Pran – The Creator of Chacha Chaudhary and Shrimati Ji (1938-2014) – Memories of a brush with his Work.

I am writing this post in honor of Pran, the artist who gave India its own super-hero. At the onset, I confess that as a child, I didn’t appreciate his work; I also confess that today, when he is no more and when finally my daily newspaper decided to publish his interview (given to Alok Sharma in 2009,) I appreciate all that he did and understand why his work has a historical significance.

In these moments of realization, I sketched his portrait.

cartoonist-pran-portrait-sketch-of-the-comic-artist-creator-chacha-chaudhary-shrimatiji-saboo

Pran – The Creator of the Comic Strips, Chacha Chawdhary and Shrimati Ji. (1938-2014) R. I. P.

 

Pran was born in 1938, in Kasur, which is now in Pakistan. Like many others who had to leave their home, their occupation, their land, and their way of life, and move to India; Pran arrived in India as a nine year-old son of a family that had to start their life from scratch. He liked to draw, but in the India of those days art could only be a pastime of the kings and the nobles; obviously his parents were against the idea of Pran becoming an artist.

Before I recant his story further, let me draw a picture of those times for you. Pran must have been about twenty or so when he began sending his cartoons to magazines and newspapers. So we are taking about late-fifties. That was the time of no Internet, no computers, and no Photocopiers. All that was available was carbon paper. In all probability, when Pran sent his work to the editors, he either redrew the cartoons entirely, or he put a couple of carbons underneath the master to create copies. He could obviously not trace more than three copies in a row, because the lower-most copies in the stack would become dull and useless. So he must’ve tediously gone through the process of tracing them again and again; or worse drawing them again and again.

I salute his hard work and his dedication towards his work. Those of us who crab about how difficult things are for an artist (include me among them,) must be ashamed of ourselves. True, there was hardly any competition back then, but remember that artists like Pran had to break new grounds. In his interview, he recalls how he met the editor of Dharmayug, Mr. Dharamveer Bharti, and convinced him of running cartoons to supplement the poems that the magazine published. Guess what. Mr. Bharti gave him a chance, and his work accompanied the poetry of some great Hindi poets such as Dinkar, Nirala, and Pant .

And yet, his biggest gift to India was Chacha Chaudhary. He looked at the western comic heroes and thought that the Indian kid must have an Indian hero. Indians aren’t big and muscular, he thought, they aren’t all that good-looking either; but they are super-smart. So he created Chacha Chaudhary, the old turbaned man with a frayed-toothbrush mustache, who was small in stature, but who was the wisest and the smartest guy in the neighborhood. Chacha Chaudhary was the Indian male and relatively active counterpart of Miss Marple, who solved all kinds of crimes – small and big.

Chacha Chaudhary was my first brush with Pran’s work. I was nine, and totally in love with Amar Chitra Katha and Indrajal comics. I was shortly going step into teenage and  fall in love with Bahadur (character conceptualized by Abid Surti and illustrated by Govind Brahmania), but I hadn’t met that dashing young man until then. We were taking a train home, and one of my uncles bought me a couple of comics at the railway station. As is always the case, the child is never consulted about what he, especially she would like to read. So I ended up with a Chacha Chaudhary and if I remember right, a Lot-pot. My father saw that I had a couple of comic books in my hand, so he skipped buying me more, which meant that I was saddled with two comics that I had never read before and that, in this odd child’s opinion, had somewhat uninspiring covers. I was a kid who loved mythology and who loved beautifully drawn pictures; who’d not let my father buy an Amar Chitra Katha that didn’t have a specific kind of nice looking drawings (which I later discovered were all done by Pratap Mullick.) So, the comics were hastily flipped through; and then I demanded my kind of comics. A nine-year-old can be very persistent – so on the next big station, I got what I wanted, and the two almost unread comics were promptly seized by the other kids in the train compartment.

But the point is…
all those other kids devoured those comics and from the looks on their faces, savored them too. I still remember the scene, and also the twinge that I felt…I wanted the comics back – but that couldn’t have happened. What was given away was given away. I never read another comic by Pran, except of course, the comic strip Shrimati Ji that appeared in Sarita, that my mom used to subscribe to. And yet, I kept seeing Chacha Chawdhary on the stalls and in the hands of kids everywhere. That’s what Pran achieved; and that’s what makes him great – he reached kids. Only a handful of snotty kids like me preferred the heavily illustrated stuff; only a handful of us were left out when a conversation about Chacha Chaudhary and Saboo broke out. Then there were Pinki, and Billoo, and Rocket…but I never met them. Now I wish I had.

Today, Pran is no more. He succumbed to cancer. He continued to draw through his illness. He continued to bring a smile to the faces of Indian children – with his comics and later with the Chacha Chawdhry TV show.

Today, I understand his work, his strength, his will, and his love for the art of creating happiness. May his soul rest in peace. May his characters live forever.

Pran’s Facebook Page.

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Caricature/Cartoon – Gul Panag – Chandigarh’s AAP Candidate – Indian Elections 2014.

Recently, I had the opportunity to create the following caricature of Gul Panag – the Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Chandigarh.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Poster- Gul Panag- for Game Is Baar Gul Panag - AAP Candidate from Chandigarh - Indian Elections 2014.

 

 

I did this caricature for an Android Game developed by Mr. Gurpreet KANG.  If you own an Android running device, check out “Is Baar Gul Panag” on Google Play.  There’s another game by Mr. KANG that you may want to check it out. It’s called: Is Baar Chalegi Jhadoo. It features a rather cute caricature of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal (Nope. Before you ask, that one’s not done by yours truly.) And yet, I’ve tried capturing Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s Safaai in his caricature here.

About Gul Panag

Read about her, here.

About Chandigarh and Indian Elections 2014

Last evening I chanced upon a cozy tea-time interview of Gul Panag (AAP), Kirron Kher (BJP), and Pawan Bansal (Congress), by who else but Barkha Dutt. You can imagine the scene. Pawan Bansal, literally sandwiched between two dimpled beauties, trying hard to put in a word or two; Kirron Kher in her Punjab di Sherni avatar; and Gul Panag trying to hold her ground the best she could. As they sat there; Gul Panag looked pretty but harrowed, Kirron Kher appeared strong but on the verge of being aggressive (remember, we Indians don’t like aggressive women – but she needs to convince people – Abki Baar Modi Sarkar) and Pawan Bansal seemed to be walking the tightrope between being nice to ladies and not being sidelined. I’d say, it’s an even fight – and I’ll eagerly await the results.

About The Caricaturist

She’s been feeling tired – wearing too many hats, juggling too many things – so the caricaturist has been sleeping a lot – trying to charge up 🙂

 

Caricature/Cartoon – Arvind Kejriwal as Saaf Aadmi

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please join me in welcoming Arvind Kejriwal’s caricature to this blog. Most of you aren’t Indians, so you may not recognize this gentleman. However, I’ll try my best to introduce him to you, so read on 🙂

However, if you are an Indian or an Indo-phile, you will instantaneously recognize this broom-bearing simpleton as the recently Shot-into-Fame Wizard of Delhi’s politics.

Here’s my visualization of Arvind Kejriwal, the new Chief Minister of Delhi.

Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Sketch of Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party - AAP as Saaf Aadmi

Will he? Won’t he?

Note for the International/Devnagri-challenged Audience: His cap states “Main Hoon Saaf Aadmi” or “I am a clean man.”

Arvind Kejriwal’s Shortest Bio on the Web…is here.

