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 🙂

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?

Caricature/Cartoon of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the Defiant President of Iran

Presenting the Caricature of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the Defiant President of Iran. In this image, he is seen challenging the world with Iran’s nuclear program (that he has supported all through these years as the one directed towards peaceful nuclear energy, but has recently begun to use for issuing threats of retaliation – especially to Israel,) with Russia and China as his friends.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran - concept - nuclear power and weapons, russia china as allies, blockage of straits of hormuz

Caricature – President of Iran – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – copyrighted image – For permission to use/licensing, please contact.

Ahmadinejad’s Brief Profile

He was born in the family of a blacksmith, in the year 1956. He was a good student who became a civil engineer, worked as a Professor, and then became the Mayor of Tehran. However, this wasn’t the end of Ahmadinejad’s achievements.

Iran has a political system that’s quite different from the systems followed across the world. Iran has two leaders. The first and the more powerful leader is the Divine Leader (also called the supreme leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who isn’t elected, and who remains the supreme leader all his life. The Supreme leader controls the Military, the Media, and the Judiciary. On the other hand, the Democratic leader is elected by people and doesn’t have as many rights and powers as the Divine leader.  From 1997 to 2005, the democratic President of Iran was Mohamed Khatami, who had differences with Khameni, and Khameni wanted him replaced. This is how Ahmadinejad became the president.

Ahmadinejad’s winning Formula

Ahmadinejad always tries to be like the people that he represents, and perhaps this is why he got elected in the first place. He shuns luxury, and he even dresses up like a common man (note the missing tie).

Iran, Ahmadinejad, and the World – the Thought behind this caricature of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran has recently been making news by asserting its right to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. US has imposed sanctions and has stopped importing oil from Iran, later EU followed suit. However, there are some countries that continue to support Iran. The most important of them are China and Russia (that also explains the shield in this caricature.) Ahmadinejad also made news by saying that if the sanctions were effected then the Strait of Hormuz that have the highest traffic of oil from the oil exporting countries, shall be blocked.

Caricature/Cartoon – Nelson Mandela – The Phoenix who rose from the ashes and became the President of South Africa!

Here’s the man who despite all odds, remained the Master of his fate and the Captain of his soul, and who rose to become the first African President of a nation plagued with Apartheid. With respect and awe, I present this caricature of Nelson Mandela.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of Nelson Mandela, the first African President of South Africa who fought a long battle against Apartheid.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

Nelson Mandela’s Biography by the Quirky Caricaturist

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela the son of the Tembu Tribe’s Chief, on July 18, 1918. He completed his B.A. and then joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944.He completed his study of Law, but that was later, perhaps while he was in prison. At ANC, he worked towards the Apartheid policies of the ruling party. He was tried for treason in the latter half of the 1950’s but was acquitted in 1961. However, this didn’t dissuade Nelson Mandela from following his ideals, and he was once again charged with the attempt to overthrow the Government. Following his trial, he was sentenced to life-imprisonment, and he was jailed for 27 years, from 1964 to 1990. In 1990, he was released. It was in 1994 that South Africa held its first multi-racial elections, in which ANC (Mandela’s Party) won and came into power.

Nelson Mandela and Non-violence

Initially Mandela favored the non-violent protests against apartheid, but then he felt that there was a need for an armed rebellion. To this effect, he established and led the armed wing of the ANC, but all their plans were designed to ensure that there was no loss of life (only of property.)

In fact, the US wouldn’t allow Mandela and ANC party members to enter the US as they were designated terrorists in their earlier days.

Mandela’s Role in the Lockerbie Trial

In 1991, Two Libyans were accused of sabotaging a PanAm flight leading to the death of 270 people. US and Britain were facing problems in reaching an agreement with Muammar Gaddafi as to how the trial should be done. Mandela offered that the trial be held in South Africa, and it eventually did.

Mandela’s Marriages

Though Mandela married thrice, his most famous wife is Winnie Mandela, who was a social worker and became his second wife. At the age of 80, he married for the third time. While he has six children from his first two marriages, there are none from the third. (Okay…I understand.)

Awards/Honors

Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize that Mandela won in 1993 tops his long list of honors, but among other awards, he’s also received the Bharat Ratna award from Government of India. Bharat Ratna translates to “The Gem of India” and it makes me wonder – but then he also received Nishan-e-Pakistan “Symbol of Pakistan?” award! See, there are things on which India and Pakistan agree:)

Invictus – The Movie

I have to tell you about the movie Invictus in which Morgan Freeman has played the part of Nelson Mandela. It’s a beautiful movie that focuses on the South African Rugby team and Mandela’s inspirational politics. The movie draws its name from a poem by William Ernest Henley, which has the same title. The word “Invictus” means “someone who cannot be defeated.”

According to Mandela, this is the poem that helped him stay strong those 27 years when he was in jail.

Invictus – The Poem

Here’s the poem that inspired Mandela during his incarceration:

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

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This post has ended. Stop Reading Now!
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The Caricaturist turns Philosophical – Ouch!

Though the caricaturist seldom turns philosophical on this blog, she has to say this.

We live in a world of thoughts that we build in our mind. When we look around us, we look through windows of the mind, and the panes of these windows reflect our thoughts. If we fill our mind with positive thoughts, the troubles of the real world become simpler to manage; but if we do the opposite and allow negativity to darken our thoughts, no matter how beautiful and easy things might be, we’d end up making a mess of not only our lives but also the lives of those who love us and care for us.

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If you’ve read it…don’t mull over it…if you mull over it…don’t blame me because I had warned you.
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Caricature/Cartoon – Leonardo DiCaprio – The Abagnale Jr. who grew up to become J. Edgar!

This guy?

Who else but Frank William Abagnale Jr. now known as J. Edgar Hoover, a.k.a Leonardo DiCaprio!

The Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait of Leonardo DiCapiro, the Hollywood Actor of the Titanic fame. Shown here as a combination of Frank Abgnale (Catch me if you can) and J. Edgar Hoover (J. Edgar.)

Catch me if you Can!

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Tiniest Biography on the Web

Every sensible biography must begin with the birth of its subject. Leonardo DiCaprio was born on November 11, 1974 in LA, California. As it happens, most people who go on to become famous in their lives, come from a broken home; so was the case of Leonardo whose parents separated when he was a toddler. Leonardo’s dad however was not a normal person. He was an artist…even better, he was a comic book illustrator. So his dad’s influence made Leonardo explore his creative side (?) when he was little. Leonardo went to work at the tender age of 5, but was kicked out of the show for unprofessional behavior (?!) Leonardo wasn’t a good student (obviously, if he were the world wouldn’t be talking about him and obscure caricaturists wouldn’t be drawing his rather unique physiognomy,) nor was he a smashing-hit with the fairer-sex.

One thing led to another, and then I saw him in Titanic (the movie, I mean, not the ship) smooching Kate Winslet. I checked out my parameters of handsomeness and wondered why the west found him good-looking! (BTW, he’s taller than he looks. He’s 5 feet 11 inches or more!)

Anyway, Leonardo DiCaprio’s first movie wasn’t Titanic, it was “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” for which he was nominated for an Oscar (He doesn’t look like himself in this movie though). He was nineteen then. Well, one movie led to another, until “Titanic” happened. “Titanic” catapulted Leonardo into being an international celebrity. I read that 28 Kabul Barbers were apprehended by the Taliban because they were giving those kids the Leonardo-Haircut!

Why Leonardo was called Leonardo?

When Leonardo hadn’t found his way out of his mom’s womb, she went visiting a museum. The yet-unnamed-Leonardo decided to kick his mom for the first time when she stood admiring a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. Every mother wants to remember that first-ever kick (and hopes that the child would stop kicking once it’s out,) and so Leonardo’s mom decided to call him Leonardo.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Famous Movies

Some of his movies are:

  • This Boy’s Life
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Titanic
  • The Man in the Iron Mask
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • The Aviator
  • The Departed
  • Blood Diamond
  • Body of Lies
  • Inception
  • J. Edgar (Recent)

The Caricaturist’s Opinion on the DiCaprio movies that she’s seen

I watched “Titanic” but it made me sad. I don’t like tragedies. There’s enough sorrow in real-life and I really don’t like spending my time watching movies in which the hero dies. I loved him as King Luis XIV in “The Man in the Iron Mask,” a movie that may or may not be historically accurate – but who cares – not the Caricaturist! “Catch me if you Can” is fantastic. Geniuses of all types make me feel optimistic and happy…and knowing that Frank William Abagnale Jr.s exist makes this world a more interesting place for me. I watched “Blood Diamond” and wondered what the heck we need those diamonds for. Even if I had millions, I’d not waste them on a stupid piece of shiny rock that I could tie around my neck and get Spondalytis. In my opinion, no sane person should wear diamonds…but then if the world was sane, I’d not have anything to do. Who’d I ridicule then?!

