Eurozone Debt Crisis – Part 2 of 3 – Caricature/Cartoon of Nicolas Sarkozy as Caesar

If you are an artist who is not a political cartoonist, chances are that you’d welcome a primer on the Eurozone Crisis. Your loving, caring, and ever-so-considerate caricaturist has cobbled up a story to help you understand the essence of this euro-excitement that refuses to settle down.

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

And now…

Presenting Nicolas Sarkozy as the temporary Caesar of Europe (or more accurately of the European Union). It was a dream of many great leaders including Charles de Gaulle, Napoleon Bonaparte – and most of all Caesar. They all wanted to unite the entire Europe. Almost all his life Caesar waged war against other countries and once, even against Rome, to achieve his purpose.

For President Sarkozy, this honor came almost automatically, when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to budge from her stance of not making any concessions for those Euro zone countries who had allowed themselves to sink. Unfortunately everything including the fate of the Euro still remains shaky, and the Union still has huge cracks in it, which may allow any of every deal to fall through it. Alas!

A Cartoon on the Eurozone Crisis - The Caricature, or Portrait of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who managed to charm Angela Merkel into making a decision that could help sustain Euro.

Well…that’s that.

What are you looking for?

Oh. You are looking for the Shortest Bio of Nicolas Sarkozy and Caesar on the Web – right?
(Don’t read this – here I berate myself for becoming so predictable…you are still reading…I can see you reading. Okay, as you aren’t stopping, I’ll have to take my fight with myself elsewhere.)

But here are their biographies and also their caricatures…before I decided to roll them into one.

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

Caricature/Cartoon of a Musician – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Mozart, they say, was a musical prodigy. Even before he was five, he could play the keyboard and the violin, and he performed in front of the Royalty. Obviously such performances today will lead to protests by various organizations that safeguard the interest of children…so it was good that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 and not in 2006. With that little detail out of my way…
I present the caricature of the wigged musical genius, Mozart.

A Caricatured Portrait or a Cartoon sketch of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - The 18th Century Musician and Composer who was a child prodigy.

Mozart’s Biographical Sketch by the Caricaturist (Obviously exaggerated):

Mozart was born on a cold wintry morning in the January of 1756, in a place called Salzburg. Mozart was born with the musical gene riding his y chromosome, which he got from his dad. Incidentally his dad also had the right connections (he himself was in the court orchestra,) and a teacher of music. With the right genes, the right guidance, and the right push, it wasn’t long before Mozart and his sister made their first court appearance as child-prodigies.

It wasn’t that Mozart’s childhood was a bed of roses. I can imagine a three-year old being tutored by his dad, and a six-year-old being made to perform in front of the royalty – it sends a shiver down my spine! I am glad I wasn’t his sister, who went through a similar ordeal.

In 1773, when Mozart was 17, he got the job of the court musician at Salzburg. Unfortunately, job-satisfaction evaded him. He also thought that he wasn’t paid well. Obviously then, he did what anyone would do in his position, he floated his resume in the market. In 1777, Mozart had enough of Salzburg. He resigned and moved to Paris. Unfortunately, nothing worked out for him and he fell into debt. His dad however was one of the sweetest dads ever (quite like the Bollywood Star Amitabh Bachhan, who did everything to establish his son in Bollywood,) and he found a job for his son,…once again in Salzburg – the place Mozart didn’t want to come back to. But he did – and then gradually the wheel of fortune began to turn for him.

Mozart’s Love Life:

  1. Mozart’s first love was a singer called Aloysia, who lost interest in him while he was struggling all over Europe. (Women – bah!)
  2. After Mozart had established himself in Vienna (1781), he took up accommodation with a certain Weber family. One thing led to another and it wasn’t long before Mozart and Constanze (one of the daughters of the Weber family) became an item.

As it happens with most artists, Mozart too suffered a lot many ups and downs in his career.

Other Stuff about Mozart:

  • There’ve been rumors that Mozart suffered from Tourette Syndrome.
  • Mozart loved to play practical jokes on people. As Mozart preferred off-color humor (called scatological humor – be careful while clicking the link…it’s got some off-color stuff), people who were the butt of his jokes weren’t too pleased with him.
  • He also played Billiards and kept pets.
  • Mozart did become a Freemason sometime in the 1780s.
  • Mozart loved to dress-up (check out the frill in front of his coat, and that neat little bow on his wig.)

If you are the musical kind, you may want to check out Mozart’s Music here 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon – Sigmund Freud – The Psychologist who discovered the Couch

Has your tongue ever slipped? Have you ever spoken of President Osama, or the ex-chief of Taliban Obama Bin Laden? If you have and if you’ve told yourself that it was a Freudian slip – you know this guy.

Meet Sigmund Freud, the gentleman who told us that sex drives us to do everything in life. Okay…may be not 100% of the things but about 99.9% of them. I could tell you a lot about his theories, but being a caricaturist, it’s my duty to exaggerate the…well…the ones that interest the masses.

But before I talk further, here’s my rendition of the aforementioned gentleman.

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.

Sigmund Freud’s Biography

I know that it’s traditional to provide you with a biography of the subject – so I must tell you that this gentleman was born on May 06, 1856 in the then Austrian Empire. During the time of the Nazi, Freud moved to London along with his casting couch (oops! A Freudian slip there. I meant, his “consulting” couch – the one that the caricaturist found herself on, during her recent trip into the past.)

More of his biography can be read here and here.

Freud’s Ideas and Theories

Freud is known for the following (and more) – with the caricaturist’s interpretations.

—————Legalese Begins————-
An Important Note for all the Psychology Students who are looking for stuff to copy for their assignments.  If you want to copy the explanations given below, please be my guest. I waive all copyright for psychology students who want to save some last-minute work and copy the following explanations for their assignments. I will however not be responsible for their grades (or the lack thereof) in any manner.
—————–Legalese Ends—————

Dream Analysis

Your dreams can be analyzed by your shrink to discover what “sexual” forces drive your apparently “innocent” actions. (Read about Dream Analysis.)

The conscious and the unconscious mind

Whenever you work against your conscience, it’s because your unconscious mind is directing your actions. So never berate yourself for anything – you are responsible only for what your conscious mind does. (Read about conscious, unconscious mind…phew.)

Oedipal Complex

This is the complex that a boy suffers from when he hates his father for bringing him into this world (well, he hates his father because he’s attracted to his mom and jealous of his dad, but logic suggests that it must be the final outcome that irks him the most.) (Read the gory details of the Oedipal Complex and the Electra Complex (yep! why shouldn’t women have their own complex?) here.)

Id, Ego, Super-ego

Id is your elemental self. It is the only one that matters. Ego and Super-ego help you communicate with others who your Id doesn’t consider its equal. (Read about Id, Ego, Super-ego…)

Psycho-sexual development

Ever since you were born, you’ve been thinking about sex. (Oh, actually, it all began in the womb.) Freud based this theory on his personal experiences. I don’t want young mothers to begin looking at their kids with suspicion so I won’t say more on this, but you are welcome to read about the psycho-sexual development of humans here.

The Freudian Slip

This isn’t a slip that the gentleman in question wore under his shirt – instead it’s a slip that we make when we say what we want to say instead of saying what we should’ve said. (If you aren’t satisfied with my definition, read more about the Freudian Slip here.)

Expanding the Freudian Slip (No…it’s not made of spandex, I repeat.) I’ve packed a huge bundle of laughs for you.

He is also known for his drawing: “What’s on a Man’s Mind?” Once again, Freud based this drawing on his personal experiences…but don’t take my word for it.

And before I forget…here’s the couch that I talked about in my previous post, “Circa. 1920, London – The Caricaturist and the Couch“.

