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Khuddur Yatra – A 1940s Modern Interpretation of Ramayana by Abanindranath Tagore

Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) was the chief artist of the Bengal school of painting and the first major exponent of swadeshi values in Indian Painting. Also a note writer, Abanindranath Tagore had created a 272-page scrap book titled Khuddur Yatra (Journey of Khuddu) which is a post-modern interpretation of the epic Ramayana. The work originally done between 1934 and 1942 was never published and it was discovered recently by Priyabrata Deb, publisher of Pratikshan, who is bringing out the book.

Satarupa Basu writes in Hindustan Times about the book and its discovery

It is one of the versions of the Ramayana that Tagore wrote.

It draws on a mode of storytelling that is splintered into multiple voices, tonalities and modes, to form a collage of doodles, diagrams, fashion drawings, natural history drawings, ornamental and abstract designs, emblems, insignia, labels, wrappers, advertisements, fragments of texts and captions cut from newspapers and periodicals.

“I chanced upon the manuscript while looking for pictures for a different book on Abanindranath that we were to publish. The search led me to the late Samitendranath Tagore’s (grandson of Abanindranath) home where his wife Shyamasree told me about this manuscript,” said Priyabrata Deb, publisher of Pratikshan, who is bringing out the book.

One thousand copies of the book are being published.