The Picture of Oscar Wilde – Caricature, Portrait, Reflection?

A few hours ago I finished reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the second time. When I had read it the first time, I was too young to understand the complexities the lie under the surface of the story.

In the preface of the book, Oscar Wilde says:

The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.

Reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” after having read about Oscar Wilde’s own life, made me reflect on the character of Dorian Gray representing Oscar Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred Douglas in form and personality, but in his need to experiment and “feel” life, he appears closer to Oscar Wilde himself.

Despite my current pre-occupation with a deeper and more profound expression of art, I found myself caricaturing Oscar Wilde as a reflection of himself. I think that “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” lies on the cusp between realism and romanticism – and presents Wilde’s internal conflict not only about his sexual identity (for which he was arrested) but also about his leanings toward aestheticism.

Thus, I see Oscar Wilde as Dorian Gray, the Caliban who doesn’t want to see realism (his own aging portrait,) and who is tired of romanticism (the ideal forever young face that he has – because he knows that it’s unreal and not his own.)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I present to you the picture and reflection of Oscar Wilde in the half-truth of Dorian Gray.

Caricature Portrait Reflection Picture of Oscar Wilde Dorian Gray Alfred Douglas and Caliban.

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Queen Elizabeth II becomes the Longest-reigning British Monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II (British Monarch: 6 February 1952 to Present.)Caricature Portrait Color Painting of Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch of Britain. Overtakes Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria who reigned as the Queen of United kingdom from 20 June 1837  to 22 January 1901, and who also remote-ruled India from 1 May 1876 to 22 January 1901, has been dethroned as the longest reigning British Monarch by Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria was Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great-grand-mother, so she might’ve been genetically pre-disposed to long reigns.  Queen Elizabeth II never ruled India. (her reign upon the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Nations began on 6 February 1952, almost 7 years after India gained independence from the British.)

And yet, the fascination of the British with their monarchy never fails to amuse me. Perhaps they love to keep alive their connection with their glorious past, when the British, being the tiny nation they were, had conquered more than half the world. I don’t understand the reason why, and yet and as an artist I can’t marvel at the beauty of her crown, her dress, and her bearing. This is perhaps why I painted her caricature a couple of years ago.

I’ll end with an honest quote from Her Majesty The Queen.

I have to be seen to be believed.
– Queen Elizabeth II

Gallery

Some Recent Works – Caricatures and Deviations.

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Caricatures of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for the American Spectator Magazine.

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to caricature two most talked about talk-show hosts of America: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Most of my readers are aware of the pains I take to hide my ability to travel through time. But as they say, it’s impossible for talent to stay hidden for long. Someone must’ve blabbed about my ability to time-travel, to the American Spectator Magazine. They hired me and my time-machine to transport Limbaugh and Hannity into the past, dress them up as the nobility of those times, and transform them into pamphleteers!

While I usually don’t like to take passengers on my trips into the past, I couldn’t refuse this particular offer. After all, these two distinguished gentlemen have been striving hard to make America see the pluses of Conservative thought. I also knew that they’ve each got about 15 million viewers of their talk-shows, and if only 1% of their viewers thought that they looked awesome in their retro-gear, and decided to hire me as their fashion-designer, I’d be famous too.

So this caricaturist hauled up this precious cargo to the past, dressed ’em up in wigs’n frills, made ’em stand in front of a printing press, handed ’em those pamphlets to pose with – and shot this picture. Then she got ’em back, took out her wand and used the obliviate spell to wipe their memories of this event. (This is why they’d deny ever accompanying me on this trip!)

Here’s a snapshot of the magazine on my desk 🙂

Caricatures-Rush-Limbaugh-Sean-Hannity-American-Spectator-November-2013

Click for Larger View.

I know that you’d like to see the details of their dresses (especially, if you were to hire me as your fashion-designer,) so here’s the closeup.

Caricatures of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity - Talk Show hosts - Illustrated for the American Spectator Magazine - November 2013 issue.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

Both these gentlemen have their websites too. Check them out at:

I’ll return with more next week, when Bigsaw Classic arrives on the App Store 🙂 In the meantime, download and play with Bigsaw Designer – a custom picture puzzle-making machine for your iPad.

