Sunday, March 8, 2009

The tales of "Suppandi" continues.

Well, I am back with a few more tales (over a dozen) of the lovable goofball "Suppandi!" Please visit my previous blog ("Tales of "Suppandi" - the lovable buffoon.") to read about some more of his hilarious encounters with his Masters.

All thanks to "Tinkle" - a magazine which has been providing the much needed healthy humour to children and adults alike - for close to three decades now - and that is what makes "Tinkle" a real sweetheart. I used to read "Tinkle" regularly during my school days and owned quite a formidable collection of this magazine, as well as that of "Amar Chitra Katha." But sadly - due to some events like shifting of house, etc., - I have lost all of them. Now, I have decided to build up my collection of these great comic books once again - along with "Panchatantra" and "Chandamama." I have already got the entire collection of "Tintin" and "Asterix;" and most of the classic bengali comic books like, "Handa Bhonda," "Nonte Phonte" and "Bantul the Great" and have complete faith in myself - that I will soon add the entire collection of "Tinkle," "Amar Chitra Katha," "Chandamama" and "Panchatantra," to them as well. Amen.

I read somewhere, that "Uncle" Pai is coming up with an album for children titled "Storytime with Uncle Pai," very shortly. I am looking forward to it - "big kids" are also "children," you see! I also found out that "Suppandi" - one of India's most loved 'characters' and a part of our childhood - has now been modeled into 3-D, to appeal to today's generation - Gen X - that is. It is no doubt a good effort, but I believe that there is no substitute for reading the comics, per se. These comics and their "unreal" heros were a constant source of good humour and reading them was such a joy - bringing in "joie de vivre," so to speak! It was the gentle pleasures like these that kept generations of people hooked even after they grew up. One can never stop reading these comics - they are like a part of us that one cannot outgrow!

Now, here are some more tales of "Suppandi." Read and enjoy.............

1) The Slap:

One day, Suppandi was walking to a village on an errand. Suppandi was thinking to himself, "Everybody thinks I'm a fool. I wish I could prove myself to be clever." Coincidentally, a smart-looking stranger was loitering along the road and Suppandi went up to him, thinking of asking him (the stranger) if he could show Suppandi how to make himself clever.

"Oh, Sir . . ," said Suppandi, "I want to become clever. Can you tell me how I can go about it?"

So, the stranger proceeded to show Suppandi how to make himself clever. The stranger put his hand on a telephone pole and said to Suppandi, "See if you can hit my hand."

Suppandi said, "All right, here goes...... "

Just as Suppandi was about to hit the stranger's hand, the stranger pulled his hand away and Suppandi hit the telephone pole instead. The stranger went away shaking his head and snickered, "Haha, see how I fooled you!"

Suppandi was pleased at this discovery and thought to himself, "That was a good trick.......I must try it out on my Master."

Thereafter, Suppandi went to his Master's house and asked his Master to come out.

Suppandi said, "Sir, come. I want to show you something really clever."

His Master came out and asked, "What is it, Suppandi?"

Suppandi gathered some passerbys around his Master's house.

He said, "Come, everybody, I want to show you that I am as clever as any of you."

He began to look around for a telephone pole but to his dismay, he could not find any nearby. His Master and the passerbys were now becoming impatient and began looking at each other, quite puzzled.

Suppandi got a brilliant idea. He put his hand on his own cheeks instead. He then said to his Master, "All right, Sir. See if you can hit my hand, Sir."

The Master said, "All right."

Just as his Master's hand was about to hit Suppandi's hand (placed on his cheeks), Suppandi pulled his hand away and his Master's hand hit Suppandi's cheeks instead.

Everyone roared with laughter and shook their heads at Suppandi. His Master walked away, mumbling to himself, "What a fool!"

2) Master: Suppandi, make macaroni for lunch.
Suppandi: Master, the macaroni is becoming bigger and longer.
Master: It is natural, Suppandi. Solids expand on heating.

