chandamama at 60

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

chandamama at 60

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I pleased to read the article that rediff published on Chandamama ( ref: http://specials.rediff.com/money/2006/aug/28sld1.htm ). An excellent article. Brings a lot of nostalgia for me.

Chandamama ( along with Indrajaal comics I should add) brings lots of memories for all of us who grew as kids in the 60's and 70's. I collected almost all issues of Chandamama published between 1949 - 1972. This has been very handy for me to tell stories to my kids.

Lot has been written about the history of Chandamama and its publication details. Here ae some other interesting facts about chandamama. I hope you will enjoy reading these.

( I am basing this data on Kannada chandamama published between 1948 - Jul to 1972 July.
1972 July carried an excellent "Silver Jubliee" special chandamama, which is one of my favourites. )

Some interesting details:

- First artists of Chandamama were: Chitra ( real name: raghavulu), MGK, Kesav. Later joined by MTV Acharya. and Sankar.
- Betala katha started in 1955 August. The first story was called "Mahamantri, Manovyadhi" is the betalakatha prolouge and the first story as in Sanskrit original in "Brithkatha". The first few stories were all from the original Brihatkatha.

- Chandamama regulary ran translated story versions of William Shakespeare's works in 1957 - 1960. These were pretty lengthy well written stories. Some of the stories had original characters names ( such as Hamlet) where as others were indian and the story was adopted to Indian environment. Most of these translations/written were done by a writer called "Mulibayalu".

- Chandamama ran stories from Famous Sanskrit plays between 1960 - 1962. When these appeared, the cover work ( done by Vapa ) was also based on these stories. Some of the important ones were based on: Kalidasa's: Abhigyaana Shakuntala, Vikramoorvasiya, Bhasa's :Madhyamavyaooga, Sudraka's: Charudatta, to name a few.

- Chandamama regulary ran stories based on Chinese folklore between 1958 - 1960.
- The first english versions of Chandamama ran between 1956-July and 1957- June, afterwhich they stopped. These 12 issues were unique as it was a page to page/word to word translation of the telugu/Tamil versions. They ran the serials such as "Tookachukka/Dhoomakethu" as "Comet" for example. Later english version came in 1970-July, which was very different in looks, stories and pictures compared to Indian counterparts.

- Chandamama Front cover artists:
. Kesav ( 1948 - 1952)
. MTV Acharya ( 1952/July - 1953/March)
. Sankar ( 1953/ - 1956/August)
. MTV Acharya (1956/Sept - 1960/Dec )
. Vapa ( 1961- Jan - Till today )

- Back cover artists:
. Chitra ( 1948 - 1960 Dec)
. MTV Acharya ( 1961/Jan - 1964 March)
. Vapa (1964/April - )

- Chandamama Serials:

Serial 1:
1948 - 1949/Feb: Vardhamanana Videsha Sancharagalu
1949/March - 1949/Nov : BalaNagamma
1949/Dec - 1950/Jul : Iidu prsnegalu
1950/Aug - 1952/Jan : Avalimakkala Kathe
1952/feb - 1952/Nov : Apoorva Sthamba
1952/Dec - 1953/May : Ratna Kirita
1953/June - 1954/Jan : Shabdavedhi
1952/Feb - 1955/July : Dhoomakethu
1955/Aug - 1957/Jan : Makaradevathe
1957/Feb - 1958/July : Muvaru Manthrikaru
1958/Aug - 1960/Jan : Kanchina Kote
1960/Feb - 1961/July : Jwaaladweepa
1961/Aug - 1964/June : Rakkasakolla
1964/July - 1965/Aug : Durgesanandini
1965/Sept - 1966/May: Nawabanandini
1966/June - 1968/Jan : Pataladurga
1968/Feb - 1970/Sept : Shitilalaya
1970/Nov - : Shilaratha

Serial 2:
- Chandamama started the (colored) second serial in 1956
1956 - 1957 : Bhuvansundari ( Based on Illiad)
1957- 1958/April : Roopadharana Yaatregalu ( Odyssey )
1958/May - 1960/Jan : Ahimsaajyothi ( Gauthama Buddha's story)
1960/Feb - 1961/June: MIscellaneous including Marcopolo, Gullivers travells
1961/July - 1966/June : Ramayana
1966/July - 1969/Jan : Krishnaavatara
1969/Feb - : Mahabharatha
- Both BhuvanaSundari and Roopadharana Yaatregalu is very interesting as the stories are set up as per Homer's epics, but the character names are all indian. In fact the names are picked pretty well, Helen of Troy becomes BhuvanaSundari, Ulysses is Roopadhara.
- Chandamama's Ramayana story is very close to Valmiki's Ramayana story.


. All the above serials were excellently illustrated by Chitra
. Dhoomakethu was the first color serial, before that the serials illustrations were Black and White.
. Rakkasakolla was the longest running serial ( 35 episodes ) followed by Shitilalaya ( 33 ).
. Makaradevathe is kind of continuation of Dhoomakethu, although they have connection via one
character ( Shivadatta )
. Durgesanandini is translation of Bankimchandrs's famous bengali novel by the same name and Nawabanandini is based on Damodar Mukharjee's bengali novel.