Amar Chitra Katha Founder dies at 81 {Books}

This is an off-beat post but this was something I have to share with you all. Well, as a child and till today, I am a big fan of comics, Tinkle running in the forefront. I am sure many of you must have also grown up with these comics as a part of your childhood and frankly, they are fun to read even today. I would easily trade all the big and boring novels for all the editions of Tinkle which have been printed till date. I never really bothered then about who was the brains behind Tinkle but read the name Anant Pai in every book. But, yesterday or day before, I saw the news of his death and I was shocked. It did effect me at a very elemental level because I am so much in love with his books and also the fact that he celebrated 50 years of his wedding anniversaries last year. Very few people are that lucky. You can read more about him in wiki. I don't even know what I am writing here and whether it is making sense but I feel proud that there was such a person who undertook the mission to mold the future of the growing children. It is a big task and a harder responsibility. Wish more of us were so conscientious and hard working with a single-minded determination.

I don't know much about him but I will just recount what I have read about him in the past few days. He was born in Karnatak to a Brahmin family. He was two when his parents died and he was probably brought up by his elder brother. He never wanted to do engineering but he was forced into it by his brother as it was the safest way to earn money and live life. Anant Pai graduated from University of Bombay, Chemical Department. And, the next day after his graduation he went and joined a magazine publishing house. The idea of Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) was born when he realized that the kids of our country knew more about Greek mythology than the Indian. Then, he left his job and went to various publishing houses with his idea of a series of magazines for children. He was rejected by all except Mirchandani of  India Book House so with the backing of India Book House and Mirchandani, Anant Pai started a small cubby hole office where he started publishing Amar Chitra Katha books. Before you think that ACK is synonymous to Tinkle Digest, let me tell you that they had a whole series of other books which covered lives of all great men in India, various sages and saints and even included the lives of Mughals. Some of the titles include the ranges of all our gods from Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Narada, Ganesha, Kubera, Indra, Karthikeya and many more, then they include Akbar, Birbal, Humayun, Tipu Sultan, Shahjahan and then coming to Indian kings Shivaji, King Visweshawaraya, Tenali Rama and many more of such. Then, there are some characters immortalized by Tinkle itself like Suppandi, Shikari Shambhu, Kalia the crow, Kapish the Monkey and my favorite Tantri the Mantri among others. So, it is a very big publishing house with a very huge range. But, Tinkle was the first publication and is definitely most popular. Since Tinkle, he is lovingly called 'Uncle Pai'. You should read this to know more about the starting days of ACK and how it grew.  
Another great source.

If you have never read these comics, you should give them a try. No one gets disappointed by them. And, do not forget to make your children develop a reading habit. It is far more healthy than sitting in front of the computer, chatting and surfing the net or even watching television.

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