Those forgotten caricatures…

Dear Friends of this crazy caricaturist,

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

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

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

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

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

Alter-Kreacher: <shuffles away mumbling.>

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

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

I’ll return soon…

 

 

 

 

 

Sinister-handed Lefties are the Smarter Lot – A Case for the Left-handers!

Updated: December 05, 2020.

New post on Lefties “Lefties, you are always right!”

Also check out The Spinning Top Podcast, “Lefties, you are Right.”

The Sweet and Sour Spinning Top Podcast on Lefties.

The Boon of Left-handedness

Left-handedness is a trait that makes you special. Among the right-handers, a left-hander is the center of everyone’s attention. Secretly, every right-handed person wishes for the boon of left-handedness, because it makes one special…in whichever way.

So, if you were born left-handed, rejoice. Because people around you envy the fact that to look different, all you need to do is be yourself. Those right-handers also envy you because you are smarter, more creative, and infinitely more interesting than them, but then this too is something that they’d never confess to you, ever.

The data-squirrels have sacks full of data suggesting that the lefties are:

Yet, the left-handers of the world have been called names. They’ve been called sinister-handed, southpaw,  cack/cacky-handed (clumsy) Why? Because every damn thing ever made was made for the right-handed people, and the lefties appeared obviously “clumsy” when they used them. I wish there were a place where everything was made for the left-handed people, and then a few right-handed, “dexterous” people were let loose in it. I’d like to see how they continue to remain dexterous!

Nevertheless, the left-handed people do a good job with these right-handed instruments, because they have better visual sense and the ability to analyze space. I agree that it’s a freaking pain to cut fabric using the scissors manufactured for the “dexterous” majority (and, trust me, it’s a bigger pain trying to find a pair of scissors for the left-handed,) yet the lefties will give you a straighter cut than most of your right-ies.

Some of the lefties are ambidextrous, which means that they are able to use both their hands with equal efficacy (well, according to this link, ambidextrous also means – deceitful and bisexual – do you see how the right-ies try to bring us down at every available opportunity?) The ambidextrous appear magical to the normal, rightly-gifted lot…and magic is more often feared than revered. This makes the ambidextrous lot angry, but there isn’t much they can do about it. So they go into their shells to save themselves from those wide-eyed, crazy looks that they get, and they hide themselves from the world.

The fact that I can draw with both hands at the same time, the fact that I can write in reverse without ever practicing it, could’ve been a normal thing for me; but when I was in seventh grade and  stupid enough to demonstrate it in front of my friends, I lost them because their parents thought that I was a witch. And so I kept it hidden, but every once in a while when I get lost in an idea, I start using both my hands to draw it out. Yet the moment I catch myself in the unspeakable act of allowing my sinistrality (note that it isn’t even a proper word) to work together with my dexterity, I stop to look around and check whether anyone’s watching me. Wonder why people don’t give that funny look to themselves when they type with both hands, or when they swim using all their limbs.

I spent a long time worrying about hiding my weird writing and drawing habits, and now I’ve reached a point where I don’t care anymore, especially because these sinister abilities didn’t harm me in any way.

Here’s something for people who worry about their kids being left-handed/mirror-writers.

I survived and I survived well.

Without going into irrelevant details, here are some facts about this woman who masquerades as the caricaturist:

  • I’m good at Math and Physics. I studied Engineering and then worked as an engineer.
  • I successfully competed in many national entrance exams, and I even topped one of them.
  • I can read, write, and speak two languages, and I can learn the script of any language almost overnight.
  • I can draw better than many and I am not clumsy at all (but don’t put me behind the steering wheel or I’ll drive you right into the oncoming traffic).

Yet,

  • I can’t understand or appreciate music at all, nor can I recognize voices beyond those of my family members. (I don’t really miss it.)
  • I was probably born left-handed, but I learned to write and eat with my right hand. (Not bad. Righties may try doing the opposite and see how easy it is.)
  • I am less practical than about 90% of the human race. (That’s what makes me an artist :-))
  • I am straight. (not a great loss, I think. Read this.)

