February 25, 2011

Bye Uncle Pai!

Anant Pai (Uncle Pai) was arguably the face of Indian kids' fiction a couple of decades back. Be it Tinkle or ACK, all of us from my generation have read them. That it was available in other languages made it even more universal in appeal.

I met him once, since my neighbour then was an editor with ACK. He seemed like a regular nice uncle.

A lot of acceptable/ unquestioned stereotyping then is now seen as sexist, racist and so on. Our mythology itself often promotes sons and defines roles for women.

Which explains why many of the series are being revamped- Chandamama and ACK included.
It also explains the popularity of the Tulikas and Taras of the world.

Yet ACK has some gems and made history delightful and accessible to kids who are wary of it. That in itself warrants applause.

Good bye Uncle Pai. RIP.


sandhya said...

Yes, Goodbye Uncle Pai!

R's Mom said...

Oh thats such sad news..what you have written is true..ACK and Tinkle were definitely a part of our reading world! RIP uncle Pai

Sue said...

We owe him a great deal. Like I saying on FB this morning, an era dies with him.

How do we know said...

Uncle Pai.. that name will always evoke fond fond memories... and no, i dont think we shld blame the books for our own growing intolerance.

DC said...

oh! that's real sad. RIP Uncle Pai.