Cerebral Shangrila

Monday, June 07, 2004


I was lucky to view a Program titled " Business Bizarre" on BBC Yesterday night at 10pm.The Program was on the Evolution of the " Amar Chitra Katha " since the day of its inception,its unqualified success in the 70's & 80's and the business challenges it faced in the 90's and today.It was the Dream of one man " Anant Pai" (I knew him more by his tamil pen name Vaandu mama).

For someone who grew on a diet of Amar Chitra Katha & Tinkle (I was so crazy about them that I still have all the books stored in two big suitcases at my home in Madras !), the program was a trip in Nostalgia and an eye-opener to its current Challenges.The Characters of Kapish,Kalia the crow,Suppandi are forever etched in your memories with those evergreen stories.Most of us would have learnt our Ramayan,Mahabharat,Indian History from those vivid colorful cartoons and concise texts.

The Program talked about the unqualified success of Amar Chitra Katha ( It sold a record Half a million copies per month in the 80's ) in the 70's & 80's and how the circulation went downhill with the advent of Color Television in the late 80's and early 90's.The Economic Liberlisation heralded the advent of Cartoon Network TV Channel & foreign comic books which further resulted in a steep decline.Now the magazine sells just 85000 copies a month and has stopped printing in languages other than English & Hindi ( Though some local publishers still print a small number of copies in local languages).The Program made an interesting business case study however what gushed inside me was pure nostalgia !


  • Yo man...those are cool....but u shold also include chandamama....that was more of a moral science thing...but it was indeed good esp bikram and bethal ;)

    By Blogger kaatss, at 3:10 AM  

  • Wow, I didnt know Anant Pai's Tamil pet name was 'Vaandu mama'. I liked Vaandumama, and his 'Ratnabala' magazine a lot. Tinkle is yet another good one. Even today, the mythological stories and Indian cartoons are best available only in Amar Chitra Katha publications. Sad, a new generation doesnt have legacy of such wonderful magazines! They will have to be content with content from international magazines. Fast way to lose touch with roots!

    By Blogger Guruprasad, at 4:38 PM  

  • great. I did not know the real name of vaandu mama. i am not sure whether he is alive? any feedback?

    By Blogger mynah, at 12:14 AM  

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