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Munnu: A Boy From Kashmir

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  784 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A beautifully drawn graphic novel that illuminates the conflicted land of Kashmir, through a young boy’s childhood.

Seven-year-old Munnu is growing up in Indian-administered Kashmir. Life revolves around his family: Mama, Papa, sister Shahnaz, brothers Adil and Akhtar and, his favourite, older brother Bilal. It also revolves around Munnu’s two favourite things – sugar and d
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 18th 2015 by Fourth Estate
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  784 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book as part of pre-release on Amazon. I am glad Sajad wrote this book and this book was published. It is pretty damning account of life in Kashmir under 'Indian occupation'as Sajid never fails to point out.

I loved the book for the story it had to tell and the artwork. It is drawn as woodcarving painting style; a befitting choice since his father was an artisan who earned his living from creating beautiful wood carvings. He has drawn all characters as humanoid Hangul deer, a nod t
Maus + Joe Sacco + Kashmir = Munnu

Excellent work. Highly recommended.

Maus influence:
All Kashmiri people are portrayed as hangul (Kashmiri stag) which is an endangered species. Rest of the characters are regular human beings [One can easily find RK Laxman in a couple of frames :)]

Joe Sacco influence:
Personal interviews of surviving victims; references of Sacco's Palestine and The Fixer.
There are references of the author reading Palestine 20 times.

The similarities ends there. Rest is bringing up
Krittika Mittal
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, all it takes is a story to get the message across. As a kid, I was always taught that Kashmir is a part of India and Pakistan wants to take over it. It was unanimously decided that Kashmir did want to be a part of India. Reading Munnu opened my eyes to the actual reality of the situation.

Munnu is my first graphic novel and I simply loved it. The book is beautifully illustrated. I love how much detail Sajad has put into each and every sketch. Moreover, I love how we, as readers, can se
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kashmir
To narrate the painful history of contemporary Kashmir is a challenge in and of itself, to do it through the form of a graphic novel is a feat. Sajad's graphic novel is remarkable for its everydayness and universality as well as its staggering account of growing up in Kashmir during the armed rebellion. Everything about this graphic novel is so well thought out, the use of the "hangul" (endangered deer) to represent Kashmiris, the way in which he narrates the political alongside the personal, an ...more
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its heartening to see a graphic novel by an Indian artist, and that too one which is of good quality. An autobiographical account of the author's childhood and the years growing up in Kashmir during the period of unrest and how he comes to be influenced by it to hone his craft. Told from the perspective of a Kashmiri Muslim, this book seems like the other side of the story of Our moon has blood clots which was another autobiographical account of a Kashmiri Pandit author.

One can see the inspirat
Arzoo  Naqvi
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I want to give this book a million stars but goodreads only allows 5. This is my favourite book I have read so far this year. It should be a compulsory educational book because the world needs to know about Kashmir. I highly recommend you to read this, you won't regret it.

Full review:
Aditya Watts
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I come across so much stuff that's pseudo, pretentious, half-assed, shallow, self-involved, unexperienced, over-intellectualised, over-stylized, wannabe want-to-be claptrap.
This, is pure. Lots of anger, lots of energy, and you might disagree with the politics, but it comes from an undeniably honest and passionate place.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
When the story begin, I wasn't much involved and I was wondering what would be in store as this book has been highly recommended by all those who have read it. As you go further into the story, you realize that as an Indian, you know very less about Kashmir. Munnu gives an insight into the everyday lives of the civilians living a very crippled life in Kashmir. While the narrative is against India, you cannot but feel sorry for the condition of the Kashmiris living there. The author has also pres ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book made me realize how little I understand the problem of Kashmir. Munnu is a beautifully illustrated autobiographical novel, where the author takes us on his life's journey putting together the politics and his personal account depicting the disruptions in daily life of the Kashmiris. It gives a picture of growing up in Kashmir amidst conflict and curfews, under constant military occupation.

As an Indian reader, the account certainly feels lopsided with the Indian army clearly being the
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
on form: Sajad has been a political cartoonist since the age of 14 (!). maybe back in his newspaper he got paid by the volume of ink he could consume, which is why he has portrayed all Kashmiri characters (ie the bulk majority) as stags, black outlines filled-in with ink strokes, but not allowed the luxury of a solid black fill, or the clarity afforded by outlines. possibly it's deliberate, but IMHO it's very distracting. Inside the comic Sajad notes Joe Sacco as an influence, but he doesnt come ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How much does an outsider really know about the Hangul, the endangered species whose natural habitat is wrecked by the army and deforestation?

Munnu: A Boy From Kashmir is a heart-wrenching story from the blood-stained pages of Kashmir under occupation, of lives lived and lost in a habitat similarly wrecked by the fault lines of nationhood — which is sadly all but its own. Malik Sajad draws from his own experiences of growing up amidst conflict, convolution and curfew in the valley to sketch
Anand Ganapathy
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ourlibrary
Read a graphic novel after real long time. Wonderfully illustrated book with Kashmiris represented as Hangul deer ( wild red deer ) - Gives a true portrait of life in Kashmir from the 90s onwards against the backdrop of militancy, the Pandit exodus, military occupancy. ( Inspired by Maus by Art Speigelman ). Highly recommended read
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Embrace the inevitable process of aging, but ditch the process of growing up. You might manage a happy ending without having to become a hero or a spiteful monster.
Ritwik Awasthi
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Munnu: A boy from Kashmir- is based on the life of the author, Sajad (aka Munnu), and is a coming of age story of a man in one of the most disputed regions in the world- Kashmir.