Abraham Lincoln’s Color Caricature – This should brighten everyone’s day!

I’ve returned from Qo’noS, 2375. I believe the members of Martok’s family were reasonably satisfied with my work, which is usually more than what a caricaturist can expect.

It must’ve been late at night when my pod entered the iOS7-iPhone 5C-charged atmosphere of earth. If you know me, you know that I hate the new buttons and I hate the fact that Steve Jobs told Tim Cook that he should run Apple the way Tim wanted to run it and not the way Steve would’ve run it. I think that made Tim Cook guilt-free. I mean who puts a hardware designer on UI design?!!! Only Tim Cook.

In the next few days, I expect people to start hating the new buttons more vociferously on the social media, and then Jobs will appear in Cook’s dream telling him to get the glossies back.

When I got out of the pod, I stepped on a piece of virtual paper that had colored circles on it. Curiosity made me pick it up (yeah, don’t start thinking that I go around picking stuff up from the ground.) It was Apple’s invitation. Drat. I had missed it, and the pod had disappeared – so I could only time-travel to the conference if I cranked up my clunky tin-box, which works on the invalid principle of going faster than light; and I wasn’t going to do that. The prospects of traveling in it repelled me, especially after having experienced the awesome Klingon time-pod!

Cutting a long story short, I must tell you that the launch of iPhone 5C in those drool-worthy candy-colors reminded me of my color caricatures that I had painted before time-and-space-hopping to Klingon.

Here’s Abraham Lincoln’s Caricature for you. This is based on the black-and-white illustration of Lincoln that I did a few years ago.

Color Caricature - American President Abraham Lincoln - Digital Painting - Shafali

Actual Size at 300 dpi: 12 inches by 12 inches (the above image is cropped on the sides.)

 

Here’s the black and white illustration once again 🙂

Caricature/Sketch of Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the US who led America through the Civil War of 1861-65, and ended Slavery.

What is he thinking?

 

I’ll return with an important post for Moms and Dads, so if you’ve a young child at home and you are wondering whether he or she’s possessed by the gremlins of art, I’ll give you some pointers to help you in your quest.

 

 

Caricature/Cartoon – George Washington voices his opinion on Gun Control – A Painting of the First President of the United States.

I painted this framed caricature-portrait of George Washington yesterday. This morning, I added the small table with the flower vase, and then…I became me and added the cellophane taped paper with his name to the wall. I know that the taped paper is an eye-sore…and this is precisely why I had to add it 🙂

A Caricature Cartoon painting of George Washington, the first President of the US.

About George Washington:

George Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and he became the first President of America. He was born in a affluent family but he lost his father early in life. He served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and fought the British Forces. When in 1783, the Continental Army won, George Washington resigned because he didn’t want the nation to continue with dictatorship.

Washington also presided over the committee that drafted the US constitution. Later he was elected the President of the US in 1789.

George Washington’s education was interrupted due to his father’s untimely death. In those days, most of the affluent planter families that had arrived in the US from England, would send their sons to England for their education. Washington, however, was home-tutored, and when he was fifteen and he could’ve got an appointment in the Royal Navy, his mom created a ruckus. Through their contacts (perhaps the brazen use of “contacts” is something that Indians picked from the British?) he got the job of a surveyor.

One thing led to another and in 1789 America had its first President.

George Washington’s Death:

In 1797, Washington had retired and gone back to his plantation. Two years later he caught cold while he was out inspecting his plantation. When his condition worsened, he decided to drain some blood out of his body – as he believed that removing some blood could help him fight is illness. Unfortunately it didn’t.

Those days and these days…

I can’t stop myself from making this observation – from the days of Washington, who “couldn’t tell a lie” … to the days of Bill Clinton (200 years later,)  who lied when under oath in reference to Monicagate! America was built by people with strong value systems…those systems are weakening…and the symptoms are everywhere. It’s also important to note that those who built America weren’t the socialists, and this is why the country thrived. I am not a political commentator so I’ll stop now, and let you form your own opinions.

