The Graphic Revivalist

graphic novel
Kiriti Rambhatla

An electrical engineer, economist, creator of The Strategic Innovation Cube that was published in Forbes, host of the talk show ‘Arambham’ and a story-teller above all. Yo! Vizag got talking to Kiriti Rambhatla when he was in town to know more.

Kickoff Instance

Type in his name into Google and an impressive portfolio pops up. After his education at University of Ottawa, Politecnico Di Milano, London Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; he could have had an illustrious career as an economist anywhere he chose. Instead, Kiriti returned to his roots in India to follow his passion. He hosted a socio-economic talk show called ‘Arambham’, with guests like Lakshmi Manchu and Jayaprakash Narayan. It was here that the idea for ‘Taskara’ took hold.

Metaphorical Titles

The lead of ‘Taskara’, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Taskarinchadam’ (to steal), is a vigilante banker who fights against an economic system people have become passive to. “I knew it in my heart that Taskara had to be the story of an Indian in the global world today and not the other way around,” he says. While his recently released graphic novel was to be published before the movie by the same name came out in 2014, things didn’t pan out as planned.

Fitting Homage

Instead of letting it faze him, he took it in stride and gave the graphic novel the time it required to be properly executed. While the movie was being filmed, Kiriti’s father, who was averse to him working in entertainment, regrettably passed away. “I ensure that my education comes into play in all my stories. I want to create intelligent stories as a tribute to my father,” he says.

Unique Sensibilities

A fan of Tinkle and Chacha Choudary growing up, he saw the decline of the Indian comic industry in the 80’s first hand. He noticed how we began aping whatever the American counterparts were doing, and in the process, lost our uniqueness. Kiriti says, “Indian art is exceptional. I believe our mythology is good enough and we don’t have to look elsewhere.”

Now and Beyond

When asked what he has in store for the future, Kiriti ticks the list off his fingers. He has two other universes lined up for graphic novels, one of which is Gautama Buddha re-imagined in the present world. A web series, more movies and games are what he has up his sleeve. But the most exciting plan he has is to create an original form of Indian comic art.

We wish him luck for his future endeavours and hope he leaves his mark in the comic book industry.

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