Pran Kumar Sharma - the Walt Disney of India
February this year, i had the chance to hear this genius speak 20m away from me at the TEDx event conducted by SIBM Bangalore. It was a mix of thrill and awe as he drew a cartoon of the legendary Chacha Chaudhary, right there on stage while the audience watched in hush excitement.
The “brain-faster-than-computer” phrase is fresh in my mind till date and also the sheer simplcity yet engagement that this man’s characters and storylines created. From Pinki and Biloo to Channi Chachi - the indianness he added to the comics’ scene still remains a watershed act. In a time when most newspapers ran old reprints of Phantom and Superman, Pran came along and turned the tables. In his own words, he created a character that any common Indian could relate to. A superhero in his own right, but all due to brain, not brawn. Nor was this superhero handsome, tall or bulging with muscles. His trademark red pagdi and the lush mustache is an evergreen symbolism. The Comic man with the magic wand - may many more dare to disrupt.