If you are the 80s or 90s child you would have devoured Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle. Suppandi, Kalia, Shikari Shambu, and many other characters would have visited your houses and entertained you, and been an unavoidable part of your lives. An inseparable entity of these comics was Anant Pai, aka Uncle Pai whom we hero-worshipped and aspired to be. The book Uncle Pai by Rajessh M Iyer brings to the reader, an unpretentious account of divine talent.
The extend of research invested by the author is commendable. The author. has brought to the forefront a detailed account of the events that transpired to the beginning and the end of the empire. The end is no longer the end, so to speak. It is an inspiring life story. Uncle Pai’s biography gives more twists and thrill. than any comics that the author has given life to.
The perseverance of the perfectionist
The author early life, punctuated by failures, strangely becomes the most inspiring point in the readers’ mind for how he took step by step approach with patience to overcome the difficulties and making a place for himself in the industry.
The honest approach
Unlike the biographies that are more of sycophant accounts, the author has shown cent per cent sincerity to the craft. He is unapologetically brought to light the highs and lows of Uncle Pai’s life and the character at large.
Strong women in Uncle Pai’s life
It is a contrast to see that, despite being a conventional person, when it comes to his perspective about and portrayal of women, two strong women defined his journey. His wife Lalita and Colleague Kamala. It is endearing to see the mettle shown by women in that era. The book made me want to read about Kamala – A woman who spoke out loud about the unfair portrayal of Draupadi at a time when a thought of this colour would have never come to others’ minds.
Another inspirational account of his life is how he soared like a Phoenix. I was reading the book like a primary student reliving the reading experience with the background story behind each edition.
This is one honest and entertaining biography that every book lover should read. The author has given several insights as postscripts, which are also bonuses for the readers.
Grab the book if you have devoured Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle as a child and get the feeling of knowing how each edition came to light. If you are a book lover, join our Outset Book Club and be with other book lovers. We also have the Outset Books Facebook Group.