Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pran Kumar - The cartoonist

Chacha Chaudhary: Middle class Indian, frail but an extremely intelligent old man.

500 published editions, and 5 crore copies sold till date.

Raman: With 100 editions, Raman managed to win the hearts of several comic book lovers across the subcontinent.

Copies sold till date: 60 lakh

Billoo: The Indian Archie, likeable by girls but not so 'Casanova Friendly', who is a great fan of cricket.

No one has ever seen his eyes due to the hair cover.

200 editions of Billoo.

Copies sold till date: 2 Crore

Pinky: She is just a five-year old girl, who means no harm but ends up creating a mess. She is the Desi version of Denice the Menace.

Copies sold till date: 2 Crore

Shrimatiji: The series depicts the day-to-day life of Shiela and her husband Kishore. Despite the difficulties in coping with the spiralling prices, the couple goes on cracking jokes on each other and enjoying the life as it comes. Since its creation in 1968, the book has 60 editions.

Copies sold till date: 60 lakh

Channi Chachi: The meddlesome fat woman, who lives next door, Channi Chachi was another one of Pran's creation that received acclaim. 50 editions.

Copies sold till date: 50 lakh

Pran Kumar is no more. The celebrated, iconic cartoonist, who was the creator of so many legendary creators has left a void. I dont know if kids are still crazy about comics, but I was a die-hard fan of Chacha Chaudhary.

Note: Images and snippets are taken from "The Financial Express", dated August 10, 2014.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Things I hate about gyming

Waking up early everyday!!!

- Waking up early each and every day, while the wife's alarm clock still has an hour to ring.

- Putting on and off my shoes and socks. That's like 10 precious minutes of my morning.

- Reaching the gym. Each second before I enter the door, I think of skipping it that day.

- Even after I reach the gym so early, there are already so many people lined up near the treadmills.

- Right after I enter the gym, all the pretty girls are about to finish their workout.

- There's always a queue in front of the water cooler, especially when I am out of breath, and my throat has gone completely dry.

- I follow all the rules of the gym, while the more muscular guys do whatever they want.

- My determination for the day just drops off after the first 20 minutes of working out.

- When I am ready to leave, more pretty girls start pouring in through the doors.

- Just when my determination bounces back, my muscles give up.

Every day is a new day. I have been a bit irregular at the gym for the last few days. And I am planning to get back to my usual routine from tomorrow. That's going to be hard though after so many days of abstinence. So, need to sleep early, and set the alarm back at 5:00 AM. Good night.


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

30,000 kms of riding. What next!!!

Riding away
Its been close to 4 years that I got this machine. And 30k kilometres doesn't sound that big. The longest distance that we covered in a day was about 370 kms in a day. And the other day, on my way back home. So, the longest trip was about 750 kms in 2 days, although we had a 3 day break in between. The plains, hills, the sun and the rains, made that ride, one to remember forever. I keep planning my next long trip all the time, but something or the other always comes up. Monsoon is here, and I really like riding in the rains. I have started liking the splashes of drain water from other vehicles somehow. I don't actually love them, but I don't care about them these days. Perhaps, they are a part of the package.

I am 31 and I am married. So are the friends. Everyone is busy. The bachelors of my batch have become extinct. Some of them still jump at the idea of going on a bike trip in the rainy seasons. But schedules keep clashing. And some of them have upgraded to 4 wheels. I still haven't yet. And they grin at the idea of a bike trip. For one reason, they wouldn't want to get wet or get sweat. The other understandable reason; they spent loads to be behind the wheel. Some of them wouldn't even mind sleeping in the car. A ride on 4 wheels is also equally enjoyable, its just that I am still young for that kind of comfort. To remind once again, I am 31 now.

On my 31st birthday, I wanted to buy myself a bicycle. Well, go on, laugh away on me. But I was serious. And still pondering on the idea. The only thing I am worried about is the crazy drivers of the city roads. But other than that, I think I should just go and buy one right now. Why am I not doing it then? Frankly, I have my doubts. To remind you again, I am 31, but I still feel young like a 25. OK, that was really funny. Go on, have a LOL moment. But I have a few examples to refer to. There were at least 2 of my friends who had bought bicycles in their early twenties. They were serious for about a month, but they gave up soon enough. So I am not sure if I would be using that motor less vehicle for long. But, nevertheless, I think I will take the risk. A part of the package again?

