Teaching Troubles
Dale Luis Menezes
ABHA NAMA by Savia Viegas Saxtti Foundation, 2013, 128 pp., 250
June 2013, volume 37, No 6

Savia Viegas, the author of two previous novels Tales from the Attic (2007, Saxtti) and Let Me Tell You about Quinta (2011, Penguin) has recently self published two graphic novels, Eddi & Diddi and Abha Nama. The latter, which deals with the life of a Goan Catholic college lecturer in the big and mean city of Bombay, is under review here.

For those of us who have previously enjoyed Menezes’s quaint portrayal of an eccentric Goan Catholic household, are in for a double treat, as we can now more intimately familiarize with the painter that Savia Viegas is along with her writing. This book is crafted on the lines of the namas that were produced, with much ornate finesse in the Mughal kitabkhana (royal atelier). Though its primary template is borrowed from the namas, Abha Nama goes in to reinvent the form and structure of the modern-day graphic novel (though the author claims that her work is not a graphic novel), much like Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability. With its thick and crude lines complementing bold, solid colours, Abha Nama provides two different yet mutually dependent narratives.

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