Finally, “Inception.” I hated the movie, and I have a strong reason for hating it. I watch movies because I want a break from work. This movie puts your mind to work, and that too in the highest gear. You’ve got to go on calculating the dream-depth, the corresponding time-span that Leo and his team can spend in the dream…additionally you’ve got to remember the names of the dream-owners and the team-members who get left behind on the higher level! Phew! The movie left me with a headache that refused to leave me for two whole days! And this movie got several award nominations…thankfully, it didn’t win many awards or I’d have to wonder.

J. Edgar (A movie made on the life of perhaps the longest-serving FBI director J. Edgar Hoover) is right now running in the theaters. I am wondering whether I should watch it in the theater or I should wait for it to premier on television…still thinking 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon of Galileo Galilei – The Scientist who was Persecuted for Speaking the Truth.

Does the earth go around the sun or does the sun go around the earth?

You know the answer and I know it – but 500 years ago, neither of us would’ve known it, and even if we did, we wouldn’t have the nerve to say it; and if at all we had the conviction and the nerve, we would be Galileo Galilei!

The caricaturist humbly presents the caricature of one of the most important men in astronomy and science.

The Caricture, Sketch, or Portrait of Galileo Galilie, the Genius who invented the telescope, discovered the moons of Jupiter and other planets, got on the wrong side of the Church for speaking the truth about the Earth revolving around the Sun...and so on.

Galileo in Heaven: So, where are those who had imprisoned me? Never mind - I'm just glad they aren't here!

So who was this man? And what did he do to go down in history as the man who defied the authority of the Roman Catholic Church?

Here’s Galileo’s tiniest biography on the web.

Biography of Galileo Galilei

Galileo was born in Pisa on February 15, 1564. His dad was a musician who decided that his son Galileo must become a Doctor (possibly as Doctors are never out of work, the way musicians are – and because even then they earned rather well.) As it happens with most sons, Galileo didn’t want to a Doctor, so despite his dad sending him to the University of Pisa to study medicine, he became a Professor of Mathematics.

Galileo’s first important invention was the telescope, which made faraway objects appear closer…and Galileo got hooked into using it to spy on the moon. To the chagrin of lovers world-wide, Galileo discovered and made it known that the surface of the moon was pimply, wrinkly, and not at all smooth and beautiful – thus, he robbed many romantic relationships of their lunar poetry.

He also discovered a myriad other things, but what literally made his world go round n round, was the discovery that Earth indeed revolved around the Sun. This obviously didn’t go down well with the church who’d been preaching otherwise for hundreds of years. So Galileo was accused of being a heretic (a non-believer in the teachings of the Church,) but Galileo managed to get himself cleared of the charges. Yet, he was barred from stating the truth, because the Church didn’t want to be proved wrong in front of the whole world!

Galileo however became more and more convinced of the fact, and then he published a book “Dialogues concerning the Two Great World Systems” that re-affirmed the Copernican Heliocentric Theory. The Church could take his blatant disregard for their authority anymore and they incarcerated him in his own house. He stayed imprisoned for 9 years, until he died in 1642, at the age of 88.

Galileo’s “Pardon”

In 1992, Galileo was finally “pardoned” by the Roman Catholic Church. Unbelievable but true. After taking away 9 years of a man’s life for their own error, they “pardon” him! I would think that an organization that committed such a mistake should seek a pardon instead. (I really can’t comprehend it – but then I am not the smartest person in this world – there must be some reason why the entire world accepts this…and I bow to the opinion of the majority.)

What else did Galileo do?

Among other things, he discovered that there are other planets that have their personal moons, and that gravity isn’t partial to heavier objects.

I know that this is merely tip of the iceberg of Galileo’s accomplishments, so click here to read more.