WonTolla Comix’s first edition of Sleepsutra resonated with a large number of people, with the comic artist Chaitanya Modak getting messages from readers who told him that it has helped them overcome sleep apnea to people who have identified with sleep patterns and incidences in the book congratulating him over depicting it exactly as it happens.
Considering the positive response and love for sleep from various generations, Modak now is bringing to the readers a collection of 48 sleeps!
The sleeps from the first edition were more individualistic and personal. The primary experience of the hero moving from the awake state, to dream, to deep sleep and the experience of samadhi (bliss) was explored. It partly dealt with the idea of being with a lover or a spouse.
The second edition of Sleepsutra moves deeper into this relationship. Our hero is now a husband and a father. It begins with the ‘womb sleep’. It encompasses the idea of family with sleeps like ‘parallel sleep’ where children always end up sleeping perpendicular to their parents. ‘Lap sleep’ of falling asleep in the comfortable lap of your parents. It visits ‘sleepovers’ with cousins and friends. Of communal sleeping together as tribes and army regiments. Of disciplined and forced sleeps inside prisons and using sleeping pills. It comes full circle moving from the individual to society.
Sleepsutra is an outcome of a solo creator, Modak himself. A project that started as an assignment in his college days at National Institute of Design, way back in 2005 made its entry as a published comic with Sleepsutra’s first edition in 2018. “Over the years, I kept making notes and sketches on the topic and now it has grown to encompass 48 sleeps,” mentioned Modak.
Modak, who was a part of the illustrators offline residency at TIFA, Pune last year, approached the challenge by making the book come alive as an experience. A viewing room was converted into a dreamlike space with lowlights, scent diffusers and mattresses visitors could lie down on. Seven sleeps were animated with text and sound. People came in to relax and talk over hot chai and the ambient sound. They loved it!
Modak added that participating in comic fests has increased the visibility of the comic. It was exhibited at Indie Comix Fest, Gaysi Zine bazaar, Bombay Zine Fest and recently at Sharjah Art Book Fair in UAE.
The book is hardbound and has a smooth satin finish, with every page of a certain weight and thickness to emulate the feel of the ancient Indian palm leaftexts. Modak is planning to launch the unique yet very much relatable Sleepsutra by early June 2020.