Somewhere between Chandamama and Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, I remember reading a few novels in a series about a homegrown, desi investigator duo called Rajan Iqbal.
A google search revealed that at least one of the versions (Rajan Iqbal aur Preton ka Aatank– “Rajan Iqbal and the Terror of the Spirits“) in its comic book format is available online. Also, I came to know, after all these years, the name of the author- SC Bedi- I am quite intrigued by it and wonder if it is, like the name of the heroes in the novels, fictional too.
I think the novels were published by Diamond Pocket Books or Hind Pocket Books, and those days could be found in any bookshop or newspaper kiosk in small towns in Northern India. I wonder if those are still around or they have given away to Harry Potters mutated into Hari Puttars. It is also striking that the duo has a Hindu and a Muslim name conjoined into one, much like Aligarh and so many other names in the sub- continent- that combine an Arabic and a Sanskrit word forming a new one altogether.
Nowadays, perhaps, the name of “Rajan Iqbal” would rather conjure up the image of a gangster duo. When I was a child, they were detectives out to help the world get rid of evil doers.
Between when I was a child and now, the world has turned upside down.