What if Drapaudi said, 'I dig only Arjun'?
An adman revisits the epic in mini zines to teach us about maintaining healthy boundaries
Hari Chakyar, 33, is an advertising professional from Mumbai. So, quite obviously, creativity is his best friend. In March, a friend shared Austin Kleon's video with him where he shows how to fold an A4 sheet into a tiny booklet. "I saw it and had to try it. This turned into the first zine I made, captioned, Shuttuck Futtuck. It came to me on the train, while I was traveling to Kerala," says Chakyar, who was off for a 40-day Ayurveda therapy retreat. He realised that making zines would be a good way to kill time. And because 40 days turned to three months due to the lockdown, the zine collection only grew.
Chakyar's zines found instant fans on Instagram. Our favourite is the retelling of Mahabharata with humour. "My partner is a counsellor. She reads up a lot on psychology and we end up discussing it at home. One of the hot topics has been setting healthy boundaries and how conflicts arise when these are breached. The Mahabharata is a brilliant study of characters. I wanted to explore how it would affect the narrative if certain people decided that their personal boundaries were more important than anything else. What would happen if Draupadi decided to remain married only to Arjun? What if Arjun decided to not kill the Kauravas?"
Chakyar uses thumb prints to create all his characters. "None of them have facial features; they express themselves with words and body language. Thumbs represent individuality and also establish a sense of equality. It made total sense to me that a story about respecting personal boundaries has characters that are as personal as a thumb. I used erasers to create stamps for brick wall designs and arrows in Kurukshetra."
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