Teaching comics at Bookalore

Making comics is such a difficult task. I have always appreciated the dedication and the love of comics in artists that i meet every day online and offline. So it took me a while to say yes to the kind people at Bookalore when they suggested that I do a comics workshop in their July event for kids. I went back to the drawing board (my whiteboard in my study) and figured what to do with kids. How does one teach about making comics? As a writer that too? So I asked Bangalore-based, soft spoken artist Ojoswi Sur to join me in the workshop to give an artist’s perspective to kids.


It was all experimentation on our part. We loosely structured the workshop and decided to give the kids the basics of comic making (panels, balloons for dialogues, types) and gave them a chilling scene from The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong and see what they came up with. The results were surprising and so much fun! The kids huddled, discussed, wondered, had a nervous breakdown, scribbled, begged each other for erasers and mostly I hope had a grand time. Of course I had grossly underestimated the time they would need to make comics and given them a long scene (poor things), so none could complete the effort. But they did have a gala time and I requested them to complete the comics at home and email them to me. Hope some do.

Some pictures that my dear, dear Ashwani who always comes with me to workshops, took. Enjoy 🙂

If the pictures don’t open in your browser, see them on either of these links: Google+ or Facebook depending on your choice of network.

Krishna tweetathon

Krishna commands you to come out with all the weird questions about Krishna: Defender of Dharma and ask them on Twitter. I will be there as will be the talented artist of the graphic novel, Rajesh N (@rajeshcolors) and Campfire (@campfireindia) to talk about how we created this marvelous book. Join us at #krishnacampfire  tomorrow evening at 4.30pm.


Twitter POST copy

Me on Krishna

Made this video for Comic Con India where Krishna was announced. My first attempt at trying to make a video. Slightly embarrassed! Hope you can see the humour in it or well, you can always laugh at my horrid attempt of video making, can’t you? 🙂 Go on, see it!



Thanks to Uthara for working on this with me and pushing me to try a bit harder (am crazy lazy at retakes as she can tell you at length).

Villains are not evil, just different

Don’t you think so? I have always enjoyed figuring out my villains and why they do things that they do. Are they inherently evil or are they just misled? What is it they are fighting? Because fight they do, constantly, against social norms and status quos.

During writing Krishna, I met many villains, each with a different point of view, with a twisted (not necessarily a bad twist) philosophy and something ‘bad’ that they would have done. Krishna would punish them, decisively, unquestionably, with righteousness. He had to, since he was restoring dharma, a philosophy to prosper civilization, bring justice and equality. Personally, I am not sure how much I would agree to his ideology but I know there are millions in India who would still consider his path the status quo.

For me, each of these so called villains were point of views – different from Krishna’s ideology—which come in the mythology. They are punished, sometimes undeservingly, but their philosophies are never explored more in the story.

Take Kansa for example. Is he really the evil uncle? Or is there more to him? By not respecting Indra, is he actually fighting a war against the hierarchy and unfairness of gods who have labelled him and the demon clan inherently evil? Are these not his gods, but of others who are alien to him? We never find out his point of view, just broken parts of it, as the mythology is not about him but Krishna.

Kamsa 1


Then there’s Jarasandha. He’s a good king, his kingdom is prosperous. His rule is just. He’s powerful and has a mighty army, so refuses to bow down. Why does Krishna want him dead? The given reason is that he has captured princes of other kingdoms after defeating them, but frankly even in the Purana, it doesn’t feel like a good enough reason. Krishna devises a convoluted, sneaky way of killing off the mighty king. I wanted to find out more about Jarasandha, but unfortunately, yet again, our mythology is more focused on Vishnu’s avatar.


JarasandhJarasandh 1


In both these cases, are villains just the other point of view, a view which might be an alien culture, a different way of civilization or simply the unknown? While writing this book, it was difficult for me not to ask these questions. I hope these cracks show through in the book as well. Have you read the book? Did you see these cracks?


All sketches are drawn by Rajesh N and are copyrights of Campfire

Krishna’s beautiful video

This video of Krishna’s awesome graphics by artist Rajesh N was shown at the launch of the graphic novel. Check it out!



If you would like to pick up the book, it’s available online on Campfire and Flipkart as well as in the stores across the country. Like it? Or hate it? Tell me about it!

At ComicCon with Krishna

I had been living with oodles of butterflies this past few days because of the impending launch of my graphic novel Krishna, Defender of Dharma. For anyone who has written or made anything for public consumption, the living fact of putting something you worked on, which has bits of your flesh and blood clinging to it, to be judged, slashed and made a two second opinion of, is a daunting task. Hence the butterflies.

Andrew Dodd who calls himself the Marketing Wala of the publisher Campfire was a soothing balm on my nerves. He’s fun, relaxed and such good company! The artist, Rajesh Nagulakonda, who frankly should be given way more credit than me for the blue-tinged beautiful visual and poetic journey that Krishna has become. He wasn’t there but we did see a video grab of him looking uncomfortable in front of the camera. He’s  completely opposite when faced with a blank paper and pencil. Just like me!

I did something I had never done before except while dreaming in class. I signed my name on copies of Krishna. The oldest buyer I met was in his 40s and the youngest was 5 years old. For the little girl I wrote: Question everything you read in here. Hope it was good advice.

My first launch has made me learn one very important thing. At the end of it, if your friends are not there with you, you sit alone in the car and drive back home instead of heading off to celebrate and laugh. A special thanks to all my friends who were there to make it a memorable buzzy evening for me: Thej, Dilip, Prasad, Kanch, Giraffe, Kanishka, Arundhuti and others—thanks for the wishes, encouragement and time and effort it took you to reach the venue! I don’t know what I would have done without you all! Hope it was worth it for you all as well 🙂

Now time for some pictures and video grabs.

The video is a bit shaky. I will try to get a better version.


Launch of Krishna, my graphic novel!

Campfire will be launching my first graphic novel Krishna in the first Comic Con in Bangalore! It’s  happening over the second weekend of September (8-9 September 2012) at Kanteerava Stadium. The launch starts is on Saturday,  8 September, 2012 at around 7pm. I would love to have any of you out there reading this with me on the occasion.


Krishna Graphic Novel

If on Facebook, do like Krishna’s page here. You can pre-order the book from Campfire here.

Krishna, Defender of Dharma!

Oh, what a long, long wait! My first graphic novel with Campfire India is about to be released. Just heard of the announcement and bang on Janamashtmi too! Countdown begins to September 10! Tentative date of release 🙂 🙂




If on Facebook, do like its page here. You can pre-order from the site from here.

Will soon tell you when it’s out in the market. Yay!

My first graphic novel with Campfire

Just discovered my debut novel’s cover on the Campfire website. Here’s a sneak into what the beautiful book, illustrated by Rajesh N, will look like. I am so, so excited about it!

Krishna, Defender of Dharma

The best part is that you can PRE-ORDER the book now! It costs Rs 195 and delivery worldwide is free! Click here to pre-order!