Aug 26, 2010

Love revives Indian comics

Mother Teresa brought to life in Amar Chitra Katha after four years
Jayanthi Madhukar
Posted On Friday, August 20, 2010 at 07:56:59 PM
if you were a child from the ‘70s or the ‘80s, chances are that most of the history, mythology, fables and folktales that you knew then came from Amar Chitra Katha. They were the Indian counterparts of western comics. However, in recent years Amar Chitra Katha had lost its sheen and patronage. These comics never left the scene but new titles slowly became less frequent. Finally, after a break of four years, ACK Media is launching a new title called Mother Teresa: Little Acts Of Love, on August 26, the 100th birth anniversary of the Mother.

“Mother Teresa was chosen as our come-back title because of the universality of her personality,” said Savita Pai, VP, ACK Media (no relation to Uncle Anant Pai, the man behind Amar Chitra Katha).

The new Amar Chitra Katha is a 40-page story on Mother Teresa, documenting her journey as a 12-year-old from the distant shores of Albania to India, where she cherished the poorest of the poor with unconditional love. The story is scripted by Shalini Srinivasan who worked closely with the Missionaries of Charity to bring out the various facets of Mother Teresa’s personality including her kindness and love for the people of India. During the course of Shalini’s intensive research, she met with Sister Gertrude, one of Mother’s students at the Loreto order, much before Mother Teresa started Missionaries of Charity.

The illustrations are by Atula Sriwardane from Sri Lanka who speaks of the experience, “In the beginning I had tried to capture her features, but then I realised that it was not the features people saw. It was her love that they felt and without that it was not her.

“When I started to feel Mother Teresa more, drawing her became easier than before, but it never became very easy. How can one portray such a great human being who is always ahead of you?” As the editor, Reena Puri says, “After reading this book, we hope that children will ask what they can do to help others. Even one little act of love is enough.” This is probably the best gift one can give in the name of Mother Teresa, who felt that the greatest disease in the world was of being unloved and unwanted.

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