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Stories by modern Hindi and Urdu literary legend, Munshi Premchand are now available in comic format published by Amar Chitra Katha. The comic books in Hindi detailing two stories by the late literary phenomenon, is part of the publisher's contemporary classics section, which began in 2012 with stories by author Ruskin Bond. "We are launching the comics at the World Book Fair and it is our tribute to Premchand. The idea is to make his stories familiar with children," Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha told PTI. The stories "Buddhi Kaki" (The old Aunt) and "Do Bail" (Two Oxen) have been scripted and illustrated by Pratima Singh and Surendra Murthy. The English version of the comics translated by Nandini Nair is also set for launch within a few weeks, says Reena. The books are priced at Rs 50 each. "Buddhi Kaki" first published in 1921 is the story of an old childless widow who craves for love after she bequeaths her entire property to her nephew and his family who start mistreating her. Also "Do Bail" the story about two ox revolves around compassion. "For our contemporary classic series we have identified many authors in the last 100 years. Our list includes Ruskin Bond whose story 'Blue Umbrella' was well loved by readers and got a great response. "Stories of Premchand are now in the public domain but for others we need to get permission from the authors' families etc," says Reena. Detailing the efforts put into converting Premchand's stories into comic format Reena says, "Of course it was very challenging." "It is not easy to convert Premchand's stories into comics because there is so much description in the way he writes and obviously we can't convert each line into text. We had to rely on pictures to denote the expressions," says Reena. Born in Lamhai near Varanasi, Premchand wrote nearly 300 stories and novels. Among his best known novels are "Godan", "Sevasadan", "Rangmanch", "Gaban" and "Nirmala". ACK has been bringing out stories written by Kalidasa, Shudraka and Harsha amongst others under its "Indian Classics" section.


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