Tribute To Cartoonist Pran, Creator of Chacha Chaudhary, who died yesterday at age 75.
Whose brain works faster than a Computer ? Chacha Chaudhary.
What happens when Sabu (the giant man from Planet Jupiter, and Chacha Chaudhary’s constant companion and Son-like) gets Angry? … A Volcano erupts somewhere on Planet Earth.
What happens when Chacha Chaudhary gets a hint of some petty thief eager to steel his new Black & White TV? … Chacha Chaudhary replaces the TV with a stack of trash Newspapers , puts it in place of the TV , and goes out to sit in the courtyard with his Bhagyawan (wife) Bini. The thief enters the room from an open window, hurriedly picks the TV wrapped in a bed sheet, only to find old newspapers later on.
If you had read Chacha Chaudhary and his innocent adventures (by today’s standards); then you surely would have smiled while reading the above questions. The answers of which, you already knew, but still you read them. That was the beauty of Pran. The Indian cartoonist who touched a sizable number of Indians through his cartoon characters such as Chacha Chaudhary (the rustic villager with big mustache, turban, mind and ego). Billoo (the ever mischievous teen), Shrimatiji (always scoring wife), Pinki (the innocent cute Girl) etc.
Call it the simplicity of the world without cable TV or too many telephones and the absence of mobile phones, no child questioned why all houses in Chacha’s village and nearby city are simple square boxes, as if God has colonised them using inverted shoe boxes. Or why the thief stealing Chacha’s TV can’t sense the difference between a TV and a stack of old newspapers . Those days, when there were no distractions such as 24 hour TV channels, cartoons and smartphones , the objective of reading a new comic was to laugh. Obviously, every mind trick or clever idea in the comic was a novelty. Many among us (including I) took many years to figure it out that ‘Pra 01’ on the diamond Comics cover is actually a creative way of writing Pran (See the Adjacent image).
Cartoonist Pran was an expert in reading the times , aptitude of the children and their psyche. That’s why he kept updating his comics with new introductions in society and technology. Recently I saw the latest Chacha Chaudhary book purchased for my niece. And the comic saw Chacha and Sabu fighting with some vicious and cunning computer scientist (how can Chacha Chaudhary boast about his mind in today’s world of smart computers , scamsters and smartphones!). Cartoonist Pran not only made us laugh, he also made us read. Comic is not like a TV, where we simply see. Comic is an interactive medium. Only when we read, we get the sense of what is going on. A generation which grew up in 80s and 90s will surely miss him.
Pran ! You Rest In Peace! As we understand your Signature Now. We will remember it always.
About Pran :
Pran Kumar Sharma ( 15 August 1938 – 5 August 2014), better known as Pran, was an Indian cartoonist best known as the creator of Chacha Chaudhary (1971). He also created other characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, and Channie Chachi. Born in Kasur, Pakistan , British India, Pran graduated with a BA from Gwalior and Master of Arts (Political Science) degree from evening Camp College, Delhi. He then pursued a five-year course in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai through distance as a private student while in Delhi, so that he could apply as a drawing teacher at schools, but he discontinued. His karma was comics. He had been suffering from colon cancer and subsequently was admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon, where he died on August 5, 2014 at approximately 9:30 pm local time. Till his death, Pran was busy creating comics. His Last Chacha Chaudhary comic is about Chacha fighting Black Money. For some years now, he was not actively drawing himself. Instead, he had kept artists to draw the comics under his supervision.