Hope you are doing well.
In today’s post, I am going to talk about a story that I was introduced to in early childhood and has stayed with me till date. A story that I believe cemented in me, the love for stories and the art of storytelling. This is the story of a girl and her beautiful world.
“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks” – Unknown.
Every adult book lover, a writer or a poet today has that one special book which had lit the first spark of creativity in their early childhood. A book that even today makes them nostalgic and ports them back to their childhood when they first read it. It is true of any artist/ artwork – a book, a story, a tv show or even a cartoon show – that made them fall in love with art and nudged them towards the idea of creating something similar themselves.
If you have been around children of the age of 6 to 12 you often hear them say that they too want to write/paint/create something similar to what they have read or watched. Parents often ignore this thinking of it as one of the many short-lived interests in the child’s mind. But more often than not it is one of these interests that draws a career path for them.
I wasn’t much of a reader when I was a child but I loved stories. Every night my parents took turns to narrate popular folktales and stories based on true life incidents. I often woke up the next day remembering bits and pieces of beautiful stories about fairies and talking animals that I had dreamed of. Many of these stories have stayed with me till date. One such story is that of Heidi, Girl of the Alps – A cartoon show that was telecasted every summer afternoon on Cartoon Network. To many, this might sound silly. But inspiration can be drawn from unexpected things.
To the mind of an eight-year-old, Heidi’s story was as real as that of her own. I strongly believed that she was real and at the moment lived somewhere on a mountain surrounded by nature, in a little cottage with her grandfather and his dog Josef. That she slept on a hay-bed in the attic, watching the mountains and stars through the round window. And I somehow had access to her beautiful world.
As I grew up, I realised that Heidi like many other cartoon shows was a figment of somebody’s imagination. My mother told me that the show was derived from a book by Johanna Spyri (A novel I read 12 years later). I also learned about the writers and creators of the show. This was my first clear glimpse into the world of creativity and storytelling.
I often watched the show alone and during that one hour, I transported to her world. When the hour ended I sat imagining what would happen next? And then wonder if I could write a story of my own. The idea of creating a world, designing characters and weaving their stories was exciting. It was somewhere around this time that I wrote my first story – Story of a girl and her pet rabbit.
Heidi to this day remains my most memorable and cherished cartoon show. It is something I believe every child should get a chance to read or watch. Her story is a perfect blend of learning, adventures, friendship, love, care and empathy – lessons a child must learn before anything else.
Do you have a story that you wish to share? Which was your favourite fictional childhood character? Tell me in the comments below.
Image courtesy: Google.