Can you get more regressive than Champak?
In a post describing his three childhood peeves, Corporate Whore (known these days for lots of free time that he spends commenting on my blog!) describes Champak thus:
It was filled with moral ridden stories which never evolved with time, except for the inclusion of modern gadgets like cell phones and thingummies. The names of the characters aimed for an irritatingly complete cuteness, with characteristics of each animal struggling to get itself incorporated in its name. Check these out, Meeku Monkey,Whitey Rabbit and Sweety Cuckoo. Cuckoo is sweet, Rabbit is white and a Monkey is of course meek, silly. And of course the main course of any Champak was Cheeku. By Das.Well put. Adventures of Cheeku are here:
My parents had made me subscribe to Champak in school to improve my Hindi. I don't know whether that objective was met (or even if it did, whether Champak made any difference). However, I do realise now that nothing about Champak stays in memory. I still remember the Rovers-er Roy from a Bengali magazine (forget the name) and Supandi and Shikari Shambhu from Tinkle, but Champak, it's all gone.
Then, suddenly, fifteen days back, at a dentist, I chanced upon Champak again. It was meant for the kids to help distract them from the minor pain of the operations. I happened to glance through some of the stories and found out why exactly I didn't like the stories and why none of them are memorable.
No, it wasn't the moralising, it wasn't the cuteness, it wasn't even the creative names. Instead, it was the fact that all of the stories were boring.
The stories were either a copy of Aesop's Fables (in which case, denizens of a forest will run around because the sky is falling on their head), or an inspired telling of the same story (in which case, nobody will believe Meeku Monkey who is running around because the sky is falling on his head) or a modern-day interpretation (in which case, 22nd century robots will be trying to scare baby Pinky, who will get together with her pet Robu, when the sky is falling on their heads).
Champak was like Anu Malik getting inspired by his own music, twice over in every issue. It was as insightful as hearing Sanjay Manjrekar comment on ODIs and not even tenth as interesting. It was as happening as my life on a Friday night.
Having said that, I probably didn't realise the import of stories like the one where Do, Re, Mi fight against Rock and Rap (do check it out).
Wikipedia does say that,"The magazine does not pass off adult folk tales as stories for children. ...The magazine has carried picture strories on Cheeku for years...". Hence, in case you are tired of adult R-rated folk tales in the magazines you get or you want picture stories of Cheeku, please go to the official site and buy a copy.
Incidentally, coming back to the answer to the question I posed - according to Corp Whore, you can.