Monday, May 07, 2007

Sudamache Pohe

and Amar Chitra Katha.

How do parents know what a child would like to read? I am not a parent yet so this question. Dad must have done some research I guess. Did he anticipate that I would be hooked to serious reading at the age of 3 yrs. I remember my first book was Noddy but what made me a voracious reader from the age of 6-7 was the fact that in school we had to read one book a week and write a review on it for our English class. I don't know how many schools did it then and now but my school was different in many ways than one. I guess you have read that before.

I literally grew up on Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle like most my age. Uncle Pai was like a family member who put children to sleep daily with the dose of ancient history and legends. I meant it literally. After the lights off time I read every night in the beam of street light that came through my window. Thank God my bed was near the window. It was an ordeal Mom went through everyday of getting me out of bed the next morning and to eat without the book in hand. Neither did her rules work nor did the complaints to Dad. Dad was too busy at the time and after all he was the one who got me all those books so to Mom he too was a culprit. As a result by Standard X I had a prized possession for life my pair of glasses. Mom fretted her girl with spectacles how would she get married. Dad as always said with a nod, that I looked like a scholar now (the similarity ends there me think).

So Amar Chitra Katha it was for every occasion in addition to other gifts. Living in Colaba and Fort one had access to the best things and IBH as it was called was in our back lanes. I had collected so many ACKs that Mom finally got them bound into 4 Huge Volumes. We lent them to some one and that person probably started a library of her own ;).

My favorite ACKs were Krishna, Sudama, Anirudha, Birbal the witty, Shivaji, Kanakdas, Narad, Sankaracharya, Ganesha. They were not just comic books but deep down they moulded a child's personality. It was a boon for all children who lived away from their grandparents. Ancient History became so accessible and easy to understand and entirely fun to read. I was a loyal till I went to college and slowly the next phase of a different set of books/ picture books of the K series and the Marina Santi and the TDH kind took over for all the frivolous reading.

ACKs completed the reading pleasure when parallelly one would read some serious books and the non Indian authors whose settings were alien to me as a child. ACK was my earth and my people literally('amchi maati and amchi manase' do you get it?). It moulded a child who grew up to love travelling to explore India to appreciate its ancient art and culture and value it. When one travels there are always reference to those old Amar Chitra Kathas and then one lives those times only to etch on the mind indelible memories.

Here is a recipe of Sudamache pohe that fascinated me so much credit to ACKs:


1 cup rice flakes
water to wash
1 cup curd
1 tablespoon sugar

Wash the rice flakes in water in a bowl. Drain the rice flakes on a mesh for 10 mins till soft. Remove on a plate and top up with the curds and sugar. To be eaten mixed.

This is also served as naivedya on Janmashtami ie Lord Krishna's birthday and as a packed meal for Lord Ganesha when we say goodbye to him at Visargan time telling him to comeback next year.


  1. What a great post, you brought back lots of memories :) Apart from all the books and comics you mention, I also read a lot of Russian books when I was a kid. At that time, Indo-USSR relations were so strong, and in my small town of Kolhapur, there would be annual book fairs with lots of imported Russian books. My parents would always buy them as birthday gifts for me. They were so creative and exquisitely illustrated!
    Love the Sudamache pohe too :)

  2. wow. can't get simpler than that. no cookin. i was addicted to amar chitra katha and owned each one of them. i lent many and they never came back.

  3. adored those ack's & tinkle comics! taking part in those complete a story competition used to be so much fun, I can never forget the first time i won a prize for that, i was ecstatic :)

    yummy pohe recipe!

  4. Simple and Easy. We ate Rice Flakes with Sugar and Putnalu Dal/Chana Dalia (usually served during Ganesh Chaturthi)

  5. Anjali,

    ACK and Tinkle were my best buddies growing up too. My grandparents place was about 1 hr on train from where we lived, so everytrip my dad would get us a crisp copy from the station and by the time we got down the book would have be pretty much completed.
    Thanks for the memories

  6. Nupur yeah I remember there was a russian wave. My Dad learnt russian at the time.

    Bee see I told you ACK were always irreversible mass transfer ;)!

    Risha wow you did! I never did.

    Lata Lord Ganesh loves pohe.

    Sreelu yeah thats so true. ACK were part of the Indian childhood at the time :).

  7. shilpa(Aayisrecipes)May 09, 2007 3:28 AM

    Ohh I loved ACK. I used to read them in Kannada. Then there were chandamamas. All of them are neatly bound and arranged in a small library by my dad at my native. My hubby attacks them when we go there. They were superb. I always wondered why my cousins who lived in big cities always talked about Tinkle and not about ACK. Thanks for bringing back those memories anjali.

  8. Shilpa Tinkle got popular becoz it was interractive it had competions with prizes and you how kids are.

    I think like your husband many adults now actually love comics, cartoons and are not shy about it like the earlier generation. I am member of that club too ;).


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