Caricature/Cartoon – Alexander the Great, the Birds, and the Golden Feather of India.

Can you hear the battle cry?

Try harder and you should be able to hear the battle cry of Alexander’s troops as they ready themselves to attack India’s North-western frontier – Gandhar, or the present day Afghanistan (capital: Kandahar); if you press your ear to the ground, you might even hear the clappity-clap of the horse-hooves; and if you have a discerning ear, you should also be able to hear the snores of his tired soldiers, randomly punctuated by mysterious thuds. These thuds, in fact, were caused by the sleepy soldiers who fell off their horses, every once in a while.

No?
You couldn’t hear a thing?

Tchah!

Let me tell you what happened. Though Alexander’s tired and sleepy troops could defeat King Porus yet the battle cost them their energy and their enthusiasm and they couldn’t reach the richer kingdoms of India. This is precisely why Alexander’s headgear didn’t have a golden plume in it. But the birds didn’t know that – do they?

Here’s Alexander the Great on his return journey WITHOUT the Golden Feather from the Golden Bird called India.(Sorry about the color of the web-page – I’d have preferred Golden, but who listens to me…sniff!)

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait, drawing of Alexander the Great - with his conquests as feathers in his head-gear.

Alexander on his way back - wondering what happened in India. A scratchy sketch by the otherwise immaculate caricaturist.

Tradition Dictates that I provide a crisp summary of Alexander’s life, and who am I to question traditions – so, here’s it.

Alexander’s Least Dependable Biography on the Web

Alexander was born the son of Olympias and Philip, in the Summer of 356 BC. By virtue of being born the son of the previous king, he became the king of Macedon when he turned 20. However, Alexander wanted more. This could partially be attributed to his genetic makeup as his mom Olympias was an extremely ambitious lady, and also partially to his tutor Aristotle (wonder why I feel the need to bring Aristotle in? Perhaps because had he not taught Geography to Alexander, he wouldn’t have been able to plan right.)

Let me not dawdle and come straight to the point. Alexander didn’t sit still after he became the king of Macedon. Without further ado, he got his army together, and marched eastwards. He attacked country after country after country, and after annexing many such countries he established an empire that stretched all the way from Macedon and Egypt in the west to the north-western frontier of India (Gandhara) in the east. The fact that the empire didn’t last long after his death, is often not talked about much – so I won’t talk about it either.

Alexander’s Conquests

If you want a list of his conquests, please visit the following links.

Interesting Stuff about Alexander the Great

According to legend, Alexander was a gift from God (to the Macedonian royal family, of course – not to those countless families whose sons died in the wars he waged for 12 long years. Ever wonder why God always appears to favor royalty?)

Oh, I strayed. So why was Alexander considered to be gift from God? Well, mainly because his mom (the cunning Olympias who slept with snakes – Nancy, I hope you read this,) and his dad (who loved to get drunk and was an octa-wiferian) both had funny dreams when he was in his mom’s womb. In a manner of speaking, the rumor-mill of those days spewed rumors that Alexander was conceived through divine intervention. Poor Philip. He did all the hard-work, didn’t he?

Alexander’s mom was a busy lady (she had to bathe and feed the snakes, I presume) and so dear darling baby Alexander was raised by a nurse. As I’ve written in my previous post, when Alex was 10, his dad made a thoughtless remark to his son – and that remark changed the destinies of thousands.

The Most Important Question – Was Alexander the Great gay?

I think we should consider it Alexander’s personal matter and drop it. I mean what difference does it make to us? And do you know why we ask this question? Because poor Alexander had a severe Oedipal complex and he wasn’t all that interested in women. Big deal! I refuse to talk more on this topic, but if you are so keen on finding out whether Alexander was gay or not, please click here.

Another Important Question – Did Alexander ever fall in love?

Perhaps so. With a pretty princess called Roxanne and he also married her. Alexander married only twice. Once for love and then for political reasons.

Alexander and Porus (perhaps Paurush – anglicized to Porus)

Porus is the guy who was instrumental in making Alexander and his troops turn back. According to historical texts, Alexander’s troops were suffering from a loss of morale and they were tired of the apparently endless stream of battles that they had to fight. Yet,  I believe otherwise. I think that Alexander had to turn back because he came up against the fiercest warriors of India – people from the region of Punjab. Porus or Paurush, as I’d like to call him, was the king of Purus, who were the Punjabis of the year 326 BC. This Wikipedia entry (I know that you know better, but I couldn’t find a link to your article on this subject) tells us that the lineage of Purus could have survived as the Puris of today. So if you are a Puri, you can be proud of stopping Alexander’s invasion of India.

In midst of all this, I forgot to tell you that Porus was able to thwart Alexander’s plans just by being himself. He had lost the battle but when Alexander asked him how he’d like to be treated, Porus said, “treat me the way one king treats another.” Now, if nothing else proves that Porus was a Punjabi, that does – doesn’t it? (Ask a Punjabi to find out.)

I must stop now…really – or I’d end up writing a long nonsensical story, which’d be typical of me – your very own crazy caricaturist 🙂

Advertisements

Coming up shortly…Why Alexander couldn’t get that last feather in his cap?

You know this guy – don’t you? No, I am not talking about Alexander Hamilton (His cap didn’t have feathers in it, did it?)

Yes, I AM talking about Alexander the Great!

