Holy Cow Entertainment’s Aghori

Wikipedia defines the Aghori as ascetic Shaiva sadhus. Believed to engage in rituals that may shock the weak-hearted. Roaming the cremation grounds smearing their bodies with ash the pyres leave behind, hushed whispers let us know that they survive devouring the flesh of the dead. In the heart of the city, in a world far from theirs, I find it difficult to believe that the Aghori series by Holy Cow Entertainment has been inspired by ideas that I perceive as superstitions, but are the reality for some.

“The kind of research that Ram V (writer, Aghori) did is incredible,” confesses Vivek Goel, artist and CEO of Holy Cow Entertainment. Known to excel in retelling stories of mythological origins, HCE’s decision to foray into the world of Indian superstition isn’t a surprise. “Ram V didn’t write the series based on rumours and whispers we’d heard. His dedication was so great that he actually went and met Aghori Sadhus near the banks of the Ganga,” says Goel.

The journey of a man from normal beginnings to a man with powers that can only be termed as “supernatural”, this series traces the life of Vikram Roy. As he leaves behind a world and life that was familiar and embraces a life of hardships in the Himalayas, his transformation to Vira starts.

Delving into a world that is essentially defined by all things grim and dark, though the book does not portray anything sexually explicit, the blood and gore that comes to life with each page is in itself a warning for the weak-hearted.

In almost a year and a half, Aghori has proved to be quite a popular read. What makes it stand apart from most other HCE titles is possibly the fact that this series witnesses crossovers. With Solomon, from HCE’s standalone series Solomon making an appearance and crossing paths with Vira, it makes fans realise that perhaps there is a bigger universe brewing in the minds of the creators. And disappointed they will not be.

“We are trying our best to build a universe that incorporates characters from our variour series,” smiles Goel. And not only will these characters come together, the brains that work 24X7 behind the scenes promise us that there will be explanations that will answer all questions fans possibly can have. “And we will make characters age. It is silly to even assume that crossovers in this universe can happen without some characters aging. After all, not all our titles are set in the same time frame,” adds Goel.

With the finale of the second episode of Aghori drawing to an end, Goel says that the third episode will be worth the wait. After working together for almost a year and a half, the team comprising of writer Ram V, artists Gaurav Srivastav and Vivek Goel, colourists Yogesh R Pugaonkar and Prasad Patnaik has evolved tremendously and the improvement is visible. An interesting read coupled with great art and colours, this is one of those very few series that make me get over my inherent disdain from superstitious and mythological adaptations.