Ramayana is India’s most revered and popular epic written about five thousand years ago by Sage Valmeeki. Since then this wonderful story has been re written in hundreds of versions by thousands of authors.
Between 2009 and 2012 I wrote my version in 600,000 words (about three thousand pages) and sent the book to a few people.
One of the greatest admirers and fiercest critic was my 84 year old father Mr. T.S. Lakshmanan, who not only liked my Ramayana but also felt that this should be brought to the attention of today’s youngsters of his grandsons age.
This gave me an idea for a graphic Ramayana that could be launched on multiple formats. As I began searching for an artist, I also started the preliminary work of planning the layout and doing rough sketches. The work was all being done in prison with extremely limited resources but by the time I had completed a thousand sketches, I found that my own art was good enough and began drawing them from the beginning.
This is not an action comic, Manga comic or a abridged description like Amarchitra Katha. Here I have painted three thousand water colors depicting Ramayana and amalgamated them into a graphic novel. The art style based on “Central Indian tribal art” is a frontal art; in which the characters of the story invariably face the reader rather than each other! Likewise instead of live action, the drawings display frozen action. The images are borderline caricaturic.
I have worked nonstop for three months to complete the first two volumes and though I painted for up to sixteen hours a day, I enjoyed the process thoroughly. If my readers get at least half the pleasure that I got while I drew this book, I will consider my effort worthwhile.
Dr. L. Prakash