Comic Characters: Shikari Shambu and Suppandi of Tinkle



School times were all about reading. I was so addicted to reading that many a times after I came back from school and sat with my comic books, I wouldn’t even realise when it would get dark. Mom would come and switch on the study light and also remind me that homework needed to get done, and that comic reading could wait for a while. She never stopped me from reading comics. She knew I was a good and responsible student, too much of a teacher’s pet in every class and would complete my homework on my own. I am very thankful that my mother was so open to my reading habit, even if it was all about comics back then.

Shikari Shambu & Suppandi of Tinkle made my childhood days. Which #comicbooks did you read? Click To Tweet
Tinkle Magazine
Tinkle Magazine

One of the early ones that I was completely hooked on to was Tinkle. I guess mom was okay with my Tinkle habit because it wasn’t just a mere comic book. It was a magazine that contained stories, puzzles, quizzes, contests and a lot more exciting stuff aimed at school children. It wasn’t just about comics and comic characters. Though Tinkle was mainly for school kids, it was very widely read by adults as well. I remember whenever my aunt came home; she would definitely ask me if I had the latest copy of Tinkle, which I more or less did. And then she would let go of it only after she completed reading it.

My favorite characters in Tinkle were Shikari Shambu and Suppandi. Shikari (meaning hunter) was one of the main characters of the comic. He was a faint-hearted and lazy hunter whom the world perceived as courageous. In one of the magazine editions called The Legend of Shikari Shambu it was revealed that he once fell on a tiger and knocked him out, due to which he got christened as Shikari. In reality he was an absolute cowardly character who tried to run away from dangerous animals, but due to some stroke of good luck he always ended up being a hero because the poor wild animals somehow kept running into self-made traps. Everything said and done I loved Shikari Shambu. Suppandi was the village simpleton who amused everyone with his stupidity. He was often projected as an ignorant man but a faithful servant to his masters. His dim-witted behavior cost him many a jobs. I loved Suppandi’s Pinocchio-style long nose and Shambhu’s famous hat and moustache. Both these characters were fun to read in their own way.

Suppandi and Shikari Shambu
Suppandi and Shikari Shambu

Tinkle is an Indian monthly magazine which is still going strong and also has an online presence now. It was first launched in April 1980. Originally owned by India Book House, Tinkle was later acquired by ACK Media in 2007. Though Tinkle is an English publication, it is syndicated in many Indian languages like Malayalam, Assamese etc. It is such a popular magazine that readers send numerous letters with stories and other features to be considered for printing in the magazine. Due to its combination of education and entertainment Tinkle boasts of a huge fan club that includes the former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Anant Pai, the founding editor of the magazine is the one who also started the very popular Amar Chitra Katha series. Mr. Pai’s readers call him Uncle Pai, and suitably so. He gave little kids and their uncles and aunts a gift for life!

Which are you favorite comic characters?


Shared with: #Mycomics for Indispire

Image Sources: Featured Image, Tinkle Magazine, Suppandi & Shikari Shambu

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