Posted On : August 22 2017
Other than climbing trees, swimming, playing with siblings and cousins, going on vacations, my childhood staple was the presence of Enid Blyton on my bookshelves. I remember due to my father’s frequent postings to remote areas, my sister and me were put in a hostel, where other than making new friends I discovered Enid Blyton.
Now looking back as an adult the idea of a childhood without Enid’s many, many works seems very barren to me. Enid wrote 753 books in her forty-six year career, of which there are now more than approximately 600 million in print. As far as I am concerned there was hardly a kid-friendly genre at which she did not excel. If I wanted fantasy stories about fairies, pixies and brownies, I went no further than The Books of Fairies; Pixies; and Brownies. If I wanted toys who spoke, I could go play with the ever-Naughty Amelia Jane! Or enter a Toyland, with Noddy. If I wanted magical adventures, I could climb The Magic Faraway Tree or jump in The Wishing Chair; if I wanted boarding school capers, I could visit St. Clare’s or Malory Towers; if I wanted a peek into the lives of regular kids who made their homes in interesting locales, I could go see The Children of Cherry Tree Farm or join Mr. Galliano’s Circus. But I want to make a special mention here, if I wes in the mood for a little mystery, I preferred to crack a case with the Adventurous Four, the Famous Five or the Secret Seven, among several other groups of inquisitive youngsters for whom Blyton became justly revered the world over. I was fascinated by them all!
Mine was an age where technology did not play a big role. My circle of friends preferred to play outdoors, go to children’s parks, go on picnics, run after butterflies, peep into bird nests, dig up earthworms, and watch with fascination at fireflies and the likes. We were just perfect for Enid Blyton.
I have saved my collection of Enid Blyton books for my daughter. She’s five-an-a-half, a today’s kid friendlier with gadgets and technology than with birds and butterflies. Of course she likes the outdoors, thank god for that, but she divides her time equally between outdoors and indoors. And am not sure which will win in the end. Till that time the books are mine to revisit, to revisit my childhood!
Happy Birthday and thank you Enid Blyton for adding a little magic to my childhood!