Pran Kumar Sharma is one of a kind in every sense of the word. As the creator of several storied comic characters including Chacha Chaudhary, Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, Channi Chachi, among others, the 75-year-old wears his greatness with humility.
Understandably, the drop in the popularity of comic strips has hurt the ­humourist, who says, “It is sad that comics are a dying breed. Something should be done immediately to arrest their decline. Like somewhat with Chacha Chaudhary around a decade ago, if we could convert legendary ­cartoon characters into ­animated television figures, nothing like it. I hope ­something is done to preserve their cult.”
Ask him what made his cartoon characters a part of folklore and the illustrator says, “All of them were ­humble and ordinary. There were inspired from the ­middle-class Indian life. That made them relatable to my readers. Chacha (Chaudhary) for example could be your average Indian man on the road. Biloo was your teenage boy next door. The fact that there was nothing special about these characters made them memorable when their tale was told.”
As a stupendous begetter of more than 1,65,000 ­cartoons and 225 books, the caricaturist concludes fondly talking about his heroes, “RK Laxman and Sudhir Dar are exceptional men, whose work I looked up to. Their thoughts and ideas are amazing. Although most of the ­inspiration in the context of their work was political, it inspired me to take a cue to create the characters I made,” he adds.