Circa. 1920, London – The Caricaturist and the Couch!

Time travel results in a time-lag, which is just about a 100 times worse than a jet-lag. It disorients you so completely that you often experience difficulty in differentiating between reality and fiction. What I mean is that right now, I think that I am imagining this whole computer and internet thing. It’s all fiction, isn’t it?

Actually, I am lying on an extremely comfortable couch, which is covered with oriental looking rugs. There’s a rug (looks Turkish, but I can’t be sure) on the wall behind the couch…and there is a lovely carpet on the floor. The room’s dimly lit, and the overall feeling is that of all the tiredness leaving my body and mind, and serenity replacing it.

I want to do nothing more than to fall asleep, but before I close my eyes, I see a face – a bearded man with a cigar in his hand looking into my eyes. The expression in his eyes makes me hear words that he hasn’t spoken. I hear him say, “I know what you are thinking.”

The next thing I remember is finding myself out on the pavement. I sat with my back to the wall, furiously drawing his face, trying to capture the look in his eyes…

I’ll share the picture with you – and then you can tell me what you think about that haunting look…

Caricature/Cartoon Mark Twain -The man who crafted the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

“Mark Twain” was born on February 3, 1863 – in Virginia city, when he first signed his name as Mark Twain, instead of Samuel Langhorne Clemens the name he was given upon his birth on November 30, 1835.

I am happy to present the caricature of Mark Twain, the man who is often called the father of American literature. Perhaps he’s best known for his work “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

The caricature, cartoon, drawing, sketch, portrait of mark twain the famous american writer known for writing adventures of tom sawyer and adventures of huckleberry finn.

Kept them guessing about that autobiography for 100 years! It should sell well. Nothing fuels the sale of a book better than a tiny bit of curiosity arousal.

A Short Account of Mark Twain’s Life (A biography?)

Twain was born the seventh child of a merchant in Missouri. In those times, about a 150 years ago, it was common that many children didn’t survive their childhoods – four of Mark Twain’s siblings didn’t.

While going through Twain’s biography, I was shocked to discover how chequered his career was and how he was unsuccessful at most of the things that he tried to do – except of course, writing – and the fact that he didn’t write professionally for a very long time.

Twain began working when he was 18 and his first job was that of a typesetter for a newspaper called the Hannibal Journal. As it often happened in those days too, family ties helped when it came to finding a job. This newspaper was owned by Twain’s brother Orion. For the next four years, Twain educated himself through the public libraries.

For reasons that I can’t fathom, Twain returned to Missouri and became a riverboat pilot. Why? If I were to make an intelligent guess, it could’ve been because the pay was good, or even because the job was just right for the adventurer. I don’t know. Perhaps he’s left a clue in his autobiography.

Twain must’ve realized that as a writer it would be difficult for him to get paid for his work. Well, I guess Twain must’ve also felt indebted to his elder brother who gave him the typesetter’s job, so he thought that he should do the same for his younger brother (one act of nepotism begets another) and so he convinced his younger brother to become a steamboat pilot too. Unfortunately, the younger brother died in a steamboat explosion – Twain thus, lived with regret the remainder of his life.

Anyway, Twain continued working as a Steamboat pilot until 1861 – but he couldn’t stop writing. However, he first won national acclaim in 1965, when his humorous short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was published in a New York weekly. (I guess one needs to be proficient in English to understand the story – because I couldn’t.)    

Twain married at the age of 33 and remained married for 34 years to the same lady (Olivia) until her death. (Those were the good old days.)

Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Twain wrote his autobiography (part fiction and part facts) and then didn’t allow it to be published for a 100 years. It was eventually published in 2010 – a 100 years after his death. Read a review of his autobiography and the story of its publication.

Mark Twain’s Premonitions

Twain was an extremely intuitive man. As the paranormalists would tell us, the artistic kinds are extremely vulnerable to stuff like “looking into the future”, “talking to the dead”, and other things tagged spiritual. So Twain foresaw his younger brother’s death a month, and his own, a year in advance. I wish he had said something about the Apocalypse too, but I guess he didn’t or Hollywood had made a movie about it.

In 1909, Twain said,
“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

Mark Twain’s Writings

Twain’s most famous books were written during his later years. Some of these are:

You can find the complete list of his books here and also here.

Twain’s Undoing

Mark Twain would’ve been a billionaire had he not been squandering away his fortune in the pursuit of science. The gentleman with the mustaches was in love with technology – and he always thought that technology would make him rich. He invented a few things, he made friends with Tesla (Remember that arcane thing called electromagnetism?) hoping to pick up a few things from him. Twain even invented a typesetting machine – but it all came to a naught. Rather, it robbed him of his earnings from writing and he went bankrupt!

Twain’s Whims

Mark Twain left instructions that his autobiography shouldn’t be published until 100 years after his death. Read about this whim of his in this News-story here.

Twain’s Affairs

Well…it’s said that he had become “extremely” close to Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, who had become his secretary after his wife’s Olivia’s death (check out some interesting facts here.) However, in his final years he had begun to feel that Ms. Lyon was a “slut” and that she was after his money. (Now anyone with even an iota of common sense would know that a young woman – okay middle-aged even, would be attracted to a seventy-year old man only if he had money. Ever heard of a rich young heiress falling in love with a seventy-year old beggar?! )

Caricature/Cartoon of Joseph Stalin the Russian Marxist and the Totalitarian Tyrant who was Nominated for Nobel Prize!

Presenting Joseph Stalin, the 5 feet 5 inches tall giant, who was born on December 18, 1878,  “ruled” the USSR for 12 long years, was lauded for his achievements, ridiculed for his foibles, and criticized for his harshness!

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing, Portrait of Joseph Stalin, the Communist Premier of USSR often criticized as a tyrant.

The mustaches? Oh, they help me hide my smirk.

Joseph Stalin’s Biographical Sketch

Stalin was born in a cobbler’s family in 1878. His early life gave him scars that’d stay with him for life, permanently etching into his mind a severe inferiority complex. First, he contracted smallpox (other kids teased him by calling him “Pocky” – in Russian, of course), then he damaged his left hand in a couple of accidents. Though initially he was a good student he gradually moved away from studies ans got into politics. It was in 1903, that a 25-year-old Stalin formally became a Bolshevik.

Joseph Stalin fought the Tzar’s regime and actively participated in the October revolution of 1917. During the Civil war that followed the October revolution, Stalin first experienced the feeling of unbridled power over people when he sent the Tzar’s followers to execution.

Stalin’s Real Name

was Losif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili!
He called himself Stalin (or “made of steel”) – a good thing he did – or it would’ve been nearly impossible to remember his name.

Stalin’s Relationship with Lenin

Stalin shared a love-hate relationship with Lenin. Stalin had joined the Bolshevik forces headed by Vladimir Lenin, in 1903 when he was a young man. Over the next twenty years, as Stalin’s importance grew within the party, his differences with Lenin grew too. In 1922, Lenin suffered a stroke, and Stalin became the General Secretary in his stead, and also his personal advisory. However, their relationship worsened during this period as Lenin thought of Stalin as rude abuser of power. This of course, didn’t matter, as Lenin died two years later, and Stalin assumed complete authority.

Stalin’s Atheism and his Persecution of the Religious

During Stalin’s time, it had become dangerous for people to publicly proclaim that they were religious. Atheism was the in-thing, and priests, nuns etc. were killed in thousands. It wasn’t just the Christians who were persecuted but the followers of all other religions. Ironically, Stalin supported Islam elsewhere in the world.

But what is really ironical is something else. Believe it or not, Stalin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948 (for his work towards ending the second world war – however, the guy who nominated him forgot that Stalin had first entered a “peace pact” with Hitler and only when Hitler reneged on his promise did Stalin began supporting the allies.) Thank God he didn’t get it!

