Raj Supe is launching three books Big Bappa (a short novel), Pilgrim of the Sky (a spirituality memoir), and Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari (a five-acts play in translation, on saints of Maharashtra). The author is getting Mumbai’s talented artists, his long time associates, to launch the books on 10th September at Granth Book Stores Mumbai. The invite interesting says “comrades in artistic arms, arguments and coffee cups” come together to launch Raj Supe’s books. Supe’s comradeship with Kay Kay Menon (his friend from university days), Mak Deshpande and Pundit Satyadev Dubey goes back to nearly two decades. Between their stints together, this author seems to have made a detour off the beaten track, to the Himalayas and returned armed with spirituality fiction genre. “We’ve been arguing at Prithvi Theatre Café for decades,” says Supe. “Books have happened along side.”
Raj Supe is launching “Big Bappa”, an exciting fictional novella, just a day before Ganesha Chaturthee. Art meets God in this enthralling tale. The book is supposed to be a feast for Ganesha lovers! The author writing in first person tells the story of Vinayak Pandit, a complete rebel, an artist and mystic, and an unusual and radical sculptor of Ganesha idols. He reminds us of Van Gogh who was painter, deviant and messiah rolled into one. Through the story of this man, Supe creates a fresh perspective for the reader to look at idol-worship. The life of Vinayak is lived in the pain of the pursuit of simple, lofty truth.
“I wrote this tale during Ganesha festival 15 years ago, it’s a gift of Ganesha and that’s an elephantine reason to launch it around Ganesha Chaturthee,” says Raj Supe. This book could make an ideal gift through the Ganesha festival. Who knows the book may prove to be a good luck charm, a souvenir & a blessing to the loved ones.
The second book, Pilgrim of the Sky is a spirituality chronicle. It describes author’s days in UK with his Guru, Kinkar Vitthal Ramanuja. Accompanied by an intimate disciple and the greatest living Bauls, armed with spiritual literature and musical instruments, the band of disciples work to spread the gospel of Naam Avatara Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath abroad. Many human interest stories emerge as the Guru counsels those who come to him. Extremely interesting narration by the diarist, Raj Supe, helps you enter spirituality from a down to earth plane. Gems of metaphysical truths, scattered casually by the Guru, are faithfully recorded in this memoir. Amidst all the cross-currents of exchange that happen in this novel setting, there are the exchanges of a very personal nature between the author and his Guru. “My Guru gave me the spiritual name ‘Kinkar Vishwashreyananda’ (one in whom the world seeks refuge) in London on this trip. I’ve recorded the notable incident of my higher initiation in this book,” says Supe.
This book gives us some rare insights both worldly and mystical. Anyone interested in religious thought or spirituality will find much of value in Pilgrim of the Sky.
His third, Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari is an English rendering of a play by saint-playwright, Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. The work overflows with devotion and pristine beauty. Here is a moving account of lives of Nivruttinath, Jnaneshwar, Naamdev, Jana, Gora Kumbhar and Chokhamela, all much-adored saints and prime movers of the Bhakti Movement in Maharashtra. Some are outcasts from the Brahminical fold and some risen from the class of menials. There is Gorakhanath, Adinath and other divinities discussing concerns for spiritual upliftment in this drama. It is a miraculous circle of devotees! The play is a tribute to the Bhakti Movement of Maharashtra extolling the egalitarian practice of the chanting of Naam. It is unique because it brings souls from the earthly and the divine plane together.
The publishers Leadstart and Celestial Books consider Raj Supe promising. While Swarup Nanda says, “Raj Supe is not a debutant author. He already has a novel, a book of poetry and many translations to his credit. We’re launching Celestial Books imprint and his work is just right for the spirituality genre”, Sunil Poolani adds, “We knew when we saw his manuscripts that this guy has been writing for years.” Indeed, though reluctant to be published for all these years, Raj Supe has been writing for long and his comrades Kay Kay Menon, Makarand Deshpande and Satyadev Dubey have been apparently reading him, but now it seems the author is gaining a newer ground with wider audiences. May Ganesha wish him luck!
Attend the Book Launch: Venue: Granth The Book Store, 30/A, H.M. House, Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (West), Mumbai - 400049. Tel 26609327/37
Date: 10th September, 2010 at 7 PM.