Stranger than fiction
Last year, Tere Bin Laden director Abhishek Sharma, decided to give filmmaking a break and write a graphic novel. Taking a cue from the decade-old legend of Delhi’s Monkey Man, he penned his debut book, Munkeeman in 2011.
Now, in a bizarre twist blurring fact and fiction, the half-man-half-animal has made a comeback, terrorising Mumbaikars in suburbs like Andheri and Kandivli, barely days after Sharma unveiled the cover of his second novel at Delhi’s Comic Con.
“It’s a tragic co-incidence that the legend of Munkeeman has again come back to haunt us, with two people reportedly having lost their lives due to these rumours in Mumbai. I hope unlike its fictitious comic version, the culprit is captured by the cops soon,” says Sharma.
Three years ago, the anthropomorphic mischief monger was seen in the Abhishek Bachchan-Sonam Kapoor starrer Delhi 6 (2009). Prod Sharma on his choice of anti-hero, who in a Frankenstein-ish twist is a victim of a genetic experiment gone awry, and he says, “Munkeeman is an enigma who to date is dubbed a ‘hoax’ by some and ‘fact’ by others. In my book he is seen as a tragic social misfit.”
Published by Pop Culture, Sharma’s latest starts from where the first one had left off— with Munkeeman moving from Delhi to Kanpur. Says publisher of book, Jatin Varma, “This time the absurd protagonist battles it out with the nation’s top-secret half man-half machine called Captain Tamga.”
Will the recent events in Mumbai find a mention in the book? Varma says that’s entirely up to Abhishek. “The book is ready but the news has put an interesting spin to the plot,” he admits. “I won’t be surprised if Abhishek incorporates the Mumbai adventures.” Sharma, whose book will hit the stores in May, confirms that the latest episode will inspire further Munkeeman stories. He says, “As an artiste, I am inspired and influenced by real life.”