The man who for some unknown reason decided to go east on an annexing spree until he hit the northern frontier of India. Then he rebounded. I understand others, even the completely loony chaps like Hitler – at least they had motives, but the only motive that I can ascribe to this young man’s battle-lust is what his dad told him. When Alexander was ten, his father Philip said to him, ” “My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you.” Now if only all the kids in this world listened to their parents, they’d all be Alexanders – won’t they?

The good news that I wanted to share with you is that Alexander is soon coming to your favorite caricaturist’s blog.

If you are wondering whether I am going to take another long trip into the past, please don’t worry. I am not. Unlike those other caricatures that I drew by actually traveling into the past and meeting those great/not-so-great’uns, I based Alexander’s caricature on my memories of  previous life, which I lived in 324 BC, in Babylon – but that’s another story and I’ll tell it some other time 🙂

Until then, let us prepare for Alexander’s invasion…

My blog’s been invaded by Alexander the Great! View Alexander’s caricature (Poor guy!) here.

Caricature/Cartoon – President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan – Give us Less but Write it Down!

Presenting the caricature of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan - the US-Afghan Agreement Draft - Give us less but Write it down.

Copyrighted Image. Don’t use without permission. For licensing the caricature, you are welcome to send me an email.

Here’s his biography – short and concise 🙂

Karzai’s Biography – Childhood and Youth

Hamid Karzai who is the current President of Afghanistan, was born on December 24, 1957. Recently, his unwillingness to let the NATO forces leave (despite their having trained the Afghani security forces well,) has been making news. Why, you might ask. Well, perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Taliban worry him no end. But let us first talk about Karzai’s childhood and youth. He was born in Kandahar (yes, the Gandhara of the past, but the capital of Afghanistan today.) He comes from an influential political family (as I interpret from his father’s profession, who was the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament when Karzai was a toddler.)

Young Hamid completed his graduation in Kandahar, but believe it or not, he completed his post-graduation from India. However, before you misguide yourself into believing that he found his sweetheart in India, I should tell you that he must’ve been a studious sort of guy. He met Zeenat who he later married, in Pakistan, not in India.

Karzai’s Rise to Power

When US backed the Mujaheddin during the soviet war in Afghanistan, Karzai worked as a contact for CIA. Presumably this was how his political journey began – with the mujaheddin who took power after Najibullah (who was publicly hanged by the Taliban).

Initially, Karzai felt good about the Taliban and thought of them as the saviors of the nation, but he refused to represent them. This possibly angered the Taliban, who killed Karzai’s father. This changed Karzai’s view of the Taliban. He began an anti-Taliban movement and joined the Northern front. The Northern Front along with US Special forces overthrew the Taliban. It was in 2002 that for the first time Karzai came into power. Unfortunately, his sphere of power was limited to Kabul (the media promptly dubbed him the “Mayor of Kabul”).

Ever since Karzai came into power he’s been trying to hold talks with the Taliban (the same Taliban who killed his father and angered him, earlier in the story.)

Controversies that surround Hamid Karzai

Karzai was first elected the President in 2004. Next, when elections were held in 2009, they were mired in controversies and it was insinuated that his opponent’s withdrawal from the election may not have been entirely voluntary.

While Karzai has been trying for a cordial relationship with countries such as Iran, Pakistan, India, and Japan; he’s also been criticized for being too soft on the Taliban.

Karzai’s been into the poppy production controversy (he refused to kill the poppy in the fields.) He’s also been accused of shielding his brother who was “allegedly” involved in drug trade.

Karzai’s Family

His brothers and sisters are settled in the land of opportunity (read: The US.) They are all into the hospitality business. Karzai has only one son (and one wife, who is a Doctor.) He’s got no property to call his own and his bank-balance is really abysmally low. But that’s one of the things that makes him a darling of the masses – because despite all allegations of electoral fraud, he won them fair and square.

The Story behind the Caricature

In 2014, the NATO forces will have completely pulled out of Afghanistan (US being the last to leave). Afghanistan and US are currently in the process of drafting an agreement, which will ensure that in some ways US will continue to help Afghanistan tide over the issues that it would face after the withdrawal of the troops. However, Karzai is perhaps not comfortable with mere promises. He has recently said,

“They are providing us with money, there is no doubt about that. But they say they will not mention the amount in the agreement. We say: give us less, but mention it in the agreement. Give us less, but write it down.”

Dear readers, what’s your opinion?

  1. After having spent 12 years of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, should the NATO forces leave when the Afghan security forces don’t appear to be in control? (Read about one of the security breaches here.)
  2. Also, is Karzai being a tad over-optimistic when he says that he needs a promise of a couple of Billion Dollars a year, and he’d be able to control the situation?

The Caricaturist found her inspiration again…

brace yourselves – caricatures are about to invade your world!

I could list them out – all 10 of them, but then I’d kill the suspense – so I won’t.

I’ll just tell you this that last week I received a package that gave me a shot in the arm. What was there in the package?! Well, it had some drawings that I am going to cherish forever. But why did they inspire me? Ah, that’s a trick question – isn’t it? Okay. Here’s why. Because I looked at those drawings and thought that one day…perhaps in not very distant future, I’ll wake up into a day filled with the possibility of doing nothing but drawing. Those drawings made me want to draw. So, that’s exactly what I did. I woke up the next day, and I saw nothing but the possibility of drawing. I drew and drew and drew…until I had drawn everyone whose photographs I found in my reference folder.

Weird?

…Unbelievable?

…But true! Your caricaturist is back…figuring out ways to get herself killed!

And the end-note…to my idol in the world of cartooning. Thank you for inspiring me.