Do you see?
If you are a lefty or a parent of a lefty, there’s no reason for you to worry. You (or your child) are gifted.

Before I end this post, here’s a quote that I read on a t-shirt (and so I don’t know who wrote it, but whoever did – thanks. I also found a link with many more quotes about left-handedness and added it here.)
“”Everyone is born right-handed…but only the greatest overcome it.

and yes, there’s a World Left-Hander Day. It’s August 13th (and no, it’s not a Friday.)

Caricature/Cartoon Tom Cruise – The Caricaturist undertakes Mission Impossible to play the Matchmaker!

With Katie Holmes leaving Tom Cruise, we’ll once again have a 50-year old eligible bachelor looking for a wife who’d stick to him no matter what.

The caricaturist has found the right bride for Tom Cruise – one who’d never leave him especially because he wants to follow his religion. She won’t be mad because he’d want their kids to follow Scientology.

Caricature, Cartoon, color drawing of Tom Cruise and his fourth wife, as Katie Holmes files for divorce due to Tom's insistence of Suri joining the Scientology Church

Tom Cruise, the Hollywood actor who has successfully completed four Impossible Missions has recently been handed the divorce papers by his most recent wife’s attorney. Tom’s been trying very hard to stay married. His first marriage to Mimi Rogers who was 7 years his senior, lasted about two years. He then married the nose of Hollywood, Nicole Kidman, stayed married for 10 long years, then they got separated in 2001. In 2006 he married Katie Holmes, who’s now asking for a divorce.

The reason that Katie’s lawyer wants to cite as grounds for divorce, drove me to draw this caricature. Believe it or not, Katie wants a divorce because Tom Cruise is a very religious man, and he wants to instil the same neat values in their daughter Suri. He wants Katie to join the Church of Scientology so that she may grow up to become a hardcore scientologist. Shame on you, Katie! In this crazy world of today, you are a lucky woman to have found a religious thetan-fearing husband. Well, Holmes doesn’t want her daughter to grow up with the right scientological values.On the other hand, Tom Cruise, a strict follower of his religion, is unable to come to terms with the fact that most people in this world don’t even consider his religion a proper religion. He’s constantly trying to communicate with his thetans!

Tom Cruise’s Problem – A Serious Analysis

Ron Hubbard, the pulp fiction writer who started the Scientology religion, says that millions of years ago, a guy called Xenu (who perhaps was the President of a Galactic federation made of many planets) faced the same problem that humans are facing today – the problem of overpopulation. He decided that the best way to get rid of the extra people was to blow them up and send their spirits to earth. These alien spirits are called Thetans and they are responsible for all human miseries, including the ones that Tom is currently experiencing. I am sure that Tom has done everything in his capacity to ensure that his Thetans don’t bother him, yet…he’s not tried the one thing that could bring happiness and peace to everyone.

Tom must marry an alien from the same Galactic Federation. His Thetans will then develop the right sort of connection with the bride’s Thetan, and all Thetans will then live happily ever after!

BTW, it was Mimi Rogers, his least permanent wife, who had introduced Tom to Scientology. She however decided that Scientology wasn’t her cup of tea and stopped following it. Smart girl.

Caricature/Cartoon Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande – Euro-zone Crisis Agreement – Will it douse the fire?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the sparkling new French President Francois Hollande recently made big news by reaching an agreement that is expected to rejuvenate the economies of the region, especially those of Italy and Spain. Yet, whether the €120 billion growth pact will indeed bring about the momentum needed to pull the Euro-zone out of crisis, is a moot point. In fact, not many are willing to believe that this would work.

Here’s my take on the “monstrous” Euro-zone Crisis and the two leaders on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of reviving the Euro-zone’s finances.

