Mayavi comics fans relax! Dingini is in, but Luttappi isn't going anywhere

A day before, the introduction of a new character in the popular Mayavi comics in Kerala, had disturbed fans who thought their beloved villain character Luttappi was being replaced.
Mayavi comics fans relax! Dingini is in, but Luttappi isn't going anywhere
Mayavi comics fans relax! Dingini is in, but Luttappi isn't going anywhere
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Luttappi is in some ways like Casper, the friendly ghost cartoon character. Luttappi is just as tiny, magical and baby-faced. But in the cartoon series he belongs to, he is among the villains – the cute little devil who helps the witch Dakini and dark wizard Kuttusan to capture the nice imp Mayavi. Even so, even with his little villainy traits, it seems Luttappi has been much loved by generations of children who grew up with the Mayavi comics that appear in Balarama, a children’s magazine from the Malayala Manorama group.

On Friday, Balarama introduced a new character called Dingini, looking very much like Luttappi, but who is female and is the niece of Dakini. What disturbed die-hard fans of the comics is not so much the entry of this girl but the disappearance of Luttappi. In the cartoon, it is said he is sent on a quotation (beating up someone for money) work with Kuttusan. But that has obviously not satisfied the readers. Thousands of messages came on Balarama’s Facebook page – memes asking where their beloved Luttappi is.

One fan says Luttappi devotees are planning a harthal in Kerala (that's a joke) and all devotees should assemble on the road wearing black underwear – the traditional costume of the original character, which was later modified after parents of children reading the book had complained of inappropriate depictions.

Hash tags began as Save_Luttappi and Justice_for_Luttappi. A much circulated meme showed a fan telling the editor (of the magazine), “If anything happens to Luttappi, I would beat your eyes black.” Another shows Mayavi looking dejected, learning that Luttappi has more fans than him.

But, there is nothing to worry, Balarama has cleared the air. Luttappi is going nowhere. He will be back in the next column and will have a conversation with Dingini too. 

"Luttappi will never be removed. He will be back in the next issue. Seeing the power of Luttappi fans a special column Balarama would begin a new column. You can also expect a direct conversation between Luttappi and Dinkini in the next issue," says a Balarama spokesperson.

Balarama has already released a new image on its Facebook page where a disgruntled Luttappi asks Kuttusan “what is the need of this green frog when I am there”. 

Some memes had suggested it is for gender equality. The only other girl character apart from Dakini is Radha – one of the two children who belong to team Mayavi. Radha and Raju, looking like siblings but not explicitly described so, roam around the forest where all the witches, wizards and imps are. They save Mayavi from a bottle that Dakini had once trapped him in as a slave to do her biddings. Grateful Mayavi would then save the children from whatever trouble they fall into. It’d seem the only aim of the villains is to trap Mayavi and for that they try to kidnap the children. The famous chanting ‘Om Kreem Kuttichathan’ comes from these comics, a chant that the kids use to summon Mayavi.

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