Arvind was born in 1968 (and so he’s fairly young to have become a Chief Minister, especially as his dad isn’t a politician,) studied Engineering at IIT-KGP (he was a smart kid – I couldn’t crack the IIT-JEE…so definitely smarter than me,) and then funnily, instead of taking the most common IITian-shortcut to success namely MS in the US, he stayed back and worked for TISCO. Later he joined the IT department and worked there for a while. But then he decided to call it quits and became an RTI (Right to Information) activist.

As this blog’s tradition dictates… I must cut to the chase and talk about stuff that matters. So…

One thing led to another, and Kejriwal found himself working closely with Anna Hazare for the Jan Lokpal Bill. This brought him into limelight (more than the Magsaysay award that he had won in 2006 – because then I hadn’t heard of him…so much for awards.)

He and his team fell out with Anna Hazare when he decided that in order to fight  corruption they will have to enter the political arena. Kejriwal thought that to weed out the corruption in the governmental machinery, they would themselves have to enter the system. Anna Hazare’s opinion was that if they entered politics they too would become dirty.  This resulted in a rift between Hazare and Kejriwal, and they decided to part ways.  Kejriwal and his team formed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with the agenda to clean up the System, and weed out corruption.  

The Delhi Elections resulted in Kejriwal becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi.  Now Kejriwal and his rickety team put together with a band-aid supplied by the Congress Party, is trying to fulfill their 17 promises to the people of Delhi, and his infant party is also preparing to fight the Parliamentary elections this year.

About this Caricature of Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal and his team have a Herculean task ahead because what is corruption to one man is a perfectly honest way of living for another. He has fought white vs. black election for the gray common man. Some among these are closer to white, most are medium gray, and other are closer to black.

The corruption that Kejri cleans up reappears in the system…somewhere else, in some other form – as another “dharna”, as another defection, or as another compromise by the party. Intentions can take you only so far, then you need strength and the ability to make strong decisions…and beyond all this, you need to be there, consistently, for a long time. Systemic changes don’t happen overnight.

This is why the dustbin has a hole and this is why the mice make merry.

The common man still remain where he is – trying to make ends meet through means that he’s learned to use. Some stay corrupt, others made corrupt, and a few honest men and women continue their struggle, working hard hoping that the dustbin will be plugged in their lifetime.

Note for Artists and Readers of “Evolution of a Caricaturist

In the caricature, I wanted to capture Kejriwal’s smile (he’s got a cute smile) and make him appear hopeful and full of trust. This is why I made his features somewhat neotenous (please refer to our discussion on neoteny in the book.) I chose a triangular shape for his face and head (a larger head is a neotenous feature) and focused on his nose, ear, and mouth as the three most important characteristic features. If you relate the exaggeration of the nose and ear to the Feature Frame Method and the corresponding Anchor Points, you’ll be able to follow the entire exaggeration of his face.

If you are interested in exploring the content of the book, you can download this Free pdf here.

Freud’s Cartoon Analyzes Sherlock Holmes’ Psychology while Vladimort, Salman Khan, and the Psycho-Lady Rock and Roll in the Antechamber!

Every couple of months, I look at the searches that bring visitors to my blog, and being the unfeeling brute of a caricaturist that I am, I end up ridiculing the ones that I don’t understand. It’s the classic case of the fox that ended up ridiculing the grapes that she couldn’t reach. So, here I go…

vrrrrroooooom….

1. types of artists

I thought there were four-types – Starving, Dying, Dead, and Rich, and so I wrote about them. While some readers thought that my classification was dead-right, a few felt that I was one bitter artist with tons of venom inside me. Now if a caricaturist didn’t ridicule stuff, who would? President Obama or Chancellor Merkel? So if you are looking for The 4-Types of Artists and you have the ability to digest the venom that I’ve spewed in this book, go ahead, download it Free and wonder why you ever decided to play the high-risk game of becoming an artist.

The 4 Types of Artists - A Verbal Caricature eBook by Shafali the Caricaturist

Click to download in a format of your choice.

2. sherlock holmes psychological analysis

I am not sure I know what you are looking for. The psychological Analysis of Mr. Holmes himself, or the methods of psychological analysis employed by Mr. Holmes. I can help you with the first, but not with the second. I think Mr. Holmes was an artist with a scientific mind, quite like his creator. (Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle was a writer who was a doctor.) Perhaps Dr. Doyle created Mr. Holmes with a missing corpus callosum and so his equally powerful brain-halves were always in sync. While his right brain made him intuitive, creative, and musical; his left brain made him logical and analytical. Together, his abilities and his idiosyncrasies transformed him into a social disaster.

But then you could’ve been looking for the psycho-analytical methods that Mr. Holmes used to solve his cases. If so, I’d recommend that you gave up the search. It isn’t easy to decipher crazy geniuses, especially of the fictional kind…and even when you succeed, you’ll not have Dr. Watson building real-life situations around your incredible talent and impeccable methods.

Mr. Holmes….

Detective Sherlock Holmes

3. vladimort cartoon

I think there’s a demand for a cross of Vlad the impaler and Voldemort (Oops! I named him – I named You Know Who! But wait…isn’t he dead already? I think he died in the seventh book of the Harry Potter Series. Oh God! I’ve lived in that world for so many years that I can’t bring myself to believe that Voldemort’s horcruxes were destroyed by forever-wronged yet forever-loved Harry Potter!)

Let me not meander. If you are a writer hoping to make it big one day, here’s the idea of the decade. There’s this villain who is as evil as they get (Vlad and Voldemort rolled into one) and there’s this sweet young guy or girl carrying the responsibility of ridding this world of evil. Once you are done writing and then done getting it to the agents, and then done getting agents to reading it, and then done with a publisher publishing it, and then done getting it famous – I promise to caricature your villain Vladimort and present him on this blog. In the meantime, I’ll stick with the heroes. Here’s young Mr. Potter for you 🙂

Caricature of the young Harry Potter

4. caricature of salman khan

Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been thinking of drawing Salman Khan’s caricature for the last two years, but I haven’t gotten around to actually making it. In these years, Salman Khan has been doing his best to make me dislike him. He’s called women younger than him “Aunty” (all because they don’t gym-out five-days a week as there lives don’t revolve around biceps, six-packs, and washboard stomachs,) and he has trashed Vivek Oberoi’s career (because his ex-girlfriend Aishwarya used Vivek as a bait)! I can understand “accidents” and “impulse-actions” but I can’t understand studied malice. So, Salman’s Caricature still appears at the bottom of this Caricaturist’s To-Do list.

5. caricature adam et satan

Interesting!
Dear Searcher, do you realize that you are looking for one guy and not two? Adam is Satan…and every once in a while Eve too is. Satan doesn’t live outside of us, nor does God. They live within us. God pulls us towards good and Satan towards evil. When Satan begins to dominate Adam, you get a James Holmes, an Adam Lanza,  a Ted Bundy…and of course, an Adolf Hitler!

Adolf Hitler, Nazi Dictator, German Dicator, Perpetrator of the Holocaust - Satan!

6. sigmund freud cartoon dreams

Sigmund Freud’s Cartoon must definitely dream for if it didn’t, how would Freud go about analyzing those dreams. Freud’s caricature is one of my favorites. Check it out here.

Cartoon, Caricature, Drawing, Portrait, Sketch of Sigmund Freud the man who gave us the Oedipus complex and the freudian slip.

I know what you are thinking.