George Washington Quotes:

  • Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are peoples’ liberty’s teeth!
  • The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.
  • If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. (Did I get it wrong, or did he have slaves who did all the work on his plantations?)
  • It’s better to be alone than in bad company.
  • The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it. (I totally agree – and this is why I hated The Roast – The Trump Roast is the only one I watched – and it will remain the only one!)

When I read that first quote, I had to create the following picture 🙂 So, if you aren’t in favor of gun-control, you may appreciate it.

George Washington on Gun-Control:

Caricature, Cartoon of George Washington the first president of the US and the architect of the American Constitution voices his opinion on gun control.

Pencil Knight – An Addiction that doesn’t Kill…keeps the Caricaturist away.

The caricaturist was gone again.

She wasn’t thawing in a polar bear’s belly, nor was she whisked off to Atlantis; and no, she wasn’t invited by her double in the parallel dimension either.

She was with Pencil Knight.

I won’t say a lot more for the next 36 hours, but here’s a picture of the gentleman I am talking about.

Pencil Knight - a Tilting Finger Balancing Game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

That look in his eyes…oooooh…
That smile on his lips…mmmmm…ah!

Now the question.

In 36 hours you’ll know the right answer. (Hint: All the analytical reader has to do to arrive at the right answer is, find the clues hidden in this post)  In any event, I’ll be posting again…tomorrow 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon of Pope Francis I – Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina becomes the first Jesuit Pope.

Presenting the Caricature of Pope Francis I.

Caricature, cartoon, pen and ink color drawing of Pope Francis I - the first Non-European to become Pope.

 

Here are the details of the face and the dimensions of the image.

The caricature/Cartoon of Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) - pen and ink drawing with color.

Remember?

  • After Pope Benedict XVI resigned, they said – They aren’t going to elect a man in his late seventies…again.
  • They also said – It would be very difficult for them to change course and elect a non-European as a pope.
  • And then they said – Pope must be someone who has a non-controversial record.

Pope Francis’ election has proved them wrong on all the three counts.

He is 76, an Argentine (thus, a Non-European) and has been embroiled in his share of controversies. He is also a traditionalist who is against gay-marriages and considers them the work of the Devil.

Pope Francis I – A Brief Biography

Jorge (Mario) Bergoglio is an Argentine who was born to Italian parents (on December 17, 1936.) His father worked in the railways and his mother was a housewife. He studied Chemistry and worked as a Chemistry technician before he decided to become a priest at the age of 22, and entered the Society of Jesus. It was another 9 years before he actually became a priest.

He is known for his humility and austerity. He could’ve become Pope in 2005 but he appealed to his fellow Cardinals that they shouldn’t vote for him and vote for Ratzinger (his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.)

More about Jorge Bergoglio

In his protest against the bill that would legalize Gay Marriages in Argentina, he wrote,
“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

(Read this article here.)

There is also a lot of talk in Argentina about his being associated with the disappearance of two Jesuit Priests.

But beyond this,
the new Pope is known to be a simple man. He is considered to be someone who understand power-play, and who is perceived to have to capability to steer the Vatican ship through today’s troubled waters.

A few other things…

  • He had to get one of his lungs removed due to an infection, when he was quite young.
  • In the last 1000 years, he is the first Pope (after Pope John Paul I) who has chosen a new name for himself.
  • He is the first Jesuit to have become the Pope.
  • He is also the first non-European to become Pope in the last 1200 years. (He still is a person of Italian (European?) origin.)
  • He is opposed to same-sex marriages, abortions, and artificial insemination.

Pope Francis’s unrequited Love

I can’t stop myself from editing this post to include this wonderful news. Finally, an info-byte that makes me feel connected with the Pope.

Amalia Damonte who still lives in the same house where she grew up (at 555 Membranilla Street in the Flores district of Buenos Aires (the capital of Argentina,)) was proposed to by a young boy called Jorge Bergoglio. He was 12 and she was 13…and she is the reason why Jorge Bergoglio is Pope Francis now. Had she not turned down his proposal, he wouldn’t have embraced priesthood – for his letter told her in no uncertain terms – that if she didn’t agree to become his wife, he’d become a priest. He was quite serious about the matter as she’s got it in black and white…or whatever was the color of the ink that Jorge favored when he was young.

