The Wildings.

 A gentle, historic shrine, soaking in the first of the monsoon showers.
Winding lanes. Scent trails. Whisker links. Seldom seen, small, sharp life scurrying among your big plodding feet.
A cat pads softly across the roofs, seeing all and seen by none.
Her fur is silky, long, black-and-white – but you will never see her, though she lives out her whole life in your backyard.
Voices in the dark.  The heavy stench of roses thick with freshly spilled blood.
A pair of mismatched eyes gleams knowingly from behind forgotten slats of wood.
Somewhere, a kitten shrieks.

The Wildings, written by Nilanjana Roy, illustrated by me and published by the Aleph Book Company – is finally finally out. One can hardly describe the exciting complexity of this book in just a few words,  that inadequate/purposefully ambiguous/oft-used “a book about cats” seems to work well enough, for now (with the help of the snarling black tom on the cover).

Here, Nilanjana speaks of inside cats and medieval battles. Here, Deepanjana Pal and I discuss the images behind the words. Here, is a eerily Southpaw-like cat caught trying to gatecrash the launch. Here, Jai Arjun breaks it down for us non-cats. Here, too, is some Visual Disobedience love for the book. Here, Naina Redhu takes some beautiful pictures of the pages and thinks about the book. And here, is the story of Mara, that orange cat (it’s always an orange cat) who inspired The Wildings to be written at all. Ya Billa! Ya Billi!

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4 Comments to “The Wildings.”

  1. Excessively talented people make me jealous and angry. I’m furious.

  2. ^ I agree.

    But on another note: EEEEEEEE! These are lovely illustrations! I just bought the book for a cat obsessed friend, and it took a lot of will power to not keep it for myself. I shall get my copy soon though. I may not be cat obsessed, but obsess over your illustrations, I shall! 😀

  3. We have two cats, and are a cat crazy family. I bought this book for my teenage daughter and we all fell in love with it, especially with the illustrations! Look forward to the next book illustrated by you.

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