It’s Saturday! Me and bro are excited. New edition of Tinkle will hit the news stand. We walk to the news paper stand near our house with Appa to buy Tinkle. On the way it has to be decided... Will we buy the Rs 10 Tinkle or should we go for the Rs 25 Tinkle Digest?
Well, let’s not tax Dad too much. We decide to buy the Rs 10 Tinkle. Once at the newspaper stand, stealthily our eyes are looking at the Tinkle Digest. Oh but can we really by the Rs 25 one? So we hesitantly ask Appa... Can we actually by the Digest? Is it Ok with you? Can you get it for us?
A person who is crazy about books himself, Dad has never refused us a book. So there we go! Rs 25 Digest. But then the other one looks equally interesting... there you go again! Dad says buy that as well... Me and bro, a contented duo walk home with our week’s priced possession.
Well, unity between elder sis and a younger bro is situational. “Who will read the Tinkle first?” It is a sensitive question that might create ruptures in the bond developed on the way to the newspaper stand. Well after a bit of arguments, name-calling... we come to a consensus and since we have two books, each of us start reading one. (The one who gets to read the smaller one is still irritated of course)
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We were among those who weren’t exposed to television. No TV at home. We thank Dad for it. It was absence of TV that induced us into more reading. As a rule, we read Tinkle while having dinner and on weekends we would have an elaborate breakfast and lunch reading our favourite editions of Tinkle. Even to this day, visit my place and you’ll see copies of the comic book lying around everywhere.
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Many years later, we are officially, physiologically, legally, not ‘children’ anymore.
It all remains the same with respect to Tinkle. Breakfast with Tinkle, Lunch with Tinkle. Dinner with Tinkle.
If you are happy read Tinkle, if you are sad, read Tinkle. If you are lazy spread all the editions around you and don’t move from the place the whole day!
This and many more dear memories hit me all at once on coming to know that Anant Pai passed away. It evoked many emotions in me, all jumbled up.
Reading Tinkle have I grown up, with it my passion for writing has grown. Though the initial dream has metamorphised into several other forms of writing after my childhood, my dream to be a ‘writer’ has its roots in those countless reading sessions of this comic book. Even today, I hold the magazine as one the most engaging literary collections ever. Of course with this dream was another one... to work in Tinkle with Anant Pai as a mentor. That remains a dream.
Sitting in my office, at a time when the edition is supposed to go to print and when I am expected to be on my toes, my feet drag. My mind ticks back to those cozy, warm, memories associated with Tinkle and Uncle Pai. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he kindled my passion for writing. The least I could do for this genius of a man who inspired many generations of Indians is to begin posting a blog which I have been promising myself to do from a long time. Incidentally, my memories related to Tinkle was something I began writing a month or two ago and left it mid way.
Here I am, typing it away today... To, Uncle Pai!
I dedicate this blog to Anant Pai.