Category Archives: Graphic Nonfiction

Read 109 of 2022. Suit. Written & Illustrated by Samarth.

Suit by Samarth

Title: Suit
Written & Illustrated by Samarth
Publisher: Yoda Press
ISBN: 9789382579328
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: 66
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

India turned 75. I read “Suit” by Samarth, illustrated by him as well. A short graphic account of a day in the life of a manual scavenger. A account that must be read by all to see clearly, where we started, what dreams we had, and where we are today.

As Vandemataram plays in my housing society, I am disturbed and full of rage about what I have read, about what goes on daily – about the differences of class, caste, gender, religion, that certain people use beautifully to their advantage.

A country where a Dalit boy is beaten to death, for touching a drinking water pot. A society that refuses to acknowledge deaths that occur in the name of caste. Suit by Samarth addresses so many of these issues & more. Of the nature of dignity and how it should be for all

Suit makes you uncomfortable, as it should. A certain section society that looks the other way, because it knows of the comforts belong to it, needs to look at the other side. Suit shows us the mirror – of trauma, humiliation, and tragedy in the life of a sanitation worker

75 years and it feels nothing has changed. But perhaps there is more awareness of where we have failed, of what we haven’t done, of who we have wrongly elected, though we don’t know where to go from here. But maybe deep down we know how we got here.

Suit isn’t just about one struggle. It made me think of the several struggles – ones that are forever ongoing, there is so much to unpack & think about the India that hasn’t changed for certain sections of society. The India that is ridden with inequality & strife for some

Suit made me realize that we have lost our voices, but they will return. Our right to dissent may have gone temporarily but we shall overcome. I hope. Suit is also about loss of hope, about how dark, gloomy, and unfair it all is and it is one-hundred percent true.

We live in a country, where we do not know what might happen tomorrow in the name of religion. What new atrocity will be unleashed on the minorities. Of what unspeakable acts of crime and indecency shall be committed. We live in fear.

As I was reading Suit, I was reminded of November 2019, I think. Or was it October 2019, when we came out on the streets? We protested, we stood together, we were united by one goal – that of fighting injustice. That which continued and still does. I would like to believe.

India turns 75. It is hard to celebrate. It is hard to look around and feel proud. It is not easy to witness what is going on. But maybe some day we will come together again, as we should – against all the tyranny, to finally feel free, in the truest sense.

Read 25 of 2022. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Illustrated by Nora Krug.

On Tyranny - Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Illustrated by Nora Krug

Title: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Author: Timothy Snyder
Illustrator: Nora Krug
Publisher: Bodley Head, Vintage Books Genre: Graphic Nonfiction, Essay
Pages: 128
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

I would like to begin this review by saying: This book must be read by everyone who knows how to read. Do yourselves a favour and read this book, a primer about history, its failures, and how together we can overcome what we are going through right now.

Snyder speaks of tyranny and its root – where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can we do to overcome it? And while doing so, we have twenty lessons to learn, some which we already know.

On Tyranny - Image 1

The book is extremely American leaning and perhaps because the author is from there – however it is sadly applicable to all other nations that have faced some form of tyranny or are doing so right now. I could see so much of India in this book and what is going on right now in our country because it being a one-party state.

I was shaken to the core while reading this book because it hit home so hard. Snyder speaks of the Nazi brutality, of Putin and how he came to power, of how tyrannical structures methodically rise, and at the same time he also shows us what we can do to overcome all of that. Right from protecting our right to speech to safeguarding institutions, to listening for dangerous words and not using them, to ensuring we look out for each other, it is all in this book and more.

On Tyranny - Image 2

The writing is simple. Not once does Snyder takes sides but tells it the way it is. The writing is lucid, full of examples from history and its follies. All of these twenty lessons make so much sense separately and as whole, for us to work on step by step. These go hand in hand with the most stark, disturbing, and brilliant illustrations by Nora Krug.

For those who say the personal and the political are separate, need to take a long hard look at the state of affairs not only in their own country but around the world to understand how intertwined the two are and one needs the other to coexist. Therefore, the individuals have so much power to rise and take charge.

On Tyranny - Image 3

On Tyranny speaks to all of us – the ones who support the tyrants as well. It shows us what we perhaps already know and choose to ignore most of the time. The question is how long? How long will we ignore the ways of the tyrant and totalitarianism? When will we raise our voices in unison and know the strength we have?

As the last lesson, “Be as courageous as you can” says: “If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die under tyranny”.