Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Amar Chitra Katha... Amar Rahe... Forever

As kids, most of us would have loved train journeys. An important reason why I loved these journeys was, it was a beginning to my reading habit, I fell in love with reading comics, I fell in love with Tinkle and the likes. Most importantly, I fell in love with Hindu Mythology.

My grandmother, mother, did tell  stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata, but to see those characters in books was a completely different experience. Ofcourse this was much before we saw the characters on screen on DoorDarshan.

The train journey meant, a magazine for my mother and 2 Amar Chitra Katha Books for me. And the best part was, I got to choose the comic books. In one such selection, I choose the fat book (compared to all the AMC books) of Ramayana. The cover page was captivating. The calm face of the Blue coloured Rama, with the beautiful Sita sitting next to him, a deer running in their vicinity, and the devoted Lakhsman nearing the couple, something which has never faded away from my memory. That has been my favorite cover page in the comic book genre.

There were times when I have read these comics and questioned my granny or my mother, on those sub plots in the main stories which they have told me. My mother was more than glad to get me those books so that I would stop troubling her with stories, alas, she could never get rid of the cute little curious brain of mine (ahem ahem.. I was cute back then)

My brother, was not as inclined as me towards Hindy Mythology, but I loved reading those books to him, rather narrate the whole tale, page by page, every picture in the book, and at times, add my own story to it. Proabably making up stories started at that time. And as if my mother dint have enough of me, she now had two of questioning, why Rama did not protest, why Hiranyakashyapa, had to be killed by half man half lion. How Parasurama and Rama both incarnations of Lord Vishnu, challenge each other? How could Ganesha made of Clay come to life? Lot of such questions, she would at times drive us away to study our curriculam, and during vacation times, point us to our granny, who would then tell us more stories.

My fascination towards Amar Chitra Katha’s Mythology stories did not end with my childhood, or even my studying days. When I was in an Indian Store in Atlanta, I happened to see a thin comic book. I recognized the logo, and went near the book with the same enthusiasm as I had during my childhood. Ofcourse, I read a couple of pages in that store, and with a heavy heart kept it down.

Now, everytime I see those books in any of the book store, and we are scouting for gifts to be given to kids, its always my first choice, a set of these books. And some day, when I have kids, and they grow up to start reading, I will get them loads of these comic books. 

Well, I can start collecting them now, who says only kids have to read them :)


Seema said...

You brought back fond memories. Fell in love with reading, all coz of the comics

Art said...

if I take it out from my childhood, life would seem incomplete