(and I don’t mean comical as in funny)
Try as I may, I cannot find any detectives in Indian comics. I mean, some (all?) of the Feluda stories was made into comics, and Fa Fe found his way into animated format via Tinkle, while we have a plethora of crime-fighters. But there are no detectives solely created for comics.
So , I am going to take this opportunity to talk about some crimefighters who don’t really make it into a Superhero grade, but are beyond your normal comics-guy-next-door.
- Bahadur: Son of a dacoit, raised by a police officer, Bahadur grew up to be a crime-fighter, with special interest in rehabilitating former dacoits. This he accomplishes with the help of his fiancée (and later wife) Bela, and Lakhan (a reformed dacoit) and his Citizen’s Security Force.If this sounds a lot like a hindi movie to you, don’t worry. Bahadur bears a lot of resemblance to the original angry young man Amitabh Bachchan, as can be seen from his features and his clothes (though he changed from kurta to t-shirt with times).While he battles mainly dacoits, he has fought every kind of criminal from common thieves to antiques smugglers to spies and terrorists. In the process, he has done a lot of detective work in uncovering common criminals, finding an ancient treasure in a Rajasthani fort and uncovering the “well of amrit” in a mythical city.Of course, if you think the guy who destroys terrorist training camps is not really a detective and hence should not be in this series, hey, I like the guy for being one of the few original comic heroes in India, and I can put him on this list if I want (for lack of any “real” detectives to write about), so sue me…
- Chacha Chaudhary: With a “brain faster than computer” and the help of his Jovian (and mostly jovial, unless fighting some villain) friend Sabu and dog Raacket (sorry, that’s how it’s written in Hindi), Chacha Choudhary has fought many criminals in his life, the chief of them being the accidently-turned-immortal Raaka. But apart from fighting Raaka, he has spent his life fighting crime in every guise.Again, this red turban and black jacket clad, white big moustachioed Chacha is not your traditional detective. But then, even though most of his time is spent thinking of new ways to imprison Raaka (who being immortal and super-strengthened now needs new ways to capture him like a cyclone, a magic bottle in the belly of a whale or orbiting the earth in space), a brain faster than computer cannot be wholly occupied with one single task, can it? Of course, Chacha Choudhary does spend some time in solving your normal crimes too.I think I should mention at this point that the TV serial, though having Rajpal Yadav as Chacha didn’t fulfil my expectations.
Again, as I said, I didn’t find any famous black-sunglasses and trench-coat clad detectives made into comic series, so I took chance of plugging a underrated (according to me) hero I like and everybody’s favourite uncle.
Do you have a favourite detective I should have mentioned?
P.S. Want more on Detectives? Check out my “Jasoos Series“.
Quote of The Day:
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
– Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914), The Devil’s Dictionary
Also cross-posted at Desicritics.