Tinkle Turns 43!
Tinkle Turns 43!
Writer: Linta Mary Philip and Aparna Sundaresan
Illustrator: Shrutika Gorule

Tinkle turns 43 today! That is four times the average age of the person reading this. Gosh! That’s a long time to be telling stories.  As a successful children’s publisher, Tinkle’s journey through the years has been eventful. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.  

Tinkle was launched on 14 November, 1980. It went on to become an instant hit with children. The magazine was the brainchild of Mr. Subba Rao, the then Associate Editor of Amar Chitra Katha. Uncle Pai loved Mr. Rao’s idea of a children’s magazine that would carry stories and informative features. Mr. Rao came up with the name of the magazine too.  

Kalia the Crow, the first Tinkle Toon, debuted in the first issue of the magazine.  

Yes, this is the same Kalia who appears in Tinkle’s fact sheet these days! He also features in Big Baan as Kal.  

The much-loved Tinkle goofballs, Suppandi and Shikari Shambu, first featured in 1983. And everyone’s favourite villain Tantri the Mantri made his first appearance in 1984. Like Kalia, they too have changed in their appearance through the years. Here is what they looked like in their origin stories.

Now in 2023, with 806 issues in the kitty, Tinkle remains relevant to its readers by adapting to the changing times. There are tons of new Toons who have joined the Tinkle family. And the stalwarts have undergone a few changes.  

For example, Suppandi’s character started as a house help. Since then, he has moved on to doing odd jobs in various career fields, still struggling to hold on to any of them. The smooth-talking and seemingly courageous Shikari Shambu debuted as a hunter who was often called to trap man-eaters. A few issues later, Shambu gave up his gun amid growing concerns over animal conservation. Today, Shambu is a conservationist who loves animals, but still lacks the courage to confront them. These Tinkle Toons have now become synonymous with the magazine, as generations of Indians have grown up reading their stories.  

 As the Tinkle Toons continue to enthrall children of today, here’s wishing Tinkle a very happy birthday and many more happy years of storytelling.  

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