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The 90s in India was an amazing time. It was the golden age for many of us. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no whats app and certainly no Instagram!
It was an altogether different world. There was no pressure. Every Little pleasure was enjoyed to the fullest.
Looking back, you will realize that we were far luckier than the kids of this generation because we enjoyed our lives to the fullest!
Here is a list of 13 awesome books and comics that we absolutely enjoyed reading  during  those days !
1) Chandamama

pleasantreads chandamama

Image Source: Archive.Org

Chandamama provided us with entertaining stories with a moral.  It was originally started in Telugu. It was famous for its style of narration – almost as if our grandmother narrated the stories to us. Sadly, the fate of Chandamama is unknown, since Geodesic the company who bought the brand is bankrupt itself.
Maybe, one day- it will be revived. I will wait for that day.
2) Diamond Comics – Chacha Chaudhary
Diamond Comics started with the character of Raman – Hum ek hai. The comic was appreciated very much. It then led to the creation of Chacha Chaudhary – the man whose brain works faster than a computer. This character was deeply rooted in middle class values and appealed to hundreds and thousands of Indians. Chacha Chaudhary was ably supported by Sabu- the strongman. Sabu is an inhabitant from the planet Jupiter.

Image Source: Diamond Comics

Chacha Chaudhary also has a dog named Raaket[Rocket] which helped the duo in their adventures.
The majority of the comic relief was provided by villainous characters like Dhamaka Singh and Gobar Singh and their misadventures at teaching the duo a lesson.
Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu have a formidable enemy – Raka, who is immortal, but is always subdued by the two.
3) Phantom
Phantom [also known as the ghost who walks] was created by an American artist – Lee Falk and was featured as a comic strip in newspapers in the United States.

phantom 90s indian kid

Image Source: Comic Vine

Phantom was introduced to the Indian audiences by Bennett Coleman and Company, the publisher of the Times of India in 1964.
The comic series had a long run of 25 years in India – with its last issue coming in 1989.
However, Diamond Comics licensed the character from King’s syndicates[ the  company that owns the Phantom brand] and published it under the Diamond Comics brand. As a result, we had the great fortune of enjoying the Phantom Comic under the Indrajal and the Diamond Comics banners.
4) Mandrake
Lee Falk created this character in the 193os. Mandrake’s greatest strength was hypnosis. He could make people believe anything he wanted. [In one of his comic books, a character  believes that he is seeing snakes when hypnotized!]

mandrake 90s indian childhood

Image Source : Big Little Books

He  is supported by Lothar, a strong African man with immense physical power & Narda – the love of his life. They faced deadly enemies like the Cobra, the criminal ring known only as 8 and Saki – the master of disguises.
Indrajal Comics initially published the comics. Diamond Comics sells it  under license since Indrajal comics closed down.
5) Tinkle Comics – Suppandi
Tinkle Comics was originally owned by the Indian Book House till 2007. After 2007 it was acquired by Amar Chita Katha.

90s indian childhood suppandi

Image Source: Hindustan Times

The magazine was famous for its stories, puzzles and contests.
Suppandi was the most famous and visible characters of the Tinkle Comics brand. Suppandi amused us due to his extreme levels of stupidity and the fact that he bungled up even the easiest of the tasks.
6) Tinkle Comics – Kalia the crow
Kalia the crow  is a friendly crow living in the forest of Big Baan. He is the de-facto savior of the forest. He frequently thwarts the evil plans of the cunning  jackal – Chamataka and his companion, Doob- Doob the stupid crocodile.

90s indian achildhood kalia the crow

Image Source: Quora

7) Tinkle Comics – Shambhu Shikari
Shambhu the Shikari is famous for his hunting exploits. In reality, he is quite timid. It is quite funny how he always manages to escape from precarious situations and emerges the victor.

