I made this illustration based on a short story by postcolonial Bengali writer Hasan Azizul Haque which focuses on a penurious Bengali sharecropper and the significance of his encounters with an indigenous monocled cobra in the context of debt bondage slavery in contemporary South Asia. My article on this story can be accessed here.

(9"X12", ink on paper)

I was fascinated when I learnt about "The Hargila Army" of women who work for the biological conservation and cultural preservation of endangered Greater Adjutant Storks in the state of Assam in India. I wanted to archive the labor, joy, and perseverance that I saw reflected in their bird-themed papier-mache headdresses, tattoos, mekhela chador (indigenous, handwoven draping clothes) and gamocha (towel) produced through collectively sustained environmental awareness. This hand-painted illustration (8X10", ink on art-board) is but one humble attempt to give shape to their caregiving work.

I used photographs by Anne Pinto-Rodrigues, Gerrit Vyn, and from pashoopakshee.com as references. More information on The Hargila Army can be found here.

I made this illustration  based on a short story by postcolonial Bengali writer Hasan Azizul Haque which narrates the consequences of an exceptional interaction between a group of impoverished boys and an estranged vulture. My article on this story can be accessed here.

(9"X12", ink on paper)

This is my commissioned artwork for the ROH-Indies Project on decolonizing approaches to street-dogs and rabies prevention in India. For this project, I studied public domain images of free-ranging street-dogs in India, especially those featured in Indian newspaper articles, to understand the overarching patterns of how their subjectivities were conceptualized through photography. In this illustration, I portray a predominantly canine perspective of Indian metropolitan cityscapes by juxtaposing a pack of heterogeneous street-dogs against the outlines of urban infrastructures. In doing so, my purpose is to speculate on how these four-legged urban denizens negotiate and subvert anthropocentric perceptions about spatial configurations. Through aesthetic mediations of the canine viewpoint, this illustration attempts to foreground interspecies exchange of gaze and non-verbal intimacies as means of knowledge production.

This is my commissioned artwork for the ROH-Indies Project on decolonizing approaches to street-dogs and rabies prevention in India. In this illustration, I wanted to juxtapose the different dimensions of affective relationality that entangle humans and free-ranging street-dogs in contemporary India. While the simultaneous presence of seemingly contradictory feelings of love, fear, aversion, and reverence complicate any homogenous understanding of human-canine companionship, it also shows how the materially grounded realities of cohabitation intersect with the anthropomorphic and allegorical perceptions about street-dogs that perpetuate in both urban and rural spaces. Through the portrayal of human-animal cohabitation as a close-knit assemblage, this illustration shows how questions of urbanization, pollution, and public health bind humans and street-dogs together.

This panel is from a series of illustrations that recreate the multiple forms of interspecies communication, confrontation, and negotiation that animate the sites of garbage disposal in contemporary India. While dead buffaloes are disposed here, they are also retrieved from hungry vultures, kites, and dogs for de-skinning and tanning of the discarded carcasses. This panel portrays the spatial dynamics, ontological politics, and nonlinear temporalities of dump-yards as casteized spaces where caste-oppressed tanners negotiate with the scavenging vulture’s conjoined material-semiotic presence, represented anthropomorphically, as the metaphor of upper-caste feudal moneylenders and as the metonymy of debt-bonded serfs. It also instrumentalizes anthropomorphism to focus on the spectral afterlives of dead buffaloes with whom overworked agricultural laborers share a companionate solidarity that humanizes their shared labor and breaks down anthropocentric species hegemony.

(9"X12", ink on paper)

Left: Jagamohan, the elephant, and Bulaki, his mahout, the protagonists of postcolonial Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi's important zoocritical novella titled "Jagamohaner Mrityu" ("The Death of Jagamohan," 1979). My article on the text can be accessed here.

Right: This panel illustrates the multiple cultural iterations of South Asian elephants. I have juxtaposed a realist portrayal of the pachyderm with Indra's multi-tusked consort Airabat and Jamini Ray's Patachitra-inspired artisanal elephant.

(5.5"X8.5", ink on paper)

These two drawings articulate the cultural afterlives of the tiger-deity Dokkhin Ray and the crocodile-deity Kalu Ray who are worshipped by Hindu and Muslim communities of fishermen, woodcutters, and honey-collectors in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans delta in India and Bangladesh. Based on contemporary oral retellings of Bengali religious narrative-poetry known as mangal-kavya, which describe the polysemous valence of tigers and crocodiles as theriomorphic deity, demonic shapeshifter, and Hindu Brahmin sovereign, my drawing instrumentalizes a redemptive anthropomorphism to portray the subaltern imaginative articulations of these animals. The left panel is titled "Biponno Dokkhin Ray" ("Dokkhin Ray is Endangered") and the right panel is titled "Biponno Kalu Rayer Upakhyan" (Kalu Ray's Narratives Are Endangered") to refer to the conjoined environmental and cultural/linguistic endangerment of minoritarian counter-narratives on multispecies justice in the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest located in the world's largest river delta (the Bengal delta).

(9"X12", ink on paper)

Poster illustration of the Indian film Eeb Allay Ooo! (2019) directed by Prateek Vats.

Illustration based on Indian Bengali author Sukumar Ray's nonsense fiction "Ha Ja Ba Ra La."