Join our newsletter for South-Asian book recos by age & to get free creative tools

When we talk to authors in our Kitabi Qisse series, we often hear the same books and characters that they loved growing up. Now that we are officially in summer holidays in so many places, this is a round up of South-Asian characters that evoke nostalgia. True specially if you grew up in the subcontinent, or showed up for holidays!

These stories have multiple adaptations in various South-Asian languages alongside TV adaptations, so chances are you’ve seen these. Which of these South-Asian characters did you absolutely obsess about? 🙂

south-asian characters that evoke nostalgia
  1. Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu: Indian cartoonist, Pran wrote the Chacha Chaudhary series of comics for Hindi magazine Lotpot in 1971. Prem was inspired by Chanakya in writing the character of Chacha who solves problems from the community. His partner in crime was a tall alien from Jupiter, Sabu. The stories were translated in 10 Indian languages and have millions of readers. These characters are often voted as some of the most memorable comic book characters.
  2. Vikram-Betaal: Originally written in Sanskrit, as Vetala Panchavimshati or Betal Pachisi was compiled by Somadeva based on folktales. Broadly the stories talk about King Vikramaditya’s promise to capture a spirit, Betaal who hangs upside down a tree, and often runs away after a story and a riddle.
  3. Kroor Singh: Devaki Nandan Khatri’s epic fantasy novel published in 1888, is often considered the first modern Hindi novel. The story was adapted to television in the mid-90s and gained popularity, bringing the character of Kroor Singh into limelight. The story is about star-crossed lovers in two rival kingdoms with Kroor Singh being the antagonist. This is a magnum opus sure to entertain!
  4. Suppandi: This much loved comic character made a debut in Tinkle #27 in 1983. The character was created out of narrative stories by P. Varadarajan based on the Tamil folklore character, Chappandi. The illustrations were crafted by Ram Waeerkar – who was famous as an artist for the Amar Chitra Katha series.
  5. Mowgli: Initially appearing in Kipling’s short story, “In the Rukh”, Mowgli was a character in the Jungle Book. The setting is in the Pench area in Madhya Pradesh. The Japanese-Italian TV adaptation of the Jungle Book in the late 80s was dubbed in Hindi. It also featured a phenomenal title track by Gulzar, making it an unmistakable part of the 90s childhood.

We would absolutely LOVE getting some names we missed. The 80s and 90s were full of these characters that evoke such intense nostalgia :-).

Make your own diverse characters