Everybody’s favourite Uncle Pai is no more. He has got a call from the gods, after telling us their stories for more than 5 decades. May his soul rest in peace.
Anant Pai, Uncle Pai to millions, was the creator of the famous Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) and Tinkle comics. Way back in the late 60s, he started the ACK series when he saw a quiz programme, in which Indian children could answer questions from Greek Mythology, but could not give the name of Rama’s mother.
Thanks to him millions, like me, could lend faces to the numerous gods and demons from our mythology. A fair-complexioned Ram, bluish Krishna, doe-eyed goddesses and dark coloured demons, he etched the characters in every impressionable mind with such ease. My initial familiarity with Indian Mythology was thanks to Uncle Pai. The numerous myths associated with our mythology, sans all the intricacies was so beautifully told, that a child’s mind would crave for more. It is this craving that made some of us go in for further reading and exploring more of our mythology.
With time, ACK added to its repertoire freedom fighters, philosophers and even events like the Jalianwala Bag tragedy, etc. The content was just right for a young mind which gave one both the knowledge and awareness along with the appreciation of one’s heritage and history. In a world of Walt Disney comics, Phantom and Mandrake series along with Tintin and Asterix, ACK stood its ground and I dare say, stood way above all of them.
On his passing away, I on behalf of millions of Indians would like to salute him. Once again, May his soul rest in Peace.