The return of Gabbar

Updated: Jan 21, 2014, 11:10 IST | Phorum Dalal

What made Gabbar the most feared dacoit of Chambal? Graphic India and Sholay Media and Entertainment will launch graphic novel, Gabbar, which attempts a back story of Bollywood’s favourite scoundrel, along with graphic novel Sholay, the official adaptation of the film, next week

Kuttey! Mein tera khoon pi jaoonga!” (You dog, I'll drink your blood!)

The dacoit from Chambal valley we all know so well —whose dialogues we so heavily rely upon — has been

Graphic India, a character entertainment company focused on creating content for mobile and digital platforms, along with Sholay Media and Entertainment, has released the official Sholay graphic novel, along with Gabbar, a graphic novel on the characters, where creative artists have been handed the reigns of freedom.

Who is Gabbar? What events drove him to become a daaku (dacoit)? Gabbar attempts to tell his story on how it all began. Hari Singh, Gabbar’s father, is given the responsibility to safeguard dacoit Bhairav Singh’s loot and weapons.

That’s how Gabbar grows up with guns as brothers, the opening pages of the novel narrates. Taking this flashback forward to when Gabbar is jailed. It is the jailor, a closet writer, who is coaxing Gabbar to confess his side of the story.

The cover of graphic novel Gabbar

To this, Gabbar asks him to go through the police records, but the jailor urges the beast to “open up”.

Interested to know what happens next? The graphic novel, which is published by Westland, will be available at all leading bookstores and online portals next week.

Sharad Devarajan, founder and CEO of Graphic India, says, “The film Sholay is an institution. Its characters are so popular that we decided to delve into their pasts, and take them forward with our stories.”

The challenge was to capture the essence of the film, and weave the characters into the new narrative without losing its spirit. “Gabbar is the new story. Like Hollywood has Stars Wars, which has inspired over a 100 comics, we want to create something similar with Gabbar, who we believe is our desi Darthvader. The idea is to create back stories of Sholay,” says Devarajan, who edited the novel. While creating Gabbar, he emphasised on Gabbar’s eyes. “We focused on each character’s facial expressions. With Gabbar, it was the menace in his eyes — like a caged, unpredictable animal.”

Sascha Sippy, chairman of Sholay Media and Entertainment, wants to make Sholay popular worldwide. “Gabbar is the writer’s interpretation. Superman and Spiderman have a defined background, but not Gabbar. We have revived the character, and there is room for other versions too,” he concludes.

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