Going back to my native town in Kerala meant catching a train from Coimbatore and proceeding on an almost 7 hour long journey. But for me, those journeys were more fun than tiring.
Every trip to the railway station meant the exercise of the ‘I ought to buy some comics’ right. Indeed, getting my hands on the latest editions of Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Champak and even Malayalam comics like Balarama, was one of the best experiences that I can recount.
That scene has considerably changed today. If I used to carry a comic book in my hand, now, young kids carry funky gadgets and gizmos along with them.
This makes me wonder – aren’t these kids missing out on so many amazing things?
1. Creativity Galore:
When I think about Indian comics like Tinkle and Champak, it’s the amazing characters that I’m instantly reminded of. There never seemed to be a shortage of inspiration for the creators since there were so many different characters with equally distinct stories for us to enjoy.
From the antics of Shikari Shambu, to the sharpness of Kalia the Crow; from the crooked wits of Tantri the Mantri to the endearingly foolish Suppandi; from the clumsy Butterfingers to the lovable Pyarelal – these comics had them all.
2. Inclusive Representation:
Creative characterisation apart, these Indian comics are special in that we get to see a good amount of representation in them. And this is a feature which was seen in their pages way before conversations about inclusiveness started appearing.
Young girls have so many inspirations to look up to. Amar Chitra Katha’s series on the brave women of India still holds relevance. And who could forget Tinkle’s memorable characters like Ina, Mina, Mynah, Mo, and Janoo and Wooly Woo?
Representation spiced with creative genius! Now who could beat that?
When I used to sit in my veranda with the latest copy of my favourite comic, I used to be transported into this magical world of funky, cool, weird, brave heroes, misfits and simpletons.
The imaginative content within those books was enough to make my brain spin tales and fantasies. Apart from the stories, there were many pages full of cool activities for us to explore.
This stimulating power of imagination is what gave kids like me so much fun even in the absence of things like gaming apps and streaming services – fun that today’s kids are really missing out on.
4. Magic Of Words:
Without a doubt, my love for language and writing stemmed from my interaction with these Indian comics. Their appeal was so magical that it only took them a few seconds to take me to a world so colourful and vibrant.
Especially with comics like Amar Chitra Katha, you can see how with the use of simple, elegant language, ancient mythical tales were made so interesting for young kids – another thing that continues to amaze me.
5. Learning Made Fun:
By laughing at Suppandi’s foolishness, being amazed at Kalia’s sharpness, cringing at Tantri the Mantri’s wickedness and marvelling at Pyarelal’s kindness, we used to learn a lot about life’s values through comic books.
Even Amar Chitra Katha’s tales were helpful in that regard, for we used to gain so much knowledge about India’s rich culture from them. Makes me wonder, is there any way to gain knowledge that’s better than this?
Every moment spent with these books is a moment spent with fun and joy. Never did we have to worry about straining our eyes, or about getting scolded by our parents for ‘wasting time’.
I’ve never once gotten bored of reading what new troubles Suppandi had gotten himself into or what new idea had lit up in Birbal’s mind for Akbar’s conundrum. In short, boredom was never a problem for our generation.
My childhood was made amazing by these comics. They are still being published and are still as wonderful as they were back in my day. So kiddos by age and kiddos by heart, it’s never too late; just go get a copy and go nuts!
Image Credits: Google Images
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