Graphic travelogue to create awareness on Buddhist past

(Murthy who always wanted to write and draw a book-length comic says hedidn'tfind fiction ideas that were good enough.Thus was born "The Vanished Path.")

(Murthy who always wanted to write and draw a book-length comic says hedidn’tfind fiction ideas that were good enough.Thus was born “The Vanished Path.”)

The Economic Times
PTI May 20, 2015, 04.37PM IST

NEW DELHI: When Bharath Murthy, an FTII faculty and animation expert, set out on a pilgrimage with his wife to Buddhist historical sites in India and Nepal, he thought it would be a good way to talk about Buddhism through a travelogue.

Murthy who always wanted to write and draw a book-length comic says he did’nt find fiction ideas that were good enough.

Now with his journey through the ruins that mark the life of Buddha – the places he lived and taught and lands from where all traces of that past have almost disappeared – Murthy decided to pen a graphic travelogue.

Thus was born “The Vanished Path.” Replete with illustrations, it describes Buddhist sites and their significance in a very lucid manner.

“Since I was beginning to get deeply interested in Buddhism at the time, I thought I could talk about that in comic form. Then it occurred to me that a good way to talk about Buddhism was to do a travelogue where I visit the sites in their contemporary state,” says Murthy.

“My book is a small attempt in rekindling awareness of our shared Buddhist past which has been pretty much erased from the cultural consciousness of our country,” he says, adding “I thought it was important to show the reader the places as they are today.”

” The Vanished Path,” published by HarperCollins India took nearly four years to happen.

The book was in his mind when he and his wife Alka embarked on their journey in 2009. They went to places like Sarnath, Lumbini, Kudan and Bodhgaya to name a few.

“It was in my mind. But the exact form of whether to do it as short anecdotal strips or an extended book came later,” Murthy, who studied film direction at Satyajit Ray Film and TV Institute in Kolkata, told PTI.

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