Stalin’s Death

Stalin died in the October of 1953. His death was as much a subject of speculation as was his life. Some researchers believe that he was poisoned, others think that he died of an ailment caused by his being an incessant smoker. Whatever it was, his death generated a mix of extreme and opposing emotions.

Stalin’s personal life

Stalin’s regime is often described as brutal and tyrannical and the description holds true for the manner in which he treated his family.

  1. His son Yakov or Jacob, from his first marriage, attempted to commit suicide because he hated his father, but failed, only to be ridiculed by Stalin who said, “He can’t even shoot straight.” His son eventually committed suicide.
  2. His second wife is said to have either committed suicide or to have been murdered by Stalin after a quarrel.
  3. His son Vasili from his second marriage drank himself to death.
  4. A fictitious legend has it that even the mice in his many different abodes would hang themselves from his mustaches when he slept, and commit suicide.

Stalin’s Positives

It is said that Stalin is responsible for the industrialization of the USSR through the five-year plans. However, he achieved this by destroying free enterprise and establishing collectives. This plunged the USSR into poverty and misery and millions died of starvation.He is also thought to be the man responsible for improving the state of the Russian Intelligence.

Stalin’s Negatives

Stalin is infamous for “purging” the Soviet Union of the enemies (people of foreign ethnicity – Germans, Poles, etc), people who had committed the flimsiest of errors that could be re-painted as an offence, and so on). Researchers tell us that 700,000 people were executed under his regime, and he himself has been said to have signed the killing orders for about 40,000 of them. This guy, note, this guy was nominated for a Nobel Prize!

Quotes – Joseph Stalin

  • Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.
  • Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs.
  • I believe in one thing only, the power of human will.
  • I trust no one, not even myself.
  • The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
  • The only real power comes out of a long rifle.

Fascinating – aren’t they?

Caricature/Cartoon – John F. Kennedy – The 35th President of the United States.

I am writing this post from the past. It’s the year 1962 and John F. Kennedy is still alive and making merry with Marilyn Monroe. America is completed bowled over by this boyishly handsome young President and his pretty, petite, and stylish wife Jacqueline Kennedy. They love the couple – ( the men secretly admire John F. Kennedy’s exploits while the women sympathize with the First Lady?) In other words, everything appears to be in order, and exactly as this caricaturist would like it to be – happy, romantic, mushy, and adulterous!

Here’s the caricature of this tragedy-stricken, handsome child of destiny. Presenting John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy the 35th President of the United States.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, the Handsome 35th President of the United States who was assassinated by  Harvey Oswald in the third year of his presidency.

Tradition demands that I share JFK’s short and cute biography here. So here I go.

John F. Kennedy – A Quick Biographical Sketch

JFK or John F. Kennedy or “Jack” Kennedy was born in a politically active family on May 29, 1917. John suffered from various health issues from a very early age. The effect of his health on his attitude was compounded by his elder brother Joe’s achievements overshadowing his own. All this (and possibly more) made John something of a rebel when he was at school. After school he spent a mysterious month at the London School of Economics, later returning to study at Princeton University. (Note that the well-to-do, rich and connected Americans of those times, preferred to educate their kids abroad! There’s some glamor to this education abroad thing – isn’t there?) Anyway, JFK was a good student and he ended up at Harvard, where he completed his thesis as the age of 23, published it as a book, which quickly became a best seller.

After completing his education, JFK wanted to join the Army but couldn’t because he had some serious issues with his lower-back. Instead, he ended up joining the US Navy. (Wikipedia says that the “influence” (also called push or jugaad) of a senior Military guy was used to get him in the Navy – but then the ends are always more important than the means – and I am sure that Nixon’s election intelligence team must’ve gone into the nitty-grity of this whole affair and everything must’ve been found in order…so, I’ll not dig deeper into it. John married Jacqueline in 1952. The next few years were fraught with back problems and he had to undergo a few surgeries to have them corrected. It was in 1957 that he received the Pulitzer prize for a collection of biographies that he wrote and published about those US senators who risked their careers for their personal believes.

Anyway, one thing led to another, and JFK’s bravery made him save quite a few lives despite his back problems. Lives saved leads to medals earned (at least in the US they do.) (When I open my third eye (the one that belongs to the caricaturist in me) I see the entire Kennedy family moving in the living room to make room for his medals.) All this and more, including his brother’s untimely death, steered him towards the president-ship, and he became the 35th President of the US in 1961.

JFK finds an ally in Television:

In 1960 he stood for the Presidential elections again Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate (who later became the 37th President of the US). Theirs was the first presidential debate to have every been televised and, it is said that had it not been televised, history would’ve been different. People who hadn’t yet bought the idiot-box were happily listening to the debate on radio, and they favored Nixon, but those who watched the tv telecast of the debates found Kennedy a lot more charming and confident. (Who says looks don’t matter?)

Read more about the post-election politics here.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy:

JFK’s assassination is possibly the most widely remembered event of his presidency. Three years into his term JFK was on a political trip to Texas, when a man called Lee Harvey Oswald shot him in the neck and the back. Oswald was killed by Ruby two days after the assassination. The crime remains unsolved to date.

John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe:

It is said the JFK was quite keen on the Hollywood Glamor Queen, the inimitable skirt-swirling, drug-doing Marilyn Monroe. However, his close friends, confidantes, and others at the White House chose to stay quiet about his affairs (possibly to spare the pain such knowledge would cause his wife and to avoid the damage that it could do to his image in public…and of course, they didn’t want to scare away the future Presidents – notably Bill Clinton.)

John F. Kennedy Quotes:

  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names
  • The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
  • We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.
  • For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.Find more JFK quotes at Brainy Quotes.

At his inaugural address on 20th January, 1961, Kennedy challenged the people of the United States with the statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.” Guess it’s time for everyone around the world to be asking the same question…isn’t it?

The Caricaturist’s Hitlist… Across Time:)

A Happy post across time:)

Writing to you from 1961. It’s the America of John F. Kennedy’s time and everything appears to be as it should be. Last night, I prepared a short list of people whose caricatures shall be posted on this blog very soon:)

Here are they:

I haven’t decided the order yet, nor have I decided not to add more names to this list. I want to stay in the past for as long as I can…and so there may be a few more.

See you soon with a caricature from the past!

This September – I travel into the past once again!

Most of the regular readers of this blog are aware that this caricaturist is obsessed with Time Travel.

This September, I shall take another trip into the past. I shall break my journey in the medieval Europe, the post-independence America, and the pre-Cold-War USSR. I will, of course, be updating the blog on a regular basis and so you can expect to see faces of people who helped shape this world into the chaotic amorphous mass of humanity that it is now.

I can hear loud gasps of disbelief from the well-meaning friendly visitors of this blog. “Not again!” “This caricaturist is crazy.” “She doesn’t know what’s good for her.” “She’ll kill herself on this trip.” “We’ll never see her again.”…and so on…and I can also hear an occasional sigh of relief lined with hopes of a better, caricature-free tomorrow, “Who knows, her Time Machine may develop a fault once again, and she may not return at all,” and “medieval Europe? She’s an engineer – she’ll be burnt on the stake for being a witch. Thank god for small mercies!”

Whatever it is – my dear readers, I promise to return. I am carrying enough fuel for three round-trips and if at all a never-before encountered fault occurs in my Time Machine, I’ll browse the web for its solution. I have also subscribed to a five-year pre-paid Internet plan, and so I’ll stay in touch with you, and continue to update this blog regularly 🙂

Aaargh!

Did you hear that?

Oh well. Disregard and Discard!
See you soon 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon Napoleon Bonaparte – The Genius French Emperor who fired his Fashion Designer!

Napoleon Bonaparte could’ve changed the destiny of India had he seized Egypt. Indians could be speaking French instead of English, and Delhi would’ve been a replica of Paris! Doesn’t sound all that bad to the Caricaturist. What difference would it have made – our ancestors would’ve died fighting for freedom anyways – my Grandmother would’ve gone to jail during the freedom struggle, anyways… but we’d be a more artistic lot.

But let me not get started on the Indian Freedom Struggle and show you this caricature of the Great Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, looking unhappy in his bicorne hat and his tights.

Where’s that idiot who designed this uniform? The hat keeps falling over my eyes, the jacket is too stiff, and the trousers appear to be made of plastic! But hold on…plastic hasn’t been invented yet – right?

Napoleon’s Napoleonic Biography

Napoleon was born on 15 August 1769 (Note the connection with India’s Independence Day.) and he died on 5 May 1821, when he was barely 53! He spent his short life fighting battles that impoverished France and killed about 3 million people in Europe. Despite this (or because of this) he is considered the greatest military leader ever.

From 1799 to 1812, almost all of Napoleon’s military quests ended in victory and they helped him establish France as a military power to reckon with; but his good fortune ended in 1812, when he invaded Russia. He hadn’t expected the climate to be so unbelievably hostile and that was his undoing. Next he was defeated by the Sixth Coalition and was kept in exile from which he escaped and resumed power. Unfortunately his army was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo, he was captured by the British and he died in captivity – either of arsenic poisoning or of cancer.

But Napoleon isn’t known only for his battles. He’s known for more.

Napoleon’s Intellectual Legacy

Napoleon was responsible for a lot of other reforms in France. Here are a few of them.

The Napoleon Complex

They (the psychologists, who else) say that Napoleon was power-hungry because he wanted to compensate for lack of height. This assumption led them to coin the term “Napoleon Complex” They (the historians of course) incorrectly assumed that this historical giant was five feet two inches in height, while he actually was five feet seven inches – quite tall for his period! The confusion, they say (the mathematicians, who else) happened because Napoleon has instituted a different unit system in France!

Napoleon’s Love Life

What’s life without a little love?
It is said that Napoleon found his love in Josephine who was a widow and also a mistress of one of his associates. Napoleon married Josephine but as he was hardly ever around, Josephine found a lover. This obviously didn’t go down well with Napoleon, who decided that two could play at the game of infidelity. So it all went on and on, until Napoleon divorced Josephine citing the medieval reason – he needed a successor. He then married Marie Louise who gave him a son, who later ruled as Napoleon II for a couple of weeks and then succumbed to TB.

Napoleon Bonaparte Quotes

  • A leader is a dealer in hope…(only.)
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.(Not on the Internet!)
  • A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon…(a fact gladly exploited by the politicians.)
  • All religions have been made by men. (I am glad that there’s been one other person who realized this.)
  • An army marches on its stomach. (Of course…everyone else too.)

Caricature/Cartoon – Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula – The Vampire who couldn’t find his Bride!

In my grandmother’s house there was room full of books. It wasn’t a library. The books weren’t organized. They just lay there in heaps. Kids in our family were discouraged from reading novels, because they could distract us from studies, and so that room remained out of bounds for me for a long time, but then one summer afternoon, when my grandmother was away visiting her brother’s house for their usual card-game, I sneaked in.

 What I found was a treasure chest of books…some belonged to my grandfather, some to my grandmother, and some…to my father. In fact, I found my father’s English Reader from the time when he studied at Delhi’s Saint Columba’s and I laughed when I saw that he had made drawings (including a sketch of his English teacher) to cover every inch of blank space that was in it – something that I was always admonished for.

It was then, in that room, that I discovered Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I took the book to my room, and read it under the covers…and sometimes, even in the bathroom. I completed the book without getting caught – a rare feat, especially under the eagle-eye surveillance of my grandmother.

I can’t say that I am crazy about blood-sucking, foul-breathed, anachronistic vampires; but when I saw “Dracula: Dead and Loving it” I became a lot more patient towards them. If there were indeed a clumsy oaf of a vampire, so completely out of sync with the times of today; and if he really were as lovable as Leslie Nielsen was in this movie, I might consider inviting him to my Birthday party. (Did I go too far with that one?)

Here’s my rendition of Leslie Nielsen as the funniest Dracula the world has ever seen.

A Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch of Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula in the Movie Dracula Dead and Loving it.

Oh, it's a mirror. I thought this is what I actually look like! 300 years in a coffin can really play havoc with your smile!!

I am at a crossroads. Should I take you through the biography of Dracula or of the charming Naked Gun Leslie Nielsen?

A bit of both, perhaps?

Count Dracula – In Fiction and In History

There indeed was a Count Dracula. Sometime during the 15th century, there lived a man so evil that he came to symbolize the ultimate in cruelty. His name was Vlad, and he became known as Vlad III the Impaler. The image that’s exploded in front of your eyes is a snapshot from the past. Vlad’s favorite form of punishment was impaling. I will spare you the gory details of the process, and also the personal history of this historical maniac – but if you are interested, you can find all about it here.

As Vlad’s family name was Dracul, he became known as the Count Dracula. The blood-sucking bits of Dracula’s story might be fiction, but it’s known that Vlad would feast in the jungle of the impaled, where he’d sit near those impaled at his orders, and enjoy a perfect meal – gloating upon the pain and misery that he had inflicted upon others. (I know…I know – he did it to those who were responsible for his father’s downfall – but I refuse to feel pity for Mr. Vlad Yikes!)

Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in the early 20th century. It’s obvious that he drew inspiration from Vlad the Sicko and the folklore of the region. His Dracula was a more colorful guy with three brides (who could be his brides or his daughters…it isn’t made clear by Mr. Stoker,) and his tendency to stick a straw in any human neck that he chances upon.

Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen was a Hollywood actor and comedian. He acted in numerous parody movies (movies that parody other movies) but he is best known for his Naked Gun series in which he played the part of Frank Drebin, the man who unknowingly leaves a trail of disaster behind him.

According to Wikipedia here,

“Nielsen appeared in over one hundred films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.”

You know how marriages and affairs interest the Caricaturist. (She could’ve been a divorce lawyer, if she weren’t a caricaturist) So, she is dying to tell you that Nielsen was an extremely well-married man who had married four times. He tied his final love-knot when he was a youthful 74, and that marriage lasted until his death, ! I hope all singles who are 74 or younger are tuned in 🙂

As a final note to this post, I recommend that people who are afraid of the dark because they expect canine-baring, blood-sucking vampires to appear out of nowhere; should watch “Dracula – Dead and Loving it!” I promise that you’ll experience a transformation – your fear will be replaced by laughter!

Caricature/Cartoon – Muammar Gaddafi – The Dictator of Libya.

Updated: October 20, 2011:

Colonel Gaddafi was killed by the Libyan Rebel Forces (now known as the Transitional Authorities) in his Hometown Sirte, on October 20, 2011. Now it’s time for Libya to prove that they can establish and maintain a democracy.

Mahatma Gandhi said,

The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart.

When the first step towards democracy is soaked in blood, a change of heart isn’t easy to come by. Democracy requires a belief in peace and in non-violence, the primary reason why India has been more successful with democracy despite being the most populated of all the nations that gained their independence in the twentieth century, and despite having been born in a sea of blood. What is the belief of those who are now strapping themselves in the driver’s seat for these reborn nations? We will know in a few years. Right now it appears to be a time to celebrate.

————————————Original post follows————————————–

Presenting the self-proclaimed “King of the Kings”, the nutty dictator of Libya – Muammar Gaddafi, who’s had Libya in his claws for 40 long years – and who isn’t yet willing to loosen his grip…come blood, gore, deaths, or even international opposition!

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Portrait of Moammar Gaddafi, the Dictator of Libya!

I’ll martyr Libya. (What did I say? Oh…I meant I’ll die a martyr for Libya!)

The Highlights of Gadhafi’s Life – As seen by the Caricaturist who suffers from Tunnel Vision coupled with Multiple Blind Spots!

Muammar Al-Gaddafi, the 70-year old Libyan leader who doesn’t let go of his 40-year long hold on Libya, was born in a tent in the desert, near Sirt, a city of Libya. He received his elementary education in a madarsa. When he grew up, he joined the military academy of Libya and graduated in 1966. He became the dictator of Libya in 1969 after overthrowing King Idris and ridding Libya of the “oily-rich” monarchy. Others who helped him overthrow the monarchy became subservient to him – thus began the reign of Gaddafi.

A full political biography of Gaddafi isn’t something that I really want to suffocate my readers with, so I will stick to presenting only the essential details, which… pertain to his children. (You think there’s more to life than children? Ask any parent.) Gaddafi has eight children – 7 male! I won’t even try to write down the details of all his sons, but it’s difficult for me not to mention his fourth son, aptly called Hannibal M. Gaddafi.

The Ridiculously Important Stuff!

  1. Even with Kadafi (yes…another spelling,) Libya has one of the  highest per capita GDP in Africa – all thanks to Oil.
  2. Gaddafi worked really hard to get weapons of mass destruction from China, Pakistan, and India – and then when he saw what happened to Saddam, he did an about-turn and allowed for inspection and destruction of his own arsenal (Why? Don’t ask me – ask a Gaddafi-expert.)
  3. In 2008, Gaddafi got bestowed upon himself the title of King of the Kings of Africa, and called for the creation of the United States of Africa (which thankfully didn’t happen – or we’d be wondering where to fit the abbreviation “USA”!)
  4. Believe it or not, he was involved in at least 25 assassinations internationally, and yet…he gets to meet all the top world leaders. (Why can’t I, a law-abiding citizen of a democracy, meet them instead – I ask you.)
  5. On one hand, Gaddafi is considered an “almost terrorist” who brought Libya to a level where the US once declared it a “rogue state”; on the other hand, he has been involved in many public utility projects within Libya.
  6. In 2010, during his trip to Italy, Gaddafi asked the European women to convert to Islam (I think he’d have got a better response from men… but then I am ignorant of the finer threads of Gaddafi’s thought process.)
  7. In 2009, he  addressed the UN General Assembly, in which he called Barack Obama, “the son of Africa.” (I don’t know if the White House issued an official denial, but it did make life difficult for the US President, ultimately forcing him to produce his birth certificate to show that he was “the son of America”!)
  8. Gaddafi often contradicts himself in his speeches (all politicians do, but then unlike Gaddafi, most of them make an attempt to appear sensible.)
  9. He imposed Sharia law in Libya, in the year 1973. Accordingly, alcohol was outlawed. (Now, are you wondering how he got those bags under his eyes?)

The Present Civil Unrest in Libya

It began in February 2011 (Inspired by the Tunisian protests…as it happened elsewhere in the middle-east.) Despite the continuing battle between the Army and the Civilians, and despite the intervention of the international community, Muammar Gaddafi has refused to let go of Libya.

For more details, watch CNN.

Gaddafi’s Plastic Surgery

Moammar Gaddafi’s Quotes

It is the Libyan people’s responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya’s image abroad.
—Gaddafi

“There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe–without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.” —Gaddafi

I really don’t know if the Gaddafi Quotes here are real or not…but they sure make you wonder whether the man actually has a left side to his brain.

Gaddafi’s Female Body-guards

No post on Gaddafi can be complete without a mention of his “virgin” body-guards. (Ever wonder what the interview process for recruitment of his body-guards must include?)
For a colorful collection of pictures that show his many body-guards, the various spellings of his name as a list of tags  – click this link here 🙂

And finally…

Watch the Crazy Gadhafi slideshow here, and … design a Gaddafi Costume for your next Halloween party!

Caricature/Cartoon – Osama Bin Laden Killed by US Military in Pakistan – Justice has been Done!

Osama bin Laden, the dreaded Al-Qaeda terrorist carrying a reward of US $25 Million on his turbaned head, a close cousin of Achmed the dead terrorist, but infinitely more difficult to kill, is finally dead! He was shot by the US Military in Abbottabad Pakistan on May 1, 2011.

In the past, whenever I thought of caricaturing Bin Laden, I had set the task aside for that historical day when I would hear the news of his capture or death. Today, an hour ago, when President Obama announced Osama’s death, I sprung into action, and drew this caricature. I believe that this is my fastest caricature ever…and I also think that it has captured the essence of my thoughts.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing of Osama Bin Laden, the Dreaded Terrorist of Al Qaeda - shot dead by the US Military.

They “kill” me!

Feel free to use the above picture on your blog/website (FREE for as-is non-commercial use.)

Here’s a Short Biography of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden was born in a rich Saudi Family on March 10, 1957. Osama was the only son of his father’s 10th(?) wife. Osama possibly enrolled for an engineering degree in Saudi Arabia, but he didn’t complete it. However, he was extremely devoted to Islam and spent time in interpreting Quran and Jihad. Osama married four times and fathered 2 dozen children. (Note that he denounced the Americans as people who indulged in “fornication,” among other things!)

Well…one thing must’ve led to another, and Osama ended up becoming a Jihadi. His family connections and wealth helped him gain importance and start the organization that we now know as Al-Qaeda.

What used to go on in Osama’s Mind?

  • Nobody knows as he spoke little. But his actions told us that he was anti-democracy, anti-socialism and pro-taliban, pro-jihad!
  • He believed that it was okay to target women and children for the purpose of Jihad.
  • He was against music (on religious grounds!!!)

Osama is known to have spawned Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

(Read more about Bin Laden at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden)

After the attack on the twin towers, USA declared war on Al-Qaeda. One of the important missions of this war was to “capture or kill” Bin Laden. Bin Laden was earlier working from Afghanistan, but then there were reports that he had moved to Pakistan. Pakistan however continued to deny it.

How the US Military killed Osama Bin Laden?

The American Intelligence discovered that Osama bin Laden was staying in a mansion at Abbottabad, which is 60 miles from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. The compound around the mansion was almost 8-times the size of the compounds around the neighboring houses. Abbottabad is a town where many retired government and military officials live. The compound where Osama bin Laden was found and shot dead, is situated quite close to the Pakistani military academy.

The attack was carried out by American Assault Team consisting of special forces including the US Navy Seals. It was a 40-minute operation, which involved fire-fighting, which lead of the deaths of three men (Osama included) and one woman. The reason why the woman got killed was because she was being used as a human shield by Osama and his associates. One of the helicopters crashed due to a mechanical failure, but all the American personnel involved in the operation are safe.

His body/remains are now with the US.

Read the details at the Los Angeles Times website here.

All this of course raises a lot of questions. Especially as Pakistan has always been in denial that Osama was staying there (leave alone the fact that he was living there in “style” and “comfort” unlike Saddam Hussein who was imitating a mouse.) That Osama was staying in such close proximity of the military academy and in such a posh area, is something that makes you wonder how deep the roots of Al-Qaeda go?

Caricature Gallery Updated with 15 Recent Drawings!

Dear Friends,

I’ve updated the Caricature Gallery with new caricatures in almost all sections. If you’ve begun to visit my blog recently, you might not have seen the caricatures that I’ve uploaded since November 2010, as they were not there in the Gallery until now.

The Celebrity Caricatures that have been added to the gallery include:

  • Troy Polamalu
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Keanu Reeves
  • AR Rahman
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Julius Caesar
  • Monalisa (yes, hers too.)