7. rock and roll cartoons

I love these, and thank you for searching 🙂

Icon Caricature Peter Criss.Icon Caricature Sammy Hagar

Icon Keith Richards caricature

8. viking caricatures

Thanks for the idea. I’ll make one 🙂

9. learn to caricature like Mario Miranda

Don’t. Don’t learn to caricature like anyone. Learn to caricature and develop your own style and methods. Study the methods employed by the Greats, but don’t caricature like they did. Why? Well, for two simple reasons. 1. You’ll deviate from the way you draw and paint – you’ll change your natural style and end up with a contrived style…and be assured – contrived styles look contrived – they never look natural. 2. People will look at your work and see the reflection of Mario Miranda’s work or Ajit Ninan’s or even Uderzo’s!

So, learn to caricature. Period. 🙂

Here are the caricatures of Mario Miranda and Ajit Ninan, caricatured like Shafali 🙂

Mario Miranda (1926 - 2011) with his characters.

Mario Miranda (1926 – 2011) with his characters.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch, or Drawing of Ajit Ninan, the Great Indian Cartoonist (Times of India.)

10. psycho lady cartoon

Check out my avatar 🙂

11. cute husband with nagging wife

Oh yeah! Cute Husband with Nagging Wife! This search smacks of chauvinism, it reeks of gender-bias, it…it…it makes me gnash my teeth and sharpen my claws; it makes me want to sketch a cute wife and a nagging husband – just to spite every chauvinist out there!

12. titanic merkel

She is indeed the Titanic Merkel, isn’t she?

icon-caricature-cartoon-sketch-drawing-portrait-angela-merkel-german-chancellor-and-the-eurozone-crisis

She’s also Merkel the Dragon-slayer!

icon-caricature-cartoon-humor-euro-zone-crisis-angela-merkel-francois-hollande-merkande-merkelande

13. one direction caricature

???
I am sure this has a deep meaning. I just don’t know what. Let me try.

  • It could a coded love-message sent to me by my long-lost college sweetheart.

No?!

  • It could be a caricature of a person looking for directions.

No?!

It could be…
OK. I give up. I’ll stay with the love-message interpretation, then. Now let me check if I’m Mensa Material.

14. shafali.wordpress.com/shafali’s caricatures/evolution of a caricaturist!

Thanks folks. You were looking for my caricatures and you reached the right place. You’ve been my top-searchers for the last quarter and I really, truly appreciate that my caricatures have been the objects of your attention.

I appreciate your visits. Keep visiting – even though I may pick your search term and caricature it 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon – Remembering the Great Indian Cartoonist Mario Miranda

There was a time when cartoons were made of squigglies put together…squigglies that won’t have meaning unless they were supported by oodles of text in form of captions. Then in 1926, a child was born in Goa and he was given the task of banishing the ugly squigglies from the world of publishing. This child was Mario Miranda, who didn’t need to go to an illustration school to master the art of creating riveting characters that spoke to you without words. The words merely embellished his already rich creations further.

With a heavy heart but with tons of gratitude, I present the caricature of Mario Miranda, one of the very few Indian artists who have left behind characters that will always remind us of him.

Mario Miranda (1926 - 2011) with his characters.

In this caricature, most of his fans will be able to identify B.C. Bundaldass, M.C. Moonswami (Bundaldass’s handyman or “side-kick” as Mario used to call him) (I wonder what the B.C. and the M.C. stood for? – Scatological…eh?!) Ms. Rajini Nimbupani (the voluptuous actress,) Ms. Fonseca (the polka-dots-dress-clad secretary with an hour-glass figure,) the loveable little dog.

I made a post about Mario Miranda on June 14th, 2011.  In this post, I also mention that the other Indian cartoonist who makes me feel like becoming a cartoonist, is Ajit Ninan.

The Times of India today carried Ajit Ninan’s tribute to Mario Miranda.

Quoting Ajit Ninan from TOI – Page 10 – December 13, 2011.

“Mario’s work touched the heart. His characterisation of people, particularly the weakness of the male of the species, was superb. He brought home to you the foibles of man through gloriously detailed illustrations of life in the office, on the streets and above all at parties.
In a nutshell, just as Bollywood brought India to the world, Mario brought Bombay to India. His mastery of architecture and of fashion trends was one of the keys to this. Mario’s ornate illustrations of the colonial structures of Mumbai wouldn’t have been possible for anyone with a less sound grasp of architecture.”

and

“He (Mario) was among the few who could use both black and white in roughly equal proportions in an illustration to create what is best described as a harmony of clutter.”

I am convinced that as I write this, Mario Miranda is busy attending parties in heaven, and that his illustrations will shortly be published in the Illustrated Weekly of Heaven.

Caricature Gallery Updated with 12 New Caricatures!

My Dear Visitors of all Genres (furry/fur-less, funny/fun-less, angry/loving, lost/found, past/future, and so on…)

I have bowed to your wishes and updated the Caricature Gallery. For a quick reference for those who’ve missed my more recent additions to this blog. Here are five of the twelve News-makers who got into the Gallery today.

Sarah Palin

The lady who’s got everything that matters. The former Alaskan Governor who could turn the US into a tax-free nation, if you’d vote for her and make her the first woman President of the US – provided she decides to stand for the 2012 Elections!

Alaska's Former Governor known for more than just politics - Sarah Palin's Caricature

——:::——

Osama Bin Laden

You may have forgotten this chap but he hogged the International Terror News for a whole decade, until he was removed from this world along with his stash of pornography. Does that ring a bell? Here’s this caricature of OBL, which I drew while watching the news on CNN. Why six dozen presumably virtuous virgins would want him is totally beyond me.

Caricature of a Dead Terrorist - Osama bin Laden——:::——

Muammar Gaddafi

His supporters would kindly excuse me for misspelling his name (if I did) but this guy holds the Guinness World Book record for the most variably spelled-name. Gaddafi’s caricature is one of my favorites. It shall remain contextual until Gaddafi either decides (or is made to decide,) to let go of Libya. If I were you, I’d click the following icon to check out his costume. If you are a normal non-antiperspirant-user kind of person – one look at his costume could drown you in your own sweat!

The dictator who refuses to step down as the Head of Libya - A Caricature of Muammar Gaddafi——:::——

Nicolas Sarkozy

He is the colorful President of France, known more for his wife Carla Bruni than for his work (or so I presume, because I see more of his wife’s pictures than I see his.) I should also add that now that they are expecting their first child, Sarkozy’s smile and Carla’s baby-bump are both expanding exponentially.

Caricature of Carla Bruni's Husband and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy——:::——

Anna Hazare

This unassuming gentleman is responsible for a shortage of sleeping pills in New Delhi. The politicians have been popping them by the dozen, as Anna Hazare makes them dance to a Gandhian Remix. Whether or not he’d prevail is yet to be seen. In my humble opinion, why would an innocent young man want to ever become a politician if the carrot of corruption is made to disappear from the system?

An Honest Man fights Corruption in India - A Pen and Ink Portrait of Anna Hazare——:::——

Thanks 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon of Ajit Ninan – The Great Indian Cartoonist.

Presenting Ajit Ninan, the Indian Cartoonist who breaks all established standards of quality in cartooning.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch, or Drawing of Ajit Ninan, the Great Indian Cartoonist (Times of India.)

I foraged the web to ferret out some information on Ajit Ninan, but returned empty-handed. I don’t know when he celebrates his birthday, I don’t really know a lot about his early life, and except for a few details, I know nothing about his professional life.

So what does the Caricaturist do when faced with a blank page?

She closes her eyes and lets her thoughts travel into the past, where she sees a young boy with a dimpled smile, who would become the Ajit Ninan whose drawings tell her that there are people who refuse to kill their skill – come what may.

