May 11, 2011


Barring a doctorate degree in science, a job at a research facility and a general penchant for being a 'dic'tator, there are a couple of things I have in common with Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Comics, and trains.

I touched on trains in my last post. Rummaging through my cupboard yesterday I found a whole bunch of dusty old comic books and magazines, inspiring my next "booky" blog post!

It all started with Chandamama. Not by definition a comic but the pictures were enough to incite interst in us kids. That scary illustration of vikram and vetal is still very fresh in my mind.

Then came Tinkle

I was in class 6 I think when I got hold of my first copy of Tinkle. I never looked back.... I still have piles of Digests, Double Digests and bi weekly issues lying around. Credit to late Anant Pai for giving us something to grow on when our english reading was still too nascent. I've held on to them inspite of Dad's insistence to sell them off.

It had all the great comings.... humor, a bit of mystery, a page or two of science and "it happened to me", a carefully selected section of interesting encounters.

Rise of X-men

As with everything else western, international comics took a while coming but pretty much blew Tinkle out of the water. But with much bolder themes and the more than occasional questionable illustration, it got little or no attention from Schools and libraries.
I bought a lot of stand alone issues ranging from Powerpuff Girls to Avengers but mostly X-men. Tin Tin and Asterix were also a major drag then and I managed to read them all from our School library. Owning one was out of the question due to their absurd prices. Enough about comics.

Now Mags...

Sometime in 1994, Dad bought this amazing photography magazine which, without doubt, is what got me into photography. Long before i knew how to load film rolls on a camera or fool around with apertures and speeds, this book served as the geek-feast for me....I knew nothing of the array of terms it used... AF illuminators, viewfinders, pentaprisms but I sat glued, flipping through the pages in fascinated glee.

More than 15 years on, it is still just as interesting. Hell, I can see some of my Minolta lenses on it! Pictured above attached to the 9Xi is my 50mm Prime lens!

Chip and Digit. I have a collection so big I can make good moolah selling them off on Abids. But then again....

Why would I? Unlike Sheldon who preserves all his books hoping to get them signed by Stan Lee, I intend to donate them to some rural School.

So what came of all this? I am not sure...but I can safely say this: No amount of TV or "GK study" can make up for what one learns from media like this. Advice to anyone who hates reading- Start with a magazine with lots of pictures. And no cosmopolitan or Stardust. That just kills the purpose.

Have informative books lying around? Don't send them to "raddiwalas", they'll end up getting used for "bhel".

There are thousands of underprivileged children out there. Donate to a school and help make a difference.

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