Thursday, December 03, 2009

Story in pictures

So I was going through my 'bachpan box' when I came across it. Bound together and covered with what was obviously an advertisement from the 80s was one of my Amar Chitra Katha collections. It even had a label on it and written in possibly the world's worst handwriting was this.

NAME: Cuckoo (Dad calls me that. Quite apt, eh?)
STD: K.G. 1
SCHOOL/COLLEGE: St. Anne's Convent School

Kindergarten 1. That's like what... 1984? Wow. A quarter of a century has passed by, and yet when I flipped it open and started reading, I felt the same sense of wonder and fascination that I'm sure all of you who had the good fortune to read these comic books would be familiar with.

Birbal the wise. Bimbisara. Jayaprakash Narayan. Paurava and Alexander. Ahilyabai Holkar. Sambhaji son of Shivaji. Each priced at Rs. 2.50 (less than 10 cents). My sister and I had zillions of these books. Dad had got them bound into books that had about about 10 stories each. Going by how tattered the one I found was, I can only imagine the number of times I must have read it.

The artwork was simple, unlike the comic books of today, and the English was perfect, unlike the atrocious Chacha Chaudhry books they released in English, which were riddled with countless grammatical errors. The stories, mainly from history and mythology, were simply told, and yet captured the imagination like no textbook ever could.

Dad actually let me bring one back to Singapore. I'm totally having a blast swimming in nostalgia and refreshing my knowledge of mythology and history.

How great would it be if they did away with all the boring history textbooks and just had them Amar Chitra Katha style?


Roopa said...

I'm all for history books in Amar Chitra Katha style. In fact, any story/comic book style will do. Even Tinkle!

History is a nice subject. It's the text book that ruins it.

And before I go, where's my GOLD?!

shilpadesh said...

Yay I am all for that. I still love Amar Chitra Katha and Jataka Tales. Delurking for the first time.

smalltown_girl said...

ME TOO!! when ever i refused to go out with them, they used to bribe me with amar chitra katha!! my fav was malavika and agnimitra or something.. i read it when i was 6 and only once, as my cousin stole it, and i still think about it with longing and nostalgia :P

Iddy Albatross said...

I used to love the Amar Chitra Katha series myself. I had ten of them, the one about Mahabharat being my favourite. It's great reading them after a long time, I think it's time I gotta take out my stash and read up, too :)

Nice memories you brought about there... cheers...

Lady Hope - A Dreamer!! that's me! said...

1984, i was in class 11. but i can totally relate to what u say about the amar chitra katha series. The initial Tinkle series,in 1980 i think, was very good too. my dad too had this thing about getting several issues hard bound. and i have about 20 of these still with me. both my kids have gone thru them and now they will be passed on to my nephews. my dad too is very reluctant to part with these.
infact when i told him that since my 8 yr old nephew in UK is fond of Tinkle, i could send him 2 of these hard bound books, the only hitch being that when they came back next year, they will not be bringing the books back with them. my sister would keep it in their school there, or in the village library. my father thought for a moment and said, "No, may be he could read them when they come to india during their vacation

- asha

Swathy said...

oh, ho..I Miss my amar chitra katha collection! :(
But mum gave away most to the local library and we had a massive termite attack which ate everything possible..
including passbooks/passports were not spared from the wardrobes! :(
I loved reading chadragupta,guru nanak and sant surdas..
nice memories!

Deepa said...


I would recommend you to out They have put up all their copies right from 1950's in their archive..moreover, u can read it online just as u wud read a book (its flash-based)...I had a good time checking out all the mythological stories. It was all the more fun to check out the ads on the back of their cover-pages...Dabur lal dantmanjan and Chiclets chewing gum...
Sigh!! Those were the days :(


How Do said...

oh wow.... i sooooo love ACK.. and hope that they are a part of every child's growing up..

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Very sweet, nostalgic post! Reminded me of my stack too while I was growing up.

Pallavi said...

I remember having a collection of chandamama and used to simply love it and Tinkle's Suppandi...good times!!

Sayesha said...

Oh yeah Tinkle! Fond memories! :))

//History is a nice subject. It's the text book that ruins it.


Welcome to the bar! You should delurk more often! :)

#smalltown girl,
Yeah... there were sooooooo many stories!! I am so stealing a few more from my bachpan box when I go home next! :)

#Iddy Albatross,
Mahabharata! What a story! Viv and I bought the whole set of the Mahabharata DVDs. :)

#Lady Hope,
Hahahaha! Your dad rocks!! :D :D :D

Oh nooooooooo...... passports too???? Damn termites!!! X-(

Thanks for the tip, will check it out!!! Yeah, the old ads were so addictive no? :D

#How Do,
Hear hear! :)

Thanks. :)

Oh yeah, I think Suppandi was a universal favourite! :D

N said...

I was an out and out fan of Chacha Chaudhary comics and Pinky too :) Dont know how big were they in Mumbai...