A self-confessed fan of a monthly magazine for children Chandamama, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan said it had been his childhood companion.
"During my childhood, I was influenced by western comics. But, when my parents introduced me to Chandamama, there was no looking back. I don't think there is any home in India, where the fabled tales in Chandamama have not been a hit among children," Amitabh said while launching the 60th anniversary edition of the magazine here last night.
"Of course, I don't get time to read Chandamama now, but I am going to introduce my grandchildren to it. The group's initiative to venture into internet and radio to reaching out to the children is exemplary," he added.
Speaking at the launch function, Chandamama's CEO L Subramanyam said, "Amitabh Bachchan was invited to be a part of the anniversary book launch because he reinvented himself after the age of 60, just like Chandamama has done."
He said present day children consume more content from mobiles, radio, internet and television. It is not just print content.
"We have already started Chandamama on mobile radio, internet, CDs and DVDs. We are now in talks with film studios for television serials and films, including animation on Chandamama," he added.
Subramanyam said Chandamama had the largest collection of 12,000 stories and 25 characters in its library. He cited films like Baghbaan and Rang de Basanti as brilliantly told contemporary stories to imbibe values of respecting parents and patriotism to the youth.
Chandamama editor B Viswanatha Reddi, whose father Nagi Reddi started the magazine in 1947, said its message and objectives are more relevant even today.
"This only redoubles our faith in what the founders had in mind for the society," he added. The 196-page special edition has a selection of stories from its earlier issues. The book has some of the earliest memories of the magazine with its letter-press and manual dispatch in the form of black and white pictures.