Chhotu by Varud Gupta and Ayushi Rastogi

A Tale of Partition and Love

Wild, imaginative and tender, it may be only through love stories like Chhotu that we can return to our darkest hour and begin reparations for another kind of future to which we can all belong. (Vazira Zamindar, author of ‘The Long Partition’)

Given the “unspeakability” of the experiences of Partition, it is entirely appropriate that Chhotu uses visual imagination to represent this searing episode in India’s history. With sharp irony and crackling humour, it offers a poignant understanding of a time when fear, bigotry, political machinations, and violence overtook everyday life (Gyan Prakash, professor of history, Princeton University, author of Emergency Chronicle)

Chhotu, Heer, Bapu, Chandni Chowk, love, friendship, longing and belonging breathe life into a turbulent time few have dared to picture. This graphic novel leaves no doubt that art is at its evocative best when it reveals the bitter truths nations choose to bury (Ritu Khanduri, author of Caricaturing Culture in India)

The year is 1947. The British are slowly marking their departure from the country. And while Partition looms large over India, Chhotu, a student-cum-paranthe-cook in the dusty gullies of Chandni Chowk, has other things on his mind-like feeling the first flushes of love of his crush, Heer, the new girl at school.

When he finally decides to make a move, Chhotu soon finds the town’s aloo has suddenly gone missing, reluctantly embroiling himself into the world of corruption, crime and dons. As he struggles to understand what freedom truly means, Chhotu realizes one thing is for certain-that his world, and the world of those around him, is about to change forever.

Set against the backdrop of Partition and the horrors that followed, Chhotu is a coming-of-age story of an unlikely hero and a parable of a past that doesn’t feel too removed from the present.

Title : Chhotu  A Tale of Partition and Love
Author : Varud Gupta and  Ayushi Rastogi
Publisher : Ebury Press
Available : Amazon