Here’s the story of this little boy, who became one of the two Indian Cartoonists who’ve made me experience both pride and joy in equal measures.

The Caricaturist concocts a story:

Leave the Roses and Embrace the Thorns

He loved the afternoons. Hyderabadi afternoons were scathingly hot during this time of the year but the heat didn’t deter him from enjoying them. He’d walk back from school with his friends, feeling under the hot glare of the Sun on his brow, his arms, and his spindly legs only half covered by the shorts of his school uniform; but he always looked forward to the afternoons. They were his to do whatever his heart desired. Deep inside he felt that whatever he might end up doing all his life – these afternoons would remain etched in his memories forever.

This was one of those unforgettable afternoons. Ajit had returned from school, and after a quick snack of Idiyappam that his mother had made for him, he was now lying on his stomach, with his feet up in the air – letting the coolness of the marble floor seep into his body. His sketchbook lay open in front of him and propped upon his left elbow, he drew in it feverishly. He had wanted to finish the drawing of that toy car before his father arrived home from work. He looked over his shoulder to check the clock in the living room. It was past four already!

He returned to his drawing, and then drew away to look at the whole picture. What should he do with wheel? Should it be a little bigger? Would it look funnier if he made it bigger…a lot bigger than the other one?

Thoughts swirled about in his mind, blocking everything else…reducing the sounds around him to an unrecognizable medley – the slight hum of his mother’s voice in the kitchen, the distant din of the vendors in the street, even the creaking sound of the door opening…

So when he heard his name being called in his father’s loud but stern voice, Ajit almost jumped out of his skin. The drawing pencil shot out of his hand and landed under his table that was set near the window, and his sketchbook lay open on the floor – the proof of his being a wayward son.

“What are you doing?”
“Nothing, Father.”
“Doesn’t look like nothing to me,” his father took a step forward. Ajit shrunk away. He wished he had listened to his intuition, but then his father never came home early. What was different today? And then it clicked. His parents had to attend a wedding today! While Ajit’s revved-up mind was busy figuring out all this, his father had picked up the sketchbook.

Ajit held the edge of the table to steady himself. This was going to be one of those days.

“You made all these?” His father asked.
Isn’t it obvious? It’s my sketchbook, isn’t it? Ajit thought.
“Yes, Father,” he said.
“You think that these scribblings would get you a job?”
“…
“You think that I am spending on your education, so that you could become a painter?”
“…
“How many marks did you get in Math last year?”
“…
“How many? I am asking you a question. Answer it.”
“45,” quaked Ajit.
“45. 45 out of 100! How you’ll ever make it into Engineering is beyond me.”

“Tell me. How will you ever become an engineer, if you go on neglecting Math for these…these…” his father struggled to find the right word.
“Drawings?” Ajit couldn’t stop himself from supplying the word, but regretting it immediately after.
“Drawings. Yes. You are good at making these – and this skill will help you a lot when you study engineering. These tractors, these jeeps, these pumps…” he continued as he flipped through Ajit’s sketchbook, while Ajit waited for the tirade to end.

It ended, as always, when his mother intervened. Oh, how he loved her. She was the only one in the whole family, who truly supported his love for drawing – but even she fretted about his future. If only he could prove them wrong.

Later that evening, as Ajit sat at his table near the window, absently trying to resolve those improper fractions into proper fractions, random pieces of conversation floated in from his parents’ bedroom.

“He takes after you…all these feminine habits.”
“He takes after both of us.”
“I never got 45 in Math.”
“But he’s as stubborn as you are.”
“I am telling you…he’s got this stupid thing for drawing! I am telling you, I don’t want him writing letters to the black sheep of our family.”
“I don’t think he writes to him.”
“I don’t know. Who knows anything about what that boy does? You have to ask him.”

Ajit turned his attention to his notebook. Those fractions kept changing into cartoon characters. Why? Didn’t 2 look almost like a serpent and the number 8…he found himself doodling two meshing gears into the 8! The “black sheep” of the family. That had to be his uncle Abu Abraham. He worked for this American Publication called the Guardian, but he was shortly returning to India. Abu’s atheism and the way he thumbed his nose at traditions had ensured his symbolic ouster from the family.

His whole body tensed up in anticipation as he waited for them to leave. Ajit’s parents were going out for a Punjabi wedding, which meant that they’d not return until late in night. He could now look forward to many hours of unadulterated drawing pleasure.

Ajit Ninan’s Nonexistent Biography

I couldn’t find his biography, so I tried to glean whatever information I could from a variety of sources, especially from this post by Abhijit Bhaduri.

Here’s the sum total of my learning.

Ajit Ninan was born in Hyderabad in 1955. His parents were from Kerala though. Ajit studied at Hyderabad Public School where he manipulated his way into the library, so that he could go through the Cartoons in magazines. When he was young, he prefered to draw mechanical drawings, which I presume, must’ve made his father believe that his son wanted to become and engineer when he grew up. Fortunately Ninan wasn’t good at Math (I say fortunately, because had he been good at it, he’d have ended up becoming an engineer; which would mean that India would’ve lost one of its few great cartoonists,)so he studied political science, and became a political cartoonist.

Ninan published in first cartoon in Shankar’s Weekly, a magazine that his equally illustrious uncle Abu Abraham also drew for.

Ninan’s Inspirations include Mario Miranda, James Thurber, and Arnold Roth (he used to spend his precious out-of-class-in-the-library hours poring over the drawings of JT and AR.) Ajit Ninan worked with India Today as a Cartoonist and an Illustrator. He then moved to The Indian Express. He currently works with The Times of India as their Group Art Consultant.

Here are some interesting links for you to follow.

What this caricaturist has in common with the Great Ninan?

Believe it or not, I have the exact same lamp on my table that Ninan has on his. I had bought it 15 years ago. I wanted to buy another of the same kind, but failed 😦

Wiki-Leaked – the High and Mighty run for Cover!

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Breaking News!—Breaking New!—-Breaking News!

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New information of highly sensitive nature has been leaked by the Wikileaks. Experts are unanimously of the opinion that this information will cause turmoil among not only the politicos of the world; it will also raise the blood-pressure of other kinds of celebrities.

It’s being conjectured that the leaked document is part of the Caricaturist’s hit-list, and it contains famous names such as:

When the Caricaturist was contacted about this leak, she refused to talk to the media, saying that “media only worked to made bad things appear worse!”

Important Note: The Journo who called up the Caricaturist notes: “It appears that The Caricaturist is suffering from a bloated ego. It is amply clear that her success as a still-not-starving artist has gone to her head.”

We shall shortly discover whether or not this partial list really is a part of the Caricaturist’s hit-list. However, the visitors would do well to remember that the Caricaturist is known for changing her plans at the last-minute, so we really can’t be completely sure!

But we shall see.

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Remember that you first read this here.
—Shafali’s Caricatures News Service…Making News out of Nothing!–

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Indian Cartoonists/Caricaturists – The Great Mario Miranda

Updated: 12:45 PM, December 11, 2011

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Just heard the news…The Great Cartoonist Mario Miranda passed away today.
He will remain an inspiration to many generations of Indian cartoonists and illustrators.
May he rest in peace.
(A Commemorative Caricature of Mario Miranda)
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In this caricaturist’s list, there are two Indian cartoonists of note and one of these two is also a caricaturist. These two, and only these two artists make me look like a glazed-eye zombie when I look at their work. Only these two remind me that not everyone is willing to let go of the skill of drawing after finding a job. I have obviously not seen every Indian newspaper published in every Indian language, so there might be random lights of talent shining elsewhere too. But of whatever I have seen, these two have made me, the jaded and faded caricaturist, experience a strong need to write a couple of posts in their honor.

