Goodbye Pran Chacha, come back soon

Who likes to read school books? But if there's a Chacha Chaudhary comic book hidden among those books, then it's a good folly to portray yourself as a studious person in the eyes of the teacher. Pran Kumar Sharma, the creator of Chacha Chaudhary, Billu, Pinki, Sabu, you have suddenly gone silent in our noisy daily bustle, bringing back fond memories from our childhood.

You provided the window of wisdom to all our innocence, as well naughtiness. The way you taught us personal integrity at our early ages, it was unique and could have only come from you and your characters. Chacha Chaudhary, whose mind is works faster than the computer, is lively and indelible in our minds. At an age where our young faces emoted vulnerability, the powerful character you created made us feel like a 70-year-old without the moustache. Reading Chacha Chaudhary's adventures made it compulsory for us to lap up his stories further more to make our own brains process things faster. A simple hurdle of a punctured tyre, did not worry us about our chances to reach home because we were Chacha Chaudharys ourselves and could solve anything. We were kids, Pran Chacha, and we were mesmerised by the world you created.

We were like a blown-up packet of potato wafers, which had little chips and more air. We were small, but we feigned big like your characters. Whenever we got into a fight, we remembered your Sabu - the strapping, mighty, giant from Jupiter. His biceps inspired us to jump into the battlefield without a care. It was only when we lost that we realised that our bones had little flesh on them. But it did not matter much because we hoped some day we too will have a 15 ft Sabu with us. And then, we'll get back at the cruel world.

Pran chacha, we identified the affection between our own grandparents when we read about your Chacha-Chachi. It was satisfying every time Chacha Chaudhary trumped villain Raka and shaved off his moustache to teach him a lesson. Pran chacha, it was good that none of my friends at that age had their moustache. Or, else...

The names your gave to your characters were lovely - Gobar Singh, Dhamaka Singh, Raka, Pinki, and so on. These were so easy on a kid's tongue. You introduced next-door characters to our world at a time when our comics world were filled with foreign superheroes and characters such as Superman, Phantom and their kins.

Billu, for instance, had his hair locks perpetually shielding his eyes. All girls of my age adored him. We thought it was all due to his hair that he gets so much attention. We were promptly reminded of the difference between the real and the comics world, when our hair was trimmed with curt warnings. But that did not deter us to continue with our playfulness, and our ambition to become heroes at the mere age of 14.

Pran Chacha, our moms took advantage of your comics too. Our aversion to milk was greeted with the example of Chacha Chaudhary's mind and Sabu's strength. Our small palms were loaded with water melons instead of grapes, and our moms telling us - "Eat up, little Chacha Chaudhary."

Pran Chacha, we remember you today also because of the humour you instilled in your characters. It's only that your magical mind is silent today, that we are remembering you after reaching this grown-up age. All your characters are vivid in our mind in a dimension that defies digits such as 2, 3, 5-D. People say you are India's Walt Disney, but you were unparalleled in your own way. Now that you are gone, your characters have gone silent. You were true to your name Pran (life), because you breathed life into your characters, and now without Pran, your characters have gone silent.

Pran Chacha, please come back soon - perhaps as a new character in another magical mood, so that coming generations do not become cartoons themselves after watching cartoons, but learn something, just the way we learnt from your characters.

Goodbye Pran Chacha. Please come back soon.

इंडिया टुडे ने भी चाचा प्राण के प्राण न रहने पर इंग्लिश में खत को जगह दी.