The story revolves around Munnu- an inquisitive and artistic kid, who has a flair for drawing. What started as a nascent interest in calligraphy and etching designs on wood-pieces for Munnu, transforms into professional competency for which Munnu receives widespread acclaim in sketching and drawing, which is crucial in s
Areeb Ahmad (Bankrupt_Bookworm)
"The world's progress only meant new innovations in the techniques of torture and documentation. Only a prisoner can console his fellow prisoner to keep up his hopes for victory. After all, how can one expect justice from the gallows of injustice?"

RATING: 4.5/5

In Art Spiegelman's Maus, Jews are depicted as mice (using and overturning a popular racial caricature of that time). Germans appear as cats, & Poles as pigs. This postmodern anthropomorphic technique gives him space to explore the subject
A Man Called Ove
3.5/5 The story of Munnu (the author) told in the style of iconic graphic novel “Maus” using Hanguls (endangered Kashmiri deer) to depict Kashmiris. Another inspiration mentioned by the author is Joe Sacco but his artwork was many notches above the author’s. Infact stumbled upon Sacco’s Palestine today in the library and his drawings are so sharp ! I could hardly differentiate between the Kashmiri characters.
As an autobiography, it brings out the daily trauma of living in the presence of the Ind
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-authors
4.5 STARS!!

I really enjoy reading memoirs that are written as graphic novels. That added visual feature is such a great way to develop an instant picture of the time, place and feel being described, the details and character expressions conveying more than words sometimes do.

Munnu is the third and probably last book I will be reading on the Kashmir issue, at least this year. But it marks a perfect conclusion to my attempt at trying to understand the human side of the Kashmir situation more deep
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A desi version of Art Spiegel's Maus! A hard hitting true story tempered down so it doesn't get too graphic for a graphic novel - the irony. We have often heard the Indian version of Kashmir events, the Pakistani version of Kashmir events, Malik Sajad provides the Kashmiri version of the events. History unfortunately is all about versions rather than the singularity, and Malik beautifully captures the culture, the hardships the common man faces in a war torn region always in a heightened securit ...more
Swathi Chandrasekaran
Very evocative of Maus and Palestine, although I wish the author had added more commentary on the history of Kashmir.
Sneha Divakaran
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I should have thought twice before giving this one 5 stars. It does make you love the protagonist, after all; he will probably garner more wrath than appreciation from the typical Indian TV Audience.

The art in the graphic novel is spell-binding. The detail needs a thick lens to appreciate fully. The content needs wide arms to accept; I did, and it was warm.

Read the book for a look at how it feels from the point of view of a little child in a strife ridden Kashmir. Read the book to understand th
Coral Davies
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For fans of Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman and Marjane Satrapi 'Munnu' joins a prestigious collection of non-fiction comic strips revealing the hidden truths surrounding conflict ridden areas.

Before this book, Kashmir was a place I knew nothing about; historically or culturally. I feel Malik's tale (based on his own childhood experiences and achievements) has helped unveil a part of the world I was truly ignorant about.

The absolutely heart rending monstrosities the Kashmiri people have had to endur
Mallika Saharia
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Evident inspirations from the works of Joe Sacco and Art Spiegelman, but what is most beautiful about this book is its simplicity of expression. I loved how Munnu sees life, in growing maturity with his age. Kind of like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis :)
A must read!
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that made me wish I was a better journalist and more equipped to review, it than I am.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book needs to be read.
Portal in the Pages
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredible, eye opening. very Persepholis-esque. Would highly recommend.
Feb 02, 2019 added it
Like many, I've known about Kashmir for a long time. What I'd become aware of after more reading was the specifics of the conflict, and the large number of lives it continued to take. What I wasn't aware of until reading this book was the human toll of Kashmir's suffering.

For whatever reason, the Kashmir conflict is under-reported on but is as horrifying and violent as any item covered in the news. The occupation is active, and brutal. It is not some long-standing detente where both sides have
Manas Barpande
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
"Embrace the inevitable process of aging, but ditch the process of growing up. You might manage a happy ending without having to become a hero or a spiteful monster."

A must read for every Indian. Like most, I wasn't aware of the history of Kashmir and this haunting coming-of-age story of a Kashmiri boy does well to teach me the same. Inspired by Joe Sacco and Art Spiegelman's works, this graphic novel also acts a non-fiction portrayal of some heinous atrocities committed in a geographical locati
Dhanya Jothimani
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Indian version of The Complete Maus but in the context of Kashmir – Kashmiris depicted as humanoid Hanguls (the Kashmir stags – the endangered species – the national animal of Kashmir) and rest depicted as humans. Though the author mentions in the novel that he was recommended Palestine by Joe Sacco (added “to read” list) and he read it 20 times.

Though for most of people, Kashmir means tourist destination, war zone, snow, apples and saffron. Here, it is more than that. It is a coming of age (bi
Riddhi Kishnadwala
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the first graphic novel I have read. It was recommended by a group of readers because it has many hidden layers to its story and characters. It was correct and I enjoyed reading it as well as being provoked into thought by the same.

The novel is the story of Munnu, who grows up in trouble infested Kashmir during the late 1990s-early 2000s. His child like view of the daily struggles and his perceptions made me think and question the morals many times. The book blatantly puts the story of
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An autobiographical account of the scenes witnessed in the 90s by a young Kashmir boy.

Despite him being a Muslim and a Kashmiri, one can agree that this is a non-partisan view of the happenings in the state. It is about what a boy remembers how growing up there felt like.

Very happy to have read this as a graphic novel from an Indian author.

Sajad's grip over the art work can be seen from some brilliant panels, like the one which shows the making of a petrol bomb at school, and in the commendable
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