Thursday, April 2, 2009

Comics,Cartoons and Growing up


In the course of life, in its bustling crowds and busy schedules, many of us have forgotten the child inside us. Many of us have absorbed ourselves in defining practicality, and in our search for the significant and orderly, we have forsaken the meaningless and the insignificant. Everything has to have a reason now, a purpose, a value, a return of profits etc. As we grow and reach a stage where we call ourselves adults, all that is symbolic of childhood,of youth,of innocence becomes stereotypically trivial and immature. But is that really necessary for being an adult?

I have crossed the line where i could call myself a child or even a teenager but just short of being called an Old man..hahah!! And yet I have always tried to safeguard and nourish those traits of a child, of youth, of innocence, of marvel and surprise at anything new I see, of pleasure at the most simple things in life and the desire to discover.

One thing out of the many other, that still keeps the child inside me alive, Is my love for cartoons and comics. Now believe me am not a total freak fan of comics, but I do like them and they are among one of the many interests I have.

My liking for cartoons started with "He-man", something that caught my attention as a young child. The battles between "Skelator", arch rival of "He-man", the dual personality of He-man where he is an innocent, scared common man and at the same time has the power to become one of the strongest man in the Universe with a sword that could do magical things. It was a magical time for me. Growing up, Jungle book by Rudyard Kipling was televised as a cartoon series on the Indian national channel. It was wonderful, beautiful and every sunday I would and so like other millions of kids would sit in front of the TV and get absorbed in the story of "Mowgli", the hero of the story. His adventures in the Jungle, his dual with "Sher Khan", his escapades and his romance with a human girl from a village all that just fascinated me. Then of course later came Superman,Spiderman,Batman and other superheroes...hahahha!!

Tom and Jerry needs no mention as this is an one everlasting series that no body can just ignore. I still watch it and somehow still end up laughing at the various stints between these two loveable characters. "Ben 10" is quite fun I realised, as I recently tried a couple of episodes.

The interest in comic books first started from Indian comics.I would gorge dozens and dozens of Hindi comic books and would anxiously wait if there is a continued story in the next edition of a comics book.

"Nagraj","Super Commando Dhruv","Parmanu" etc were all creations that completely blew my mind off. Raj comics was the company behind such great characters and to my surprise, these comic characters are still out there, kicking asses of the bad guys.

"Bankelal","Chacha Chaudhary" etc were creations of Diamond comics and were on the humorous side. I had hundreds and hundreds of these comics. My hindi went over the top by the time I was in my 9th grade, and we were not even taught Hindi anymore at Tibetan school, Its a pity such a beautiful language is less exposed in our schools.

Recently, I had a revival of interest in my child hood superheroes especially "Nagraj" and " Super Commando Dhruv". So I set on to find out what these two characters are upto these days. I discovered I have been pretty behind since I haven't read these two characters for almost 10 years now. Now I am reading them again and believe me it is fun in a strangely soothing way.

Cartoons and comics, in some ways have this power to once again put you back the times when you can easily and completely detach yourself from reality and linger in a world of fantasy and magic and mystery. It was enchanting to me when I was young and believe me, it is proving to be more exciting even now. As i slowly slip out of the company of adults, open my laptop and pretend to work, while instead I would be gorging on the new set of stories of "Nagraj" and "Dhruv" in their new adventures, all in a digital format.

Have I grown up?

Not when I am reading a comic or watching a cartoon. :)