10 Comics Every 90s Kid Will Remember Fondly

Somewhere in a dusty and dark corner of my house still lies a stack of sepia-tined comics that I have read and re-read thousand times in my childhood. I read them to escape studies and homework, read them when I was bored or just because a challenge with a friend who will read first. Comics were the great and quick gateway that took us to the unknown world.

I speak for all of us when I say that when we all were young, we couldn’t go a day without reading our favorite comics. Archies, Pinky, Billu and of course Chacha Chaudhary were as much part of our life as our bedroom. So much we were in love and obsessed with them that we hid them inside our textbooks, blankets to read them undercover. Now, in a time where comics are dying breed, let’s remember some of our favorites from our childhood.

  1. Panchatantra 

Panchatantra was a series of interesting short stories which ended with a moral. Learning lessons was never this fun. From Brahmin and the Goat to Jackal And The War Drum, each story made us a little bit wiser.

  1. Chacha Chaudhary

Published way back in 1971, Chacha Chaudhary, Sabu and Pinky have been our chuddy buddies ever since we learnt to read. The computer se bhi tez Chacha amazed us with his quick wit and intelligence.     Walking with the red turban and the wooden stick, the ever-so-polite Chacha Chaudhary has been both a great companion and inspiration for us.

3. Champak

Remember eagerly waiting for our monthly subscription of Champak? Apart from all the stories, we would try to spot as many differences as possible in the two pictures in Spot The Difference. The interesting facts column was another personal favourite. For all Champak lovers, you can read it online here.

4. Archie

Despite being US-based, Archie Comics were just as adored in our country as in America. The young Archie was no less than a superhero for us. We especially loved watching his shenanigans with Betty and Veronica.

5. Nagraj 

This ageless venomous superhero gave quite a number of thrills to us as kids.  Those blue eyes, dark hair and the well-built green body was too awesome to ignore.

6. Chandamama

Chandamama almost replaced our grandparents with its unique style of storytelling. The bed-time stories often had a moral for us at the end of the story. The captivating style of narrative was impressive and very catchy for our young impressionable minds.

7. Akbar Birbal

It was always fun to read Akbar and Birbal’s adventures. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing Birbal outsmart the court men and ministers. He taught us the most important life lesson: to seek answers in the ordinary. A true inspiration, him!

8. Phantom

Phantom was another of our favourite comic superhero. The purple masked costume and the bewitching story line was too good to be ignored.

9. Tinkle 

Remember Supandi, Shikari Shambu, Kalia The Crow and Pyarelal? Tinkle Comics were no less than a treasure for kids with quizzes, stories and puzzles galore. Supandi and his friends were a classic and are still a top favourite!

10. Amar Chitra Katha

Amar Chitra Katha brought stories of Krishna and Jesus Christ to us in a way that we could easily relate to. The publishers are one of the few which have gone on to bring amazing content even to this day.

But the list never ends here: Superman, Nandan, Billu, Pinky, Batman and many more we never, ever ran out of comics in house or rental shop.

So, time to open the time machine trunk back to childhood guy!! What say??

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai is a multifaceted novel which weaves the motifs of family, class and experience of living the life of an outsider into a beautiful storyline. The book is primarily set in Kalimpong, a small town situated at the foothills of Himalayas in the mid 1980’s during the tension in Nepal for the establishment of a separate Gorkha State. Though, like many of its characters, the book connects two lands- one of the main storylines is that of Biju who has emigrated from Kalimpong and is living in NYC. The counter to Biju’s story of struggle as an immigrant in NYC is that of the Judge, the Judge’s grand-daughter Sai and Biju’s father, “Cook” all living in an isolated house in Kalimpong.

There an unrest breaks in Kalimpong over the establishment of a new Gorkha state, Judge, Cook and little Sai are all forced to face the toppling of a hierarchy that has defined their lives, for worse or better. Kiran Desai skillfully narrates each of their life in stories, albeit in bits and pieces all through the book, and connects them to each other bit by bit. In the meantime, away from the Kalimpong, Biju who is living in a different kind of disarray by waiting tables and eking out his existence as an illegal immigrant in NYC. There are various themes and internal emotions in the book but the immigrant’s sense of displacement is the one which dealt with special care and attention which really resonated me.

