The Wrong Touch

Review of Strange Touch; Sharvari Shah; ebook – Graphic novel; pp 64

– Shana Susan Ninan

When someone touches you the wrong way you know it. But what if you’re too young to differentiate and ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ touch? What if the perpetrator is known to you? What if you’re scared that no one would believe you if you complained? All the ‘what-ifs’ put together cannot begin to help you comprehend what a child or teen goes through in those tormenting years. Even after years go by and various people come and go in your lives, the “touch” still remains a clear memory.

Sharvari Shah has sketched a graphic novel, Strange Touch, with instances from real lives, portraying the start of such an experience and how you go about forgetting it. But as you go through the book, you realise the memory remains. It is a dream that links the two parts of the protagonist’s life. The author/designer is a graduate from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. This 64-page intense novel was part of her final year project.

The story moves in the present and past, featuring a young adolescent girl, who, even as she’s moving into adulthood, cannot let go of the haunting past. Child sexual abuse is rampant in India, especially in a scenario where the joint family flourishes, and ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ dote on lovely cousins. At the same time, this topic is rarely talked about, forget bringing the culprit to light. Justice remains a dream, hidden in the dark corners of the victims’ minds. If at all the crime is brought to the knowledge of mothers and elders, it quietly brushed under the carpet – no one wants to bell the cat.

The black and white sketches are truly disturbing, if not haunting. Even a person who has not gone through such an ordeal will surely ponder over the issue strongly. Sharvari has used the pencil well – details that might seem minute in other scenarios are heightened with the shades here.

Strange Touch is a reminder that one person or one voice can rise up and do something. You can write about it, you can talk about it, you can seek help, you can even go to court. But make sure you do something about it. Remember, a victim who doesn’t try is no better than the criminal who roams about, carefree.

Here are a few pages from the book:

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Rating: 8.4/10 (17 votes cast)
The Wrong Touch, 8.4 out of 10 based on 17 ratings

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 3:37 pm and is filed under Graphic Novel, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. February 23rd, 2012 | Avishi Mehta says:

    I love the book! It has vivid well-drawn images and a strong story line. Great effort.

  2. February 24th, 2012 | Ronak Khandwala says:

    Amazing book on a rarely talked about topic. The images make you feel strongly about the tormenting years of the victim. Great efforts.

  3. February 24th, 2012 | Kala M. says:

    ‘Strange Touch’ is a very strong book. Very cleverly written and illustrated even when it deals with such a sensitive topic. Sharvari is a good storyteller and uses her tools very effectively i would say!

  4. February 26th, 2012 | Kritika Pande says:

    Well framed and portrayed! It leaves you emotional and speechless by the end. Well done!

  5. March 5th, 2012 | Pushpi Bagchi says:

    The book brings to light the issue of sexual abuse with subtlety, care and respect. The pictures/illustrations do speak much louder than the words.
    All the best with the book Sharvari… It deserves all the credit!

  6. March 5th, 2012 | ananya says:

    very beautifully done…. :D…. awesome hand wrk… all the best

  7. March 5th, 2012 | Anuj Sharedalal the First says:

    Great Book! I loved it! Instead of running behind money and publishing stupid books some publisher should come forward and publish this great work. It should be used to spread awareness amongst people. All the best! Don’t stop writing/sketching no matter what! You are doing a great job!

  8. March 7th, 2012 | Aditi says:

    Absolutely amazing how such a sensitive issue could be brought out so well! Kudos to the writer! Definitely deserves publishing!

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