After sometime..........

Master: What are you doing now??
Suppandi: I am heating your clothes. Since solids expand on heating, I hope they will become bigger and fit you.

3) Master: Suppandi, take this inside.
Suppandi: Why have you bought so much paint, Sir?
Master: I have decided to paint the walls myself.
Master: Come and help me Suppandi.
Suppandi: Yes, Master.
Suppandi: Have you got a firm grip on the brush, Sir?
Master: Yes, why?
Suppandi: OK! Then hang on to it. I need the ladder to paint the other walls.
Master: OUGH!

4) One day Suppandi was playing football with his Master's son. He had been posted as the goalkeeper. After a while, the opposition team charged towards the goal and kicked the ball into the goal - from right beside Suppandi's legs. His Master's son was boiling with anger.

Son: Why didn't you stop the ball, Suppandi?
Suppandi: Why in the world should I stop it? What is the net in the goal for, then??

5) Suppandi was dialing a number on the phone, to speak to his friend.

Master: Suppandi, don't talk on the phone for more than three minutes.

After about ten minutes...........

Master: Suppandi, I told you not to speak on the phone for so long.
Suppandi: I didn't Master. I spoke only for three minutes, the rest of the time I was listening.

6) Mistress: Suppandi, go and hang these clothes outside.
Suppandi: Why?
Mistress: Because the heat of the sun will dry the clothes.

A little later................

Mistress: Suppandi, why are you standing in the hot sun?
Suppandi: I am trying to dry my sweat.

7) Suppandi's new Master was the owner of a departmental store.

Master: Suppandi, before giving the clothes to the customers, always open it and check for defects.

That evening...................

Customer: One film roll, please.
Master: Suppandi, what do you think you are doing? Why have you opened the film roll?
Suppandi: I was checking it for defects, Master.

8) Suppandi visited the doctor - since he was feeling unwell. The doctor gave him a few tablets and asked him to take them twice a day.

The next day, Suppandi took a pair of scissors and started to cut the sides of the tablet and then took them.


Suppandi's answer: I'm avoiding the side effects.

9) One day a foolish guy called Suppandi went to a new town, one where he had never been before. As soon as he reached the town, he came across two men who were quarreling. They were arguing about: whether the Sun comes out during the day or the night. It was daytime, and it was the Sun which one could clearly see on the sky but one of the guys kept insisting that it was indeed the Moon that he saw. On seeing Suppandi nearby, the men stopped arguing and asked Suppandi instead for his views - to decide whether it was the Sun or the Moon that they saw on the sky.

Suppandi's response was that - since he was new to this part of the country, he had no idea whether it was the Sun or the Moon - out there on the sky - because he had never seen anything like it before, as he was new to this part of the country.

10) Suppandi is late for work:

Suppandi joined a new company. He started for his workplace at 6:30 a.m. though his duty began only at 9:00 a.m. Inspite of this, he reached his place of work at 9:00 p.m. He met his new boss, who was understandably, furious.

Boss: Suppandi! Why the hell are you late? Why did you come when the office is closing?
Suppandi: I left home early, but when I was in the elevator, the power failed. I was in there all this while.
Boss: Huh! Gak!

11) Space travel:

Suppandi and his classmate, both students of a prestigious University, were talking about the American Astronauts.

Suppandi: "What's the big deal about going to the Moon? Anybody can go to the Moon. We are great, we will go directly to the Sun."
Friend: "But if we get within 13 million miles of the Sun, we'll melt."
Suppandi: "So what, we'll go at night."

12) Suppandi - the doctor:

One day, a man who was stone-deaf visited the ENT Specialist - Dr. Suppandi.

Doctor Suppandi: How do you feel, Sir?

The man did not reply.

Suppandi checked his ears and suggested an operation. After the operation.........

Doctor Suppandi: Congrats!!! You will now be able to hear like anybody else!
The Man: What? What? What did u say??