Caricature, Cartoon, Illustration of Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande trying to contain the Euro-zone Crisis.

When Francois Hollande flew to Berlin, to meet Angela Merkel, the world watched it with a lot of interest. The reason was simple. The chemistry between Angela Merkel and Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy was fantastic. Perhaps it was because Sarkozy’s personality is Merkel’s opposite. Sarkozy’s quick wit and humor would make Merkel smile, and they appeared to enjoy each other’s company. However, when Sarkozy lost the Presidential crown to Mr. Hollande earlier this year, this happy political relationship came to an abrupt end.

Merkel’s first meeting with Hollande was dubbed drab by the media. Hollande and Merkel didn’t warm up to each other, the way people had hoped they would. So, when the time came for Merkel to visit Hollande in Paris, everyone was even more worried than before. When they met, however, they shared their thoughts and talked about Growth vs. Austerity.

The recently concluded Brussels Summit apparently brought some good news for the Euro-zone but after the initial euphoria has died down, we can now hear the experts say that the package is good, but not good enough.  What may be good enough for rest of the Europe, however, isn’t good enough for Merkel as Germans won’t be happy footing a bill that’s not theirs, and the unhappiness of Germans can jettison Merkel out of the Chancellor’s chair in the 2013 Bundestag elections.

If you are interested in a metaphorical story that explains the genesis of the Euro zone crisis, read “The Euro-Zone Crisis.

Obamacare Law Upheld – America’s March towards Darkness Begins – Caricature & Cartoon of President Barack Obama.

Click here to view President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term 🙂 (Posted on: November 09, 2012.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012 was an important day in the History of the USA. On this day, America took a giant step towards assassinating free will.

This, of course, is the opinion of a caricaturist. Caricaturists are infamous for exaggerating stuff, but in this case, I think I am reporting it exactly the way I see it. It’s Mr. Obama’s way of gaining political mileage by ensuring that about 30 Million votes come his way.

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

Penalty or Tax? Whatever!

About the Health Care Law and its Long-Term Ramifications:

The US Health Care Law a.k.a. the Obamacare Law has been upheld by the American Supreme court with a majority of 5:4! 5:4? Yes. The bill that passed the house with a 219:214 majority and which was voted down not just by all Republicans but also by 34 democrats. If it’s a panacea of all medical evils, then why almost half of these intellectuals voted against it? Who is to say, which half is the smarter lot?

I’ll leave that discussion to those who know more about law than I do. I’ll just sit here and wonder, why does Mr. Barack Obama think that this is going to really help America and the American people? While I am still to read a convincing argument how it’s one of the smartest things ever done, here’s why I think it’s one of the dumbest.

If I work hard to earn what I do, I’d like to decide what “charity” I’d like to give my money to. You can’t hold a gun to my temple and expect me to put my money into charity, and then feel good about it too. Fine, fine. You say it’s not charity. You say, I “might” end up using some of it too. Right. But I might not. I think that I should be able to decide whether or not I want to even use a hospital at all.

I see “red” when I read or hear about the Health Care bill. It smacks of communism. I see the beacon of freedom fading. I see America marching towards a future that will make people question the value of hard work and merit.

In fact, I do see some people dancing about and making merry now that the healthcare bill’s got the Supreme Court’s nod. These are the medical practitioners, the Insurance companies, and of course, those who wanted health insurance but couldn’t pay for it. Those who couldn’t pay for it, would’ve earlier tried to work to pay for it, but I hear about subsidies being given to them now (so, the young who don’t need insurance – except in the rare instance of their being in an accident, and the rich who don’t want insurance, or even the upper-middle-class who’d earlier rather fly to a cheaper medical treatment destination instead of paying the premiums, will all now pay for the 30 Million or so uninsured among which you’d have the children of the illegal immigrants too. Great idea!)

