The man who lived his imagination: Pran



Kriti Billore & Shriram Gupta

"It is really a fun imagining different things in your mind. Children live in their dream world, live in their imagination and to understand their imagination, thinking like them is very important. "
              -Pran

Pran Kumar Sharma was born on 15 august 1938 in Lahore, Pakistan. After partition he and his family shifted to Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. 

He started his career as a cartoonist in 1960 with a newspaper 'Milap' that was published from Delhi. He is the most famous and renowned artist. The character of 'Chacha Chaudhary' and 'Sabu' in his comic book made him very popular. At first these cartoons made by him for the comic book 'Lotpot' became very famous and then they published their separate comic named 'Chacha Chaudhary'.

According to Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Pran studied at Sir J.J. School of Arts, had a four year's degree in fine arts and in addition to this, he also had a master’s degree in Political Science.

His cartoons made him very famous, and he was counted in India’s best and successful cartoonists.

How Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu were born?

He wanted to make unique characters and not like that of superman, Spiderman, Batman. He wanted to create  something that was related to India's culture and surroundings, who looked like a normal human being. After thinking about it for a long time he created a character which was bald, short heighted, old and very sharp minded. Someone who could solve every problem. He was not that powerful and strong but his friend Sabu, a man that has come all the way from the planet Jupiter and has extraordinary powers and would always be with Chacha Chaudhary as his shadow and fulfilled his lack of powers. In this way Sabu and Chacha Chaudhary caught culprits and handed them over to the police.

Career

At that time comics that were present in the market had characters such like 'Mandrake the Magician' and 'Blondie.' When he told his parents that he wanted to make a career in cartoon making their first reaction was that "you will not achieve anything and no girl is going to marry you",  but he had already decided what he wanted.
The inspiration behind his character of Chacha Chaudhary was actually Chankya, he said "i wanted that my main character must be intellectual like him."

His thinking was not like those of  western country where the hero must be young, powerful and handsome and here his hero was a bald old man. May be bald meant ugly but his power was his brain.

In the starting of the story, Chacha Chaudhary was alone handling the little problems like theft, pick pockets, but later as the time changed problems also changed.  He then wanted to give him physical powers in the form of Sabu, and that’s how Sabu was born.

Awards
  • In 2001, Indian Institute of Cartoonist awarded him with Life Time Achievement Award.
  • In "the world encyclopedia of comics" Pran is referred as "walt disney of india".
  • In 1995, his name was registered in the Limca Book of Records.
  • In 2015, after his death Government of India awarded him with Padmashri.

Death
He said "if I could make people smile, then only I will consider my life as successful." He achieved it and made this a reality. He died on 6 august 2014. The creator of countless characters and stories left his treasure of imagination.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed him 'multi talented cartoonist who made people smile' with his comic stories and funny characters.  

“Brother, I am merely a cartoonist Pran and not the film star Pran.”

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