When I was a little kid, I was used to reading comics with light content and short stories spanned over some 60 odd pages. Diamond comics used to fulfill the desire of the child inside me and its offerings like Chacha Chaudhary, Billu and Pinky were filled with a bunch of simple stories which were easy to comprehend even for a kid like me. I was not old enough to grasp the serious tones and years old backstory of comics like Nagraj and SCD, and then one day, I got my hands on Chacha Chaudhary aur Raaka and it changed the way I used to look at comics.
Never before had I seen a comic where the entire book was dedicated to one long story instead of several short ones. On top of that, Chacha Chaudhary aur Raaka story was dark, gritty and violent. This was the moment when I GREW UP!
The story begins with Chacha and Sabu taking a walk and conversing on complex topics like the difference between western and Indian culture. These early pages perfectly set the tone for the grim story that was to come. Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu pay a visit to a super old Vaidhya (Doctor) called Chakramacharya, who has a triumphant smile on his face.
The reason? He has concocted a potion which, when consumed by a person, will make them immortal! Chacha returns with a serious look on his face and tells Sabu that even though Chakramacharya invented the potion for the good of humanity, there is a big chance that it can lead to terrible things, if some evil entity gets its hands on the potion.
A few days later, a bank robbery goes haywire and the notorious robber, Raaka, seeks shelter inside Chakramacharya’s home. He decides to end his life instead of surrendering to the police, and gulps down the bottle of the magic potion which is labeled by the doctor as ‘Poison’.
Thus begins a reign of terror which spans for years! I grew up reading Chacha Chaudhary aur Raaka series and there are more than a dozen comics dedicated to the antagonist. Every comic ends with Chacha and Sabu somehow succeeding in capturing Raaka, and the subsequent comic depicts how he escapes the trap and begins wreaking havoc again. This is a never ending cycle and despite trapping Raaka in Space, a distant planet, or a dead volcano, to name a few, Raaka always escaped.
Chacha Chaudhary aur Raaka series never bored me and always presented entertaining stories with a lot of blood and gore thrown in. Raaka series is one of the best comic series in Indian comic history and if you haven’t read it, you are in for a treat!