Hindu Epic Ramayana Reborn With Modern Touch

March 12, 2010

Author: Sandip Roy

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle



Sanjay Patel is no stranger to the fantastic. As an animator, he knows about rats with culinary dreams, furry blue monsters and armies of evil grasshoppers. But he says that some of the most fantastic characters he could imagine didn't come from storyboards at Pixar.

They came from a book 2,500 years old, written in Sanskrit, in more than 24,000 verses. The Ramayana is one of India's great epics - the saga of the warrior prince Rama, born to rid the earth of the demon king Ravana.

"There was a 10-headed demon king, characters that were half monkey, half human, gods, kings and queens. And it was all action as well," says Patel. "It was begging to be illustrated."

A mix of cultures

For four years Patel did just that. "Ramayana: Divine Loophole" gives the venerable Hindu epic a 21st century makeover. "The art is divine, pardon the pun," quips Manish Vij, who runs the blog Ultrabrown.com.