Book Review : Drawing The Line, Indian Women Fight Back


Who doesn’t love graphic stories? There is an immense richness and prolificacy in visual stories which enables the flat words come to life and appear grand and renders the imaginative ideas: a reality.

The recent book of graphic stories by Zubaan, Drawing the Line : Indian Women Fight Back”, is a treat to the art lovers, story suckers, and feminists around the world. It’s a collection of fourteen visual stories borne out of a week-long workshop meant to understand, and debate the varied experiences of women. The experiences of fear, loneliness, violence, non-acceptance, and desire are interestingly reflected through a dexterous imagination in these stories.

My favourite piece in the collection is Soumya Menon‘s “An ideal girl”. It is an imaginative, an insightful and a very simple as well as wholesome illustrated piece.

Neelima P. Aryan’s “The Prey” is a gorgeous adaptation of her mother’s story which is originally written in Malayalam. This bewitchingly illustrated story is marvellous and the depiction of payoff – a much needed solace in some situations.

Diti Mistry’s “Mumbai Local” depicts a sweet story of a traveller, making intimate bonds with fellow female travellers, a remarkable narrative of bonding that thereafter takes place, in a new city.

Samidha Gunjal’s “Someday” is another brilliant narrative and perfectly end this collection! However I feel that this story, along with a few more only do justice to the intent of this book – Indian Women Fight Back.

Some stories are lost in their intent while some are just good illustrations with no clarity in what they really are trying to say. Priyanka Kumar’s “Ever After” is one such story.

The first half of this collection is awesomely amazing but the second half tends to disappoint both in terms of its narrative technique and the quality of illustrations. But despite that, I believe the editors have done a sincere job in making this collection of graphic stories – a one of its kinds in the cauldron of Indian Literature.

Even if you are not an activist and do not enjoy reading stories – You must pick up this book for the diverse art it exhibits. The fourteen women sharing a common intent with their diverse styles and distinct narratives really make this a very unique piece of literature.

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