Actors Ramya Krishnan, Rana Dagubatti and author Anand Neelkantan at the launch of The Rise of Sivagami in New Delhi.(IANS)
Actors Ramya Krishnan, Rana Dagubatti and author Anand Neelkantan at the launch of The Rise of Sivagami in New Delhi.(IANS)

Book 1 in Baahubali trilogy out; will reveal Rajmata Sivagami, Kattappa’s backstories

Anand Neelakantan’s The Rise of Sivagami, a prequel to the blockbuster Baahubali, was released in Delhi on Friday. Much to the delight of fans, Baahubali director S.S.Rajamouli, actors Ramya Krishnan and Rana Daggubati also attended the book’s launch.
By IANS | New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 02, 2017 05:33 PM IST

Author Anand Neelakantan unveiled his much-awaited book The Rise of Sivagami, a prequel to the blockbuster Baahubali, on Friday. Baahubali director S.S.Rajamouli, actors Ramya Krishnan and Rana Daggubati also attended the Delhi launch while hundreds of fans of the film lined up outside the venue.

From students to office-goers, the crowd eagerly waited to catch a glimpse of the Baahubali stars in front of INOX, Nehru Place. Most fans wanted to know why the royal slave Kattappa had killed Baahubali towards the end of the film. The audience inside the venue was equally curious to know what would happen in Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.

But Rajamouli insisted the audience to wait for another month as the second part of the film will hit the screens in April.

As a build-up to that, The Rise of Sivagami was launched in English. Its Hindi, Tamil and Telugu translations will be released in April. “It (the book) will enhance the experience of watching the film. It tells the story of how Sivagami becomes the most powerful rajmata in the film,” Rajamouli told the media.

The Rise of Sivagami is about the kingdom of Mahishmathi, and the childhood and backstory of Sivagami, played by Ramya in the film.

“There is a sequence in the film that shows a combination of her as a mother and a warrior. The books reveal why she wants to destroy Mahishmathi. Her father was killed by the king. He was branded as a traitor or a more fashionable word would be anti-national perhaps. The entire three series will be about how she transforms,” said Neelakantan.

Rana Dagubatti interacts with the audience at the book’s launch. (IANS)
Rana Dagubatti interacts with the audience at the book’s launch. (IANS)

But the book is not only about the “mother Goddess”. It is also about Kattappa.

Crowds had gathered outside INOX Nehru Place on Friday to catch a glimpse of actor Rana Daggubati who played the main antagonist in the film Baahubali. (IANS)
Crowds had gathered outside INOX Nehru Place on Friday to catch a glimpse of actor Rana Daggubati who played the main antagonist in the film Baahubali. (IANS)

Neelakantan, who writes fiction based on the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, said that only 10% Indian stories are written in India despite having our diverse cultures having “countless stories” to tell. “And the Baahubali trilogy is just the beginning”, he promised.

The book is not an adaptation of the 2015 fantasy-drama film.

“It’s the world of Baahubali. It’s not just limited to films. We have games and virtual reality series too. The great thing about this book is the characters and incidents...are just like how you wouldn’t forget the scenes in the film. You will recollect them,” said Rajamouli. “They are very powerful and moving.”

Neelakantan said that the book has more female characters and sought to explain why. “Because books are all about emotions. In the movie, 45 minutes was all about war. If I write that in 250 pages, you will fall asleep when you reach the second page itself. So, I had to create other incidents,” said the author, who has left his other projects, including TV shows, to focus on the trilogy.

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