Monday, January 16, 2006


I distincly remember the first time I read a comprehensive comic book. I was 6 yrs old and was about to be 7 in a couple of days. Till then, the cartoon strip in newspapers was all I knew of cartooning and never pictured that there could be books full of them. It was the first edition of ‘Tinkle’ which cost Rs. 6 and was reluctantly financed by my mother in exchange for not watching a movie which apparently wasn’t made for my age group (I’d kill to remember which one). I bought it at the newspaper stall right next to our place which remained my library for years to come. I lapped it up within an hour, which btw, should be an accomplishment for a kid who was not yet 7 :) ! Then I moved up to Archies, Chandamama, Jataka Tales and very soon into the streets of Gotham City and Metropolis.
I was lucky to have had prior introduction to Superman through the movie which I watched at my uncle’s place… my first movie on the VCR. I was blown away! I used to simply stare at the comic book cover for hours together dreaming of wearing that holy red-and-blue suit and ripping through space at unimaginable speeds (I din’t know the speed of light then and hence couldn’t compare). Slowly I became an even bigger fan of the Dark Knight aka Batman. The best part of him was that he was human. Just like any of us but bigger than all of us. He was vulnerable, yet infallible. Dark, yet a Hero. That day on, I was a Believer. Every day after school I used to come straight to the newspaper stall, pick up the latest comic and read till I could hear my mother screaming at me from the balcony. I swept the entire range. From Mahabali Shaaka, and Nagaraj to Phantom and Mandrake to Justice League and later on Tintin and Asterix. Years passed by but I still hold on to those stories.

Its not that I haven’t grown past them, I’ve grown with them. And come to think of it, I never want to let them go. I don’t want to sound obsessed like Samuel L Jackson on a wheelchair in ‘Unbreakable’, but those comics were the building blocks of some of my principles and ideals. They were to me the perfect example of what my mother used to call the ‘Win of Truth over Evil’. The pristine thought process of sacrificing your personal life, fame and fortune to help the less fortunate was too priceless for me and still is. In this era where life in its shades of grey has been accepted as the norm, we need to turn back to something everytime there is conflict of choices available. Fairy Tales probably have more significance than we think.
Its probably why such tales are classified as ‘Fantasy’ .. ‘cos in this world, they would never fit in.


Rohan said...

Al.. you are a tag victim :-)
See this:

Rohan said...

Hi Al,

I tagged you. See this :

azhar said...

nice post

Super Yoss said...

Hi! I'm a BATMAN fan form Indonesia. I collecting almost 12000 fantasy pictures (real paper, not digital) and now learning to make blog. Visit my BATMAN PAGE here :

Have a good day!