As a child in the 1980s (like many others), my first exposure to Indian Epics, Ramayana & Mahabharata, classic stories like the Jataka Tales, Panchatantra, the clever Birbal, witty Tenali Rama were from the fantastic Amar Chitra Katha comics. For entertainment, it was the Tinkle (comics) subscription – filled with wonderful characters like Kalia the crow, Nasruddin Hodja, Suppandi, Shikari Shambu and others. Apart from these characters, I enjoyed and learned from the columns on science, facts and more written by Mr Anant Pai, affectionately called by his young fans as Uncle Pai.
Tinkle for its subscribers had the practise of sending a gift on your birthday, if I remember right, it was on request (you write a letter). So, for my birthday in 1985, I was thrilled to receive a book as gift from Uncle Pai. For days, I went around to show the book and the name of Uncle Pai printed in that (for the young boy, it was as valuable as his real signature would’ve been) to my friends in school. I was special!
Today, while cleaning my library, I found the book that I had received as gift from Uncle Pai in 1985. It was titled “Physiology for Everyone” by B F Sergeev published by Mir Publishers, Soviet Union (the cover of which seen on the top of this page and contents in the bottom) and sold in India by New Century Bookhouse or by India Book House (then the parent company of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkel). I don’t remember if I had read the book then, even if I had read it then, I doubt that I would’ve understood anything at that age. Planning to read it now!