90s indian childhood shambhu shikari

Image Source: Iphone Quality Index

There is also a story behind how the moniker, ”Shikari” came to be. In one of his stories, he accidentally falls off from a tree on a  tiger from whom he is hiding to save his life. The poor tiger is crushed and dies and Shambhu takes false credit for the death making him a national hero!
This character was indeed one of the most hilarious characters of the comic book series.
8) Raj Comics – Nagraaj
Nagraaj was created by Sanjay Gupta in the late 1980s in India. Nagraaj was initially a character meant to serve as a super-villain. He developed a moral compass instead and dedicated his life to fighting crime.

90s indian childhood nagraj

Image Source : Youtube

The graphics of the comic book was quite raw to begin with. As time went by and its popularity increased, the graphics also changed along with story lines. The story lines grew more complex and more nuanced.
The comics fell in popularity as other mediums of entertainment dominated mind and retail space.
Raj Comics have been trying  recently to correct this situation by engaging with fans on social media, launching their comic book app and even coming up with some web-series. I really hope that they succeed so that the new generation will know what they missed 🙂
9) Raj Comic – Super Commando Dhruva
Super Commando Dhruva was created on the back of the increasing popularity of Nagraaj. Super Commando Dhruva was a special super hero since he did not have any special powers! He relied only on his excellent physique and his fast brain to come up with solutions for complicated situations.

90s childhood indian Super commando dhruv

Image Source: Raj Comics Website

Super Commando Dhruva grew in popularity in the early 90s, but the popularity was short-lived due to technology changes and limited promotion activities.
Raj comics is trying to revive the brand through their app and a web-series. Let us see what happens !
10) Lot-pot
Lot-pot was initially published by the Mayapuri group of publications in 1969. The magazine was initially supposed to be fortnightly, but due to growing popularity, it became a weekly edition.
Lotpot has become synonymous with the characters of Motu- Patlu the idiotic brothers who were the subjects of sillier plots.

90s indian childhood lotpot

Image Source: Ebay

I still remember going to the local library  just to get my hands on the latest Motu-Patlu Comics book. This was also the great pastime of the 90s Indian kids.
11) Archies Comic  Books
Every guy in India wanted to be like Archie – growing up. Archie had two girlfriends – Betty Copper and Veronica Lodge. Archie is best friends with Jughead Jones. Jughead was always looking for something to eat 😉
Archies’s arch rival is Reginald “Reggy” Mantle. Archie is constantly at logger-heads with Reggie over athletic prowess or girls. [ Mostly it was due to Veronica]

90s indian childhood archie

Image Source:- Ny Daily News

Archie and his band of friends studied at the fictional Riverdale High School. The principal of the school Mr. Weatherbee is a source of constant grief to Archie.
Other characters included Dilton Doiley – the genius and Moose Mason, the slow- witted but highly athletic team-mate of Archie.Growing up was major fun due to the Archie Comic book series.
12) Reader’ Digest
We all remember the Reader’s Digest, don’t we? It  used to publish many inspirational articles about people who overcame some tragedy in their lives or some  human interest articles which were equally wonderful.

90s indian childhood Reader' Digest

Image Source: Readers Digest India Website

I used to read Reader’s Digest only for the jokes section in it – Laughter is the best medicine. These were basically some really hilarious anecdotes about real people.
Reader’s Digest was also suggested by our teachers for our article reports 😉 [ The good old days!]
13) Tintin
Finally, who can forget Tintin and his favourite dog Snowy? Tintin was assisted in his adventures by the faithful Captain Haddock and the bumbling detectives – Thomson and Thompson.

90s indian childhood Tintin

Image Source: Wikipedia

Man, I so wish that the 90s come back again and cherish these moments and memories all over again.
Millenials – you have missed out on a lot of things in your lives!

About the author

Aniket is a Business Consultant by profession – however his love of books led him to this website, where he posts book reviews and also gets together with new Indian Authors. He can be reached on aniketsitm@gmail.com.

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13 amazing books that every 90s Indian kid will remember from their childhood!
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