“Kadaikarar” is a shopkeeper in Tamil, a language from Southern India. I was born and raised there in Chennai, on a diet of mangos and Tintin comics, among other things.
I started work on this series when quarantine started. The sudden availability of time and lack of stimuli took me back to summers where I read scores of books and did little else. And now my love for Hergé seems to have merged with my longing for home and for representation.
I’ve been in America for 7 years now. When you leave your home country and go elsewhere, the things you long for are very simple. It can be the chaos of a shop or the way jasmine can be strung together to make mountains of flowers. I want to document all the things that I previously thought dingy and uncool. And perhaps in that process, I can document my memory of home.