The book is a tale from the 'new world' seized by the growing coronavirus pandemic.
"The air over the Conference was thick with anger and grief. Plaintive whale songs, anguished wolf howls, the anxious chittering of ants and the belligerent buzz of bees ebbed and flowed with the cries of millions of the planet’s first citizens as they logged in, connected through networks as ancient as Mother Nature herself."
That's a line from a digital storybook created by Deepak Singh, former CCO at YAAP and Social Street, and Shiv Sethuraman. Sethuraman is an ex-adman and present day head of a business acquisition service The New Business that he founded, three years ago. Read more about his company here.
The book is titled 'How it all began - A tale from the new world', and is a short tale about the strained relationship between nature and humankind. Sethuraman has written the text and Singh has designed and illustrated the book. About the book, Sethuraman tells us, “It's wasn't a conscious plan, quite honestly. I just felt like writing it; it began as a small little post and then it became slightly longer in my own head as I was writing it and then with a conversation with Deepak, it evolved to be a storybook...."
He adds, "There has been a lot of chatter about how this whole human confinement has been good for the planet. For a long time, I have felt that humanity has really been unkind to animals. They have just used the planet’s resources including animals for their own selfish purposes. So, I just felt that the story needed to be seen from another point of view, that of the other inhabitants of the planet, for whom this pandemic has been a good thing..."
"Maybe they were tired of all the cruelty and stupidity of humans and have decided that enough is enough," he shrugs. Talking about the slightly morbid edge that's hard to miss, he says "I gave it a slightly dark twist to say - maybe this was deliberate, maybe the animals decided on this plan and they are going to show us that we can’t keep doing this to them.”
About the design aspect, Singh tells us, “When Shiv had shared this thought with me, I felt it was a good time for people to sit back and understand how we have treated nature. It was beautifully written, so I thought, 'let's make it into a storybook that people can easily read and share'. I think the idea of all these animals coming together to express their pain and grief is interesting..."
Read a detailed profile (2016) of Deepak Singh here.
Adds Singh, "... that is also the reason that we gave it a black-and-white look - so that you can feel the pain... that bit was intentional, as we wanted to keep it raw...”
Read the full storybook below.