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When I started drawing comics a few years ago, I kept my eyes and ears open for stories that would fuel my work. It didn’t take me very long to realize that my biggest resource was right under my nose – someone I spoke to every day.
My mother, with her unique brand of humour, her sparkling wit and her unerring observations, became the star of my comic series, ‘Amma Says’. I started the series as a way of capturing the funny things she said and my horror at finding out that she was mostly right. I’ve done over 50 comics so far, and thankfully I have not yet had to follow her around with a pencil and notebook in hand (as I imagined I would), instructing to her say something funny. Oh no, that needs no prompting!
Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve been devotedly recording Amma’s reactions to various events both global and local — from her experiences abroad (“Where are all the people?”) to Trump winning the elections (“Ghor kalyug!”). An immensely talented artist and writer herself, my mother’s been my best critic, has encouraged me to take my own decisions (of course with the warning that I’ll be facing the consequences) and has motivated me to reach heights I had no idea I could.
The Amma Says series aims to showcase not just her (and our) goofiness, like her sitting in a movie theater asking me where the seat-belt is, but also aims to depict her strength, kindness and the wonderful friendship we share.
On Mother’s Day, here are some of my favourite comics in the series, which are exemplary of her spirit. Read the whole series here.
While Amma is enjoying her stardom, she threatens to start a comic strip about me, which she claims will be funnier than mine. While I wait in anticipation for that, here’s celebrating mothers worldwide!
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Creator of The Tap comics (thetap.in), cartoonist, copywriter, travel writer. Loves unending train journeys
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