A haunted village, a horrid curse: A graphic novel set in rural TN for those seeking a scare

"Sins of the past, horrors of the future."
A haunted village, a horrid curse: A graphic novel set in rural TN for those seeking a scare
A haunted village, a horrid curse: A graphic novel set in rural TN for those seeking a scare
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The year is 2023.

Gautham Subramanian, a young doctor, is travelling with his wife and daughter from Coimbatore to Nagapattinam when their car breaks down near the deserted village of Kattiyal. Kattiyal is a village that is said to be haunted.

But Gautham doesn't know that, when he leaves his family behind in the car and steps out in search of help.

Braving the rain, he walks four miles to reach the nearest village.

Instead they tell him, quite chillingly, that he has put his wife and daughter in immense danger by leaving them near a village where bloodthirsty ghosts roam around.

Yali Dream Creations' upcoming publication The Village is a "social horror" set in rural Tamil Nadu.

When Asvin Srivatsangam, founder of YDC, and Shamik Dasgupta, who wrote The Village, began brainstorming for the comic, they hit upon two disconnected but disastrous events in India in the last few decades- the Bhopal gas leak of 1982 and the 2004 Tsunami.

"We thought of using tsunami in the backdrop. Also as our previous stories were set in the Hindi heartland, we thought of shifting to another region this time," says Asvin, who hails from Chennai and works with a software company in California when not publishing comics.

In The Village, Gautham gets to know that the now desolate Kattiyal was ravaged by a tsunami in 2004, and what the destruction left behind is a horrible curse.

The man from the city is surprised to learn that people believe in the supernatural, even in this day and age.

To his luck, three men - Shakthivel Thevar, the headman, Rajah, a local mechanic, and Peter, a village drunk and bar owner - agree to help him.

While the plot is fictional, the story touches upon issues plaguing the country at present, specifically the prevalence of the caste system.

"There is a clash between the upper and lower castes. It is people from the lower caste who have been socially ostracised. This is something that still happens in real life. Therefore, the tag line of our comic reads 'Sins of the past, horrors of the future'," Asvin says.

The trio who agree to help Gautham have their personal agendas. Rajah and Shakthi lost their children when the tsunami devoured Kattiyal. Shakthivel hides deep within him terrible sins committed by his family.

As the men set out towards the village to rescue Gautham's family, not sure whether they will survive the dark night, they have to be prepared to face their worst nightmares.

The 140-page horror comic is scheduled to be out in the last week of August.

Founded in 2012, YDC seeks to tell original stories through the medium of graphic novels. The Caravan published in 2013 is one of their most popular publications and has been bought by a Bollywood production house, to be adapted into a motion picture.

Images courtesy: Asvin Srivatsangam

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