You already know that the first name on this short list, is Mario Miranda…the second is Ajit Ninan.

In this post, let me introduce you to the astonishing work of Mario Miranda.

Mario Miranda’s Cartoons and Illustrations:

Wait a minute. Let me find my artistic aptitude. It was lying at the edge of my table when I last saw it…it must be here somewhere. Oh…it’s here – on the floor! It must’ve somersaulted off the desk to avoid commenting on Mario’s work. I mean, how do you comment on a Master’s drawings?

I will keep my promise and tell you what I feel about those highly detailed, cleanly drawn, stylized cartoons – but before I do that, I’d like you to look at his work at the following links.

I first saw Mario’s cartoons in the Illustrated Weekly of India (In retrospect, I am glad that my dad loved that magazine or I’d have grown up an art-duffer.) I remember looking at his drawings again and again, because every time I looked at them, I’d see something new. If I were to list the top five things that I like in his drawings, they would be as follows:

  • Details (He draws crowds…literally. Most of his drawings would have people of all sorts thronging to get their share of limelight, and he draws those crowds as collections of individuals – everyone in his crowds has a personality and a story. You can see connections running between people, you just have to look long enough to find them.)
  • Confidence (His lines are so confident and steady – he can bend them to his will like no one else can. I don’t know if he does rough drafts, he probably does for the crowds – but something tells me that he doesn’t do an intermediary. He just leaps into drawing the final illustration. If I ever get an opportunity, I’ll ask him if I am right.)
  • Style (Mario has a style of his own. A cartoonist whose work you can recognize while standing 10 feet away from his illustration, is a rarity – not just in India, but in the world. His lines are usually curves, and his lines always end in a strong black dot.
  • Perfection (Mario Miranda’s work exemplifies perfection. You can’t find stuff that would make you think that there was no need for it to be there. You don’t look at his drawing and think, “Oh, that line’s going where it shouldn’t.)
  • Life (Mario Miranda is one cartoonist whose cartoons come alive through their interactions with one another. Even when they don’t talk, they communicate. There are always so many of them that you’ll always find someone to party with.)

And…how can I forget those unforgettable characters – Bundaldas – the Politician, Moonswami his toady, and Ms. Fonseca the buxom secretary. (I remember asking my father whether Ms. Fonseca’s dress was a uniform for secretaries!)

Mario Miranda’s Concise Biography:

Mario Joao Carlos do Rosario de Britto Miranda (yes – we are talking about just one man!) lives in Goa and in the hearts of all those people who’ve enjoyed his art. Miranda’s work was first noticed by his mom (naturally,) on the walls of their house (naturally, again.)

He drew a lot of whatever he saw around himself including dogs (a dog-lover? another reason for me to like him); but then as it happens with almost every young man in our country, he too was swayed by the Ambassador Car with the red revolving lights, and tried to become an IAS officer – but thankfully his inner calling screamed at him and pulled him away from that mundane pursuit. He ended up working in an ad-agency. I can realize how painful the ad-agency stint must’ve been for him, but then his inner calling was all tuned up and in fantastic shape, so it screamed at him again, and he found himself working for the Illustrated Weekly of India. The Times of India, which had not selected him earlier, rebounded to him after they saw his work in the Weekly, and soon he was working for them too.

(If you are wondering whether a screaming inner calling is grammatically and linguistically correct, I can’t help you. Instead, I’d advise that you read on…there’s a lot of good stuff coming up about Mario Miranda’s rise to the Cartooning Stardom.)

Mario Miranda spent about 5 years of his life in Europe. His stint in Europe helped his work find international recognition. His cartoons featured even in the MAD magazine. (Sigh! Those mad guys (Oops! I stand corrected – those MAD guys) don’t accept email submissions…gotta get my portfolio sent to them by snail-mail…and they say that due to the population problem, it could be months before they’d get to lay their eyes upon my caricatures. Their loss…right?)

Then of course, he returned to India – back to The Times of India and to another Indian legend of Cartooning,  R.K. Laxman, who he respected a lot.

In 1988 he was awarded a well-deserved Padma Shri and then again in 2002 a Padma Bhushan. Miranda’s solos have been organized in 22 countries! Wow! He still draws, but now he’s settled in Goa (the same house where he grew up…it must be a dream come true.)
(Sources: Wikipedia here.)
Read Mario Miranda’s interview by Romola Butalia here.
Also check out “Cartooning Not Funny: Mario Miranda” here.

MF Husain Dies – Leaves the World Five Short of a Century.

MF Husain or Maqbool Fida Husain, who was born on September 17, 1915. died in London sometime last night. He was 95 going on 25 – and so despite his age, his death came as a surprise to a lot of people in India.

Here are the things that made MF Husain, who was called the Picasso of India by the Forbes magazine, the only Indian artist who acquired the status that Indians reserve for cine-stars and politicians.

The Cake:

  • He became the highest paid Indian Artist ever! His single canvases have fetched up to $2 million at a recent Christie’s auction.
  • He was possibly the first Indian artist to get international recognition. In 1952, his solo exhibition was held in Zurich. Remember that in those days, the world wasn’t as small as it is today.
  • In 1955, he received Padma shri from the Indian Government. This was followed by a Padma Bhushan (1971), and then a Padma Vibhushan (1991.)
  • The vibrancy of his works and the way they changed the course of Indian Art that was dominated by the Bengali Art until the 1950s, made many Indian artists go modernist.

The Icing:

  • Husain’s personality was as vibrant as his work. He did stuff that no other Indian painter dared to do. He changed his muses every 3 years, and his muses were almost always the prettiest Bollywood actresses. For the actresses as well as for Husain – the muse-making was a win-win situation. Everyone got the lime-light.
  • Hussain was an extravagant spender. When he first came into money, he made “Gaja Gamini” with Madhuri Dixit, his current muse from Bollywood (who is now the matron of a US-based Rich Doctor’s Household.) Then he made “Meenaxi” with Tabu, his second muse.
  • He got caught into the web of controversies by drawing Indian goddesses in the nude, and even representing India (Bharat Mata) as a nude. Some Hindu organizations felt that this was stretching the artistic license too far, especially with his painting, the Rape of India, and so they petitioned in the court against him. With the public sentiment having turned against him – it became safer for him to stay away from India. For this reason, he became known as the “exiled artist”. Recently (2010) Qatar granted him their citizenship. This controversy further improved his x-factor with the Indian media and public.

Husain, the man behind the painter was so full of life that it makes you sad to see him go. But he had a good life and he was a happy man most of his life (except possibly the last decade when he had to remove himself from India) – and this is what we should remember him by. We should also remember him for repainting the image of the Indian Artist from the Bata Hawai Chappal shod (Husain went barefoot) no-gooder to a celebrity whose work could fetch millions.

I think I’ll miss him…and I hope that when he is reincarnated he does everything the same way, but refrains from painting the nudes of Hindu Goddesses and of the country that he is born in.  On the other side, I should acknowledge that it’s impossible to really figure out Husain’s work – so I personally am not sure about whether he really drew that stuff – it looks like it, and then it doesn’t.

We’ve had more realistic (and some times more suggestive) nudes by Amrita Shergill whose princess status gave a her an immunity from societal persecution when she photographed and then painted herself in nude (imagine a bourgeois artist engaging in that sort of behavior) and Anjolie Ila Menon, whose work becomes more graphic with each passing year. But oh…we never had anything against nudity…did we?

