In a world that’s filled with information, mural artist Anpu Varkey’s silent comic Summer’s Children comes as a breath of fresh air. The self-published book is a personal, silent narrative on the childhood of Anpu and her brother’s growing up years in Kerala.
Set in the interiors of a rubber plantation in Kerala, Summer’s Children reside in the memory of a forgotten place and childhood. “The landscape of the rubber plantation has created a strong impact on my mind. Since the story happened at a different time and space, I’ve made sure that all the minute details are conveyed properly. It’s a silent narrative in vivid detail of one summer day seen through the eyes of my brother and I. I have made the narrative as if they are ‘one being’ with two separate bodies — one leads and the other follows. I am sure that adults could relate to their past in one way or the other through the book and there will be lasting impact on them,” shares the author.
The gender of these two seemingly alike kids is unclear from the onset and its possible to assume they are two boys. The plot sticks to an uninterrupted visual milieu pivoted on a deep tropical habitation during the onset of monsoons with sounds that pulsate the ground and sky alike. “I spent the first three years of my childhood in Kottayam, Kerala. Since the place doesn’t exist there anymore, I couldn’t go back to do a briefing. The book is all about memories,” says Anpu, who has made a 158-foot mural of Mahatma Gandhi in the Delhi Police Headquarters in ITO, New Delhi.
Anpu considers her book as a sepia-tinted movie with hues of grey and a very little black. “One of the biggest challenges I faced was finding a publisher. Since there is no text, most of the publishers weren’t willing to take it up. Finally, I decided to self-publish the book,” Anpu remarks.