A careful observer of human behavior, with an eye for revealing details like her mother, Kiran Desai brings her story and characters to life, illuminating her themes without making any moral judgment about the characters- creating neither Saints nor Satan, just normal human being leading the lives as best as they can, using the meager available resources. Her characters, like people from diverse background, behave cruelly toward people they love, rediscover what is significant to them, who makes sacrifices for their children, discard old traditional ways of life and values, suffers at the hand of faceless government officials, and learn, and grow, and make decisions,  sometimes hasty or ill-considered, about their lives.  Dealing with all levels of society and diverse culture, Desai show’s life with humor and brutality, its quirkiness and harshness, and its tantalizing emotions and passionate commitments in a book that is both stunning and sensible.

Rating: 4.5/5

Novels by Anita Desai

A person needs a loads of patience and time in hand to read books by Anita Desai. Not just because they are difficult reads, but because they make you consider, mull, stop in between and reflect your state of mind and heart, and make you come back to the book/s in bits and parts.

I was introduced to Anita Desai by one of my library friend and the only thing which make me go through the book was its distinctive writing style, which keeps on amusing you at every moment of the book be it tragic, sadness or jealousy. The very first book was Fire on the Mountain, after which it was no looking back.

Anita Desai writes with candor- the feelings are usually stark and needs no explanation. The characters by her are often isolated/cocooned, living in their own selves, calm and comfortable in their skin and at times restless like any other character world be.

Had many debates and arguments with friends about her writing powers and why she should be given more credits for that.  Most of her novels are bleak but sometimes that is the bitter truth about human nature/life- there is also an unknown kindness that makes itself clearly in her works- from the relationship of the poet and his fan in “In Custody” to the delicate balance between a Great grandmother and her great granddaughter in “Fire on the Mountain”, which is retained over the course of the book.

Characters in Desai books are but human. They are shy, boisterous, awkward and often just want to live their lives isolated where there is no interference from the world.  Maybe this is the reason why her novels seems out of place in today’s time. The very much needed reason to read them. The books somehow provide the needed clam and quietness which is needed.

Remember reading, “Fire on the Mountains” with great apprehension. That can be applied to “Fasting, Feasting. All that was due to some underlying themes of desolation, loneliness and life not giving too many options or choices to the protagonists. Both the novels have the similar connotations- of being there and yet to have life of their own. This all is written without much feelings, so though you feel sorry for the characters and you do not feel the clog in your throat.  And for me this is the discreet attractiveness of her books. They will make you feel and that is more than enough.

One of my favorite Desai book has to be “Fire on the Mountain”. In a small town of Kasuli lives Nanda Kaul in her last years without any intrusion from outside world. Then her great-granddaughter is shipped to live with her. All the way through book they think they are different from each other, only till when their similarities came to surface along with pain, kindness, hurt, only ending in tragedy.

“In Custody”, the sensitivity of a poet’s last days and lost grandeur is illustrated with such pathos, that one could not help but cry in some portions of the book( not advocating Desai’s book but just stating the fact). The association between the poet and his longtime admirer is so subtle and so honest, that one begins to wonder and introspect about all relationships in that style only.

The mentioned books are probably the most poetic work by Desai. The vivid descriptions and scenes are not present in her other books. These books have less dialogue and much exquisite in the way all the characters behave and silently muse over the events which are unfolding around them. These are the true mark of Anita Desai’s Books – the quiet, the slowness and then unexpectedly series of events occur which changes the course of the character’s lives.

Books by Anita Desai are set in different times and worlds, and yet they ring so true for present times.  The grimness of life in “Fasting, Feasting”, the indifference but similar in “Fire on the Mountain”, the pathos of “In Custody”, all her novels are for strong heart people who can feel emotions and pain of the characters. Books by her is a jewel to be cherished and to keep and to go back again to admire as the years pass by.

