Review: Chunri, The Dancing Death
A recent hashtag that has been making the rounds not only on Twitter and Instagram, but even one the news, is #FirstWorldProblems. These things that we complain about within our comforts here, where our roads are paved, and for the most part, everyone has access to water. For the longest time, America, never had as much as security at airports and bus terminals, as we do now, but the rest of the world always had. I even have enjoyed some of these same conveniences to where I remembered catching a plane, when I was in the military, leaving from England, and experiencing their security measures at Heathrow, feeling at the time, it was extreme.
What the world and America knows now, is that things like that were not extreme, they were necessary and needed for a long time. Not only our security was a first world problem but our way of life, as many immigrants and especially refugees will tell you that we are “lucky” to be in America. One of the most pervading issues still ongoing in the Third World, is slavery, and not just human trafficking but sex slavery to be more precise. This problem and its extenuating circumstances are explored in Chunri, The Dancing Death.
In this single comic, the reader is introduced to the streets of Mumbai, and to the world of Bar-Ballas, women who entertain men at bars, and the abuse most of them suffer at the hands of these drunk patrons. We are introduced to Priya, an older bar-balla and Chunri, the young girl whom she mentors and looks out for. Priya works a job where her patron tried to rape her but when she refused, he beat her to death. This not only tears up Chunri but inspires her, as what follows is a training montage, inspired by Kung Fu movies, where she imitates moves by Bruce Lee. As we watch Chunri grow up, she becomes a fighting machine, and kills the first man who tries to rape her, having to flee, she runs up on a woman being raped by a gang of men, putting her into action and eventually starting a movement which livens the city and its people.
Overall, a powerful story which not only touches on a rarely talked about issue here in the first world, but gets the reader invested. The story by Baber Khan is intimate and universal, at the same time, something rare for a reader to do. The art by M. Basit Ansari evens the playing field, as strong a story it is, the art punches it a more than few decibels. Altogether, an issue that is not only a third world problem but a first world problem, as but as can be seen in this book, it definitely is worse elsewhere.
Story: Baber Khan Art: M. Basit Ansari
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy