As a child one of the most exciting part of my holiday would be buying comics from the railway station just a few minutes before the train signal went off. I remember being glued to the comics for hours giving my mother some solace during the fourteen hour journey.
I remember telling someone to ask Chacha Chaudhary for a solution because I believed at some point that his mind worked faster than a computer. In those days computer access was only given in schools and we all knew how fast the school computers worked. Then there was Sabu who I admired for his immense strength and vigor.
My better half on the contrary, grew up reading fun and interesting stories about Archie and Jughead Jones. Then there definitely existed fandom of Tin- Tin, Asterix ( which I loved reading still in that small newspaper column) and many such more fascinating characters.
The Indian comics too had their share of readership because they potrayed the everyday hustle bustle of middle class people and the many issues surrounding them with a glint of humour. The minutes I spent reading these comics was always like being transported from my dimension to theirs.
I am fervently waiting to lay my hands on these treasures, who a friend is willing to barter with me just like old times. I am going to take you through a little nostalgic spin while we look at some of these comics that really made reading joyful and fun!!
Tinkle It was a feeling of immense of pride if you had a subscription of this comic. This book was started by the Anant Pai in the 1980 who was also the founder and editor of Tinkle. It was a fortnightly book that had characters that you would simply love. From his ignoramus escapades to his simplicity, Suppandi was one of the most loved characters from the book. Then there was Shikari Shambhu who was a lazy hunter however almost due to a magical turn of events always would end up as Hero.
Chacha Chaudhary – The little man with the big red turban was adored by everyone for his wit, humor and intellect. His pet Rakka (dog) and a faithful assistant Sabu who was from another planet, together they made a great time. This comic taught us about valuing relationships and also taught us that a strong body is nothing without a strong mind.
Champak – This was not just mainstream comics because it also had puzzles and a lot more activities for kids. It indeed was fun and entertaining to have something beyond the usual stories in a book.
Chandamama – One of the firsts of its kind to introduce mythological stories to kids.The illustrations were colorful and they helped imbibe good value without being dreary.
Akbar Birbal – The famous DUO whose stories never cease to fascinate. Their stories take you on a journey where you yourself feel you are thinking and are a part of the story. Birbal’s wit and his ability to outsmart other ministers found a way to children’s hearts and would make them giggle with joy at the solutions he offered.Akbar too was always pleased with the wisest man in his kingdom.
Panchatantra – The stories of Panchatantra are evergreen and loved by all ages. These ancient fables have been penned by an Indian scholar Vishnu Sharma that took you on a joy ride while you learnt about leadership, friendship, responsibility and much more. The fact that it had colorful illustrations and had a lot of animal characters in it, made it a children’s favorite instantly.
Vikram Betal – This one has to be among my favorites too. A ghost resting on a king’s back and they taking you through amusing stories was a real page -turner. They had interesting plots and characters that made you wander off to a different time altogether. This book was based on Baital Pacchisi, which was written almost 2500 years ago by Mahakavi Somdev Bhatt . Now isn’t that enthralling.
Some of these stories and books were turned into movies and daily soap dramas.The stories, the activities and the characters were equally captivating and each of them had their own Charisma!!