The controversy surrounding Deepika Padukone starrer Padmaavat may have affected the movie’s fortunes but it has revived interest in the handwritten manuscript of Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s work on the queen of Chittor. The manuscript is currently placed at the Khanqah — a building designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi brotherhood — at Maner in Patna district.Written in Persian Nashtaliq script, the manuscript, Padmavat, has turned out to be a major attraction for both tourists and locals. Officials associated with the Khanqah attribute the ‘sudden popularity’ of the Padmvat manuscript to the controversy associated with the film. “With the film, Padmaavat, being in news for the last several months, tourists who are visiting the Khanqah this season, are showing more curiosity in the manuscript,” Syed Shah Tariq Enayatullah Firdausi, Sajjadanashin (in-charge) of the Maner Khanqah said.Firdausi said they want to have a closer look at the centuries old manuscript, but it’s difficult to put it on a regular display. “It is in a really bad shape as the pages have become vulnerable to tear. The manuscripts need to undergo chemical treatment but our lone efforts aren’t proving to be sufficient. We keep it (manuscripts) in a room, which remains locked,” he said and added: “Conservation work is needed urgently. If the government doesn’t step in and take punitive steps, the priceless manuscript may get destroyed.” Firdausi stressed that Khanqah needs government support for conservation and maintenance. He said there is also an urgent need for digitisation of the handwritten materials.