Thinking of Husain and of the tug-of-war that always went on inside my head when I looked at his work – May the universal God who doesn’t belong to any religion, rest his soul in peace.

India Wins the Semi-finals, Sachin Tendulkar declared Man of the Match

BREAKING NEWS!

India won the World cup Semi-finals against Pakistan. Sachin couldn’t make his 100th 100s but he helped the team win 🙂 by contributing 85 runs of 115 balls.

Presenting…

Sachin Tendulkar – The Man of the Match

Cartoon, Caricature, Portrait, Sketch, Drawing of Little Master, Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, World's greatest batsman!

Turned Lucky 4 times!

Waiting for Sachin’s 100th 100, which may yet happen…in the finals…in Mumbai! Good Night:)

Update: Oh…and if India wins the World Cup…You might want to buy anti-glare glasses. You know why? Find the answer here.

Caricature/Cartoon of A.R. Rahman, Indian Music Composer and Oscar Winner!

A.S. Dileep Kumar who for some personal reasons changed his religion to Islam and his name to Allah Rakha Rahman is an Indian musician and music-composer, who won two Academy Awards for Slumdog Millionaire a movie directed by Danny Boyle.

Here’s my take on this legend.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Portrait of A R Rahman (Rehman) who won two Oscars for Jai Ho in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire.

The Halo of Music...or Controversies?

A Short Biography of Rahman:

A.R. Rahman was born on January 6th 1966, in an affluent Hindu Tamil family. His father composed music for Malayalam films. He lost his father at a very young age and it was somewhere around that time when he and his entire family decided to change their religion and convert to Islam. According to this article here AR Rahman’s mother (Kareema) was a Muslim and after his Hindu father’s death, the family reconverted to Islam and acquired Muslim names. The reason why he changed his religion is still shrouded in mystery, however, it’s said that he did it to save his sister’s life.

Rahman is married to Saira Banu (not the emaciated yesteryear beauty though!)

An Interesting Bollywood Coincidence, which will make more sense to Indians:

Here it goes.
Saira Banu (of vintage Bollywood variety) married Dilip Kumar, who changed his name from Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar – she did have to struggle with Yusuf Khan’s polygamous nature though. However Yusuf Khan took up the name Dileep Kumar only as a screen name with a wider appeal, and saw he was never on the wrong side of the law by having more than one wife.
Saira Banu (wife of AR Rahman) married AR Rahman, who changed his name from Dileep kumar (don’t worry about the spelling) to AR Rahman.

Coincidences happen in a chaotic world…right?

A. R. Rahman’s Meteoric Rise:

Rahman’s rise in Bollywood began with his meeting with Mani Ratnam in an advertising awards function, after which he gave music for Roja in 1992 (Note that Rahman was paid 25K INR (about USD 1000 in those days) to compose music for Roja, this is in stark contrast to around Rs. 5 Crores equivalent of USD 1 Million for composing the Commonwealth Games 2010 Anthem) After Roja, he created music for many Tamil films, until he got the opportunity to compose the songs for Rangeela. After the success of Rangeela’s songs, Rahman continued to work for the Mumbai Film Industry to compose many hit songs. Among his noteworthy films are: Rangeela, Dil Se, Taal, Rang De Basanti, Bombay!

His Album “Vande Mataram“, which he released on August 15, 1997 (the fiftieth anniversary of India’s independence,) sold more than a Million copies in India.

Find an extremely detailed biography of Rehman here.

Rahman’s Jai Ho wins him the Oscars:

In 2009, Rahman wrote the score for “Jai Ho“, which helped him win the first two Oscars for India. He got the Oscars for Danny Boyle directed movie “Slumdog Millionnaire”. (Unfortunately, the only movie about India that became internationally famous is an extremely biased movie, which completely ignores the positives of India to accentuate and glorify its poverty.) The two Academy Awards that he won were for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song.

Visit Rahman’s official website here.

Rahman in News Again:

The newest news on the international scene is that AR Rehman has bagged 2 Oscar nominations for Danny Boyle’s 127 hours. What’s noteworthy is the ease with which Rahman has been able to establish a long-term relationship with Danny Boyle – I’d have loved to see him work with other Hollywood Directors too…but Rahman is a steady goat, isn’t he? I hope he gets the Oscars this year, because after the CWG Anthem fiasco, which gave us a soggy song (read about it here) touted to be better than Shakira’s waka-waka, I’d love to get a confirmation that the awards were for the musical score and not for a fantastic rendering of India’s poverty. Go Rahman Go! Get those awards and win back my trust…if you’d care to.

Want to know if I am an ARR fan?

I love some of his work – if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have drawn his caricature here:) But I saw him on the CWG stage – and I don’t think that if his…what was the CWG Anthem again?…well that anthem needed the crutches of Jai ho, especially when after the whole corruption scandal we were waiting for him to spin gold or silver at least…so – my current status is “NOT FAN!”

I believe there are things that are bigger than money, fame, and even Oscars. A sense of pride in being what you are and carrying it through with your head held high. I’d never work for a Slumdog Millionnaire nor would I ever charge Rs. 5 Crores for composing an anthem for my country.  (Remember that it was the first time in its history that India was hosting a sports event at International scale!) But I guess I am being the milkmaid, if you know what I mean:)

Coming up…Caricatures of – SJP of SATC and ARR!

I’d like to begin by thanking Ian for splashing his creativity on my blog and calling Leonardo Da Vinci, Leony Darling!

Thanks Ian. I am sure that if Da Vinci were born in our times, his mother and his numerous girlfriends and boyfriends would queue up behind me  to thank you:)

So…

I dreamed of Leony Darling (looking young and dapper.) He was standing in Verrocchio’s workshop correcting the nose of the young angel in the painting that will later be called “Baptism of Christ.” When he heard me come in, he looked up and asked me to mix some paint for him, which I did only because I knew that he was going to be one of the Greats in future. He took the paint that I had mixed on a wooden palette, our fingers touched, and he froze; a glazed look came into his eyes and his voice changed. I understood that he was struck with a vision of the future. He said something to me in a rather quaint version of Italian, which Barb of Creative Barbwire translated for me.

He said, “I see you drawing the caricatures of this woman called Sarah Jessica Parker, who has a thin, emaciated, and elongated face and a man called A.R. Rahman, who is a short, rotund, and funny looking man. You would be publishing at least one of the two caricatures on your blog in the last week of January 2011!”

Believe it or not – half of the prophecy that Leony Darling made has already come true…and I am afraid that the other half shall come true too. I wish he had said something about whose caricature would be published first, but he didn’t. So it’s now up to you and me to decide. Who’d you like to see first?

Caricature/Cartoon Sachin Tendulkar – The Legend of Indian Cricket – One of the World’s Greatest Batsmen!

Presenting Sachin Tendulkar, possibly the Greatest Batsman in the history of world cricket. He is the only one who has ever made a double century in an ODI (One Day International)!

Cartoon, Caricature, Portrait, Sketch, Drawing of Little Master, Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, World's greatest batsman!
The Little Master (the title earlier used for addressing another cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar too) or the Master Blaster has been called the second greatest Test Cricket Batsman (after  Donald Bradman) and also the second greatest ODI batsman behind Viv Richards! (Source: Wikipedia here.)

Sachin Tendulkar’s Eye-popping Cricket Data:

  • First Player to score 50 centuries in International Cricket.
  • Scored most runs in Test Cricket.
  • First Player to score 10,000 runs in ODIs

This of course is just the tip of his colossal cricket records iceberg.

