Musings-discover | 2 min read | by Dysco

My Take on Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha – A Book Cover Illustration by Danish Shaikh

Dysco’s campaign for Zee Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2018 has now concluded and we’re excited to showcase Danish Shaikh‘s re-imagination of Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha book cover. Pune-based Danish is an illustrator and graphic designer who’s also popularly known as Mr. Doodlewala on social media. We asked Danish to  ‘to re-create the book cover of one of his favourite authors who was participating in this year’s festival’, and then asked him to take us through the process behind it. His candid responses are captured below, as well as images of the illustration. We’ve actually interviewed Danish before, you can check it out or chat with him on Dysco if you’re eager to collaborate.  

1. What made you pick up Amish’s book to read? Can you tell us what stood out in the book for you? 
The book was actually suggested to me by a friend of mine. And I, on a general level have liked Shiva’s philosophy and connected with it as well. So I gave the book a try and was pretty impressed with the writing style. The perfect amalgamation of Indian mythology with mixture resulting in the perfect read for the 21st century Indian, was what stood out for me.

2.  How did the book connect with you, aside from the brilliant characterisation?
I love the fact that Amish delivers philosophy in such a casual yet simple and easy to understand language, instead of sounding like a pretentious snob like ***** (censored, but to know who he’s talking about, chat with Danish on Dysco!).

3.  Tell us about the illustration you created, while it still spotlights the character, we can see that you have changed the body language. Tell us about what was going on inside your mind while you were creating it?
Hahaha yeah. You guys are an observant lot. I like it. My primary thought behind the illustration was, that this book has already been released years ago. Many people have read it, and know the story. Instead of teasing the audience with just a normal back image which does not say much about the book, as in the original cover (rightly so), I have given Shiva a powerful and an inspiring posture, which strikes fear in the enemy and awe and respect in his comrades. I still have maintained his dreadlocks and battle scars, because even though he is the Mahadev, he still is the vicious and warm-hearted tribal barbarian from Mansarovar.

4.  What’s the sort of slogan this book makes you think of?
Har Har Mahadev! (There is a God in each one of us.)

5.  If this artwork could ask a question, what would it be?
‘Are you willing to fight for what is right?’

6.  If this illustration had sound effects, what would they sound like?
This Song. I know it is not an Indian song, but whenever I listen to this track, I do feel like charging into a battle.

7.  If you were to create an illustration for any other book, which book would it be? Why do you think making an illustration for that particular book would be interesting?
Among the books that have been written by Indian authors, I have read, it certainly would be XYZ’s books (censored, but chat with Danish to know who he’s talking about!) Because, his books are so bad, like so so so bad, it would be really funny to create these amazing illustrations for the cover design so that people would judge the book by its cover and buy it and read it and then hate themselves forever buying those books. Yeah.

Among the other international authors I have read (the good ones), it would be The Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, which I think are the best mystery/thriller book ever written. My personal favourite. It would be an honour to re-create its covers.

Danish operates from Pune and is actively looking to collaborate with brands, musicians to create album art and visual language for their tours and gigs, and creative agencies and writers for book covers and mural designs. If you think Doodlewala might be a good match for you, connect with him via his Dysco profile!