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Lord at Gundicha, in book & online

Graphic novel earns rave reviews

A painting on display on the tourism department website

Bhubaneswar, July 21: Animator-cum-film-maker Ranajit Mohanty is a happy man. And why won't he be!

His brainchild, a graphic novel called Srijamyaham (I am the creator), based on Nabakalebar and illustrated with patta chitra paintings by artists from Raghurajpur village, is selling like hot cakes in Puri.

It was first unveiled at a kiosk on Bada Danda (Grand Road) yesterday. The e-book version is also attracting a number of readers, especially Odia people staying abroad.

When asked about the book, an elated Mohanty said: "We hadadvance order for more than 6,000 copies of the book. This will help us meet our expenses since we have not sought any advertisements to promote the novel. Sponsors will distribute the books among customers as complimentary gifts."

"On Sunday, the e-book version was put up for sale on Google Play Book at just $1. The novel has caught the attention of the readers. Hundreds of users are visiting the Facebook page of the book and people are also posting rath yatra photographs on the site. More than 100 e-books were sold in a single night and thousands of free sample paragraphs were downloaded on Sunday alone," he said.

The kiosk on Puri's Grand Road where the book was first put up for sale witnessed many bibliophiles taking interest in the book. Hundreds joined our free reading offer and read it thoroughly and also offered positive feedbacks. Children took keen interest in reading the stuff, Mohanty said.

While the original price of the novel is Rs 145, as an introductory offer, publisher Om Sai EVC Technologies and distributor Pacad Comics are selling it at Rs 99. However, a low-cost edition is also available for Rs 50 on the occasion of rath yatra.

The graphic novel explains many things starting from the origin of the brahma to the death of Lord Krishna after being hit by a tribal hunter's arrow.

The story of the Jagannath temple and how king Indradyumna installed the three deities here is dealt with extensively. There are references to daru (sacred wood) and banajaga yatra.

"We are surprised by the response. By Bahuda we will have multiple outlets selling the book, which is available in Odia, English, Hindi and Bengali," he said.

After Nabakalebar and the car festival, the publishers are planning separate books on prominent bhaktas of Lord Jagannath such as Dasia Bauri, Bhakta Salabega, Bandhu Mohanty and poet Jayadev's story of Geet Govind.

There will be books also on other interesting tales involving Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra such as their Kanchi campaign where they went to war to help the ruler of ancient Kalinga. Stories of Sriya Chandaluni, a famous devotee of Goddess Laxmi, will also be published later.

A child with a copy of Srijamyaham in Puri. Telegraph picture

 

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