to it.
    I also started out with Enid Blyton's Famous five & was fascinated by the adventures. I even named our village dog as Timmy :) I still enjoy reading them. You were mentioning about the boarding school, I started dreaming of having my own island & a lighthouse :). When I visited one, all I could think of was Famous Five.
    Books are integral part of my journeys and fill in my idle time.
    Yes, current generation has no interest in reading books. I noticed that reading has gone as a whole, even on laptops/tablets. It got replaced by watching Videos & photos..

    Thanks & Keep em coming.

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    1. Thank you so much :-)!Famous Fives were a cult!
      Same here-lighthouses remind me of Famous five too!So do sandwiches and picnic baskets or tomboys :-)!

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