So…you see now. There’s a woman behind every successful man…even the Pope 🙂

Now, he is the leader of 1.2 Billion Catholics world-wide.

(Interestingly, India’s population is 1.2 Billion too.)

Read the text of his first Speech from the Pope’s Balcony  overlooking St. Peter’s Square here.

Color Caricature/Cartoon – Peter Criss: The American Spectator Inspires the Caricaturist to Paint.

If you’ve known this caricaturist for a while, you know that when left to her own devices, she picks up a pencil and draws black-and-white caricatures. She then expects people to swoon over her black and white drawings, conveniently forgetting that the world loves colors. (She obviously won’t let go of this opportunity to compare herself with the Great Mr. Henry Ford who was happy making black cars, telling people that they could have any color as long as it was black.)

So when on February 5th, she opened her mailbox to find an email from the American Spectator, asking her to paint the color-caricatures of  three famous rock stars of the twentieth century, she looked at the deadline and moaned. Three color caricatures in five-and-a-half days…and of rock-stars (I am tone-deaf, remember?)

The good news is – I did it 🙂 The short and succinct “looks great!” from the other side of the world, kept me fueled up.

Here’s Mr. Peter Criss a.k.a. the Catman. He was the drummer of the Rock band KISS. The caricature accompanies an article “Rock and Roll is (Mostly) Noise Pollution.

Caricature/Cartoon of Peter Criss Painted for the American Spectator Magazine.

The concept asked for Peter Criss (in his Catman costume) checking out the thesaurus, as the article is an interesting review of the mad-rush of rock-star autobiographies.

The text “Makeup? or… Breakup?” twists the title of his autobiography “Makeup to Breakup,” to build a connection with his checking out the thesaurus. I left the sticks on the ground – unattended…for now, because the autobiography takes up his attention.

What I loved painting the most?

That white face and those gloved hands…getting those highlights right was fun…and of course, it was a novel experience. You don’t paint a Catman every day.

The Color-scheme

You could look at it from a distance of 10 feet and figure out that the caricature plays out a complementary color-theme. I didn’t think about it then, but as you’ll see in the other caricatures too – they all turned out to follow the complementary color-theme. I guess it was an intuitive need to balance the colors.

Guess that’s all for now 🙂

(Note: I know that many of my visitors arrive here to read my verbal-caricatures. If I’ve disappointed you, I am sorry – but I’d recommend that you pick up a copy of The American Spectator and read “Rock and Roll is (Mostly) Noise Pollution.” I don’t have the nerve to write anything after reading that :))

Caricature/Cartoon – President Barack Obama wins Second Term and another chance.

President Barack Obama won the 2012 Elections. I am speechless. I’d rather let this caricature be what you want it to be.   You are welcome to add your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

For more (…and undiluted) caricatures of President Barack Obama, click here.

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing of US President Barack Obama having won the Presidential Election 2012.

Actual Image – Pencil drawing – Black & White – Size: 8 inches by 11 inches. Drawing Mutilation in Photoshop.

Caricature/Cartoon – Mitt Romney – The Republican Presidential Candidate in the 2012 US Elections

The next stopover in Governor Mitt Romney‘s campaign is the blog of this caricaturist. Of course, he doesn’t know about it yet. While you may find this caricature of Romney a tad unflattering and you may also feel like suggesting that this caricature definitely cannot be a campaign poster for Mr. Mitt Romney. Yet, if you’ve been following him, he might just end up doing another political gaffe by actually picking up this caricature for his poster.

Which caricature, you ask?

Well, this one 🙂

Mitt Romney's Gaffes - A Visual Interpretation - A Caricature, Cartoon, and Sketch of Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential Candidate in the 2012 US Elections.

(It isn’t looking bright and nice because it’s a photograph of the drawing, with enough shadows of the paper’s grain to make it almost un-usable. The drawing is 8 inches by 11 inches, and I will scan it the day I get my scanner repaired, which may take a long time…actually.)

The regular visitors of my blog must’ve slipped into the lazy habit of expecting the shortest possible biography of the person I caricature. To indulge them, here’s a short and crisp bio on this gentleman, who was once on the list of the top 50 most beautiful people in the world, by one of those best-of-the-best kind of magazines – People Magazine.

