The Vanished Path
Author: Bharath Murthy
Publisher: Harper Collins
(Pp 220, ISBN 978-9351770190, Rs 399)
Talk about travelogues and they are filled with anecdotes, experiences and pictures. Author Bharath Murthy’s book Vanished Path blends all the above in a lively graphic novel. He chooses to recount his journey with his wife, Alka across the sites in India and Nepal known for their Buddhist connection.
At the outset, the book may seem to be an account of Buddhist history and teachings. How ever, author Bharath presents a narration that details his personal experiences interspersed with chronology, descriptions of architectural sites and also the important teachings by Buddhist monks. Interestingly, Bharath also turns a Buddhist monk himself to explain various concepts to a layman. On one hand, he recreates the setting for his journey essaying issues such as Ayodhya verdict, Hindu-Buddhist identity crisis, being mistaken for a foreigner in one’s own country and so on. On the other hand, Bharath deftly brings in his experiences such as hardships and adventures of the couple mostly graphically.
The choice of a graphic novel format sets the book apart. One gets a glimpse of some rare photos in the sites. Whether you are travel enthusiast have a keen interest in religion or merely a lover of graphic novels, pick up the book for an insightful journey.
–Janani Rajeswari S