Earlier Obama’s team vehemently denied the “fact” that they accepted in the court, which was that the penalty would be a sort of tax. So in principle, US has accepted that it’s fine to impose additional tax on those who work hard to earn an honest living, because they didn’t want to buy “insurance” that they believed they didn’t need, to help provide insurance for those who wanted to buy insurance but didn’t or couldn’t work to earn it. It makes me believe that Ayn Rand had predicted this a long time ago, when she had written Atlas Shrugged. Mr. Obama has opened a Pandora’s box that will continue to spew newer schemes to make it shameful to work hard. The healthcare bill may well be a soft beginning with a delicate touch. Anyone who stands up against it would be called heartless and inhuman, and suffering will be sold in the garb of equality and affordability.

There might be a time, not in a very distant future, when Americans will look at one-another with suspicion. Distrust will grow, as will Xenophobia. The seeds have been sowed already. And while it’s been presented as an innocuous, do-good policy, yet in the years to come it’s going to spawn many more of its kind. In time, with repeated exposure to the evil of Need over Merit, Americans will lose their edge, which comes from their individualism. They’d become a collective whole – the good never aiming at greatness, and the bad never needing to leave their badness. Unless, of course, the other half that voted against it, stands up against it. Unfortunately, populist measures aren’t easy to rollback, so whatever Mr. Romney may be saying now, he might find it really difficult to actually uproot it completely.

It’s funny that I should feel so strongly about it. In my country, health insurance is a personal choice, and for more than 90 percent of its population, it doesn’t exist. I think it would be safe to assume that a large majority of the population doesn’t even know what health insurance is. Whether you get medical attention or not is determined by whether or not you or the ones who love you have earned it or not. For instance, if something really terrible happens to me, I’ll die swift and quick, because I really didn’t earn my right to health care by being able to buy a policy. What’s so wrong with it? It’s completely moral. Anytime when death comes visiting, I’ll die happy, knowing that I lived a life that I wanted to live. I understand how it’s hard on people who care about you, but it’s just one of those things that we accept and it doesn’t make a ton of difference to the population in general.

I think I am concerned because for me the US has been a lighthouse in the darkness of a world that I don’t understand. I’ve always understood the value-system of America. I’ve admired the freedom that the country gives to every individual so that he may write his own destiny. This is the freedom that leads to other freedoms – the freedom of speech, of doing business, of making money, of keeping money, and to help others make money. It’s this freedom that has made America the greatest nation in this world. What America does, others emulate, yet this once, I find myself hoping that others don’t follow suit.

But as I said earlier, this is the opinion of a caricaturist – and caricaturists exaggerate. Go home, sleep well, and forget all about it.

Caricature/Cartoon – Robert De Niro – One of the Greatest Actors of all times asks, “You talkin’ to me?”

Robert De Niro is a fabulous actor, but an equally difficult subject for a caricature. I disagree with my dear blog-friend and fantasy writer Barb‘s opinion that it must be easy to make his caricature. It isn’t. At least, it wasn’t for me – despite the fact that usually it’s quite easy for me to caricature most people.

Let me explain. De Niro’s eyes have a sparkle that make them look like he were making fun of you – and if you want to draw the real De Niro, this look has to be combined with the over-all maturity of his personality. It isn’t easy. You need to really walk a tightrope. A little more of this and he begins to look like a clown, a little more of that, you turn him into someone who’s never smiled in his life.

My favorite De Niro performances are in the roles of Max Cady and Vito Corleone. Yet I chose to caricature a not-so-young-not-so-old De Niro, because I wanted the caricature to be a visual bridge between his past and present looks.

Okay, it’s time to unveil the drawing 🙂

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, drawing of Robert De Niro, the Hollywood actor who played young don corleone in the Godfather.

When an actor transform himself into the character that he has to portray for his role the Robert De Niro does, you begin to feel that those characters and their descriptions are closer to his biography than his real life’s story. So, in a daring move, the Caricaturist breaks away from the established tradition of beginning the post with a short biography. Instead, she talks about the characters that he played.