Mitt Romney – A Short Biography

Mitt Romney was born in 1947. He was born to a rich and influential couple (naturally, his silver spoon-fed childhood has attracted many unsavory comments from his political rivals,) but he wasn’t a spoiled little brat, ever. While he wasn’t Einsteinian bright at school, he did quite well at college, and graduated with a degree in law and management both, from Harvard. He got married in 1969, at a young age of 22.

He started his professional career with BCG (Boston Consultancy Group) and then moved on to Bain Capital, the organization that he helped turn around (and also gave his rivals, tons of ammunition to bore holes through his good will hunting.)

To make a long story short, Romney went from one success to another, and ended up becoming the Governor of Massachusetts, one of the most progressive states in the US.

He is now contesting the US Presidential Elections against US President Barack Obama.

The Subject of this Caricature = Romney – the Gaffe-Vending Machine

Perhaps he has stopped, but I am not sure, because long time habits aren’t very easy to break, and this habit has lasted Romney the entire election season. Romney has damaged his chances of winning the elections by saying stuff that no sane politician ever utters in the public. For instance he made the 47% American Non-Tax-payers remark, which didn’t go down well with many Americans (Obviously, including the 47% that he was talking about.) Romney made another statement about the Middle Class American being defined as someone who earns less than 200,000 USD a year, which obviously implied that he had no idea of what the average American takes home. He also expressed his heart-ache over his dad not being born of Mexican parents (it would’ve given him opportunities that he didn’t get…perhaps.)

I think that if he weren’t so rich, and if he could express himself in a more politically-correct manner, he would win. While he still can win (at the time of making this post, an opinion poll gives Romney a lead of 5 solid points over Obama,) yet there’s now a cloud of doubt that hangs over his victory.

Obama vs. Romney

I rooted for Obama in the last elections. Quite like the Americans who voted him in, I expected him to change things. Perhaps he did change something, but I am yet to understand it. Osama bin Laden was caught and killed. Fine. The auto-industry was saved – much appreciated. The unemployment numbers began to drop, but only very recently. Will they continue to climb, after Obama is re-elected? What I wonder is – whether all this would’ve not happened, had someone else been at the helm of affairs. Oh…another reason, for my rooting for Obama was John McCain – I just could imagine him as the President of the US. He didn’t look presidential enough to this caricaturist.

These elections, I am not sure. If only Romney conducts himself better, if only he doesn’t let religious biases affect political decisions, if only…

I guess I am not sure.

I am just happy that I made at least one caricature of Romney, to tell you that I am not biased 🙂

Caricatures/Cartoons of President Barack Obama – Mitt Romney’s Coming Soon.

Click here to view President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term 🙂

It’s time for Americans to choose their new President.

I’ve followed the three Presidential and one Vice-Presidential Debates closely; I’ve seen the Aggressive Romney of the first debate turn somewhat docile over the past one month. I believe that Romney has the expertise to put the house in order. I am not sure of his foreign policy though. I’ve been thinking of creating a caricature of Romney for a very long time (truth be told, I already have a digital one ready, but that was created when I hadn’t watched Romney talk…at least I hadn’t seen him talk long enough to really understand how his features worked together to create various expressions.) Now, after all these debates, I feel that I need to make another caricature of his. I am working on it, I assure you.

In the meantime, let me show you all the Obama Caricatures that I’ve published on this blog in the past three years.

Obama Care – Cynically yours (2012)

Caricature of Barack Obama - 2012 US Presidential Elections - Health-care Bill Upheld

Penalty or Tax? Whatever! (Published in The Suit Magazine – October 2012 Issue – Copyrighted Image – Contact me or use.)

The Debt Burden  (2011)

Political Cartoons - Caricature of Barack Obama, the US Debt Burden, and S&P reducing the credit rating to AA+

Illustrated for The Suit Magazine – Issue 43 (Copyrighted Image – Contact me for use.)

A Worried President Obama after being elected as President – (Early 2009)

(I know you can’t read the text – but I was just beginning :))

Two pups reflect over President Barack Obama's worries about Bo.

