Monday, February 28, 2011

Remembering Uncle Pai

At Karadi Tales and Amar Chitra Katha, we mourn deeply the loss of Anant Pai - Uncle Pai, as we knew him. He was the visionary behind Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle and he deeply inspired several publishing houses in the country including Karadi Tales. For those of us who grew up on his creations, our very idea of Indian history and mythology was defined by this man's vision. He is not just a loss to ACK Media, but to our country.

Here's a note from our director, C. P. Viswanath:

More than one generation of Indians are aware of their roots because of Amar Chitra Katha.  The 100 million copies is nothing - the number of people who actually read each copy, the kind of enduring impact the storytelling had on the reader, the agelessness of the storytelling - Sri Anant Pai's contribution is immeasurable.  At this time, it is also relevant to remember Sri G.L.Mirchandani who had the vision to back him.

Karadi Tales is hugely inspired by him.  In the context of our own endeavours, we realise the immensity of his legacy and silent influence.  As inheritors of this legacy, our collective responsibility is now even bigger.

Uncle Pai lives on.

Our creative director, Narayan writes:

Anant Pai defined generations through Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle and has been a huge inspiration for Karadi Tales.  As one renowned artist said yesterday, no contemporary Indian storyteller, artist or animator has been untouched by his creative influence.   

In the hands of a vibrant team at ACK Media, Amar Chitra Katha and Anant Pai will always be with us.  

The IBH team in Chennai drew this sketch as a tribute to Uncle Pai:
Ashish Goel of ACK Media charts out Uncle Pai's legacy:

Uncle Pai was an inspiration for an entire generation, and the guiding light for our organization. The legacy of Uncle Pai will continue to live on. All of us at ACK Media have the onus and responsibility to carry on his vision.

I would like to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of a small part of his many and varied achievements:

Uncle Pai started the comic book series Amar Chitra Katha based on stories from the India epics, mythology and history after he witnessed a quiz contest in which participants could easily answer questions pertaining to Greek history but were unable to answer simple questions about India. This was in 1967; at the time he was working in Times Of India; he decided to leave his job and after facing many rejections he finally found a partner in the late G. L. Mirchandani of India Book House. They launched the imprint with Mr Pai in the role of writer, editor and publisher. With his commitment to high quality research and authenticity the comics won over not just children but educators and parents as well. The series went on to become a publishing milestone selling over 100 million copies of about 440 titles and continues to be a bestseller today.

In 1980, sensing a growing need for a general-purpose fun magazine for children Mr Pai launched Tinkle. After about a year of teething troubles the magazine established itself as the leading English language publication for children. The magazine is home to some of the most loved homegrown cartoon characters like Suppandi, Shikari Shambu and Tantri the Mantri.

Mr Pai’s success was a result of his intuitive flair for storytelling, his foresight in cultivating outstanding artists like Ram Waeerkar who gave the comics a unique look and his tireless energy in promoting the 
stories. He traveled to schools across the length and breadth of India and was responsible for several marketing innovations (e.g., BEST buses painted with ACK characters, school newsletters) that were ahead of the times. Mr Pai had the unique gift to communicate and connect with children as a true friend. He believed that every value and knowledge could be communicated to a child through the medium of story-telling.

He remained committed to the idea of telling stories from the vast ocean of Indian sources in whatever form was most popular with children. In 2007 after Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle became part of ACK Media he was named Editor Emeritus and was keen on the new animation projects that the company had launched to realize his characters in new forms for the new generation. Mr Pai continued to develop new ideas till the very end – for the last three years he was working on his favorite project - Glimpses of Glory that brings to life 60 defining moments from Indian history.

We'll miss the man - and we'll try to keep his vision alive.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bookaroo 2010 - photos

It's a little late, but we figured it's better late than never! Here are some photos from the art sessions conducted by Malavika P. C. at Bookaroo in November 2010!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

An Interview with Shobha Viswanath

An interview with our publishing director Shobha Viswanath 
in Define magazine.
Click on the images to read the complete interview!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Looking for writers for our new Animated Shorts project

Karadi Tales is developing a series of short animation films based on the exploits of Suppandi and Shikari Shambu. We're looking for writers who are familiar with these characters, and can develop existing comic sketches into scripts for a 3-minute animated short format.

We're looking for a good creative writer with

  • a wacky sense of humour,
  • some experience in screen writing
  • and the ability to churn out at least 50 fantastic scripts a month

It of course helps if you are a Tinkle fan.

Interested writers please get in touch. Send us a sample script based on any existing Shikari Shambu sketch! Email -

Please spread the word.

Team Karadi

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!
Click on the card to read our special message to you!

Illustration by Malavika P. C.
From 'Intergalactic Idol'
A soon-to-be-published title from Karadi Tales!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Videos from AfterSchool Convocation

Do take a look at some videos from our AfterSchool convocation performed by the lovely kids from The Yellow Bus!

Here's little Riya overcoming her shyness and becoming an elephant called Bablu from the story Bablu and the Mouse!

Here's the first scene from their performance of the story Fish Friends Three!

And here are all the kids singing the 'Will You Read With Me?' song!

Take a look at the original song here:

For more information on Karadi Tales AfterSchool, click here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Karadi Tales AfterSchool Convocation

On 26 January 2011, the first batch of the Karadi Tales AfterSchool SuperStory programme at The Yellow Bus, a dynamic children’s centre in Besant Nagar, Chennai, graduated – and with flying colours! They kids presented a vibrant performance based on their creative learnings through the course of the programme.

Here’s a note from Mrs. Hema Chari of The Yellow Bus.

The jungle came alive in the presentation in different mediums of expression - art, music, theatre and dramatic reading. Every parent who registered their child for the SuperStory program came to me asking for only one thing – ‘My child is very shy, kindly make my child open up a little more.’ Today, after seeing the presentation of their child in front of an audience, the parents were amazed to see the sea of change in them. They were unanimous when they said that all the children showed great confidence all through the presentation on the convocation day.

When we wanted to put up the show, we truly wanted everything to be ‘of the children’ and ‘by the children’ but ‘for the parents’. We didn’t want to leave out any activities that the SuperStory program offered.

So our first thought went to the backdrop for the event. We decided to have a common backdrop which would depict both the eeriness of the forest and the currents of the ocean. In that direction, our art facilitator and the children worked side by side in the making of the backdrop. And the world of paints and brushes set the stage for the event.

We began the evening with the musical presentation of the Karadi song ‘Welcome to my Jungle’ performed by all the children. Since the SuperStory program is designed to develop language and reading skills, we followed this with a dramatic reading of the story Bablu and the Mouse by Ashwat and Sumukhi in which Riya acted as the elephant.

This was followed by the evening’s main feature – the theatrical presentation of the story Fish Friends Three. Anwesha acted as Timsi Machili. Bucki Mach was played by Rene. Pradyumna took to playing Moti Meen. 

The two fishermen were Pranesh and Tarun while Ashwat and Sumukhi were the narrators. 

We found that the children quite easily slipped into different characters. They related to the story very well even as it was dealt with during the sessions.

In order to show our parents how fun-filled and energized each of the sessions were, our theatrical facilitator demonstrated a fun game called 'Zip-Zap', used during the theatre activities.

We concluded the evening with the musical presentation that highlights the importance of reading books and a rendition of the ‘Will You Read With Me?’ song. 

After the concluding song, certificates were distributed to all the children by our Chief Guest Mrs. Shashikala Sriram, Principal of Bala Vidya Mandir. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011