Nots & Crosses


Nots & Crosses is a graphic novel, illustrating the biography of Phoolan Devi (1963-2001), who was also known as the Queen Bandit of India, and is portrayed as the reincarnation of Ching Shih (1775-1844), the most dreaded female pirate of China. This narrative features re-contextualized and thought provoking quotes by famous personalities on the lives of these women, illuminating the issues pertaining to oppression and how the notion of being powerful and strong, somehow, came to mean “To be tough and brutal like a man.”
The title “Nots & Crosses” is based on how girls are not supposed to act a certain way and all the obstructions and barriers faced by these women, this is what the “Nots” represent and the crosses are for how they crossed over these prejudices and defined their own path despite of being restricted and told not to.

Don’t worry the stick is

to beat the snakes and

not the boys.

Phoolan! Go fetch some

water from the well but

before leaving come

here, I want to tell you


Every morning the day started with Amma reminding me to embrace my

strength, confidence and fight back when needed.

If those boys or anybody slaps

you, slap them back. Remember, if

someone beats you and you don't

fight back, then I'll beat you.

Yes, amma.

Good, Stand up straight

and be proud of yourself.

Now, run along and fetch

some water.


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