Ganga/Bhishma: The tragic tale of the most powerful warrior

India has been forever known to have a mythologically rich culture and kids have grown up listening to epic tales and folklores of Mahabharata and Ramayana. These stories have been told time and again in various mediums; be it comics, novels, television series or movies. Some may argue that these stories are fictional but at the same time no one can deny the fact that they are filled with ethics and morals that helps one build the foundation in their growing years. There’s always been a common ground that no matter how powerful and wicked the evil is, there will always come a time when even the mightiest of them will be destroyed by a true selfless, pure soul. But this time, Holy Cow Entertainment brings us the tale of Ganga and Bhishma in a 72 pager, one shot graphic novel, Showcase Book 7: Ganga/Bhishma wherein we will get to witness how Ganga transformed from a prideful river princess to the affectionate mother she’s well known for. Along with Ganga, the graphic novel will also talk about how women have tempered Bhishma’s life right from his birth. We got in touch with Holy Cow Entertainment’s founder, Vivek Goel to know more about this historic retelling of a lost myth. Talking about what’s the storyline for this graphic novel, Vivek explains, “In this graphic novel, there won’t be any direct correlation between the mother and son; only in few parts, we will get to witness the connection between Ganga and Bhishma as I wanted to focus not on the mother-son relation but on how women have been instrumental in altering Bhishma’s life. As for Ganga, it takes us to the dawn of time to the mystical and arcane origins of Ganga.” Bhishma Pitamah, the son of Ganga and King Shantanu, was earlier named as the Devarata which means pious but he was renamed to Bhishma after he took the most terrible oath of lifelong celibacy for his father Shantanu. The novel showcases his birth story, how Ganga was stopped from drowning her own kid in the river due to which he had to suffer the realities and hardships in the mortal world. Later we get to witness what makes Bhishma take the lifelong celibacy oath and the reason behind him sacrificing the crown. bhishma The graphic novel has 9 pages dedicated to the 21 days fight that was fought between Bhishma and his mentor, Parashurama because of Amba, the eldest daughter of the King of Kashi. How this war plays a significant role in Bhishma’s life? “The significance of this war is because of the fact that Amba cursed Bhishma and her sole goal in life became to destroy the mighty warrior that led to her being reborn as Shikandini, the reason why Bhishma could be defeated in the Mahabharata war,” answers Vivek. Through this whole graphic novel we will come to know how Bhishma, though a great warrior had to live a tragic life wherein he had to fight with his own blood and kin. As for Ganga’s story, Vivek mentions that, “It goes back to tell how Ganga was just a pretty princess who realized her true potential after Bhrama evoked the real goddess in her. After realizing the immense power she holds, it led to her becoming arrogant. When Bhagirath prayed for Ganga to descend on Earth to cleanse the souls of his ancestors, Shiva suggested Ganga to descend on Earth via his head as Ganga had the power to destroy the Earth with her strong force. This offended her as she knew little about the powers of Shiva and to show how mighty she was, she rushed towards his head and Shiva calmly imprisoned her in his hair locks. Captured and unable to do anything, Ganga learnt her lesson and pleaded the mighty Shiva to release her and that’s how the self obsessed princess became the holy mother she’s known for.” This graphic novel has been in work since 2012 and has been delayed due to various reasons; firstly, since it’s an one shot story, more attention was given to Holy Cow’s flagship series like Aghori and Ravanayan and secondly, Vivek wanted the best of artists and writers to be working on it. Vivek says, “With great requirements, comes great patience!” Bhishma’s part has been divided into two parts wherein the flashback story has been illustrated by Sumit Kumar (Munkeeman), and Gaurav Srivastava (Aghori, Shaitan) has worked on Bhishma’s current situation, with Pawan Sony (Dil, Dosti) penning the story. Saraswati Nagpal (Draupadi, Sita) was roped in to narrate the the tale of Ganga which has been illustrated by Gaurav Shrivastav and Vivek Goel (Ravanayan). Adding colours to this novel is Prasad Patnaik (Shaitan). The striking cover has been created by none other than Mukesh Singh who has previously worked on 18 Days and The Incredible Hulk. This would be the last one shot as well as mythology based graphic novel/comic by Holy Cow Entertertainment as they now want to focus solely on the larger Holy Cow Universe. The Ganga/Bhishma graphic novel is now available on Flipkart for pre-order and it will also be seen at the Mumbai Film and Comic Convention.Ganga