Sachin Tendulkar’s Crispest and Shortest Biography on the Web:

Sachin was born on 24 April 1973, in Mumbai, the most populated city of India. (That he found space to play cricket amazes me.) He trained under Ramakant Acherkar, who was a superb motivator and would’ve excelled as a Motivation Guru (akin to Shiv Khera) – but then who am I to question his choice of career. Reverting to Sachin, who was acknowledged as a child-prodigy (luckily, and not as a product of voodoo, as it often happens with child-prodigies) was given a pair of pads by Sunil Gavaskar.

Unlike most sport celebrities, Sachin didn’t mess up his life by marrying a model or a film-star, instead he married a pediatrician Anjali (the daughter of a Gujarati businessman – who says that a Sportsman has to be born without any financial acumen?)

Read a slightly longer biography of Sachin here.

Interesting Infobytes about Sachin:

  • When the Little Master was little, his coach (same gentleman who didn’t become the motivation guru) would place a coin on the stumps of the wicket and Sachin would get the coin if he stayed on until the end of the session. Sachin won 13 such coins (and so now on – never call thirteen an unlucky number – do you read me, dear readers-o-mine!)
  • Sachin is 5 ft 5 inches tall (?) What? That isn’t tall? He’s two inches taller than me – and I am TALL!
  • Sachin topped the list of Income Tax Payers in Indian Cricket, in 2009.
  • Sachin asked for a Duty Waiver on his Ferrari

Sachin’s Cricket Career:

Well…I am not too much into cricket – but I know that Tendulkar’s rise brought on the golden era of Indian Cricket. He wasn’t too successful as a Cricket Captain but he had the grace to accept his failing. Around 2003, Sachin’s career peaked out. In 2004, he also suffered from a Tennis Elbow, which kept him out of the game for a long time. In 2006, his popularity took a dip when he could managed only a single run off 21 balls against England at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Sometime around 2007, he staged a comeback.

A Famous Quote about Sachin:

“Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God”

Sachin Tendulkar’s Honors/Awards:

Among others,

Sachin Tendulkar, the Doll of Advertisers:

Among others, Sachin has done ads for:

Sachin Tendulkar the Batsman and Shafali the Caricaturist:

(Building connections where none exist.)

  • Sachin writes with his left hand and bowls and bats with his right.
  • Shafali writes with her right hand and draws and paints with her left.

What?! I didn’t say anything.

Coming up…Caricatures of Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, and Sachin Tendulkar!

Caricatures almost ready to roll off the line…

Until then, then:)

While I help my caricatures dress up, you might want to do one or more or all of the following.

That should keep you busy until I return!

 

 

 

Caricature/Cartoon – The Angry Young Man of the Indian Film Industry – The Great Amitabh Bachchan!

I had been thinking of drawing the caricature of Amitabh Bachchan ever since I began this blog some ten months ago, but I didn’t because I couldn’t decide which version of Amitabh should grace this space. The young Amitabh who I grew up with, or the older and the currently popular Big B! I vacillated. I got my references in order for both – and waited.

For reasons unknown to me – I can’t connect with Big B. He isn’t the Amitabh who we talked about when I was a child – Big B is a father and an exemplary one too, who sits with his son on his lap so that his halo blinds us into believing that his son too has got one; he is a patriarch trying to put together an inheritance for his next twenty generations; he is an anchor of a very serious show built around the middle-class dream of becoming a millionaire – Big B is different from the Amitabh of my childhood.  I loved his image of the angry young man, the young and emotional persona that swept the entire country off its feet in the 70s and 80s! If that young Amitabh wasn’t there, Big B, Abhishek Bachchan…and all the rest of them wouldn’t be!

I present, with my respect, regard, and love, the caricature of the legendary Bollywood hero, the Great Actor  of the Indian Film Industry – Amitabh Bachchan, in his young Avatar!

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Portrait, of young Amitabh Bachchan, the legendary actor of the Indian Cinema - Bollywood, now also known as the Big B!

Amitabh Bachchan – During his “Angry Young Man” Days!

Here’s a short biography of Amitabh Bachhan.

Amitabh Bachchan’s Shortest Biography on the Web (which still is long enough!)

Amitabh Bachchan, was born on 11 October 1942, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. His father Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a Hindi Poet, who was as modern in his ideology as he was in his poems. Long back when the caste system still ruled the roost in India, he got married to a beautiful Sikh girl called Teji, and their union resulted in Amitabh and Ajitabh! Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a Shrivastav, who used Bachchan as his pen name, which became extremely popular, and so the family decided to adopt Bachchan as their surname.

Amitabh, unlike the scions of the affluent and the influential didn’t study at Oxford or Harvard, because he probably was born before Harivansh Rai Bachchan had reached the pinnacle of his success. Thus, the Kirorimal College of Delhi University can boast of being his Alma Mater! Three Cheers for KMC at DU.

Now young Amitabh tried to work for a shipping company run by birds – but his Mom Teji Bachchan possibly told him that he was made for bigger and better things. Young Amitabh decided to give acting a shot in 1969 and debuted in Saat Hindustani (7 Indians! Wow…and all of them in the same movie! No wonder that the movie didn’t do great at the box office. If you are reading between the lines…there’s nothing…honestly.) However Amitabh ended up with an award!

Then onwards, there was no stopping the tall young man with those smoldering eyes and with that deep baritone voice. In 1973, came his biggest success – Sholay (The Violent Sparks of Fire)! By this time, Amitabh had established his Angry Young Man image completely. His fans were beginning to copy his hairstyle, his dance moves, his dialogs, even the angry look in his eyes! Amitabh was fast becoming a phenomenon in Bollywood.

Sometime around the late eighties, when Amitabh was shooting for Coolie, he was injured. With that almost fatal injury, he turned somewhat pessimistic. One thing led to another (as it always does in my posts,) and Amitabh disappeared from the scene for almost a decade. However, the new century brought about a change in the Bacchhan family’s fortunes. It began with Mohabattein in which he worked with Shahrukh Khan. In the same year, he also appeared as the host of the TV Show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”).

His most recent success was Paa, in which his son Abhishek played his father, and for which he won the National Award for Best Actor.

Amitabh Bachchan – Interesting Infobytes:

  • Amitabh could’ve been called Inquilab (Revolution) had his name not been changed to Amitabh. I wonder whether his name would’ve changed his fortune.
  • Amitabh and Jaya (his wife) worked together in a movie called Guddi, before they got married. There’s about a 14 inch difference in their heights.
  • Amitabh has been romantically linked with the beautiful Bollywood actress Rekha (his co-star in Silsila.)
  • He is the first Asian actor to have his wax model at Madame Tussaud’s
  • His most common screen mom was Nirupa Roy.
  • His most common screen name used to be Vijay.
  • He was awarded the Hottest Male Vegetarian Award by PETA.
  • Amitabh Bachchan’s family has not one but two legends – Amitabh and Aishwarya, his daughter-in-law!

A List of Amitabh Bachchan’s Films:

  1. Saat Hindustani
  2. Anand
  3. Reshma aur Shera
  4. Guddi
  5. Zanjeer
  6. Abhimaan
  7. Namak Haraam
  8. Roti, Kapda, aur Makaan
  9. Chupke Chupke
  10. Deewaar
  11. Sholay
  12. Kabhi Kabhi
  13. Amar Akbar Anthony
  14. Trishul
  15. Don
  16. Muquaddar Ka Sikandar
  17. Mr. Natwarlal
  18. Do aur Do Paanch
  19. Lawaaris
  20. Silsila
  21. Yaraana
  22. Kalia
  23. Satte pe Satta
  24. Namakhalal
  25. Khuddaar
  26. Coolie
  27. Sharabi
  28. Shahenshah
  29. Mohabbatein
  30. Baghban
  31. Black
  32. Sarkar
  33. Nishabd
  34. Cheeni Kum
  35. Paa

(This, of course, is a partial list of his movies, but I guess it covers the collectibles!)