13) Suppandi gets smart:

Suppandi and an American are seated next to each other on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. The American asks Suppandi, if he would like to play a fun game. Suppandi, who was very tired, just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over towards the window to get some sleep. The American persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun.

He says, "I will ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me five dollars, and vice versa."

Again, Suppandi declines and tries to get some sleep.

The American, now agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500."

This catches Suppandi's attention and, figuring that there will be no end to this torment, agrees to the game.

The American asks the first question: "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"
Suppandi doesn't say a word, reaches into his wallet, pulls out a $5 bill, and hands it to the American.

"Okay," says the American, "your turn."
Suppandi asks, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?"

The American is puzzled, takes out his laptop and searches the answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the 'Library of Congress'......still no answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and co-workers, but to no avail. After an hour, he wakes Suppandi and hands him $500.
Suppandi thanks him and turns back to get some more sleep.

The American, who, by now is more than a little miffed, shakes Suppandi and asks, "Well, what's the answer?"
Without a word, Suppandi reaches into his purse, hands the American another $5 bill, and goes back to sleep.

Probably, it is this nostalgia that binds everyone who have experienced the charm of these indigenous comics. No wonder then, that even now, reading a favourite "Tinkle," or "Amar Chitra Katha," or "Chandamama" comic is like revisiting this lost world.

In a world filled with X-boxes, playstations and hundreds of different television channels, do traditional comic books still stand a chance in young minds? With time, comics too have developed and created several superheroes with exaggerated powers - so much so, that many-a-time one feels that the common-man hero is completely lost to oblivion. Due to the availability of various other mediums, children today have a variety of choices when it comes to comics. For instance, instead of reading these comic books, many choose to watch the same on television or play a video game using these characters. That some even choose a more vibrant, fashionable or more violently adventurous books over these (good old) comics, does indicate that these books are gradually losing their grip over the young minds. But, to say that traditional comics are slowly becoming extinct, is a bit overstated. The reason being the legions of grandparents, grand-uncles, grand-aunts, parents, uncles and aunts - who have grown up with these comics and their 'characters.' They are responsible for 'introducing' the current generation - their grandchildren, grandnephews/nieces, children, nephews/nieces - to the joys of reading these comics - and in turn growing up with the clumsy servant "Suppandi," the scheming minister "Tantri," the clever crow "Kalia," the bumbling hunter "Shikari Shambu," the dimwitted crocodile "Doob Doob," "Chamataka" the cunning fox, "Keechu-Meechu" the lovable rabbits, the inimitable "Nasruddin Hodja" ("Mullah Naseeruddin") and many more. I witness this everytime I visit book fairs like the "Kolkata Book Fair," among others. This is indeed reassuring!

Towards the end of the year 2007, ACK media announced the acquisition of the popular Indian comic book brand "Amar Chitra Katha" and "Tinkle" for $2.5 millon and is reportedly planning to invest $15-20 million in the next 3 years. Samir Patil, founder investor and CEO of ACK Media ( told Hindustan Times: "It is a 100 per cent cash deal. We are looking to invest $15-20 million over the next two to three years to make use of opportunities in licensing content and characters, intensifying retail penetration and introduce more offerings in the digital medium." It is indeed a smart move by ACK media - acquiring the IP rights of the popular "Tinkle" characters like, Suppandi, Shikari Shambu, Nasruddin Hodja, Kaalia the crow, Tantri the Matri, et al. I am sure that this $20 million investment is largely towards digitizing these comic book characters into feature film releases.

