A Comic is Not a Film

Sphere bounces through floating comic panels - A Comic is Not a Film

I‘ve been savouring some comics recently. You can insist on calling them graphic novels if you’re too scared to say ‘comic’, it makes no difference to the experience of reading one. The comic is a wonderfully rich medium. Some of what I am reading is decidedly mediocre, and some of it holds that meaty satisfaction that you find in well-crafted fiction of longer lengths, the kind that never attempts startling remarkableness, but is made more satisfying for being bathed in solid craft without the gold leaf.

I’ve come to appreciate that to understand the marvel that is the comic and what makes the best ones work, you must take into consideration two aspects of its existence: How the comic is placed in the history of storytelling, and how it is truly experienced by the reader in the most minute of details of perception and process.
Continue reading

Gratefulness and Letting Go

Tree shedding old red leaves - Gratefulness and Letting Go

Not all spring cleaning happens in the spring but eventually it must happen. The Hindu festival of Diwali, one of light and beginnings, is traditionally when many households do their spring cleaning, though it doesn’t occur in spring. Diwali happens in the later part of the year when the tropical heat of the subcontinent takes a turn towards a milder temperament. These cooler climes at the year’s end is when many Indian festivals light up the night, and homes and those in them clean-up, take stock and start anew.

There is a certain element of archaeology involved in cleaning or reorganising a long-running home. While sorting through messages or notebook pages is an effective glimpse into your recent past and thoughts, digging into the layers of accumulated life in your home is a bitter-sweet and sometimes startling history lesson.
Continue reading

What’s Stopping You From Doing What (or Whom) You Love?

A couple dive towards a large submerged heart that's poking out of the sea with a seagull perched on it - What's Stopping You From Doing What (or Whom) You Love?

Love is a complex, wonderful thing. If you aren’t too stuck on pigeon-holed definitions, you will admit to yourself that the emotion is not as rationed and militaristically single-minded as you are sold by the powers that be. The ‘powers that be’ being Society, a nebulous term for our collective nebulous insecurities. It’s safe to say that whether you’re comfortable admitting it or not, you love many things. It is also safe to say that in most cases, you haven’t done anything about it.
Continue reading

Come For The Food, Stay For the Chest-Thumping To Be Over

Fluttering flag with an icon symbolising a laddu - Come For The Food, Stay For the Chest-Thumping To Be Over

I was lucky to go to the school I spent most of my childhood in. That experience taught me a lot about people and systems, what is important and just how much is unnecessary rubbish. This was not necessarily by their plan but rather by the existence of variety and circumstances which allowed me, the student, a wide exposure and enough lack of interference to come to my own conclusions. Set in the rocky hills of Muscat city, our then dust-ball playing field was very much at the centre of things and we’d all end up assembling there on occasions and days of note. The Indian Independence Day was one of those days.
Continue reading

It’s Sexier To Follow Than To Fumble

Corporate zombie horde on an escalator vs a rock climber - It's Sexier To Follow Than To Fumble

We like to think we celebrate the brave and original thinkers and doers, but in truth we lionise the ones who follow in the footsteps of many and do something we’re comfortable with. People who we say are “doing very well” are usually the most entrenched in some system, whether corporate, social, or some personal cult.

We love stories of godfathers, and how some “big” man or woman lay a magic blessing on to a loved protégé, or maybe a curse upon a new rival, and how they “made it big”. Hell, as long as someone is following some well-worn path in their life, we’re willing to laud them as successful even before they achieve anything. On the flip side, someone doing something bold and new will always be looked on with scepticism, even after achieving a lot, and most of us are just waiting to smirk and say “I told you so” as soon as we see them falter.
Continue reading