After going through an array on RIP Uncle Pai online, I was talking to a friend, a young chap and realised that he doesn’t know who uncle Pai was. I was taken back.
Referring to characters: Suppandi, Tantri the Mantri, Kalia –the crow, Shikari Shambu and son on, I asked, if he read ‘Tinkle’ and he replied, “No.”
His reasoning to it was that he was born in a digital era and I could relate to it immediately as I have seen my brothers glued to play station or glued to Facebook.
It was true. A flash back to the days when I was studying in Lungtenzampa surfaced in my head.
It used to be so fun going through Suppandi, a village simpleton who always misunderstood the commands of his master, the adventures of the lazy Shikari Shambu , who always ran from troubles but ended up becoming a hero. Tantri the Mantri’s tactics to replace Raja Hooja backfiring, Ramu and Shambu, the two identical twins who always wore checked shirts and shorts. It happened to me and why it happens were always fun to read.
The cover was always inviting and there were times when I used to quickly go through Suppandi features when the shopkeeper was not looking. (It used to happen mostly when I did not have enough money to buy it.)
Nu 25 seemed a lot of money then and special issues of Tinkle which came for Nu 50 always a catch but due to budget constraints, we resolved to borrowing and lending.
It was worth sacrifices on the pocket money. It was with me when I ate and spent hours reading it in the rest room.
And Until I heard of his death, I collected myself to google his image and reflected how this humble looking man used to be a part of my childhood days.
Now I know, he was from Kerala and how intelligently he had blend Indian history into narrative after he learnt that students were bad in history. He used to love children but never had his own.
He has left behind his wife alone and many like me wondering who would take his mission forward.
Rest in Peace Uncle!!
Read the edited version @ http://www.businessbhutan.bt/?p=4888