Forest Song: A booklet on Chipko

Forest Song is a booklet I’ve written, illustrated and taken photos for. It moves through my journey in Garhwal, Uttarakhand with environmental activists. The story unfolds through Sudesha’s narrative, who is one of the first women of the Chipko movement- our first ecological mass struggle.

For the full PDF version of the booklet you could email me at

The booklet was produced with support of Khoj International Artist’s Association, Delhi

Comic Installation based on the research with Sudesha Devi, Evidence Room Exhibition, KHOJ, 2017

Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back

In the first week of March, 2015 I received two copies from Zubaan books of Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back, a graphic stories anthology, one of the stories being written and drawn by me! It is a set of 14 inspiring stories woven around diverse concerns that women face in India today, and how they meet these challenges.

Non-Fiction Comic-Metromorphosis

A first of its kind anthology of graphic non-fiction from India is now out, with my story ‘Metromorphosis’ as one of this set. The anthology is edited by comics artist and writer Orijit Sen and Vidyun Sabhaney and is published by Yoda Press, New Delhi.

The stories address a wide range of socio-political concerns, with personal insights and though based out of lived experiences and real occurrences, many of the stories have fictional elements as well – the kind of twists that the comics medium so readily allows for.

My story, Metromorphosis is a 13 page narrative of a migrant labouring woman – Chetan- who came in to New Delhi from Rajasthan and worked at a construction site for several years. Later, she began to use her traditional healing skills learnt way back in the village and today she has a small network of clients. Yet her life continues to be fraught with disturbances and she longs for village life.

Chetan’s story for me was as much about understanding another woman’s struggle for basic livelihood as it was to gain another perspective to how this city has been shaped, over the years. I have drawn and written out this story, and it was quite a laborious process to put together, but totally worth it!

Metromorphosis is an ongoing graphic novel on women migrants coming into Delhi as construction labour, interwoven with my experiences of public spaces within the city.

It moves between documentary narratives and fiction. I am playing freely with morphing mediums -photo, ink drawing, text here.

Khirkee Voice Illustrations

Khirkee Voice is an art project in the form of a community newspaper, the stories are for and by residents or those who are associated with the multicultural urban village of Khirkee, New Delhi. The newspaper is printed in Hindi and English and circulated locally. Through drawings, photos, interviews and articles, Khirkee Voice takes up concerns of urban space, development, racism, gender, multiculturalism, urban farming,  among others.  Here are some of my drawings and comics for this fun yet pertinent newspaper :

(The newspaper is edited by Malini Kochupillai and Mahavir Singh Bisht and is supported by Khoj Artists Association. )

This map projects the ironically vast amount of space consumed by the mall complex which is relatively empty, to that of the densely packed in urban village which only gets increasingly cramped! Khirkee Voice, Issue 2, February 2017.

Drawing for The

Since 2016 I have been illustrating on a commissions basis for the for political, feminist and science articles. I’ve had the freedom here to visualise and mold my style as per the text as well as create a visual essay where the text was in comics form. Here are some of my drawings for the (you’l find more on the site!).

Drawing for Womens Rights

Womens rights organisation SNEHA creates gender training manuals as part of their work with women in Mumbai’s slums. I collaborated with them to create visual aid of inspirational women’s movements such as Chipko (Uttarakhand) and one of a self help group in a Mumbai slum that got ration shops to function. I feel like this project was a full circle, learning about women’s movements, and creating work that will in turn hopefully spark new women’s led initiatives.

(To be read vertically, first row on the left then row on the right. This will be printed as a double sided accordion booklet)

Murals & Emotion Maps at Loka School (Bihar)!

In 2019 I initiated a collaboration between Artreach India and an innovative village school in Bihar, Loka, with the aim of leading consistent creative education, wellbeing and skills development programmes. Since then, I have structured modules and led intensive workshops with over 50+ children and young adults there as well as training sessions for the school staff.

The programmes have led to immense dialogue around mapping emotions in the body through drawing, learning to observe changes in our surroundings through close observation, questioning gendered roles, and creating visual plans of how each participant envisions positive change for their village.

