Blending myth, research and imagination, horror anthology ‘Darkshaala’ explores the uncharted areas of the genre

Horror as a genre, has swept people off their feet as well as entertained them, since long. Incorporated in various art forms like novels, movies, daily soaps, comics and others, it gives a different feeling of satisfaction and entertainment that at times become, almost unputdownable.
Nandita Basu and Satyanarayanan Govind at Indie Comic Fest
Indian comic and doodle artist, caricaturist and writer Satyanarayanan Govind, better known as Chari, along with author Nandita Basu has recently launched a horror anthology Darkshaala at the Indie Comix Fest, Delhi that attempts to explore the uncovered areas of the horror genre. A combination of two words, ‘Dark’ meaning evil or something demonic and ‘Shaala’ meaning a place, Darkshaala primarily focuses on independent tales bringing forth writers and illustrators to visually narrate stories, that they have heard of in English and Hindi. In a recent chat with AnimationXpress, Govind and Basu revealed, “There are no dearth of stories in this genre. Across India there are amazing folklores based on this subject. Darkshaala is a combination of myth, research and imagination. A ghost/horror story isn’t just about scary entities that lurk between our world and the dead, but is also driven by the human emotion that hallucinates, something that is unexplainable.” Darkshaala was created almost five years back and the term was coined by Govind. Nandita initiated it, when they discussed this last year, displaying excitement to explore more about the paranormal genre.  “Currently the book has two independent stories, Daddy’s Girl and Munna. Munna is likely to unfold into several stories that will be more like a series, written and maybe illustrated by me,” he added.  Darkshaala is targeted at young adults but not restricted to any age limit. Both Govind and Basu has attempted to use sequential art as storytelling medium. Their quest is to have a repository of visually driven stories or a series. “There is definitely more in the graphic novel genre. But since right now we are working with limited stories  in two and threes the editions are smaller so it might look more like a comic book. But the narrative is more akin to a graphic novel. So any one who can use that medium to convey the story is who we would like to work with. Different drawing styles on the paranormal genre,” concluded Basu. The challenge has just begun for both the authors, and it’s now a matter of time to see how the genre is able to capture the reader’s fancy.