What’s he thinking?

I will be back with Mitt Romney’s Caricature…soon 🙂 Until then…stay happy!

Those forgotten caricatures…

Dear Friends of this crazy caricaturist,

My guilty conscience is arm-twisting me into making this post, but then just as what you say when a gun is being held to your temple is always the truth, so is this statement of apology, and the contents therein.

I’ve got those caricatures (Keira Knightley etc.) sketched and ready to be launched remorselessly on my poor unsuspecting visitor, but I haven’t posted them yet. Why? Because this caricaturist isn’t happy being a caricaturist, she wants her caricatures to tell stories. So when she draws this caricature of Robert De Niro or this caricature of Stalin, she isn’t happy. She wants to create something like this caricature of Morgan Freeman or this caricature of Hitler!

Shhhh…listen up. Someone’s whispering bad-somethings about the caricaturist.

Alter-Kreacher: Nasty, nasty caricaturist… with tons of gender-bias! She isn’t bothered about her male visitors at all or she’d also mention this caricature of Pamela Anderson – the only one she’s made that can make a feeble attempt of tickling her male visitor’s fantasies.

Shafali the Caricaturist: Disappear, you snake! Go sink your poisonous fangs somewhere else, or the caricaturist will use an 8B to blacken them out! This caricaturist is completely aware of the viewing needs of her male visitors! She has drawn another caricature that’s bound to make the male visitors do a double-take, though she’d advise caution. Remember the caricature of Sarah Palin?! Now go kill yourself.

Alter-Kreacher: <shuffles away mumbling.>

(I’d like to thank Ms. JK Rowling for creating Kreacher and Warner Brothers for making the movie “Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix“, which I watched yesterday, and which inspired Alter-Kreacher.)

Now that Alter-Kreacher has gotten his much-deserved kick-in-the-butt, let me assure you that Ms. Keira Knightley’s caricature will be here soon, and so will be some others. It’s just that I am usually working on about 10 projects at a time, of which 2 are the food-on-the-table variety, and I end up giving priority to those projects. I know…foolish, foolish me. Did I learn nothing from Van Gogh? His methods couldn’t make him famous and rich when he was alive, but at least they made many others rich and Van Gogh famous, after he died. Wondering what I am talking about? Read, “The 4 Types of Artists – Starving, Dying, Dead, and Rich!

I’ll return soon…

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Adam has got his priorities right – Eve waits in queue while the Devil tries to figure it out!

You know something? We’ve found a solution to the problems of the world!

What solution?!

Here’s a clue.

Cartoon (pen and ink drawing) of Adam with iPad, while Eve stands forgotten - with her apple of course, while the serpent tries to figure it out.

Adam, Eve, and the iPad (Pen and Ink Drawing - Original Size: 12" x 12")

And I am not exaggerating…no Sir, I am not.

  • When I go for my morning walk, I often see this couple (if you could call them that) walk together in complete silence – both plugged into their respective iPods.
  • When I visit restaurants, I see pretty girls batting their eyelashes, patting their hair in place, fixing their make-up; all so that they could catch the attention of their boy-friends, who appear to be happily lost in their iPhones or iPads!
  • And now, they tell me that Apple has reported that they’ve sold 3 Million iPads ever since they launched it on March 16th (and it’s not even two weeks since!) Whoa! I guess many more Eves would be playing second fiddle to the iPad – right?

In my opinion, if every man on earth could be given an iPad, we should be able to tackle the population problem, which is the root of all our other problems! You get my drift?

(Women? They buy iPads for sure, but they’ve got their priorities mixed up – I mean why must I want to cook dinner and not play a game on my iPad? Go figure!)

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 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.

Eurozone Debt Crisis – Part 3 of 3 – Caricature/Cartoon of Angela Merkel the Chancellor of Germany.

Updated: September 22, 2013 – Angela Merkel becomes the Chancellor of Germany for her third term.

View Merkel’s color caricature painted for this occasion.

Caricature, Cartoon, illustration of Angela Merkel - winning the 2013 Bundestag elections - Germany.

