Thanks fellow bloggers for the amazing response to 163 Edition of Indispire.

It is definitely a non-creative mundane oft proposed query, but I wanted to look at the sense of achievement we all felt when we completed reading a book all by ourselves. Like the Command officer of the Bambolim Army Camp General Cariappa said, as he read the book he was transported, he travelled and he realized there was a world beyond the one we knew.

Early, my mother read books to me, then we shifted to comics, that was graphic so the mind really did not create its own visual. The first story book I read I think was Noddy Goes to the Fair by Enid Blyton .Enid Blyton’s books were classified as red dragon, blue dragon and one other colour for age appropriateness.

The book that gave me a sense of achievement was again by Enid Blyton it was a Famous Five book, I think it was Five on a Mystery or something I remember a green cover of the book with sketches of four kids, in red and blue shirts and a dog.  Suddenly the world was different, there was excitement and adventure out there and I realized I could escape the mundane world of homework… it was no more pencils no more books, no more teachers dirty looks.

We created our own famous group, of course we had to cross hurdles like Enid Blyton’s characters had two boys as the older kids and the girls were younger, we were the other way round, moreover dogs were not allowed, and we definitely did not want to clean up dog poop. We were vegetarians, and bread was brought only when mom was sick, so sandwiches were all imaginary. I remember picking up two Monaco biscuits placing a piece of tomato on it and pretending that we were having sandwich.

We would climb up the Mango or Jackfruit tree and pretend that it was our look out like the ones the famous five had.

Enid Blyton’s books then became a staple, the Mallory Tower series, the Naughtiest girl series, The Five Find-Outers, and  The Secret Seven oh! Yes there was one other series that I cannot remember. Then came the Nancy Drew and Hardy boys series.Eventually we outgrew them and graduated to Mills and Boon, of course, I read the Sudden series and Zane Grey too.

Today when I look back I see that Enid Blyton was racist and gender biased, yet those days she took us to a world of escape and adrenaline. There was a bonding created by the vocabulary of Enid Blyton readers, looking back it was a privileged elite group. Every Wednesday was the sacred trip to the library, we would read the comics there, and borrow a book for the week.

By the way April 2nd is the International Children’s Book Day.


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