Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My kiddo years


Nostalgia is an amazing thing. The online Webster dictionary sums it up very aptly as 'a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition'.
All it requires is a triggering agent and the sluice floodgates of the mind open thereby letting in past memories flow back. The memories that were lying dormant somehwere in the deep recesses of the brain become active. I had such a triggering reaction today. As i was casually browsing through the newspaper, i came across the headline saying 'Geodesic to buy Chandamama for Rs 10 Cr'. I didn't have to read the entire story. What actually ensued was i was transported back to my childhood days. The days when Chandamama,Nandan,Champak and Nanhe Samrat formed the staple food for the curious mind. The invasion by the westernised versions had just begun then. Archie was far removed from the Indian style of living. So it didn't have much calling. Action sequences-be it deshi or videshi could never keep me riveted for long. So Super Commando Dhruv,Super Man and their ilks were always out of the question. That left me with the Chandamamas and the Nandans. But awesome were they. I was specially a big Nandan fan. I still wonder why. The stories in Nandan generally had a brave 'rajkumar' and a divinely beautiful 'rajkumari'. And there was the quintessential villain- the kind of plot that has been lifted with clockwork regularity by stupid bollywood flicks. Champak was outright idiotic. You had scatterbrained animals trying to play humans. I know 'Animal farm' rocks but this came nowhere close. The scheming fox, the super duper helpful elephant, the wise owl and God knows what. Nanhe Samrat was one magazine which prided itself on the detective stories that it churned out with the claim that they were not plagiarsied. Regardless of the tall claims, they sure were!! Some were lifted straight out of Sherlock Holmes. Television was Doordarshan which meant that these comics were always very much in demand and they always ended up burning a hole in my father's pocket. Not that he minded it much. Then there was this very unknown english magazine called Target. It was totally Indianised and all the stories were meant for children. It had some of the most weird stories that i have read/heard till date and i had subscribed to it for a year. After six months, i stopped receiving my copies. I tried contacting them but in vain.Years later, i was told that the magazine went bust within a year of its inception. I won a few elocutions by reciting poems directly out of that magazine. And i still miss its weird stories.

But in a nutshell, these magazines/comics were pure unadulterated fun. Television/internet is an unnecessary evil which has almost killed my reading habits. But before i sound sermonising, i shall sign off on the note, happy reading !

30 comments:

Aneesha Pillai said...

That was truly nostalgic!!

Chandamama and Gokulam were ultimate...I still remember how tirelessly I used to send my drawings for the "young talent" section of the magazine and how delighted I was when it finally got published!!:D

Kids should be discouraged from using internet..For us, it's little difficult without it ;)!!

Anonymous said...

well kiddo..this was really well documented childhood :p
And God ! wots happening to Arunabh SInha.2 posts in 2 days.Nice going dude:)
Liked it overall:)
cheers sweetie
ruchika

exclusively_me said...

no one read tinkle?????
i personally really like suppandi...funny guy!
p.s.-- ignore my comment unless uve read tinkle...lolzz! (cos otherwise it wont make too much sense!)

and yeh reading aneesha's commen i also am reminded of gokulam!!
:D

arunabh said...

@aneesha
Oh wow! Belated congrats :D
iit bombay is planning a LAN ban for 12 hours everyday. So i guess chandamama days are here again.
keep visiting :)

@ruchika
thanks but no thanks x-(
keep visiting :)

@priyanka
yes yes.. is sure did read tinkle. And read it many times over. I like shikari shambhu a tad better thn supandi
But what on earth is/was gokulam?
keep visiting :)

siddharth_mohan said...

You realy made me yearn for those days. Wasn't Tintin amzing? I was a worshipper of chacha chaudhary and sabu. So much so that i even used to steal money to buy these digests.Then there were billu,pinki digests. Those were the best days of my life.
I liked this better than the previous post but both were quite awesome

Dee Spake Trash Anyway... said...

nostalgia indeed!!! but didn't u read gokulam, omigod i loved it like mad and i used to actually be excited the day it wud come out!!!and v shudn't get started on enid blyton, i'll jst keep gushing! and hey, target wasn't exactly unknown...school library had tons of it!nice tribute...

Giddu said...

Two consecutive posts in two consecutive days... How often one gets to see that!!

Anyway, schools and children's magazines. Ahh the days... the days...

Only yesterday, Nangu had to see the doctor, so I tagged along, and in the waiting room there was some crappy kids' magazine, nothing as great as the originals, but the stories sure took me back...

The days of glory shall remain forever entrenched in my mind, like a mark on a stone with a glorious past.

arunabh said...

