Comics, classrooms and the legend of Anant Pai

Vijita Mukherjee

anant_pai Most of us who grew up in the Seventies and the Eighties, will remember Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) with a wave of nostalgia. Most of the good comics available then (those with quality language, visuals, and stories) were few and hard to get, and since they were usually foreign publications they were harsh on the wallet as well. With ACK we got a product, which was comparable to its overseas counterparts and yet so different.

Every time we turned a page of those slim colourful volumes, a fresh picture of a bygone era unfolded before our eyes. And the man responsible for the collective foray of a generation into mythology, history, and folklore was the indefatigable Anant Pai!

The first story
The beginning of the masterwork Amar Chitra Katha is in itself an interesting story.

It was the year 1967. Anant Pai was watching a quiz competition. Children were fielding questions on Greek mythology with panache, but when asked who Rama’s mother was, they were stumped!

The author is a freelance writer who has scripted and written stories for Tinkle and has been closely involved with Amar Chitra Katha Junior. She has also contributed books for Terrapin, the children’s imprint of TERI. She can be reached at [email protected].

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