Programmes have ended with Open Days that bring the whole village closer together as a first, bridging gaps between men-women, old-young, educated-illiterate, and creating space for collective action around very real issues – it has been magical to see how much can happen, when we begin with interactive art making and collaborate towards positive change!

This is an ongoing programme, in partnership with Artreach India and Loka.

Painting Dreams with government school children (Mumbai)

In February 2020, in partnership between Artreach India and Zee live, I led an immersive canvas-mural painting workshop with government school children in Mumbai. We collaborated with Mumbai based NGO Saturday Art Class, and independent cultural practitioner Habiba Insaf, for this programme.

This large mural began with lots of drawing on paper around ‘dreams and super powers’ and went on to creating dynamic images of strong yet playful children, surrounded by visual symbols of their dreams – becoming a scientist, explorer, dancer and building houses of their own! The process was very interactive, fun and democratic and each child truly participated in making the mural.

Women of Shaheen Bagh: Posters of Protest

The Womens led movements across India, starting with that of Shaheen Bagh (New Delhi) in December 2019, has strongly questioned and countered a number of oppressive laws and actions of the Indian Government, including it’s new communal citizenship act.  As an artist inspired by this struggle and being part of it for many days, I began drawing posters to mobilise support early on, and that caught attention. It helped people understand the voices of women, the complexity of a struggle as long as this, and the hope it brings.

Here are some of these posters ( made in English and Hindi, shared widely over Instagram and Facebook and also in print).

In the Time of a Tree

In progress (to be published fall 2024)

In the Time of Trees is a graphic narrative book that draws from particular ongoing forest rights struggles within India, while also tracing some of their deep rooted colonial histories.

The inception of the book took place while I spent time with women who had earlier led India’s first eco-feminist struggle, located in the Garhwal Himalaya’s. While the movement took place in the 1970s, these women carried on their struggle to save indigenous varieties of plants and trees, and share knowledge of their sustainable farming methods. The deep conversations while staying with them, resulted in short graphic narratives and videos, and a growing personal interest within this terrain.

More recently I have spent time engaging with particular forest dwelling, and displaced, communities of the Shivalik Himalayan foothills, within Uttarakhand. Since 2021, along with various forest rights activists, I began understanding the ways of iving, working and contending with the many changing circumstances within this forest belt, especially for the Van Gujjar community, a semi-nomadic buffalo herding and traditionally forest dwelling community there. Over the years their migration routes have changed, forests have depleted and also tiger conservation and tourism promoting national parks have taken over their landscape.

What has this meant for their families and their livelihoods? How do young people, especially women, imagine their futures, within or outside of their forests? What active steps do activists groups take to oppose the constant threat against this way of life so deeply integrated with the land and trees around them? – these are some of the many conversations I have had through my time there, both with those families that continue to reside within the forest against all odds, and those displaced into ‘resettlement colonies’.

Illustrated Features for

Illustrated text features based on lived experiences in Delhi over 2019-23. These focus on the gendered gaze that follows one around the city, disfunctional banks and migrant communities forced to live on the edge. The most recent feature is based on ongoing research within forest dwelling communities, Uttarakhand.

Handbook on Community Forest Rights

Over 2022 I worked with research and material by forest rights collectives to visualise aspects of their work. These were produced collaboratively though booklets, posters and other resources that are used widely within ongoing campaigns.

Shaheen Bagh – A Graphic Recollection

Yoda Press (Summer/2021)

Shaheen Bagh: A Graphic Recollection is a graphic account of the extraordinary political sit-in led by Muslim women which started on one side of a public thoroughfare in Delhi in December 2019 and continued till March 2020 when it was cleared by the police after the government declared a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The book voices stories of women who were part of the protest that became the catalyst for a pan-India political movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). Based on conversations and interviews, it archives moments from a movement that spread like wildfire through the length and breadth of the country and continues to inspire voices of dissent. 

Through the portrayal of women’s stories in image and word, we re-enter poignant dialogues, debates and questions that were raised about citizenship, democracy and minority rights, over the course of the movement. Shaheen Bagh: A Graphic Recollection brings alive the protest that lasted 101 days and forever changed the way women’s role in movements would be seen and understood.

Press Coverage