Imagine the ten-headed Ravana comes into play and explains:I need hot dog because I need energy. It is tedious to sign autographs and take photos with fans at the same time! “Or Vibhishana who exclaims:”Sayonara! I subscribe to Rama’s YouTube channel, which by the way has twice as many subscribers as PewDiePie. His last video was crazy! It has 8 million likes and 1 dislike … ”
This modern version of Ravana and Vibhishana was created by the teenager Vikram Nagarajan from Hyderabad in his book Ramayana 2020 (Illustrator Ramesh Chepuri). Vikram now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States and continues the epic in 2020 that also adds to the contemporary mood, tone and characters. “I wanted the story to appeal to a younger audience and the western world,” he says. Ramayana has been written several times with different perspectives. This modern retelling of the epic full of humor for the millennials makes for an entertaining and easy read. In an email interview, Vikram talks about the COVID 19 situation in the USA, his interest in classics and the support of his family.
Ramayana and Mahabharata were integral parts of Vikram’s childhood. In fact, his maternal great-grandfather, Mamidipudi Ramakrishnaiah, had published Srimad Valmiki Ramayana Kathamruthamu, a Telugu version of the Ramayana. Vikram says: “This is why my family is interested in the epic and it is very important to us.”
It was Vikram’s mother Indira who suggested visualizing the epic in a modern world when he planned to write an epic-based piece for an annual Deepavali party that took place a few years ago. His friends and neighbors played in this play, with Vikram Hanuman and his brother Vijay Lakshmana playing.
Vikram’s maternal family is from the Nellore District, and much of his extended family is now spread across the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “My great-uncle Mamidipudi Pattabhiram lives in Hyderabad and was the main force behind the publication of this book,” said Vikram.
With modern twists
Now that 2020 is here and Doordarshan recently aired Ramanand Sagars again Ramayana and is currently being broadcast Uttar RamayanThe boy believes that interest in the epic story will increase again. “Ramayana is timeless and intended for all ages and is enjoyed in all forms. The plot and themes of the epic make it interesting. Valmiki’s version embeds valuable life lessons in a lively and adventurous story. I believe that my modern variant maintains these aspects. The 2020 aspect of the book is certainly a factor, although I stretch the truth a bit in my version, since the technology is rather “foreign” and progressive compared to the actual 2020. ”
Vikram’s favorite character is Hanuman and he particularly enjoyed writing it Sundara Kanda Segment in his book. In his opinion, this is also the most humorous part of the book. “I loved writing the battle scenes between Hanuman and the hordes of Ravana’s loyal soldiers and also Hanuman who humiliates Ravana. In fact, I enjoyed writing all of the battle scenes because I was able to add humor there.”
His family was a great help in giving him ideas and working them out. “It was probably the most difficult challenge to think of ideas. I focused very much on the design of my rough draft and was concerned about the font in Google Docs. that distracted my attention from my writing. ”
Vikram dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and continuing to write. He is currently writing an adaptation of Mahabharata and tells the story through the lens of the perspectives of his numerous characters.
He says of the COVID 19 situation in the United States: “Schools are closed for the rest of the year and we are subject to the guidelines on social distancing. I hope we can finally get back to normal when the pandemic subsides. “
Ramayana 2020 (Chamanna Publications) costs £ 315 and for copies: + 91 986 608 3528, + 91 974 149 8464, + 91 944 993 1430.