I get nostalgic when I see comics. My childhood memories come rushing and I find myself smiling. I remember how fervently my brothers and I would wait every month near the gate for the newspaper boy, who would deliver the comics at home. And it was practically a competition as to who would get their hands on it and be the first one to read it. I will be eternally grateful to my parents for inculcating the habit of reading and subscribing these exquisite and delightful story books, despite financial constrains. We subscribed for Indrajal comics (Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, Bahadur), Tinkle, Chandamama, Walt Disney Comics and Wisdom. The more expensive ones like Amar Chitra Katha, Tintin, Archie’s Digest and Richie Rich were a holiday bonanza or special gifts for getting good marks in school.
I still have a collection of those comics, my prized possession; after losing many of them during the borrowing and exchanging program with friends. The oldest of my possessions is probably the Indrajal Comic’s “Tulsida’s Ramacharit Manas” 1974 Edition which came in two parts.
As a kid, I always lived in the dream world of Phantom’s forest or Mandrake’s magic land or in space with Flash Gordon or fighting the dacoits of Chambal valley with Bahadur. I really miss those magical moments. Our games also revolved to a large extent around these wonderful characters – our heroes. I also loved Tinkle, especially the puzzles and General knowledge snippets. In fact, I had sent a few write-ups to Tinkle and received some “kind, sweet and encouraging” regret letters from Uncle Pai. So I never got disappointed.
But, now I wish our kids showed the same enthusiasm about books, than television with its countless cartoon channels, some funny and good and some really intimidating.
Did the “Comics” nostalgia catch up with you? I am sure it did…