The Most Memorable Characters played by Robert De Niro

Vito Corleone:

In the movie, The Godfather II, he portrays the young self of Don Corleone played by Marlon Brando. He won an academy award for his performance in the movie and yes, he had traveled to Sicily and stayed there to “become” a Sicilian for the movie.

Max Cady:

In Cape Fear, he plays the revengeful, tattooed psychopath, Max Cady, who makes you sit at the edge of your seat, ready to take off if he stepped out of the screen and lunged towards you.

Neil McCauley:

In Heat, he starred opposite Al Pacino (another titan of Hollywood, who I must sketch soon.) In this movie he played the role of Neil McCauley, a psychologically disturbed bank-robber and a medium-gray character.

And finally,

Travis Bickle:

Travis Bickle the Taxi Driver is a social misfit. Travis begins to fantasize about cleaning the “filth on the streets.” In the role of Travis Bickle, he immortalized the lines, “You talkin’ to me?

Now a quick snap-shot of his life.

Robert De Niro’s Biography

He was born on August 17, 1943. His parents were both artists. His dad, true to his artistic persona, had a colorful lifestyle (why do you think artists become artists – it’s the glamor of the creative license, more than anything else, which leads them to recklessly plunge into the artistic waters!) This perhaps drove a wedge between his mom and dad – yet Bobby remained close to his dad. He caught the acting bug when he was quite young (that’s the time you catch most bugs – I too remember catching the drawing bug when I was quite young.) One thing led to another and then he got that memorable role, which established him as the one and only Godfather of Hollywood – He became the younger self of Don Corleone. You know the rest.

Read more about Robert De Niro at the following links:

List of Robert De Niro’s Best Movies from Rotten Tomatoes (Primarily for my own reference :))

1. GoodFellas — 96%
2. The Godfather, Part II — 96%
3. Taxi Driver — 93%
4. Heat — 92%
5. Raging Bull — 92%
6. Once Upon a Time in America — 92%
7. Casino — 91%
8. The Deer Hunter — 91%
9. Brazil — 89%
10. A Bronx Tale — 89%
(Source: Rotten Tomatoes.)

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

Can you hear the battle cry?

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

No?
You couldn’t hear a thing?

Tchah!

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander’s Least Dependable Biography on the Web

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

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

Alexander’s Conquests

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

Interesting Stuff about Alexander the Great

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

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

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

The Most Important Question – Was Alexander the Great gay?

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

Another Important Question – Did Alexander ever fall in love?

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

Alexander and Porus (perhaps Paurush – anglicized to Porus)

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

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

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

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

Presenting the caricature of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

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

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

Here’s his biography – short and concise 🙂

Karzai’s Biography – Childhood and Youth

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

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

Karzai’s Rise to Power

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

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

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

Controversies that surround Hamid Karzai

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

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

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

Karzai’s Family

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

The Story behind the Caricature

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

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

Dear readers, what’s your opinion?

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

Toony Pretzels – Flint: Feeling Flinty? Find some Steel!

Most of us have our highs and lows, and for most of us neither the highs nor the lows define our normal states. But then there are those of us who feel depressed and unhappy all the time. They say, they need the spark; they are the Mr. (and Ms.?) Flints who are looking for some steel that they could interact with and produce that spark. This post is about flint and steel.

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon - A depressed, sad, unhappy man looking for inspiration - Flint and Steel.

Flint and Steel

Here are some Flints looking for some steel.

Generally,

  • An artist trying to find inspiration.
  • A writer struggling against writer’s block.
  • A man who has lost sight of his purpose.
  • A woman who wants to get out of her daily rut.

and more specifically!

The Time Machine: Hagar the Horrible by Richard Arthur Browne

Time Machine Icon for the History of Comic Strips Posts

I’ve been reading Hagar the Horrible strip for a very long time. In fact, when I had first chanced upon Hagar’s not-so-horrible-and-a-bit-loveable character, I would barely understand half of what transpired in the Hagar the Horrible cartoons.

