Typically comic books deal with a fictional subject or any subject with a light theme. Similarly the travel book written about a place tries to present most current geographical and cultural facts.
The latest book on Rourkela written by Samir Dash and Sangeeta Das is an experiment combining both forms of writing. ‘Rourkela – The Illustrated Journey Into The Life Of The City Around India’s First Public Sector Steel Plant’, is a history-cum-travel genre in comic book format, with a complex subject that touches upon many dimensions of the place in context of Indian history.
It is a book that promises to fascinate the young and the old with equal ease with over 600 evocative and vintage type black and white illustrations, thereby proving the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
The book is significant for many reasons. What is most striking about the book is that it addresses the diversified aspects of the city of Rourkela through a variety of social, cultural and industrial-growth prisms – the book flashbacks through time to highlight how different places of the city evolved through time.
The growth and decline of cinema halls, regional schools, institutions like NIT and ITI, market places, temples, stadiums and cultural centres, giving the reader a nostalgic view of the place.
On his visit to the city, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Rourkela as “Mini India”, due to its true cosmopolitan nature, encompassing people from different walks of life from different parts of India.
The book in different blocks of thoughts, explores this aspect, representing the growth of education, sports, cultural dimension of life in different phases of time.
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