Growing up with books we lived in a world of imagination, where anything and everything was possible. We passed on this love to our children by reading aloud to them from the time they could understand, first the pictures then the story. Magazines and comics like Chandamama, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha series, Phantom and Mandrake and so many more led them into the world of imagination.
My father had a much cherished magazine. It was a Kannada magazine called Koravanji.He has very fond memories about it and writes-
When we were young, there was a wonderful
monthly Kannada magazine called ‘Koravanji’. It
was a humorous magazine, full of stories, jokes
and cartoons. Each made you laugh and smile. We
were eagerly waiting for Koravanji to appear in
It was priced at four annas. The present
generation cannot understand this. Four annas means
one-fourth of a ruppe or the present day twenty-five
paise. Now, the twenty-five paise coin itself is
not there. But, at that time, for us children, the
problem was how to get this money to buy the
magazine. We did not have the courage to ask our
parents for this money. But I discovered a method.
My father was good at playing tennis, and an
expert at playing bridge, a game of cards. There
was a club, not far from our house on the way to
the Railway Station. It was called Cosmopolitan
Club. It had a tennis court and a small building
with a large verandah, where the members played
cards. School’s Physics Laboratory attendant, known
as Singh worked as an attendant in the cub during
My father went to the Club every
evening after returning from the school. First,
he played tennis. He had some club friends, who
were also fond of tennis. It was a doubles game
and they played one set every evening.
After the tennis game, he climbed the steps
of the Club verandah, where three of his friends
were waiting for him. A table with four chairs
was already set and two packs of playing cards
were ready. They played for small stakes, one
anna for 100 points. My father used to say that
playing bridge without money on the table was
no joy. You must have played bridge. There are
two types, auction bridge and contract bridge.
They played the contract variety. After playing
two or three rubbers, the game ended and the
players returned home.
When Koravanji appeared in the bookshop, I
went to the club to watch them play tennis. I was
allowed inside the Club, as the Club attendant, Singh
knew me. After they started playing cards, I did
not leave. Perhaps, this disturbed my father. He
called and asked me, “What is the matter?” I uttered
the word, Koravanji. And he quickly gave me four
annas. I left the Club and went to the newspaper
shop, not very far away, and purchased Koravanji.
Then, for a long time, one could see a large
smile on my face.
Koravanji has disappeared now. What a loss !
(photos from the internet, the one in the middle is that of the Kannada magazine, KORAVANJI )