"Amar Chitra Katha" now on Vodafone: On February 26, 2009, Vodafone Essar, one of India’s leading cellular service providers in association with ACK Media, announced the launch of "Amar Chitra Katha" - a collection of illustrated classics that retell the stories of Indian Heroes - on Vodafone. Anant Pai (popularly known as "Uncle" Pai) - Editor Emeritus of "Amar Chitra Katha," Samir Patil, Founder and CEO - ACK Media and Harit Nagpal, Marketing and New Business - Director, Vodafone Essar, were present at the launch of "Amar Chitra Katha" on Vodafone. This association with "Amar Chitra Katha" will allow Vodafone customers to enjoy a host of services. These services will be available to Vodafone customers through a voice portal and through Vodafone LIVE! Through the Voice Portal, Vodafone subscribers can listen to folk stories from "The Karadi Tales," audio dramas from "Charkha" and musical tales from "Under the Banyan Tree." Vodafone customers can also listen to poetry delivered by the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, take quizzes and chuckle over jokes from "Tinkle." Vodafone LIVE! provides the customers with an opportunity to read the entire "Amar Chitra Katha" comics, listen to popular stories, and download ringtones and wallpapers of their favourite characters on their cellphones. In addition, Vodafone customers can play mobile games like "Shikari Shambhu Jungle Trouble" and "Bheema - The Asura Temple" from a selection based on various "Amar Chitra Katha" characters such as "Arjun" and "Bheema," as well as those based on popular "Tinkle" characters like "Suppandi" and "Shikari Shambhu."

A "Suppandi" inspired character in the popular telly serial "Khichdi": Jamnadas Majethia......better known as "JD" in the entertainment industry - is a popular producer and actor. He had also dabbled in modelling besides having acted in five Gujarati films in the lead role, and has also co-produced 220 episodes of the daily soap "Babul Ki Duwayien Leti Ja," for Zee TV. Phew!!! Currently, he is into "Khichdi" - as a producer and actor. He says that "Khichdi" happened when they (him and friend Aatish Kapadia) realized that the comedy field on television was virtually empty. There were lots of saas-bahu sagas, suspense thrillers, even horror shows - but there was hardly any show which was making people laugh. To quote him, "like a sensible batsman tries to time his shot in the area where there is no fielder, we too tried something different. And it went all the way." He says that the secret behind "Khichdi's" success is the way this programme was pitched. Of course, the content mattered. They believe "Khichdi" is genuinely simple as that. It's characters are either believable or completely non-believable - with all their stupidity.

"JD" says that most of the 'characters' in "Khichdi" are real - inspired by real life, that is - he claims to have come across similar characters in real life. He has actually met people like "Hansaa" and "Praful" - two of the many 'characters' from "Khichdi" - and claims to literally know of naive women like "Hansaa" and duffers like "Praful."

"JD" narrates an incident: To quote him - "I have a boy in my office. I sent him to Aatish at Khar, to get a signature on an important document. He went and by the time he came back to my office, I had left for the day. Next morning he tells me that he could not do the job. I demanded to know the reason. He explained: I reached Aatish's office. He was busy on the phone for 30-40 minutes, thereafter he came out of his cabin and left. I did not stop him because he looked very busy. I was livid and told him that his antics would soon make me shut my business down. He nodded and said, "mujhe bhi aisa hi lagta hai," (I too feel the same). Mind you, there was not even a grin on his face. He often does not understand what he says. Haven't you read the famous "Suppandi" stories in "Tinkle"? There are many "Suppandis" around you and me. "Praful" is one such "Suppandi." All we have done is repainted the characters to suit the needs of the plot," he concludes.


1) "Suppandi the Simple" - a tale from "Suppandi."

2) "The Adventures of Suppandi" - cover page.

3) "Boiling" - a tale from Suppandi."


  1. The last I have read Suppandi tales was as a child in Tinkle. I did not know his tales were still alive. How do you know so much? :) Thanks

  2. @ Choco: Welcome back and thank you for your kind words :)

    Where have you been hibernating?

    P.S. Tinkle and the tales of Suppandi can still be read. The comics are still published and very much in circulation, though the charm may have worn off. Sadly.

  3. wow suppandi comics are wonderful
    i last read it when i 13
    now when my child bhought a suppandi48 book i was really surprised
    thank u sooooooo much