Click to view Angela Merkel’s Color Caricature

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Read the other two parts of this story at the following links:

Now presenting the fourth most powerful person in the world today – Ms. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germanywith the ropes that bind her.

Caricature and Cartoon of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor restrained from acting in the Eurozone crisis - A portrait and a sketch.

Angela Merkel and the Eurozone Crisis

Angela Merkel has been criticized for dragging her feet on the Eurozone Debt Crisis Issue. She’s been asking for the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) to curtail their expenditure and take other fiscal measures (that were criticized as draconian by many – as they’d put more pressure on the economies of these already weak economies.) She was also against the issue of the Common Bonds by ECB, perhaps because Germany being the strongest economy in the Eurozone would suffer the most by supporting the ECBs.

Recently, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy managed to convince her (and as Sarkozy and Merkel have been working closely on this issue, the paparazzi is affectionately calling the pair, Merkozy,) that the two have to lead the Euro and the Eurozone out of this crisis.

Angela Merkel’s Shortest Bio on the Web

Angela was born in a pastor’s family in Hamburg, on July 17, 1954. She studied Physics, earned a Ph.D. in Quantum Chemistry, and then worked as a Chemist (wow! And I thought that politics and scientific aptitude could never coexist. I mean how could you be diplomatic yet objective. Imagine a scientist saying “We are deliberating over the boiling point of water and if more than half the parliamentarian say that it’s 50 degrees centigrade, it shall be “constitutional-ized” as 50 degrees.)

In 1990 (after the Berlin Wall fell), she discovered her true calling and she joined the Christian Democratic Union (which is a political party and not a religious one,) and was elected to the Bundestag, thus she became the Minister for Women and Youth (what’s the difference – I mean, between women and youth…oh…oh. I get it. All women are young, but not all youth are women!) Then Helmut Kohl the then Chancellor of Germany lost (Merkel may have had some hand in his defeat, as she criticized Kohl and said that she favored a party sans Kohl,) in the 1998 elections and she became the Sec-Gen of CDU. Though she was made the party leader in 2000, but in the 2002 elections she couldn’t become the chancellor. Eventually, in 2005 she achieved her dream and became the first female chancellor of Germany. However, her popularity grew in the coming years, and in 2009 she was re-elected with an overwhelming majority.

Merkel’s Standpoint on Multiculturalism

In October 2010, Merkel said that the Germans are attached to the Christian concept of mankind and that it defines the Germans. She also said that the immigrants should either integrate with Germany’s culture and values or leave.

Angela Merkel’s Love-Life

(You know that your favorite caricaturist is ridiculously romantic!)

It’s clear to me (it could well be make-believe too – because I can hardly see anything that’s more than a few feet away from me,) that Angela Merkel’s first love is Germany. Next in line, asking for her love and finding it perhaps is the crystal clear logic of science. It’s only after having talked about these two loves that one must speak of her first husband Ulrich Merkel or her second husband Professor Joachim Sauer, who is a quantum chemist and if we are to believe the web-rumor-mill, who may get a Nobel prize for his work. Merkel’s got no children.

(I see about 90% of the women of this world screeching, “whaaat? no kids? what’s wrong with her? That poor mite. She’s not experienced the greatest of all joys that a woman can ever experience…” And I also see Merkel shaking her head in disbelief and saying – “Hey, I’ve known a few other joys – for instance, the joy of success, the joy of knowledge, the joy of power…” but then, even she’d lose her chancellor-ship in the next elections, if she dared to voice such an opinion – but then this entire thing that I’ve written here is fiction – isn’t it?)

Some Special Merkel-Bytes:

  • She was in “The World’s 100 Most Powerful women” in 2006, 7, 8, 9, and 11!
  • Believe it or not, she was even given the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for the year by the Indian Government.
  • She’s been called the Iron Lady, Iron Girl, Iron Frau…and has been compared to Margaret Thatcher.
  • She was personally present at the M100 Media Award handover to Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who was criticized for making a cartoon that inflamed the Islamist sensibilities. She’s been praised for this brave move to support freedom of speech.
  • However, Merkel has also supported the introduction of islamic education in classroom.

Read the other two parts of this story at the following links: