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The world mourns the passing of one of the most influential cartoonists in India’s history. Pran Kumar Sharma, otherwise known to the world as Pran. He was born on August 15, 1938, and passed away on August 5, at the age of 75. Pran died of colon cancer, but he left behind a legacy that will live far beyond this generation of readers. Also Read - World Cartoonists' Day 2017: RK Laxman, Walt Disney, Bill Watterson and few other cartoonists you must know about!
Pran brought joy to the hearts of all who knew him and all who knew his characters. Pran’s cartoons reached people of all ages and made the world a better place. Dubbed the “Walt Disney of India” by the The World Encyclopedia of Comics, his most popular works included that of the wise old man, Chacha Chaudhary. Also Read - Chacha Chaudhury fans lap up early editions at Delhi Book Fair
Chacha may have been an old man with a handy walking stick, but he was born in 1971 by the hand of Pran for the magazine “Lotpot.” The first-ever story was called “Chacha Chaudhary and the Pocket Thief.”
Chacha’s brain is “faster than a computer,” and “sharper than a needle.” He wears an iconic red turban and carries around his wooden walking stick. He has memorable companions such as Sabu, Rocket and Bini. Sabu is a large, strong alien from Jupiter, who is loyal to Chacha and takes care of all things involving strength. When Sabu gets angry, a volcano erupts somewhere. Rocket is Chacha’s trustworthy adopted pet and is the only vegetarian dog in the world! Chacha’s large wife, Bini, brings even more humor to Chacha Chaudhary’s comic strip with her nagging affection.
Chacha was Pran’s way of shattering the norm of comic book super hero. He wanted to create a comic book character that was unlike any of the others and one with which the audience could connect. Chacha has appeared not only in comics but also on television. The adventurous old man was portrayed by Raghuvir Yadav on the show in 2002.
Pran’s other comic book characters written for other generations included that of Billoo and Pinki.
Billoo is a young teenage boy brought to Pran’s comic world in 1973. Billoo’s eyes have never been seen by anybody as his hair brushes across and covers them. He has a small pup named Moti. Billoo is very much India’s Archie and loves to play cricket with his friends.
Pinki, created in 1978, is a cute five-year-old girl, who is the terror of the neighborhood. She sometimes shows up in Chacha Chaudhary and Billoo comics with her pet squirrel Kut-Kut. She is always willing to help but causes more harm than good.
Pran will be missed dearly and will not be forgotten. His characters will always bring happiness and humor to us all.