Portrait of Gandhi – Pen and Ink Drawing of Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) with Spinning Wheel

Mahatma Gandhi, or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Bapu was born on 2nd October, 1869 and so today, we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti.

I made this pen and ink sketch of Gandhi Ji today. (I don’t do pen and ink sketches very often, but after pencils, they are the easiest medium to use. Using a pen to draw is a little more challenging than using a pencil, because you aren’t allowed to go wrong when you use a pen:)! In this sketch you can see Gandhiji sitting behind a spinning wheel or charkha, reading from some papers that he holds in his right hand.

Pen and ink Drawing of Mahatma Gandhi sitting behind a spinning wheel (charkha) and reading.

Mahatma Gandhi (Pen & Ink) Original Size: 10" x 7.5" on Cartridge Sheet

A few months ago, I had drawn this caricature of Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi – Just in case, you haven’t seen it:)

Ben Kingsley the British Actor, as Mahatma Gandhi.

Ben Kingsley as Gandhi

That’s all for today…now I can go back to enjoying my holiday:)

Mahatma Gandhi, or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Bapu was born this day in the year 1969.I made this pen and ink sketch of Gandhi today. (I don’t do pen and ink sketches very often, but after pencils, they are

the easiest medium to use. Using a pen to draw is a little more challenging than using a pencil, because you aren’t

allowed to go wrong when you use a pen:)! In this sketch you can see Gandhi sitting behind a spinning wheel or charkha,

reading from some papers that he holds in his right hand.

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A few months ago, I had drawn this caricature of Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi – Just in case, you haven’t seen it:)

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That’s all for today…now I can go back to enjoying my holiday:)

Caricature/Cartoon – Shahrukh Khan or King Khan wondering Bollywood ka King Kaun!

Shahrukh Khan (SRK),  the second Bollywood Khan to grace this blog with his caricatured presence, is a famous Hindi Film Star, who started his acting career literally from scratch, and became one of the most celebrated actor of Indian Cinema.

Here’s my take on Shahrukh. He sits here contemplating who is the real King of Bollywood (and hence, King Kaun!)

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, or Portrait of Shahrukh Khan, SRK, or King Khan of Indian Cinema, Bollywood!

Bollywood ka King Kaun? Aamir, Salman, or, I?

Shahrukh Khan’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

Shahrukh was born on November 02, 1965, in New Delhi, India. Though he was born and then educated in New Delhi (completed school at St. Columba’s, graduated from Hansraj College in Delhi University, and completed his post-graduation from Jamia Milia Islamia) he moved to Mumbai in 1991, after he lost his parents. Shahrukh (a Muslim) married Gauri (a Hindu) and he says that though he is a devout Muslim himself, his wife follows Hinduism – and the children follow both the religions (This can be really tricky, if you ask me…but don’t ask me – ask him.)

Shahrukh Khan’s Film-Career:

Guess the story began in Delhi, when Shahrukh joined the TAG (Theatre Action Group – Barry John) after which he acted in a television serial called “Fauji” in which he played the role of a commando. This was in the late eighties…and I remember people appreciating his work in the serial.

When he moved to Mumbai in 1991, he began his acting career with a movie called “Deewana”.  Dewaana was followed by hits such as “Darr” and “Baazigar“. Unlike the other two Khans (Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, who were his contemporaries) Shahrukh’s initial movies cast him in semi-villainous roles. The movie that broke the villain-mold (which hadn’t had the time to harden and so broke easily) was “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge“.

Then came “Pardes” , “Dil To Pagal Hai“, and “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai“, and Shahrukh was established as a Star in Bollywood.

In the decade of 2000, among other movies, Shah Rukh Khan  (SRK) gave us:

This how Shahrukh Khan transformed into King Khan!

Shahrukh Khan’s Six Pack Abs:

This post wouldn’t be complete if I don’t write about his six-pack abs, which he developed for his son Aryan and flaunted in the song Darde-disco in “Om Shanti Om”.

According to Shahrukh:

“I decided to get ’sexy’ for a boy … my son. He kept telling me to go get a six-pack. He’d say that Salman, Hrithik, John were the ‘good physiques’. And even though I’ve always been fit, never fat, he wanted me to get abs, so I did. This one’s for him.”

(Girls…stop drooling…we don’t want to smudge his caricature – do we?)

Here are some other links for SRK’s Fans:

As Always,

Thanks to Wikipedia for being such a wonderful source of information:)

And…special thanks to Barb, whose passion for Shahrukh made this caricature happen:-)

Caricature/Cartoon – Kareena Kapoor a.k.a Bebo – The Bollywood Actress who supplies Paint to the Beehive – Wishing Everyone a Happy Independence Day!

On this Independence Day, presenting Kareena Kapoor (Bebo) – The Darling of Bollywood – the completely Indian Celebrity from the oldest Bollywood family!

Kareena Kapoor or Bebo, the Bollywood Heroine who popularized the Size Zero!

Question - How many bees will earn their stripes today?

Kareena Kapoor’s Shortest Biography on the Web

Born in 1980, Kareena Kapoor (affectionately called Bebo) is one of the most popular Bollywood actresses today. Bebo was born in the most prominent Bollywood family of the Kapoors (Kapoor Khaandaan (Family)). She is the great-grand daughter of the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, the grand-daughter of Raj Kapoor, the daughter of Randhir Kapoor, and the nice of Rishi Kapoor! Her mother was the actress Babita, who had to separate from the Patriarchal Kapoor family to raise her daughters (Kareena and Karishma) in a different environment, where they were free to choose what they wished to do in life.

(Note the absence of gender-equality even in Bollywood’s first family!)

Kareena Kapoor’s Film Career

Bebo made her debut in Refugee, and won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, in 2000. The next year she worked a few forgettable films, until she featured opposite Shahrukh Khan in Ashoka, but she was credited more for her looks than for her acting. In 2002 and 2003, she again worked in films that none of us remembers anything about! But in 2004, her luck changed, when she played the role a prostitute in Chameli. This was her first serious role, which led to her recognition as an actress.

Her other noteworthy performances were in Dev, FidaGol Maal and Jab We Met. In 3 Idiots, she worked opposite Aamir Khan.

Kareena Kapoor’s Love-life

The two milestones in Bebo’s love-life were:

(If Saif and Kareena marry, Saif would be playing the second innings, but if Bebo doesn’t mind, why should we?)

Bebo’s Extra-Cinema Credentials

  • India’s most beautiful woman (what happened to Aishwarya Rai?) – People Magazine
  • First Indian Actress to Launch her own line of clothing.
  • First Indian Actress to achieve a Size Zero (!) (That’s my take…Only circumstantial evidence!)

And…

  • First Indian Actress to donate FREE paint to poor stripe-less bees!

Wishing all Indians everywhere in the world (including dear Kareena), a very Happy Independence Day!

Coming up…Caricature of Kareena Kapoor – a.k.a Bebo – Bollywood’s size 0 heart-throb!

Hello my dear visitors, Indians (of the non-resident type with their hearts residing in India, are welcome too) and Foreigners!

I’ll be uploading Kareena Kapoor’s (Bebo’s) caricature today! So if you are keen on this Bollywood star, despite her size-0 obsession…make another stopover sometime this evening (Indian – truly standard – time!)

And remember, those bees don’t sting!