Uncle Moon’s Magazine

In response to Indispire Edition #163 of Indiblogger

indispire 163

Which is the first book I read all by myself?

Well, frankly speaking I do not remember. But, I can guess with a fair degree of accuracy about some of the books and magazines which were part of my reading in my early childhood.

The Magazine Chandamama being one of those. Strictly speaking, it may not fall under the category of books. But the magazine was so much part of my regular childhood reading, I would love to assign it the status of my first love with reading material outside the school curriculum.

The magazine was published in a number of Indian languages and English. I used to read the Oriya version which was titled ‘Janhamamu’.

Each issue contained a mixture of stand alone stories, serialized stories bases on mythology, classic literature, new stories, contests and knowledge tidbits suitable for schoolchildren. Every article had  accompanying colourful illustrations to create visual interest. The stories also had a moral or a practical lesson to teach.

The magazine not only delivered the stories and messages of mythologies and classical literature in an interesting and suitable way to the children, but also kindled interest for further reading. One of the serialised popular features of the magazine was the stories of Vikram and Vetal. Subsequently,  when I came across the original book, I could not resist myself reading it. Of course the magazine authors took the liberty to create their own stories in line with the originals.

At present the magazine is not in circulation, either in print of e-format. However, it survived long enough so that I could buy the magazines for my own children. Only difference being while my children had many options with regard to children’s periodicals, I had very few. Of course many local children’s magazines were available. But, nothing to beat Chandamama.

Another regular feature of the magazine was the caption contest. There were two unrelated photos, and one had to find a suitable caption linking both the photos. I tried my luck on a number of issues, even though I could never make it to the winning stage.

It is sad to know that the magazine started by B Naggi Reddy (also a famous film producer)  and Chakrapani in 1947 is no more in publication. It reached its peak in the 1970s and the 1980s, being published in thirteen languages with a circulation of 2 lakhs.

The best thing about Chandamama was that most of the stories were desi,  unlike today’s periodicals for children. Of course some times it contained abridged and illustrated versions of many western classics. Maybe, that is how I got interested in English classic literature too.

For those who would like to relive the days of Chandmama or have a taste of the magazine, here is link for the archives:

https://archive.org/details/chandamama_magazine

 

15 thoughts on “Uncle Moon’s Magazine

  1. It would be impossible for most people to remember the first book they read. But like you I too remember a children’s magazine as my favourite one of the early years unless I take the school primer as a book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chandamama has been my favourite magazine also throughout my childhood as well as a major part of my adulthood. It’s sad that it’s no longer being published. Hearty thanks for sharing your experience. It rendered a yeoman’s service to the Indianfolk by apprising them of their mythology and culture for decades.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chandamama was very much in circulation till recently. I had the subscription till about 2 years back for the print edition in Sanskrit language. However, their circulation staff is horrible. Last time they took the whole subscription fees but never delivered even a single issue. Customer care is uncooperative. Then I discontinued.

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  4. True. Many magazines we grew up with are no longer there. In Bengali, we used to read Shooktara. It had beautiful comics and wonderful stories from history and many relevant social issues. Today, Shooktara is probably not published anymore. Internet has taken over.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I too share your feelings about Chandamama. Vikram and Vetal was favourite with us too. I remember having bought this magazine a few years ago for my children. Sad to learn it doesn’t exist any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post brought back memories of the books that I used to read in my childhood- Chandamama, tinkle, Champak and gokulam. Sad that Chandamama is no longer available. Tinkle has also lost its aura too. I loved the stories of suppandi, Kalia the crow, kapish and many more.
    I still have a few of these books in my cupboard, while the rest of them were passed on to my nephew, he says he’s read them a hundred times and yet he loves to read them again and again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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