Back in the first half of 2017, I came across a graphic with a Sanskrit quote on Instagram and then another beautiful one and then another. Those were certainly unique in several senses. Sanskrit shloka presented to viewers in a very pleasant way.
Images were beautiful, in an instant, you would say that the creator had a great taste of graphic. Graphics were made usable by providing very simple yet meaningful translations of the shloka in Hindi and English language along with the source of the shloka.
Other factors like spacing, font selection and sizing, absence of intrusive elements superbly uplifted the looks of the images. Hardly I had come across such a thing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Here is the handle of ReSanskrit, follow it now if you haven’t so far.
Some of my favourite creatives from ReSanskrit
A month ago I got in touch with the man behind the craft Sushant Ratnaparkhi. Here is the conversation with him. His website resanskrit.com has a comprehensive detailing of his story, hope below conversation comes out as a good top-up to it.
Let’s begin with the conversation
Niraj: Hello Sushant, starting off with a basic question, of course we know the answer but this is for someone who is not aware of, so the question is, what is ReSanskrit?
Sushant: ReSanskrit is an attempt to rejuvenate Sanskrit and all of the glorious useful knowledge it has in a modern, consumable and elegant format.
Niraj: Who is behind ReSanskrit? Is ReSanskrit managed by a team or a motivated individual? How did it start? What was the inspiration behind ReSanskrit? Was there a mentor or any other source of motivation?
Sushant: A detailed answer for this can be found under ‘Why ReSanskrit’ section on this page.
Niraj: What all good things and probably the best one happened post ReSanskrit?
Sushant: The appreciation from many many people around the world. It is as if people were waiting for something like this to happen. That’s what keeps me going.
Niraj: ReSanskrit graphics are mind-blowing, can you give us some details about the tools, process, thought process that goes behind this?
Sushant: I always had a knack for good looking things, be it a picture, painting, car, house or even people. By having a glare at it I could comprehend what looked good and what didn’t. I could dissect and understand what part of the structure makes that particular thing stand out. And I kept honing that skill.
On the way, I learned Photoshop and Illustrator. I am also learning to draw digitally on ProCreate, it is just mind-blowing what you can do on a digital screen.
Niraj: Over these time you must have tried hundreds of things for (a) font, (b)colour, (c)images, (d)vector, (e)space. Can you please tell something about each of these elements like how did you progress with these, what worked what didn’t work?
Sushant: Just like fashion, there is a very similar behaviour in design too. What looks good today may look like garbage tomorrow. The idea is to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and even more important is to see if you also agree with it. I was in love with ‘Inknut Antiqua’ font for a long time, you can see many of my designs have this font.
At the same time, there are some things which never go out of fashion, which I believe are essential for a design to look good. Having empty spaces in the design is one of those things, another would be to have correct proportions for text, vector, and translations.
Niraj: How do you try to bring indigenous element in graphics?
Sushant: It starts with the gist of the Shloka that I am covering, sometimes it is very difficult to find a relevant visual for that Shloka, in such cases, I go with abstract design elements which then over time (as you keep looking at the design over and over again) end up creating a connection to the meaning.
Rest of the time you just know what would look good for that particular Shloka.
Niraj: Looking at your Instagram handle and the timeline of posts coming in, one thing is sure you believe in quality and take time to curate each post. Can you tell us how does it go like picking the shlokas, thinking and finalising a theme and other activities involved?
Sushant: Well, I honestly like to post more stuff, there is just so much to cover. However, having a full-time job, managing time becomes very difficult. And yes, it does take 4-5 hours to prepare a post. I wish to bring down this time in the future and try to post at least one post every 2 days.
Niraj: Detouring a bit, in your opinion what led to the decline of Sanskrit?
Sushant: Regional languages became stronger and distinct from the mother language over time (in 3000 years). And of course, language politics played a huge role in boosting regional languages and in turn demise of Sanskrit.
There are some theories that say Sanskrit was never a common tongue and was only practised by Brahmins during recitations. Not sure how much of it is true. I think it is a mix of all these reasons.
Niraj: Is it fruitful to revive and if yes how can we revive Sanskrit?
Sushant: In the movie ‘Arrival’, they say your language has the ability to alter the structure of your brain and grant you new abilities. I believe this to be true. There is a lot of research as well. Same way, Sanskrit being a very refined language, it has the potential to not only uplift one as an individual but society as a whole.
If we want to revive Sanskrit it would be through alternative thinking only, ReSanskrit’s way of doing things is one of them.
Niraj: Have any state authority or non-governmental organisations like Samskrit Bharati approached you for sourcing designs or any kind of collaboration?
Sushant: Yes, many have, but due to time limitations, I had to respectfully decline.
Niraj: What’s your favourite shloka / do you live any quote or shloka?
Sushant: This one –
Niraj: If you had to pass some message to youngsters, what would be that?
Sushant: Be original.
Niraj: Any interesting thing for subscribers in your pipeline?
Sushant: Yes, a lot of things planned. You’ll see them soon.
Niraj: Posters, wall frames and T-shirts from ReSanskrit are not only trendy but looks gorgeous. From where and how can we buy your prints?
Sushant: You can purchase them from our shop
Thank you, Sushant for pulling out some time and answering the questions. I wish ReSanskrit all the best and that it scales unimaginable heights of success.