Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I read Tinkle as a kid, and had lots of them. My mother got them bound. These bound Tinkles travelled around the family, and have now made their way back to Puttachi, who is hooked onto them. I love browsing through them too--brings back happy memories. And something that really makes me laugh are the advertisements of thirty years ago! [Velcro! Keeps everything fastened. No mess, no trouble!] I intend to do a post on these ads, complete with pictures.

An aside: Suppandi jokes are totally in among Puttachi's friends! I think they are of the right age to appreciate that kind of simple humour. They tell each other Suppandi jokes all day, and half of them have been made up by themselves.

I used to love Tinkle, was enamoured by Uncle Pai and was particularly fascinated by the address of the Tinkle office: IBH, Mahalaxmi chambers, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Bombay. I spent many hours imagining a lively place full of people, and I thought the cartoon panels were all engraved on rubber-stamp-like moulds, and all they had to do was choose the right panel, block-print it on paper, and colour it. Bombay was to me a large open space with a beach, and in which city my aunt lived. I wondered how close Mahalaxi Chambers was to her house (but never asked anybody.)

Cut to a little more than 10 years ago, i.e. about 20 years after my childish imagination. I was working in Bombay, and my friend asked me to accompany her to a bookshop (Crossword?) in Mahalaxmi. We took the local, and I just followed her blindly as we got off the train at Mahalaxmi station, walked a little, and went to a building. After she finished her work, we were coming down the stairs, when suddenly, I saw the door to a small office. I just peered in - it was an old-fashioned room, with walls painted a dull green or blue, and with tube-lights.  Small, barred windows with thick nondescript handloom curtains. I spotted an ordinary desk with a green rexine-looking table-cloth. Just imagine a government office of your childhood and you'll know the kind of room I'm talking about.. Just out of curiosity, I read the board outside the door-- though I don't remember what exactly was on it, I saw the words "Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle."

Suddenly the light turned on in my head.

I asked my friend, "Hey, what is the name of this building?"

"Mahalaxmi Chambers, if I'm not wrong," she said.

"And the name of the road?" I asked.

"Not sure, why?" she said.

I didn't know what to say. I went downstairs and looked around, and sure enough, I saw a board somewhere that announced that it was Bhulabhai Desai road.

I had unexpectedly seen the magical fantasy world of my childhood imagination!


Chitra said...

I love Tinkle too! Have a whole collection till date!

Shammi said...

I would read Tinkle if there were no Amar Chitra Kathas, Targets or Chandamamas available :)

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