And now that I have blogged about this, Google will show me ads about buying a new bicycle and also buyers for my old bike. Are there any bicycles with odometers? I would really want to know how many kilometers I do in the first month. A speedometer is an added bonus. A phone charger looks like an indispensable add-on. And the most important of all, a good and secured locking system. At some point of time in the near future, if I still find myself into this bicycling stuff, I might be interested in buying a Go Pro for my trips, and a few safety gears for those rough terrain tracks. Looks like I need to do some research on all this.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Cant sleep. Lets write something.

Tried reading a book.

Its almost midnight. Have a mild cold, can't sleep because there's no waking up early tomorrow. TGIF.

I hate it when I get cold. It doesn't let me sleep easily. So, I am trying to induce sleep into me by writing something stupid. We all know we are very sleepy when we do some boring task. Like watching TV. I wonder how people get glued to their TV sets for prolonged number of hours. One example would be my wife.

I hate people when they don't question, I blindly do or believe things as they are told. But I hate it more when someone asks me a stupid question. Well, not the kind of a stupid stupid question, but like one that the stupidest stupid in this whole universe would never ask.

I look at the person for a full half-minute, and ask myself, "Does he really have such a brain?". And then smile. And then say, "Should I really answer that?"

That's of course rude. But I really can't help it however hard I try. I have tried many times, to stop me from staring, smiling and changing my answers. But its like a reflex action that my body has acquired forever now.


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Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Country of Happiness and the Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan, is better known as the Country of Happiness. I never knew this fact before, but Bhutan is the 8th Happiest country in the world, and the most happiest country in Asia. And we could see it there, everywhere. All smiles, everyone seemed happy, even the driver of our bus after he was caught speeding. He happily gave away the fine of Nu 1750 (equivalent to INR 1750).

The trip was a kind of a tiny summer vacation for us, since it had been raining fire all over India those days (Last week of May). Once we boarded the flight to Paro (the international airport of Bhutan) from Kolkata, we never saw sweat for the next 5 days. Oh, Indians and Bhutanese don't need VISA to travel across the borders. Although they check your passports since the immigration authorities would still keep track of your movement, but Bhutan has very friendly relations with India. So much so, almost everyone understand and speaks Hindi quite fluently. The Paro airport is very different from all the other airports I have seen. Although it's a small one, there was something special about it. A slight drizzle welcomed us as we stepped out of the aircraft. And this is the first photo we clicked.

Paro International Airport, Bhutan
And there was a big billboard with a couple's photo. I tried to figure out what were they advertising, until a few days later, I came to know that the picture was of the King and the Queen of Bhutan.

We then boarded our tour bus, and set off for our hotel in Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan, which was our base station for the next 3 days.

The main cities of Bhutan are Thimpu, Punakha and Paro. Punakha was Bhutan's old capital till 1955. Bhutan is very sparsely populated, and the approximate population of the country is about 7.5 lakhs. The eastern part of the country is where most of the development has happened.

Bhutan's currency is ngultrum which is fixed to the value of Indian rupee. So, you would not need to carry any local currency. The INR notes are accepted everywhere, and they have exactly the same value.

In a span of few days, we visited dozens of places. Mostly cultural and religious sites, since the ethnic culture has remained intact and untouched by the westerners because of it's isolation from the rest of the world till 1960s. Rightly so, Bhutan has been named as the The Last Shangri-La.

Travelling to a new country, and not trying out their traditional dress!!! That's just not possible, especially when your wife is so adamant to getting clicked in the foreign attire. There you go. The dress for the men is called "gho" and for women, it's called "kira".

That's not a real bull.
We visited a lot of Dzongs (Fortresses, now converted to administrative buildings), and Monasteries, and other places of importance.

Buddha Doderma Statue, Thimpu

Paro international Airport, Bhutan

A random click from the streets
I excelled at their National Sports. My second arrow hit the bull's eye. The wife did terribly bad, and almost missed a live human. 

Archery
If you are interested in looking at more photos, we have shared an album with a few hundreds photos. Do check them out. Some of them are really beautiful.

When the 5 days were over, and we were as happy as all the people in Bhutan, we had to sadly depart from Paro. As soon as we landed in Kolkata, we were already thinking about the rising temperatures, office, traffic and such things. That was a well deserved break from our busy life, but a very short one. I hope there would be many more stories and trips soon.