It was a discovery that changed my life, literally. As a 5 or 6 year old, I was digging into our clothes cupboard to get my clothes to go for a bath. I saw this colourful book full of illustrations peeking between the clothes. I took it out. It was an Amar Chitra Katha comic by the name of Padmavati. I was completely fascinated. Having never seen anything so colourful and with all those drawings, I started to read immediately. I don’t remember the story at all. All I can remember is, it had the word jewel and jewellery in it, which I couldn’t understand. I also did not know how it is pronounced. Anyway, I read the book and wanted more. I really have no idea why my parents bought it, or why they put it in the cupboard to be discovered. Maybe, I should ask them about it.
Then there was no turning back. I used to devour comics like the world is about to end. Another of my friend who was my age, was an equally crazy reader. We used to exchange our books. During holidays, my parents used to visit the second hand newspaper shop and buy hordes of comics costing as little as Rs. 1 or 50 paise.
Phantom was another of my favourite from Indrajal comics. We had even bound all the Phantom comics into one jumbo book. Then there was Mandrake the magician, Flash Gordon, Tarzan. Superman and Spiderman had not yet invaded our lives. Tinkle had also not started I think. There were some monthly books for children called Chandamama and Champak which we used to buy religiously. My mother also used to read the stories in the Chandamama with Vikram and Betaal being a favourite.
It was the world of Amar Chitra Kathas which I still remember and cherish. Folk tales, Jataka tales, Panchatantra tales, mythologies, brave warriors. Even now, when I buy any Amar Chitra Katha or Tinkle for my sons, I will be the first to read it.
Who introduced you to the world of books? Which were your favourite childhood books?
Daily prompt from Writers Write.