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In the name of Uncle Pai!

There is a tradition in India, any new venture or a project is kicked off at an auspicious time and more importantly at that very time, you invoke a deity or a person who is considered lucky and blessed. Usually, vighnaharta (the remover of obstacles) Ganapati is invoked at the onset, his blessings sought. “Shree Ganesh” is also considered a synonym for making a beginning.

While in all humility, I do seek the elephant-god and his benediction. At this juncture, there is another name that comes to mind and who is the fountainhead of all knowledge of my scriptures, mythology and history. Without his work, I don’t think my thoughts or my beliefs would have shaped such. He was the Guru for me and many more millions, whose lives he touched and shaped through his stories and tales. Anant Pai, or rather Uncle Pai, truly is the pole-star on the Indian skies, a guiding light to many through his simple Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics. He instilled values, beliefs, pride and most importantly Indianness into the very hearts of millions of children across this land, and even to this day, one merely has to pick up his book and feel inspired.

To this day, whenever I have to recall an anecdote of a historical character or story from folk-lore, I visualise the square panels from one of his books. Whatever little knowledge, that I have or do possess, it is but a blessing from Uncle Pai. There was never possibly a greater story-teller than him, or possibly never will.

And so, with all humility and dedication, I invoke the blessings of Uncle Pai on the day of start of, a collective hub for mythology and more. His life, thoughts and work will always be an inspiration to pursue perfection, while being honest. Let his light shine bright on this work, which is but a small molecule in front of the mountain he fashioned. If it could be turned into a shloka, it would be something like ” Shree Uncle Pai Namah”. And so the journey begins. Wait and watch…