- Books, Literature, and Writing
India's Comics About Hindu Mythology and History in English Language-Amar Chitra Katha(meaning Immortal Picture Stories)
About Amar Chitra Katha comics
Here we delightfully feasted on the glorious Greek chronicles, rich Roman sagas, extraordinary Egyptian narratives, nostalgic Norse myths, amazing Arabian recitals, jubilant Japanese folktales and many more to name. It is high time we shared our potpourri of marvellous mythological tales, fabulous fables of wit and wisdom, enthralling epics and heroic stories of celebrated figures from the country renowned for its timeless cultural heritage - India!
If all of you are familiar with the famous superheroes graphic comics, Calvin and Hobbes, Archies Comics, etc, then these Indian comics are no different in its format and content except it retold classical stories of Hindu gods and goddesses, Indian heroes and heroines, and short fictional recounts based on human morals in a dramatically entertaining manner. Just as the recently acclaimed Horrible Histories book series charmed its readers with its interesting information, Amar Chitra Katha comics serves as an eye-opener about India's ancient scriptures coming out alive in the form of detailed picture stories!
The success story of Amar Chitra Katha comics
Amar Chitra Katha comics dated back to the 1960s with an aim to enrich the knowledge of Indian children concerning Indian historic stories. There were times when grandparents narrated stories to their grandchildren - only common stories they knew were the well-known epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Amar Chitra Katha comics acted entirely as an "archaeologist" which dug up an assortment of historical events and legends that were remotely unheard of for several years and assisted in restoring such hidden literary treasures and bringing them to the knowledge of Indian readers.
For years, Amar Chitra Katha comics kept on reinventing and updating its content to catch up with the changing times and had its readers engrossed in its colourful visuals and engaging dialogue bubbles.
Now Amar Chitra Katha comics are selling like hot cakes in the books-and-comics market and always stand in the front rack. They are very much in demand among the young readers, mostly school-going children.
Popularity of Amar Chitra Katha comics has reached its pinnacle that it also went online on Kindle and among the users of Apple I-pad.
Recently, many Amar Chitra Katha comics have been adapted into television animated series.
In order to reach out to foreign readers, these comic-series are now available on Amazon and eBay at reasonable prices.
Amar Chitra Katha comics appeals to all, the young and the old alike.
I as a proud owner of these illustrous comic-series
When as a school kid, while shopping in a local bookstore to buy my regular favourite Enid Blyton books, I stopped by a pile of comics with glossy covers and catchy titles. I flipped a few pages and immediately found them riveting. I bought many of them as they were then more cheaper than now. After reading them, I became an avid collector of Amar Chitra Katha comics over the years.
How God Ganesha had come into existence?; the lively and shrewd tales of monkeys, elephants, deers and crows; God Vishnu's incredible ten avatars; King Shivaji showed both his ambition as a just ruler and his display of wisdom; Why Buddha had given up his formerly princely life before becoming a saint who is worshipped worldwide?; the amusing relationship between the Mughal emperor Akbar and his intelligent courtier Birbal; How Goddess Parvati had won the heart of God Shiva?; the early life of Mahatma Gandhi; Goddess Durga's valiant adventures of destroying evil; singers such as Tansen and Mirabai and dancers such as Vasantasena enthralled the readers with not only their talents but also their escapades from jealous enemies and the list goes on........... Amar Chitra Katha comics has it all.
These comics continues to enchant me. I love reading them over and over again. Thanks to these comics, I became well acquainted with Hindu mythology and fables. I recited stories to my parents and grandmother who were enraptured by these wonderful tales (You can say this is the role reversal - I told stories to my elders). I planned to keep these comics with me so that I can pass them over to my kids in the future so that they will be enlightened as much as I was!
Some useful tips on how to encourage your kids to read Amar Chitra Katha comics:
- Gift Amar Chitra Katha comics to your kids and tell them that these comics will both fascinate and teach them a lot about India's culture.
- Read these comics with your young kids and spin stories, using hand actions and facial expressions.
- Enact mock dramas based on these comic-stories.
- Advise your kids to tell these stories to their cousins, aunts, uncles or their grandparents to cultivate the good habit of storytelling.
- To increase the level of reading interest among your kids, construct brief quizzes based on these comic-stories.
- Encourage your kids to form a reading club and invite their friends or cousins and share their common reading interests and information.
- In case of Indian fables based on good deeds, advise your kids to follow these good acts.
The man behind the creation of Amar Chitra Katha comics
The late Anant Pai was the originator of India's first ever comic-series Amar Chitra Katha. With his inimitable storytelling and brilliant marketing strategies, Amar Chitra Katha comics is now the top selling comics in India and is translated in several Indian regional languages as well as foreign languages. He also established another equally popular comic-series named Tinkle comics which attracted several Indian readers with its simple yet witty short picture stories. Anant Pai, fondly known as Uncle Pai, recently passed away and is still remembered by many for his great contributions to children's literature.
Copyrights © 2012 by Ishwaryaa Dhandapani
For more information, visit the following:
- List of Amar Chitra Katha comics on Wikipedia.
- Anant Pai on Wikipedia.