In an innovative gesture the Department of Posts has come out with a New Year calendar on the set of its highly popular 'Dasavatar' stamps based on Jayadev's 12th century epic 'Geetagovinda'.
Talking to the Hindustan Times today Secretary Posts and Chairman Postal Services Board Radhika Doraiswamy said, " This is for the first time the Department of Posts has come out with a calendar based on its stamps."
These set of eleven commemorative stamps on Jayadev's Geetagovinda were released in July.27,2009, she said, in honour of the contribution made the by the author and his work.
"The beautiful stamps proved to be extremely popular and were all sold out except few which have been kept for our archives,"she said.
"We thought of coming out with a calendar on these stamps which has been very nicely made out and those who have it are wanting 'one more' " , she added.
According to Alok Sharma, General Manager, Marketing, India Post " To establish India Post brand we thought of bringing out a calendar on the theme of a set of stamps issued on Jayadev in 2009, because Geetagovinda has had deep impact on Indian culture across the length and breadth of the country."
The stamps had been designed by a young Delhi based stamp designer Sankha Samant. Talking to HT he said , "the designs were based on phad chitra style of traditional paintings of Rajasthan which are made on cloth and provided by IGNCA to Department of Posts."
"Geetagovinda theme has been celebrated all over the country. It is depicted in Thanjavur glass paintings of the south,ganjifa playing cards,to Mughal miniature paintings and pata chitra of Orissa. I chose phad chitra of Rajasthan because it has very clear, linear two dimensional graphic elements in it which is good for small format impact."
Limited edition of the calender have been printed ( 3,000) and are now available for sale(Rs.200) in all the Philatelic Bureaus in the state capitals.
"If this venture is successful we will then bring out such collectible calendars every year on a thene which is close to peoples heart.".
Gitagovinda is a unique work in Indian literature and has been a great source of literary and artistic inspiration for the last nine centuries, says the introduction to the calendar.
People have enjoyed singing its melodious lyrics and have danced to the tune of the Geetagovinda in all classical dances of India and in palas and kirtans.
The pictorial traditions of the Gitagovinda extend from east to west touching Orissa, Bihar, Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir . Rajasthan ,Gujarat and even Nepal. Gita Govinda singing has a very long tradition in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka , Tamil Nadu ,Kerala and Manipur,it adds.