May 30, 2004


Tokaii is a cartoon character created by Rananbi (Rafikunnabi).

"With a bald head, thin limbs and swollen belly, he is a street urchin of about eight. Clad in a short chequered lungi, he lives on the footpaths or in the big unused construction pipes strewn about this city of Dhaka. He lives on left-overs of others or food thrown away in dustbins. Despite the apparent destitute status, however, the boy is always cheerful making fun and uttering witty scathing reflections, in his usual Dhakaite language, on things around him, which constitute contemporary society. The precocious talkativeness is a major attribute of the boy, who is known by the name of his class rather than a real proper name."

(Picture courtesy the Daily Star)

Tokaii's satire strips were the hit item of the erstwhile weekly magazine "Bichitra". I have grown up reading many of those strips.

Gallery Chitrak is holding an exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tokaii. Read the Daily Star report "The myth of Tokai" for details.


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