The additions to the gallery also include:

  • the Pen and Ink Drawing of an extremely resourceful terrier HH Dewey Dewster of Pawsylvania and
  • a Polymer Clay caricature of the Devil.

So please visit the Caricature Gallery to view the recent additions (which appear towards the end of each section.)

Smiles,
Shafali

Caricature/Cartoon – Salvador Dali, The Surreal Surrealist & The Persistence of Memory!

The Caricature of Salvador Dali – The Surreal Caricaturist and A Psychologist Extraordinaire!

I cross my heart and speak the truth so help me Dali.

I didn’t draw this caricature, you did…I merely reproduced it.

A Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Portrait of Salvador Dali, the Spanish Surrealist with his mustaches (moustaches) and the characteristic mad look in his eyes!

Had you fooled, Didn't I? You see..."The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad!"

Dali is my Guru of the future. He is the artist whose footsteps I’d love to follow. He is the man who makes me understand the force that drives the loaded ones to part with their money. I like the man, and if someone would promise not to read this post, I’d venture further to say that I love him, mustaches and all.

Moving on to the serious stuff:

According to my first stop on the information highway also known as Wikipedia, Salvador Dali’s name was almost as complex as his personality. What do you say to “Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol”? I say, “Magnificent!”

Here’s his short biography.

Salvador Dali’s Biography – Short, Sweet, and Surreal

Salvador Dali was born in Catalonia, Spain. That Dali became a surrealist should come as no surprise to us as his parents made him believe that he was a reincarnation of his older brother, also called Salvador. No wonder he grew up with his realities mixed up. Anyway, the point is that his aberrations became clear from the very beginning as the reincarnated Salvador began to display artistic tendencies at a very tender age. Dali’s mom was keen on her son following his artistic instincts. Unfortunately in 1921, when Dali was just 17, she died.

Dali worked in Spain until 1935, when he moved to America. He later returned to Spain in 1949 and spent his remaining years there. It is said when Dali was in his late seventies, his Russian wife who was 10 years his senior had gone senile and she fed Dali something that made Dali lose his ability to paint. Still Dali loved her and when Gala his wife died in 1982, he attempted suicide. He was saved by his “friends” (who possibly asked him to sign blank canvasses before his death.) In 1989, when Dali was 86, he finally crossed over into the world of his paintings!

Salvador Dali – the Surreal Man

In 1922, an 18-year-old Dali who was thinner than a stick, discovered the essence of being a great artist. He developed a persona that would convert Dali himself into a master-piece. He used to dress up in a style fashionable about half-a-century before his time, and a young barely-out-of-his-teens Dali was already beginning to push his eyes out of their sockets.

What I really find interesting is the fact that Salvador Dali was kicked out from his art-school because he felt that none of the teachers were competent enough to examine him. I don’t blame him for stating the obvious, but I do think that calling a spade a spade works when the spade is NOT supposed to grade your performance – I think he should have done it after having completed his studies, but then, knowing Dali, he might have done it to ignite controversy – and cook his daily breakfast.

Here’s what he had to say about himself:

“at the age of six I wished to be a female cook, at seven Napoleon, ever since, my ambition has been continually on the increase, as has my megalomania: now all I want to be is Salvador Dali. But the closer I get to my goal, the further Salvador Dali drifts away from me.”
(Source: http://www.theartistsalvadordali.com/)

Salvador Dali’s Mustaches

Dali’s iconic mustaches made their first appearance in the late 1920s and then they clung to his face throughout his life. That is the problem with developing a persona – you’ve got to stick with the good and bad of it throughout your life.

Dali and his Dad

Quite like every other male artist’s father, Dali’s father never approved of his artistic pursuits – especially his hobnobbing with the surrealists. So around 1930 Dali was thrown out of his father’s house, because he said something about spitting on his mom’s portrait, which of course, didn’t go down well with his dad.

Dali and Surrealism

On one hand Dali was evicted from his dad’s house for getting chummy with the surrealists, on the other hand he was expelled from the surrealist group because he didn’t want to take a  pro-communist, anti-fascist stance that all the other surrealists were taking at the time. However, Dali wasn’t worried at all. He twirled his sword-fish mustaches, puffed his chest up, and said, “I myself am surrealism.” Point taken, Mr. Dali.

Dali’s Art

He painted about 1500 paintings. Use the following links to enter his world (Warning: expect slight dizziness.)

Salvador Dali’s artwork continuously changed in form and method. He began as a painter who was strongly influenced by Pablo Picasso‘s Cubism, Dadaism, and Expressionism. He then moved into surrealism but stayed with painting. Later in his life, he began experimenting with the photographic method and the content of his artwork became more science-oriented.

Dali’s Psychological Disorders

The fact that he was an artist extraordinaire automatically qualifies him for receiving at least one Mental Illness Award.
So, what did he suffer from?
1. DSM Cluster A and B?
2. Bipolar Disorder??

Don’t ask – but Dali’s eccentricities (which incidentally had a big hand in making him famous,) have been ascribed to some sort of mental illness.

But then Dali was smart enough to know something that the psychologists didn’t – he knew how to be famous…and he knew that he wasn’t mad.

“The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad” – Salvador Dali

See?

My Opinion on the Great Salvador Dali

(…doesn’t really count…)

However, here’s my take.

Dali was an exceptionally intelligent, street-smart man, who was also highly skilled in using the brush. Thus, he was unlike other artists. I believe that he could have excelled as a politician, a doctor, an engineer, a photographer, a cook…I guess he could have been whatever he wanted to. He however, wanted to be an artist – and he was smart enough to know how to become famous as an artist.

He knew that he had to make Dali a brand in art, and he knew that you didn’t become a famous artist by doing what everyone else did. So he swam against the current, and he made the fact known, even if he had to scream it out in your face. Note that he had begun to develop his persona much before he became renowned for his art. Also note that most of his artworks generated a lot of criticism in terms of multiple interpretations – thus, he was completely aware of the fact that criticism of a certain kind leads to promotion. He ensured that his personality synchronized with his quirky artwork.

I’d have grouped him with the likes of Pablo Picasso and M.F. Hussain, but for his skill with the brush. Dali was an artist who could call his brush to do his bidding. Unlike others who have successfully peddled abstract art that made you wonder if your three-year old could do a better job, Dali makes you think that if the artist of his caliber tossed those objects around on the canvas, he must surely have had a reason to do so.

I bow to Dali’s smartness, intelligence, and skill – in that order.

Caricature/Cartoon – Julius Caesar – The Roman General and Cleopatra’s first Roman Paramour!

Julius Caesar was born on the thirteenth of July, 100 BC – just about 2110 years ago. You know him as the guy from Shakespeare’s drama Julius Caesar, in which he dramatically cries out “et tu Brute!” before he dies; as the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra’s Roman paramour; and as the untiring pursuer of the fearless Gauls in the famous Asterix comics.

Here’s Julius Caesar with his Laurel Wreath and two butterflies auditing the quality of the wreath.

A Cartoon, Caricature, Sketch, Portrait of Julius Caesar, the Roman General who was Cleopatra's lover!

They use only the most tender leaves for making his wreath.

A Short Biography of Julius Caesar

Caesar was born in a noble but poor family. His wasn’t a typical rags-to-riches saga, but he did have a tough life. At 16 he was heading his family, at 17 he became the high priest of Jupiter for which he had to break off his engagement and get married to another girl from a noble family; and then before he turned 21, he was forced to go into hiding because Sulla, the then dictator of Rome was weeding out the potential threats. Caesar’s mom’s family had to pull some strings to get him a pardon – after which Caesar joined the army.Only when Sulla died, Caesar returned to Rome.

Caesar came back poor and had to stay in a lower-class neighborhood (slums?) As he still had to put food on his rickety table, he decided to become a lawyer. One thing led to another (as it always does in stories that become too long to tell,) and in 60 BC he won the election and became a consul (whatever that means – if you know, please feel free to enlighten me.)

Caesar’s Personal Life

Caesar’s first wife Cornelia died in 69 BC. He then married Pompeia. She was suspected of having an affair with a guy who had a really complex name. the chauvinist Caesar didn’t approve of it at all – “Caesar’s wife should be above all suspicion,” he said in Roman – and divorced Pompeia. About 10 years later, he married Calpurnia to further his political career. Eventually, he discovered Cleopatra and he had an extra-marital affair with her.

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra

Cleopatra the ruler of Egypt met Caesar when she was already onto her second husband (who was also her younger brother) Ptolemy 14th!
(Wow! Those guys were super-creative when it came to naming their children…it must have something to do with the royal inbreeding program followed by the Egyptian royalty.)

Nevertheless, she decked herself up in a rug and met Caesar and they went for a long cruise on Nile – a lot of interesting things might’ve happened between them and some say that Cleopatra conceived Caesarion, their son, while they were bobbing up and down on the Nile. Though they say that J and C were crazy about each other, I’d say that Cleo was just trying to get some political mileage out of her relationship with Julius – or why would she land in Mark Antony’s lap the moment Caesar cried “Et tu Brutus”?

If you are completely nuts and you want to read more about JC and Cleo’s mushy love-life, check out the following two links:

  1. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3329
  2. http://www.suite101.com/content/julius-caesar-and-cleopatra-a224138

Caesar’s Relationship with the Gauls

Caesar’s relationship with the Gauls could be described as troubled at best (source: Asterix Comics:)) He had brought the whole Gaul under his control and converted it into Roman territory, save one tiny little village, where Asterix and Obelix lived. His army was scared of the two Gauls, because they had the magic potion that Druid Getafix used to fix for them (and as a child, Obelix had fallen into a cauldron of the magic potion – I hope that the potion had cooled down when he fell into it.)

Once again, to cut a long story short – you need to pick an Asterix comic to understand it completely…or you might want to get in touch with Albert Uderzo, who in my opinion, is the best comic book illustrator and cartoonist in this world.

Caesar’s Assassination

Caesar’s popularity and his re-election as the dictator of Rome for the third time in succession led to a strong wave of jealousy among the senators. About 40 senators stabbed him to death in the Theater of Pompei. With his death, the Roman Republic died to give way to an empire, with Caesar’s adopted son Octavian becoming the emperor.

I guess this is all that I want to tell you about Caesar…and his butterflies.

Julius Caesar Quotes

There two important quotes that should be mentioned here.

Et tu brute! : This phrase literally means, “You too Brutus!” You should exclaim “Et tu brute” when someone you trust cheats on you. For instance, if your dog bites you. This phrase should never be used when your politicians cheat you, because you’d be a fool to trust your politicians.

Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion: This phrase means, people who are connected to people who have an image to cultivate, should not have ghosts in their cupboards. Example:? (Can you see me scratching my head…I too would need a laurel wreath soon.) Please feel free to add an example to the comments section:)

Caricature/Cartoon – Sherlock Holmes – The Greatest Fictional Detective Ever!

Sherlock Holmes, the character was born in  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s imagination. ACD was a Scottish author and doctor. The world first made acquaintance with Mr. Sherlock Holmes in Doyle’s first story, “A Study in Scarlet.” Sherlock Holmes was actively solving crimes in London, from 1880 to 1914.

Here’s the caricature of Sidney Paget‘s rendition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero, Sherlock Holmes.

Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Portrait, Sketch of Sherlock Holmes, Greatest detective ever, with a lens and a mouse - based on the drawings of Sidney Paget.

You, Sir, have been scampering through the drains of London. You have arrived at 221B Baker Street by climbing through the window of Watson’s bathroom. You are here to consult me on a matter that concerns you deeply.

Sherlock Holmes – A Biography

He was born on January 06, 1854 (the date and the year of his birth have been distilled from  different stories.) This makes Holmes a Capricorn, and from whatever I’ve gathered of sun-signs, his personality seems to match the stereotypical Capricorn. Thus, it’s rather obvious that Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock’s literal father, was deeply influenced by Linda Goodman who was born in 1925. It’s once again obvious from this, that Doyle knew how to travel through time and this is how he could meet Ms. Goodman…(or is my reasoning fallacious, Mr. ‘Olmes?)

Did Sherlock Holmes have a family?
Well. Mr. Doyle refrained from staining the personality of his objective, no-nonsense hero by talking about his family. Whether or not he had parents can’t be deduced from the stories (so we’ve got to go by our good old common-sense) but that he had a brother is evident. His brother Mycroft Holmes, according to Sherlock, was equally gifted but he didn’t bother honing his skills up. If he had bothered, we would’ve read Mycroft Holmes mysteries instead.

Did Sherlock Holmes ever fall in love?
He probably did, with Irene Adler, “the woman” who managed to outsmart  our detective genius. Otherwise, Sherlock Holmes was interested in women only when they brought him his cases. 100 years on…does it tell us that Holmes was gay?

Sherlock Holmes’ Psychology

Quoting myself…

I’ve begun to believe that if a perfectly normal person visited a psychologist, he’d come off that couch believing he had at least three major and one minor psychological ailment. Look around. Everyone gets depressed once in a while and the durations vary.

One of my aunts would get very-very angry, throw things around, and then shut herself up in her room shunning food for the entire day, until everyone grew concerned and until she had everybody’s attention. Then she would be the happiest person in the whole house. In those days, you’d call such people temperamental and let them be themselves. The lady spent a perfectly normal life, reared a son, became a grand-mother, and she now continues to harass her grand-daughter-in-laws(?) She’s 82 now, quite healthy, and would live for another 10 years! Her cool-headed practical husband, on the other hand, left for his other-worldly abode twenty years ago! Had she been taken to a psychologist, she’d be diagnosed with some or the other disorder, and she’d possibly have preceded her husband to that other world, worrying why the heck wasn’t she born normal!

But I stray from the point.

The psychologists weren’t happy analyzing and branding real people, and so they decided to determine what was wrong with Sherlock Holmes. Something has to be wrong with everyone whose a celebrity…right? I mean what could be a better way to belittle their achievements? Check out the list of celebs with syndromes here.  It makes me wonder whether to become a celebrity you need to buy yourself a syndrome.
So here’s what Holmes was diagnosed with:

Quoting from Wikipedia:
Holmes may have Asperger’s syndrome based on his intense attention to details, lack of interest in friends or a social life and tendency to speak in long monologues.

(I think that I have Asperger’s too… and all this while I thought it was so because I was an introvert! Poor me…never knowing…struggling through my miserable life without knowing what actually is wrong with me!) Also note that “a severe family trauma” could be the reason why he never trusted women. If only Holmes were real…and could defend himself.

Sherlock Holmes – Original Drawings

If I asked you to tell me whether Sherlock Holmes had a nose that was a) spherical b)Hawk-like c)Bulbous d)Snub, then chances are good that you’ll select (b) as the correct option. We have Sidney Paget to thank for visualizing and drawing Sherlock Holmes with such consistency that  even photography may fail to achieve. The image that I always carry in my head is not the one that is seen in the Sherlock Holmes movies or TV Shows, but those that are there on the pages of that hefty volume, which despite many readings, remains one of my favorite books!

My caricature of Mr. Holmes takes after Sidney Paget’s visualization.

View the Original Holmes Drawings here.