Anita Desai is truly one of India’s creative and intellectual writers. A must readable author for all the literary fans.

 

Other Books by Anita Desai:

   

 

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.

S J Wilson debut novel Before I Go To Sleep has gained much attention while its release in 2011, so popular that its film rights has been snatched up by Ridley Scott due release in late 2014.  A taut psychological thriller, Before I Go To Sleep narrates a story of Christine Lucas, who each morning looks in the mirror to find her face aged by time she can’t recall passing, while a strange man, who claims to be her loving husband, Ben, patiently explains she experienced a traumatic brain injury nearly two decades ago and as a result suffers a rare type of amnesia obliterating much of her past and able to accumulate memories only for as long as she remains awake. As each day wears on, Christine struggles to understand what has happened to her, until, each day, Dr Nash calls and reminds her to read her journal, secreted in a shoebox in her wardrobe. A journal where underneath her name, on the very first page, she has written ‘DON’T TRUST BEN’. Thus begins Christine journey to find out the truth about herself and her past.

Before I got to Sleep, is a mesmerizing page-turner, the kind of book which keeps the reader up all well. One wonders, who is Christine really? What causes her amnesia? And who is Ben, the only man in her life upon whom she is totally dependent. Can she trust her intuition? The novel’s premise required that the reader occasionally know more than Christine knows as she seeks answer to these questions by herself and Watson has done good job of injecting the necessary information while at the same time maintaining the suspense for readers.

 Rating: 3.9/5

New Year Releases : January 2015

A hot cuppa of tea and a crackling fire might help you up on the coldest days of this month, but a steamy romantic novel or spicy thriller will really do the trick. This chilly weather is a perfect excuse to avoid venturing far away from the comforts of warm and cozy homes. So curl up and pick the January released books which explores love, forbidden but passionate encounters and relationships that are sexy, historical, fantastical and relatable.

Almost Famous Women

Almost Famous Women

From reclusive painters, to speed-boat racers, to swing dancers, Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Almost Famous Women explores the lives of some pretty spectacular females.

The List

The List

Scottish comedian Joanna Bolouri debuts her hilarious first novel, The List, about a scorned woman who has given up on love. She instead writes a list of the 10 things in bed she always wanted to try but never has, and she makes a goal to do them all in a year.

The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins

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The Girl on the Train is a debut novel to watch. In this psychological thriller, one woman’s life becomes entangled in a missing person case after she contacts the police with something she saw during a one minute stop. Every day she would watch the same couple eat breakfast together on the deck in her old neighborhood when the train stopped. What she sees ties her life to theirs and brings up all the unresolved issues with her ex-husband.

A Sister to Honor

A Sister to Honor

A young woman leaves her family in rural Pakistan to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor at a New England college in the United States. When she begins to fall for an American boy, her brother attempts to intervene in order to protect his sister from American customs. In Lucy Ferriss’s A Sister to Honor, lines between family, love, tradition, and loyalty become blurred.

For the Right Reasons

For the Right Reasons

Bachelor fans will love the insights in For the Right Reasons that Sean Lowe, a former contestant on the show and a particular fan favorite, has to offer on love, marriage, and being considered the “nice guy.”

The Art of Not Having It All: True Stories of Men, Sex, and Other Disasters

 The Art of Not Having It All: True Stories of Men, Sex, and Other Disasters

Melissa Kite’s hilarious memoir, The Art of Not Having It All: True Stories of Men, Sex, and Other Disasters, is a look into her own life as a single woman in her prime who doesn’t have it all figured out — and the realization that having it all isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

In His Keeping

In His Keeping

Arial has kept her psychic powers a secret her whole life, but an enemy begins to threaten her life. In Maya Banks’s In His Keeping, one man is employed to protect her from danger — but what began as a job develops into something more.

After the War Is Over

After the War Is Over

A historical fiction by Jennifer Robson, captures a military nurse’s experience with life and love in the aftermath of World War I.

 

 

Enjoy your January reads!!!!!