My Childhood Love
Chimney Corner Stories was the first book I remember reading as a kid. It was a gift by my maternal uncle. He was in the Indian Air Force and was one of the smartest people I had ever known. When I got this book around ten, I had not heard of Enid Blyton. Now this was before the world had heard of Harry Potter. So I did not know any famous authors. I had not read a book as big as this one. I was not sure I wanted to either. It was my mother who read the first story called 'The clockwork mouse' to me one day. She read it with such enthusiasm that it was contagious. The story was about a little boy and a toy mouse. After that everyday, I used to sit with my mother to read one story per day. The book was actually a collection of short stories with around twenty stories. All the stories were about talking toys, friendships, gnomes , fairies and so many random topic each with a moral message on good habits.The stories were enchanting and filled with such innocent beauty. The time spent reading it with my mother made my day.
After reading all the stories, I got crazy about Enid Blyton. This author from the United Kingdom filled my childhood dreams. At this point I just assumed the author was male, though I do not know what made me so sure of it. So imagine my great surprise when I learnt a few years later that such fabulous stories were penned by a lady. I wanted to complete all her books. I read the famous five series, the secret seven series, St.Clare's and Malory towers series and a lot of short stories from the school library. I was obsessed to the point where the librarian scampered off to find me a new Blyton book whenever I visited the library.Occasionally some bright covered book by some other author would capture my attention. But my favorite author would win the mental debate always.
A few years down the line, I came to know that the first edition was printed somewhere in the sixties. I was so surprised how her books continued to mesmerize children even after all these decades.To this day, I think that particular book inculcated the deep seated habit of reading. I introduced that book to my little sister who soon joined by Blyton club as I liked to call it. I still have the original copy that my uncle gifted me. The book is covered by synonyms for tough words, little drawings of golliwog and Snoozy the gnome and is in a well-used condition. But I'm preserving it with a ferocious pride to introduce it to my own children. It was the best part of my childhood as it gave me such a beautiful picture of the world and sub consciously made me who I'm now!
Hatred is so much easier to win than love
And so much harder to get rid of
- Enid Blyton