Chacha Chaudhary with his dog Rocket
|Main character(s)||Chacha Chaudhary, Sabu and Rocket|
|Writer(s)||Pran Kumar Sharma|
|Artist(s)||Sayed Nahid Mian|
Chacha Chaudhary is a very popular Indian comic book character, created by cartoonist Pran. The comic comes in ten Indian languages including Hindi and English and has sold almost ten million copies. It has also been made into a television series with Raghuvir Yadav playing the lead role of Chacha Chaudhary.
Chacha Chaudhary was created in 1971 for the Hindi magazine Lotpot. It soon became popular among kids and the elderly alike.
Chacha Chaudhary is a middle class Indian, frail but an extremely intelligent old man. The word chacha means paternal uncle in Hindi, while Chaudhary is a term used for big landlords or the most honorable, elderly or a respectable person in villages or towns in Indo-Gangetic Plain.
Chacha Chaudhary's attire includes his red turban, a wooden stick, a waistcoat with a double inside pocket, and a pocket watch. His household consists of his wife Bini (Chachi), a faithful street dog called Rocket and a giant called Sabu. Chacha Chaudhary enjoys eating watermelon with relish, and takes off for a walk with Sabu and Rocket, whenever Chachi nags him.
Everybody in town knows that whenever Chacha Chaudhary goes out with his family, he never locks the door of his house; but nobody has been successful in robbing his house. Sometimes his head or nose itches when any trouble is going to happen.
When asked about the inspiration for the series, Pran said, "Each family has its own wise old man. He solved his problems with common sense, but with a touch of humor. Humor is the basis of my cartoon."
Chacha Chaudhary is remarkably different from most other comic-book superheroes in that he is not a muscleman, nor does he have any extraordinary powers or modern gadgets. Instead, he uses "a brain sharper than a needle and faster than a super-computer" (dimaag computer se bhi tez chalta hai), and a wooden stick, to fight evil-doers.
Chacha Chaudhary's characterization, like that of Pran's other characters, is around middle class typical Indian metro surroundings of the 1970s and 1980s, and it has kept evolving. The usual villains are corrupt government officials, thieves, roadside goons and bullies, tricksters and cons and local thugs. He not only fights them and helps the common man but also teaches them moral lessons and good behavior. Most of the events end up with goons embarrassed by their deeds. One can see the middle class dealing with everyday problems. In a way Pran takes a whip at those problems but still maintains a happy-go-lucky feel with twinkling eyes and smiling faces.
Sabu is an alien from the planet Jupiter, always faithful to Chacha and provides the physical strength in time of need. He is huge and strong, about 15 feet tall. In some comics he is able to increase his size. He wears only a wrestler's kachha (briefs), a pair of ear-rings and a pair of gum-boots.
Sabu decided to stay on Earth with Chacha when he tasted delicious paratha and halwa made by Chachi during his visit to earth. Sabu has a twin brother called Dabu and the giant earrings that Sabu wears were gifted to him by his mother when he left Jupiter. According to the comics, whenever Sabu gets angry, a volcano erupts at some distant place(this is stated in a panel with a picture of a volcano erupting, which says, "When Sabu is Angry, a Volcano Erupts at some distant place in Jupiter"). Whenever he performs an act of great strength, he utters the cry, "Hu-Huba!". Sabu eats 108 chapatis, 12 kilos of halwa, and about 20 litres of lassi in one meal. He is not married, and avoids the topic. Sabu has little brain for his size seems to follow instructions obediently and is never seen using whatever little brain he has.
Sabu's biggest enemy is Raka, who is of the same size as that of Sabu....
Chacha Chaudhary's wife Bini is a fat, dominating lady who is the boss of the house and occasionally battles the thieves with her belan (rolling pin). She is usually dressed in polka dotted sari and has a hair style matching 1970s style of Indian actresses. Although very kind hearted with all the attributes of a strict but caring wife, she often complains Chacha of not buying her gold bangles and she has to cook for Sabu although she serves as a motherly figure for Sabu. In one comic she is shown with stirring a giant pot with a ladle for Sabu and serving him more affectionately than Chachaji.
A secret that many of the characters in the comics do not know is that Chacha Chaudhary has a twin brother named Chhajju Chaudhary, who is not as gifted as Chacha Chaudhary. In many stories he proves to be the secret weapon to dodge the corrupts and goons. He was once taken to Mars by aliens mistaking him as Chacha Chaudhary.
Rocket is his pet dog. He was found as a stray dog and was adopted by Chacha, much to the dismay of his wife, who said that raising Sabu itself was a handful for her. Though she later accepted the dog when it attacked the burglars in the house. He is rather well known as raaket. The only characteristic of this dog is defined in the line "Chacha Choudhary ka kutaa ssurrlup ssurrlup doodh peeta hai" ( Choudhary's dog drinks milk) & the fact that he is the only vegetarian dog in the whole world. The dog has proven himself at occasions, attacking his foes on command.
Some enemies of Chacha are Raaka (once a dacoit, but an immortal giant after drinking a magic potion made by Chakram Acharya), Gobar Singh (a dacoit), Dhamaka Singh, and his accomplice Paleeta and Ruldu.
Many a times Chacha Chaudhary has beaten Raaka and forced him to shave off his mustache as a result of some competition which was won by Chacha. Chacha's comic with Raaka, Raaka ki waapsi (The Return of Raaka) is one of the best selling comics of Diamond Comics. Apparently Raaka was put to sleep by some potion given by a saint from the Himalayas and buried in the ocean the first time. On his return by another potion he was reduced to a small size, closed in a bottle and buried in a grave. But this was not the end. He returned several times again to wreak havoc in the city. Finally Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu buried him in an endless hole somewhere near a rocket launch site. But for the last time he was sent to the planet of Zalubar by a rocket.
Similarities with other characters
Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu are a double act. This is similar to Asterix and Obelix where Asterix is a little guy and Obelix is big and incredibly strong, but slightly slow on the uptake. There is some degree of similarity between Chacha Chaudhary and Asterix, wherein both do not have any extraordinary physical power and use their wits to get around situations. Sabu, on the other hand, does demonstrate that his tremendous muscle power is without the brains to apply it properly, analogous to Obelix. However, it cannot be said that there is any major similarity between the two comics, since Asterix has a common theme of outwitting the Romans, whereas Chacha Chaudhary is a very loosely-connected series, with common characters, but new settings and story lines. Moreover, Asterix and the Gauls do have a secret ingredient giving them physical superiority over the Romans, and there is no such analogue in Chacha Chaudhary adventures
About the story and incidence: sometimes it may look as if Chacha Chaudhary by luck is rescued or the situation coincidentally save him from death and danger, but that is part and parcel of the character in addition to his brain being faster than a computer. People, especially children, like this part as funny and hilarious.
- Pilcher, Tim; Brad Brooks (2005). The Essential Guide to World Comics. Collins & Brown. ISBN 978-1-84340-300-5. OCLC 61302672.
- "Raghubir Yadav interview on Rediff".
- Lent, John A., ed. (2001). Illustrating Asia: Comics, Humor Magazines, and Picture Books. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-8248-2471-6. OCLC 45661703.
- Chacha Chaudhary Aur Karate Samrat [Chacha Chaudhary and the Emperor]. Hindi Comics (in Hindi) (Diamond Comics). p. 41.[not in citation given]
- "Chacha Chowdhary, Pinki, Sabu to hit the silver screen soon". Bollywood Hungama. February 27, 2009.