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Friday, March 4, 2011

World Book Night


An ardent book lover's idea to spread the joy of reading.......

"Just like all members of Librarywala, I too love books. There hasnʼt been a more hackneyed phrase in history, Iʼm sure, but sadly, such is the truth! So, I was delighted when I discovered World Book Night.




World Book Night is possibly the worldʼs largest book give-away drive. Conducted only in the UK and Ireland, this book give-away shortlists 25 titles for their drive each year. 

Forty thousand copies of these books are then given away to members of the general public – just like that, for free! Volunteers, known as ‘givers’ –  20,000 of them – select any book from the 25 titles, and give away 48 copies of their chosen book; the other copies are distributed on World Book Night itself (this year on March 5), in places that are difficult for volunteers to reach, such as prisons and hospitals. 

What a fantastic idea to spread the reading bug! Though India doesnʼt have similar programs running, perhaps pioneers such as Librarywala, armed with its huge member base, can start something like this. Any further ideas on how this can be done?"

blogpost by Shefali Sunderan Harsha - a Librarywala fan

Monday, February 28, 2011

Uncle Pai departs for heavenly abode



Anant Pai, better known as Uncle Pai, creator of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics passed away on the 24th of February, at the age of 81.

The trendsetter that he was in the world of comics showed millions of Indians the route to their roots with his mythological stories in Amar Chitra Katha.

In fact – the very concept of “comic strip”izing stories of the Indian culture was very innovative and  gave an impetus to reading of the Indian mythology.

The idea behind starting such a comicbook series came to Pai from a quiz contest aired on Doordarshan in February 1967, in which participants could easily answer questions pertaining to Greek mythology, but were unable to reply to the question "In the Ramayana, who was Rama's mother?"

In the same year, the educational comics series Amar Chitra Katha was launched. Each of the comics in this series was devoted to a person or event in Indian history, religion and mythology. Anant Pai conceptualized of all of these, and wrote the scenarios for most of them.

Truly, Lt Mr Anant Pai deserves accolades for so intelligently carving from the Indian mythological characters into people’s minds.

Other than the profound history, Uncle Pai also created one of the funniest and longest running comic series in the history of India – Tinkle. Tinkle is believed to be the childhood companion of many for over two and half decades. – the gamut of stories covered in tinkle and the easy-to read language with colorful pictures attracted children to reading.


Other works by Pai, include a number of books on personality development for children and teenagers, ("How To Develop Self-confidence", "How to Achieve Success", "How To Develop A Super Memory",UBS Publishers) and a series of audio book versions of Amar Chitra Katha stories, "Storytime with Uncle Pai" (Universal Music India, Dec 2001), where he plays the role of narrator-storyteller.


On February 19, a mere 5days prior to his death, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award this month at India's first ever Comic Convention held in New Delhi.

Thursday morning, Pai suffered a massive heart attack and breathed his last around 5 pm, a family member said.

By far, the child in him, kept the father of Indian comics alive in the comic world – and kept us reading.
An irreplaceable loss to the readers leaves them with a heavy heart – Uncle Pai shall forever live in the hearts of children, the minds of future comic authors and the soul of Tinkle digests and Amar Chitra Katha stories.

Librarywala expresses sincere condolence on behalf of all readers. May his soul rest in peace.

(With additional information from IANS. Wikipedia)