Some relationships can never be explained. They are not blood or friendship or working but the ones you build over some good times. You never meet, you never talk but they have been with you when you were lonely or bored filling your life with joy. Yes I am talking about the relationships we build with our books, their characters and the authors behind them. I too have such relation with Chacha Chowdury, Saboo, Billu and Pinky and their creator Pran.
I was never an outdoor kid, preferring to spend time with my comic books reading one after another. I grabbed newspaper first thing in the morning to read the comic section whether English or Hindi daily. I even checked my grandpa's Urdu newspaper even though I couldn't read, but these comics were so simple you didn't need dialogues to understand. The beauty of Pran's comics was its simplicity. There was no intelligence but common sense, there were no punches but day to day humor, there were no heroes but commoners (if you discount Sabu's exceptional size).
I credit Pran for teaching me that Jupiter was the largest planet in the solar system because the people over there were also larger. Or how computer has the fastest brain but there were human brains faster. There are generations named after Saboo, Billoo, Pinki aur Gabdu inspired by Diamond comic characters and their traits. There are so many dialogues we rattle off till now and bond with all those who too grew up on Diamond comics.
Chacha Chowdhury ka dimaag computer se bhi tez chalta hai!
Jab Sabu ko gussa aata hai to kahin jawalamukhi fat ta hai!
Dagdag aadha machine aur aadha insaan hai!
Chacha Chowdhury and other next door friendly characters helped common people selflessly. They were honest, simple, middle class good citizens who enjoyed a laugh or two too. His bantering with wife Binny, his friendship and camaraderie with Saboo, an alien who found home in a small town India, Chacha's bond with his loyal dog Rocket, even his truck Dugdug who was given a pet name out of love. He had only friends, and it was the evil people who hated him. The evil people tried to bring trouble to the city and sometimes trying to take over the country or the entire world being power hungry or greedy. But Chacha and Saboo always ruined their plans with a perfect mix of brain and braun.
There was a phase after school when I got embarrassed being seen with Hindi comic books, probably it came from the fear of being judged for being desi and ghati. But not any more, they were my loyal childhood companions and this is my humble ode to them. To Sir Pran and all his characters who bring a smile to my face still and always will. I now read these books to my nephews and neices, one day I wish I would read them to my grandchildren and great grand children. The joys of childhood which Pran has left for the future generations...
Sir Pran - you will live forever with the children and those who grow up but keep their inner child alive...