Book Review: Chacha Chaudhary Digest 1 By Pran Kumar Sharma

Chacha Chaudhary’s comic books are one of the fondest memories from my childhood. I guess that applies to all of us in India.

Recently, I was hit by a strong sense of nostalgia. I recalled the books I read, the games I played and the food items I ate as a kid. I googled, as I always do and found that these comics are available on Kindle. That’s when I found that these comics are also available in other languages. I have read them in Hindi, just so you know. In this post, I am reviewing Digest 4. More to come, I promise.

Mystery of Loot

An employee of a petrol pump is going to deposit 35 lakh rupees in the bank, the dacoits steal the money from him. The inspector is clueless, as they always are, and comes running to Chacha Chaudhary for help. Chacha Chaudhary runs into a jeweller. Incidentally, the

There is a light moment as Chacha Chaudhary offer a bottle of pills to Bini Chachi to make her slim. Bini Chachi is never without a rolling pin in her hand, by the way. There is no woman who does that. But hey, this is for kids. Why should I put a lot of logic in it?

Sabu does not make an appearance in this story, except staying outside in the yard when

Cockroaches

The second story of this issue is not about catching any decoite or solving any problems. it is just a fun little story about Chacha Chaudhary and his wife bini.

Beanie is in the kitchen when a swarm of cockroaches come out of the cabinet. Chacha Chaudhary sets out to spray insecticide on them as Bini Chachi goes out to protect herself from the smell.

Two thieves break in to steal from the house, but are funnily suffocated and subsequently caught.

Raahu

Raahu spots Sol and his girlfriend Mohak in his park. He asks his right hand man Donga to bring them. Although they apologize for trespassing, Raahu kicks out Sol and declares that he’d marry Mohak. A devastated Sol is standing in the middle of the road when Chacha Chaudhary spots him. Of course, he offers to help Sol get his girlfriend back.

Donga and Raahu try to fight Sabu but eventually get defeated. Mohak is rescued.

I didn’t know Sabu wore shirts. I gave always seen him bare chested. In this story, he is wearing a t-shirt and a bullet proof jacket underneath. Sabu’s got the swag, huh?

Password

This story begins with Rahul, who has lost 5 Lacs in a Casino. He seeks help from Goldy, a hacker and shares the password of his father’s account. Goldy sweeps out the entire account. When Rahul’s father arrives at the back, there is nothing left.

The incident is reported and Chacha Chaudhary comes to the rescue. He sees a servant buying expensive foreign brand cigarettes and catches the hacker.

Rahul is also caught for aiding and abetting in the theft.

Smart and Smarter

Chacha Chaudhary, Rocket and Sabu are going for s walk. Chacha Chaudhary goes a little farther. A good attacks him and asks for everything he has got. Chacha Chaudhary gives him a rupee every time. Until then, Rocket and Sabu catch up with him and attack the goon.

I felt that this story was the weakest. I mean, it is not that great a trick to hold off the goon. But that’s just my adult mind. I am sure I would have enjoyed it as a kid.

Cat and dog, Puzzle, Adulterated Milk and Taste are other stories in this issue.

Review

I had started reading these digest to reminisce my childhood but it is difficult to stop reading once you start.

From the funny names to strange situations, the short stories never stop to amuse me. The illustrations, in particular, are so enjoyable.

Some of the stories incorporate tiny lessons as well. Password warns about cigarette smoking, Raahu talks about marriages of consent. It is a stroke of genius to weave in a line or two in the narrative of such short stories. The job is commendable.

I notice that the English translation is not as good as one would hope. There are occasional contextual spelling mistakes. Apologies instead of apologize, silent instead of silence.

The stories are simple and filled with wit and humour. It brings a smile on your face and lets you relax a bit. It is perfect to end the day with. Plus, you will also have some stories to tell your kids and nephews and nieces.

Until next post, remember in prayers.

Shabana Mukhtar

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