The images are adapted from Moyna Chitrakar's wordless scroll paintings, with text by Samhita Arni.
The story opens with sorrowful Sita, eye makeup running down her cheeks, asking the forest to shelter her. "Let me live here. The world of men has banished me." Then the narrative backs up 14 years, to the point where Prince Rama has been exiled from his kingdom, accompanied by his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana.
|Sita was abducted, rescued, and then doubted.|
She returns to the forest sad and alone.
"The cries of the women of Lanka lamenting Kumbhakarna's fall filled my ears, even though he fought on the side of my enemy. I could not help but feel his death was tragic, for he had advised Ravana wisely, and gone, knowingly, to meet his death."
"their people had met death on the battlefield - for what? For one man's unlawful desire. Men had been killed, widowed, and children orphaned. It was such a high price to pay."
Rama is the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He excels at everything he does. He is essentially virtuous, obedient to his father and loyal to his wife. But he sometimes acts dishonourably (using treachery to kill), is obstinate (won't go back on a promise even when it no longer makes sense), and he also doubts his wife's fidelity. This makes him more interesting as a hero.
|Rama (left), Sita (center) and Lakshmana (right)|
|Ravana, beloved of his family...|
but not so much by others.
When Hanuman is sent on a Hercules-type mission to get a distant medicinal herb, he stuns the rest of his army upon return:
"You brought the entire hill?" says one monkey.
"Well, I couldn't find the plant you told me to find, and I was running out of time, so I brought the whole hill to you instead."
The irregular page layouts feature large panels that emphasize ornamental details in the paintings, as well as taking advantage of the angles and curves of Chitrakar's overall graphic design.
|The three panels across two pages (below) are repeated on the lower right of the spread above.|
A combination of rectangular and round text boxes are used.
Note how the angled sides of the panels (top) characterize the movement of water.
|Eye-catching use of blue, red and yellow. Check out the crazy eyes on the elephant!|
|This is possibly the most bad-ass squirrel I've ever encountered.|
Pair Sita's Ramayana with Sanjay Patel's hip and funky Ramayana: Divine Loophole.