Virdhawal Khade (वीरधवल खाडे) is a champion swimmer and much better sportsperson than many of our star cricketers but I like him more because of his first name!
He however is Virdhawal-II in my life. The first one is Nath Madahav's (नाथ माधव) "Virdhawal".
Both are my heroes.
Recently, I bought a number of Marathi books priced at INR 50 each. They are reprints of old Marathi bestselling books that now are in public domain, their copyrights have expired. I am hoping to write on most of them on this blog.
This is a great news for me because there was a time I was turning into bibliokleptomaniac, a book-thief!
Since I wish to own every book I want to read, the only hope for me to access forever-out-of-print Marathi books was Google Books. Read my earlier post on it here.
These low priced books are published by Samanvay Prakashan , Kolkapur (समन्वय प्रकाशन, कोल्हापूर) and their principal distributor is 'Ajab distributors', Kolhapur (अजब) phone 9422421502.
The prices printed on them are multiple times 50 but, at the moment, they are being sold at 50 each.
Reading public of Pune (पुणे) seem to have received them very well. There were crowds in the hall that were selling them. I don't have trade figures but the sales must be substantial.
One of those books I bought is "Virdhawal". Printed price INR 610. It is 616 pages long.
Nathmadhav was the pen name of the late Mr. D M Pitale (द्वारकानाथ माधव पितळे) 1882-1928. Read more about the author here and here.
Nathmadhav. Isn't he Virdhawal himself? Reading about his fight against his own disability, I feel he surely was one in real life.
Picture courtesy: Marathi Wikipedia and Government Of Maharashtra Cultural Information Portal.
This best selling book- 'Virdhawal'- was first published in 1913. As per the preface of the author for its second edition that was published in October 1923, the first edition was sold out within a year but the book could not be reprinted largely because of the high cost and the shortage of paper on account of World War I (1914-1918).
[Read Govindrao Tembe's (गोविंदराव टेंबे) commentary on what two world wars did to Indian society and culture. I was almost in tears. Some day I will reproduce it on this blog.]
Artist: Unknown to me
I never read Virdhawal as a kid (8-10 years old) in the form of a 'words' novel but fell in love with it reading serialisation of it done in the form of a graphic novel by the late Mr. Bhaiyyasaheb Omkar (भैय्यासाहेब ओंकार) for a weekend edition of a Marathi daily (Kesari केसरी?) or a weekly. (Although I still recall many of the artist's pictures vividly, I forget the name of the publication).
I never took clippings of them but I kept reading the issue for days. I also remember missing a couple of issues from the series, silently blaming my father for that and hurting badly for the miss.
I also remember his serialization of graphic novel of Marathi translation of H G Wells's 'The Time Machine'.
I remain grateful to the late artists- Pitale, Wells, and more than them, Omkar- for lighting up my childhood.
I liked Omkar's art much more than that of Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) and Chandoba (चांदोबा). For a few years, he was my most favorite artist.
Even today, I miss his art. Where can I lay my hands on Bhaiyyasaheb Omkar's graphic 'Virdhawal'?
This is how Tim Martin describes the experience of reading a graphic novel: "Reading a graphic novel is at once a complex and instinctive act. The reader is forced not only to parse several narrative streams – speech bubbles, the silent communication of figurative attitudes and scenic arrangement, repeated visual symbols, often a narrative commentary – but also construe them as a continuous sequence that represents the passage of time. It’s an act we perform without thinking about it, but is nevertheless a complicated piece of translation between the concrete and the abstract."
The following looks interesting to me.
Artist: Unknown to me , courtesy: The Independent, UK July 2012