I was a huge fan of “Famous Five” series as a child. It was a series of novels written by a British author named “Enid Blyton”. The stories revolved around 4 kids who were cousins and their dog. Every novel used to describe their summer vacations together at countryside of Britain. It was always a mysterious story where the five would go out on adventures and figure out something unusual which could be anything ranging from an illegal activity to haunted places. The five of them were always brave and ready to take on challenges. They had their cycles that they would use to go around places and they all loved their dog – Timmy.
Over the years of reading these stories, I felt so connected with these 5 characters. I used to think about them, dream about them and talk about them almost endlessly with one of my friends (Nupur) who was also a “Famous Five” fan.
We were living in colony of Government quarters then – IIP Colony. IIP is the name of institute where my dad worked. It was one of best places for kids to grow up. At outskirts of the city – surrounded by green trees, acres and acres of tea plantation around and the best part was that our colony’s boundary wall was adjacent to Rajaji National Park. So just a few kilometers away, we could reach a proper jungle that had real animals.
Me and my friend Nupur always used to talk about the Famous Five adventures and kept dreaming of having one such adventure ourselves. My dad was very fond of taking all the kids of our colony on excursions inside the jungle early in the morning. It used to be like project and it was a lot of fun. We used to go deep inside the jungle then used our sense of direction to get back home.
Nupur and I in a hope to find an adventure used to take our cycles up to the nearest point of jungle boundary wall and after jumping the wall – we used to cover some extent of the jungle. Just the two of us! But unfortunately (or fortunately) we never found anything illegal happening there or never encountered any animals or ghosts. Now when I think back – it was quite dangerous because in no time the jungle used to get really deep and anybody could get lost there. But we were just so eager to encounter an adventure – that we never thought of any of this.
Those were the stories that I grew up with and that I believed was a reality in some part of the world. Later our adventures completely stopped because there was news of spotting leopard around the jungle boundary. Security was tightened around the boundary wall to ensure the safety of residents and that brought all our hopes of finding an adventure and solving it on our own to a complete halt.
I believed that Famous Five actually did exist and Enid Blyton wrote their stories. I wanted to be famous like them, so famous that someday some author would also write about my adventures too.