A tribute to the creator of Amar Chitra Katha & Tinkle, late Uncle Pai on his first death anniversary
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 24, 2012
What can be the best way to pay a tribute to a storyteller? Tell his story. ACK Media, India’s leading education and entertainment company for kids, pays tribute to the creator of Amar Chitra Katha & Tinkle, late Uncle Pai, by launching an Amar Chitra Katha title “Anant Pai – the master storyteller”. Marking the occasion of his first death anniversary, the biography of Uncle Pai was launched during Comic con on 18th February, by his beloved wife, Lalita Pai. A short film titled – Tribute to Uncle Pai was also aired during comic-con. The Amar Chitra Katha title on Uncle Pai will also be available on the Apple App store for his millions of fans.
“This is a tribute to the man who created Amar Chitra Katha. It is an acknowledgement of the revolution he brought, not just by creating comics based on Indian stories but also by bringing into the limelight stories of our country which needed to be shared and told. It is a tribute from all of us who have worked with him and learned from him”, said Reena Puri, Editor Amar Chitra Katha.
Anant Pai strode the Indian comics industry like a colossus. Known as the Walt Disney of India, he told stories from mythology, history and literature to generations of children, using the comic book format. Uncle Pai, as he was known, wanted Indian children to be familiar with their heritage. He believed that it helped build self-esteem and confidence. A chemical engineer by profession, Anant Pai gave up his job to follow his dream, a dream that led to the creation of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle. Amar Chitra Katha title on Anant Pai traces the story of the man who left behind a legacy of learning and laughter. This is his life story from his childhood days in a village in Karnataka , through his education and then the pursuit of his dream till he succeeded.
“The Anant Pai title is an inspirational story which seeks to provide a role model for children. It is a typical Amar Chitra Katha, the only difference is that it is about a man who still reaches out and touches the hearts of millions of Indian children”, shared Reena Puri, further adding, “It was very difficult to decide what we should finally put into the script of the book as there was lot of information available. What guided us were Mr Pai’s own words, “See if the story will be of interest to children. See if there is something in it for children to take away. Then tell it.” We feel that there is a lot for a reader to take away from the story of this wonderful man – be it a child or a grown-up.”
This 32-page comics biography took 11 months to compile and has been researched and scripted by Gayathri Chandrasekaran who has also worked with Anant Pai and was assistant editor of Tinkle. It has been illustrated in the traditional ACK style by Dilip Kadam, the artist behind many of Amar Chitra Katha’s best-loved works, including the mammoth, best-selling, 42-volume Mahabharata.
“A lot of people who worked with Pai had to be met and extensive interviews conducted with his wife, Lalita Pai, his sister and other relatives. Subba Rao, who was one of the first associate editors of ACK gave us very valuable inputs and helped us refine the script”, shared Gayathri Chandrasekaran.
“It has been an emotional experience for the three of us since we have all worked with him. He was my mentor and my guide. He shared his vision with me and taught me the responsibility and importance of writing for children”, expressed Reena Puri.
A genius,mentor,intellectual and what not... that is[and not was] Late Mr Anant Pai. He worked relentlessly for children's magazine and ACK was one of them. He will always be remembered for his unflinching devotion to hard work. Children as well as grown-ups, like me, will surely miss him for time immemorial.