@siddharth
yes yes yes..there were the billus, the pinkis and god knows wht. but i wasn't tht-kind-of-comics.For me it was more of an economical investement... get more to read at less cost:P so the nandans and the chandamamas
keep visiting:)

@deepti
Goodness me! i never thought tht someone else also knows about target. You made my day :p did u subscribe to it? Blyton was one rare firang who had a universal appeal
keep visiting:)

@giddu
Even am surprised by tht rare occurence :p
and a mag in a hospital. this wasnt the iit hospi, rite?
finally, getting philosophical,eh?
keep visiting:)

Yashika Totlani said...

Ahh!! Helped me relieve a lot of childhood memories too. Regular trips to 'books corner' and returning home with truckloads of books--- nandan, chandamama, tinkle, disneyworld, et al. Gone are the days... :( Tastes changed, so did the preferences. Still buy books but of a completely different 'genre'. Oh god... I suddenly miss dad so much!


Great read!! Dunno why I didnt think of this before you!

Yashika Totlani said...

oh prinks is talking about tinkle... id agree with her. supaddi was better than shikari shambu... shambu was completely slapstick re!!

neha said...

You write really well. almost like a pro. Keep blogging

JITIN said...

U know why i call u mr.blogger buddy! Thats bcoz ur writings r alwaz so close to my heart. Its almost as if i m feeling my own heart. Take this post for example. My first reaction on reading it was to find a champak or a nandan or a chandamama or a nanhe samrat from somewhere. But no matter how hard i wld try, dint find a thing :-( I even liked diamond comics, raj comics & manoj comics a lot. Infact, nagraj & dhruv used to be my favourites. I still remeber cycling 2 kms in hot weather to get hold of the latest comic set when i was in 7th,8th,9th class!!! Those were indeed great dayz yaar. U hv really made me nostalgic :-)

arunabh said...

@yashika
'Dunno why I didnt think of this before you!'.. thats why i maintain tht i am supersmart :P
and yeah the immodest me!
Nice to know tht i helped you to relive so many of your memories.
And shikari shambhu was funnier :-|
keep visiting :)

@neha
thanks dudette !!
keep visiting :)

@jitin
thanks mate ! i really am trying my best to live upto tht tag of Mr Blogger! And GOD !! you really used to do cycle so much for Dhruv and nagraj? Kudos matey
keep visiting :)

SaI KRisHna said...

yup tinkle, chandamama, champak were just awesome .... champak had ossom names for the characters too :P .... never liked nagraj etc :P

heh? ok said...

chacha choudhury's brain works faster than computer...heheheheh... that sentence always cracks me up. suppandi's overextended nose, shikari shambhu's eye-obscuring hat etc. haven't thought about all that in a while.

arunabh said...

@sai
depends on how u perceive.. call them outright idiotic or ossom:P
nagraj sucked big time
keep visiting :)

@heh?ok
yes and stupid sabu was supposed to have landed frm some far far away planet who relished gorging on the kind of food cooked by chachi chaudhary (oh i forgot what her real name was:P).With the kind of excitement tht suppandi and shikari shambhu have generated, i believe tht i shud conduct a poll on this blog to decide who is the more entertaining of the two :p
now time to check out your blog !
keep visiting :)

bhargav said...

aaahh..cool post! will have to be a regular on this blog :)

arunabh said...

hey thanks :)
keep visiting :)

Richa said...

this was really cute, just fantastic, even I miss chandamamas, nandans, not to forget tintins
And I still read lots of Archies, they are so unput downable!

arunabh said...

@richa
thanks :)
Keep visiting:)
@people
I finally managed to lay my hands upon an issue of gokulam
twas readilicious :D

exclusively_me said...

oh puhleez..! shikari shambhu was boring..! actually i never really cared to reead it...cos it jus didnt look very appealing....supandi...was simply superb!!!

and pls UPDATE!!

arunabh said...

each (wo)man ti his own..
Give me a topic to update.. i cannot even think up somthing weird :(

:) said...

Wow! Twas lovely.. absolutely lovely!
How do you manage to think of such topics to blog. Read all your blog at one go. But this one stood out, so commenting over here :)

Prabha Shankar said...

talkin about childhood memories which incidentally both of us had a little common taste of, reminds me of some more stuff..like suman saurabh,wisdom,tinkle and of course..the huge stack of ack(amar chitra katha).btw,ack played a very instrumental role for quizzes later on...lol.
you did not delve into the world of raj comics and cartoonist pran(of chacha chaudhary fame)...so should we expect something abt them sometime in near future

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