Dr. John H. Watson

Dr. Watson was Holmes’ flat-mate and friend, and he was the one who compiled and narrated his adventures. However, Holmes believed that Watson were a romantic and so he embellished the truth thus reducing its objectivity. In the stories that involve young and pretty women, Watson could be seen commiserating with them and speaking to them tenderly, much to the chagrin of Mr. Ever-grumpy Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes in Popular Culture

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 4 novels and 56 stories around Sherlock Holmes.
The novels are as follows:
* A Study in Scarlet – the first work in which Holmes appeared – it was published in 1887
* The Sign of the Four – 1890
* The Hound of the Baskervilles – published as a serial in 1901-02
* The Valley of Fear – published as a serial in 1914-15
(Source: Wikipedia)

Professor Moriarty – the Master Villain in the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

It’s said that Doyle created Professor Moriarty so that he could “kill” Holmes (possibly because he wanted to write something different.) He is considered (by Holmes himself) a man his equal in mind, yet someone who had turned his phenomenal powers towards evil. In the Final Solution, Holmes and Moriarty both die, yet the public forced Doyle to bring him back, which he did through the Hounds of Baskervilles set in an earlier time. The public still wasn’t happy – they wanted Holmes to be alive and well. Finally Doyle gave in and Holmes was resurrected. Moriarity had exceptional mathematical abilities…imagine that!

Other Characters in the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries:

  • Baker Street Irregulars
  • Inspector Lestrade
  • Mrs. Hudson – the Landlady
  • Inspector Stanley Hopkins

Free Downloads – Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

The Books by Arthur Conan Doyle are now in the Public Domain. You can download them from the Project Gutenberg site here.

And…if you are wondering who are the actors who’ve played the part of Sherlock Holmes in TV serials and movies…find your list here.

Definition of Art…The Theoretical Standpoint!

Note: This is the first post in a two-post series. Read “Definition of Art…The Practical Standpoint” here.

What is Art?

This is a question that will result in a different answer each time someone tried to answer it – and this itself is one the core characteristics of art.

The Definition of Art

My Definition of Art would be:

Art is an expression of the creator’s imagination, presented through a form that generates an emotional or cognitive value for people by opening itself to multiple interpretations.

Definition of Art Explained

Let me explain this definition.

Art is an expression: Art has to be expressed in some form. An idea in the head of the artist isn’t art – to be considered as art it needs to be expressed in a form that allows it to reach people. The form could be visual, written, or even performed.

…of the creator’s imagination: The expression should involve imagination. (View Salvador Dali’s Gallery here.) The imagination component would manifest itself in the selection of colors, the composition of an artwork, the sequencing and presentation of content, or even the moves of a dancer.

…presented through a form that generates an emotional or cognitive value for people: Art has to be presented through a form that generates value for people, or it isn’t art. An expression of imagination that revolts people can’t be called art – unless the revulsion is interpreted as value by someone…then for that person, it could be art. (Read about “Artist’s Shit” by Piero Manzoni here.)  Something that generates absolutely no emotional or cognitive response too can’t be called art.

…by opening itself to multiple interpretations: Art leads to multiple interpretations. Something that is interpreted in exactly the same way by everyone isn’t art. It may have a lot of functional utility though, for instance, the letters of the alphabet or the numbers 0 to 9 have their unique interpretations, and they don’t qualify as art.

However, if someone takes one of these numbers (or all these numbers) and expresses it in a manner that the expression generates an emotive or cognitive response from people and results in a personal interpretation for everyone…then the expression would qualify as art. (Refer to Robert Indiana’s Works.)

Note that I don’t speak of good art, bad art, or even popular art here. I am merely trying to define art by stringing all its components logically.

An Example of Art Analyzed!

Let me now review Mona Lisa, the most famous “artwork” in history, against this definition.

Mona Lisa is an expression of  Leonardo da Vinci’s imagination (note that though it’s a portrait – yet it goes beyond just a photographic depiction), presented through a form that generates an emotional or cognitive value for people (through the form and content of the painting,) for people by opening itself to multiple interpretations. (The curiosity that Monalisa arouses through her mysterious expression, her almost androgynous face, her clothes, her lack of jewelery, and even her background – leads a viewer to his/her own interpretation of the painting, which in fact is the emotional/cognitive value.)

More Definitions of Art:

Find more definitions of art at the following links:

Well…

that was an academic-looking post, wasn’t it?

Await the next installment, “Definition of Art…The Practical Standpoint!” for a more humorous take 🙂 – Published:) Read “Definition of Art…The Practical Standpoint” here.

Caricature/Cartoon of Monalisa and the truth behind her smile!

Presenting Monalisa who mocks you from a portrait drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s possible that you haven’t heard of Da Vinci, but it’s almost impossible that you don’t know about Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile.
Here’s The Caricaturist’s rendition of the “Greatest work of Art” in the world.

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing of Monalisa or Mona Lisa a Portrait by Leonardo da Vinci

What's behind that smile?

Countless historians have spent countless number of hours, days, and years, trying to answer two questions:
1. Who is Mona Lisa?
2.  What does her smile mean?

What everyone knows is that Monalisa is a portrait done by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest artists of all times, who was really awful at completing his paintings. We’d never know how he motivated himself to complete this one but he managed it somehow. Monalisa won’t have become this famous if about 400 years of its being painted, a patriotic Italian won’t have tried to take it back to Italy, where he thought it belonged (forgetting completely that one of the many King Louis’ had bought it from Salai, the guy who had inherited the portrait from Leonardo da Vinci!) Anyway, Mona Lisa has lived in the Louvre Museum of Paris for most of its life and right now it’s better guarded and protected than the President of the US.

To cut a long post short, let’s quickly look at the possible answers to the two questions that many good people called art historians have spent the best parts of their lives, trying to answer!

Mona Lisa – Who’s she?

Honestly speaking, nobody knows. Here are some possibilities though.
Mona Lisa is:

  • Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait.
  • Salai, his buffoon-of-a-pupil and possible lover’s portrait.
  • A pregnant Italian Noblewoman’s portrait (La Gioconda?)
  • A poor unfortunate woman’s portrait.

Why is the woman (?) in the Mona Lisa portrait smiling? What’s behind that smile?

I guess this is a question that people have been asking ever since 1911 – the year in which Mona Lisa became famous because she was stolen.

Of course, interpretations abound; but here’s my viewpoint.
The “person” in the painting is smiling because:

  • Leonardo da Vinci winked at him/her.
  • Leonardo told a lawyer’s joke while he was painting.
  • Salai, his pupil of a “special nature” told Leonardo a vegetarian joke (because Leonardo was a vegetarian) and he/she overheard it.
  • Melzi, his other pupil of another “special nature” told Leonardo that Salai had finally made a recognizable portrait.
  • Leonardo da Vinci didn’t realize that he had paint on his nose.
  • The “person” was a man dreaming of a portrait of him riding a horse.
  • The “person” was a woman dreaming of a portrait with jewels around her neck.
  • The “person” was an alien wondering why Leonardo da Vinci couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be an engineer, an anatomist, a sculptor, a metal worker, or an artist…for artssakes!

And if these aren’t enough reasons for you to choose from, click here to discover what the experts have to say about Monalisa and her smile.

Amy asked me to leave the caricature untitled – so untitled it is. What in your opinion is the reason behind her smile?

The First Entry for the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival is in!

Thought I’d make this quick announcement for those who like to read fiction in small doses:) i.e. in form of short stories.

The first story for the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival – November Edition is in. Read Oorvi’s Twisty Tale, “The Love of my Life” at the WiseK9‘s blog.

The Caricature for which this story was written is this. Click the picture to read the details of the Carnival and see the bigger version of this caricature.

Waiting to read your story:)