Last night when I got into the time-machine, I set the dial to arrive in the year 1975, which was a couple of years after Hagar the Horrible went into circulation.

Here’s a quick biographical sketch of Hagar’s dad/creator, Dik Browne (or Richard Arthur Browne).

About Dik Browne

Browne was born on August 19, 1917 and his first comic strip was Jinny Jeep, which he created for the engineering unit of the US Army. Until the mid-fifties, he worked worked as an illustrator for magazines and advertising agencies, but in 1954, he got together with Mort Walker (Yes, Mort Walker of the Beatle Bailey fame,) to create Hi and Lois. The Browne and the Walker family still work together on that strip. (It never ceases to amaze me how the sons of these famous cartoonists are able to carry on their fathers’ legacies…especially as these particular legacies require exceptional drawing/writing skills. As I always say, genes are important…very very important!)

Any way, as it always happens with any smart and intelligent cartoonist, Browne too began to feel some spiritual unrest. He wanted to create his own strip. One that would be built around his ideas. So in 1973, Hagar the Horrible was born with a shaggy beard, a beaten horned helmet, a shield and a spear, and the comic strip was syndicated by King Features Syndicate in newspapers and magazines world-wide.

Dik Browne died on 6th Jun 1989. His two sons, Chris Browne and Chance Browne now write and illustrate Hagar the Horrible.

About Hagar the Horrible and Other Characters in the Strip

Hagar the Horrible is syndicated to 1900 newspapers (including The Times of India) in 58 countries and is also translated in 13 languages.

Some of the important characters in this comic strip are:

Hagar the Horrible

Hagar the Horrible is a Viking warrior who induces fear in the hearts of his enemies, but at the same time, he loves his family and his dog. Hagar is fat and had a slovenly appearance (he doesn’t like baths and avoids them.) At times he’s smart (for instance, he knows how to flatter his wife when she’s angry with him,) but more often he’s not.

Lucky Eddie – friend

Hagar has a friend – a thin, reed-like unlucky (!) character who’s called Lucky Eddie. Eddie is educated but he doesn’t appear to possess common-sense and hence his character is that of a gangly, awkward, unvikinglike viking.

Helga – wife

Hagar’s wife Helga is a huge woman, who is the matron of Hagar’s household. Helga is fussy about hygiene and is always found nagging Hagar for his not-so-clean ways. Helga wants her daughter Honi to grow up with traditional values, but quite like the modern day teenager, Honi has a mind of her own.

Honi – daughter

Honi, Hagar’s daughter doesn’t consider feminity a virtue. She’s tomboyish and prefers to wield a spear and not a ladle. This of course is not appreciated by Helga and so Helga and Honi are often shown having mother-daughter disagreements. Honi wears a winged helmet and she can be quite intimidating when she wants to.

Hamlet – Son

Hamlet loves to read. He is quiet and studious and unlike his sister, completely disinterested in being what he was born to become, a Viking. Hagar wants the boy to become a Viking, and he feels ashamed that his son should not want to follow the Viking order.

Snert – dog

This “v”oofing dog wears a tiny Viking helmet, does nothing, and lazes around. Hagar loves him and is seen trying to make the dog obey is commands.

 

What is the Secret behind the Popularity of Hagar the Horrible?

(The Caricaturist’s Opinion – Don’t use it for submitting Assignments, and if you do, be warned that I shall accept no responsibility for your getting a D…or even an F!)

I think that this comic strip appeals to a lot of people because of the following three reasons:

1. Hagar’s family is enveloped in a sense of timelessness, and the fact that everyday family humor is presented through a family that lived in another age, adds to its timelessness.

2. The characters in Hagar are the kind of people that you find in the real world, yet their characteristics have been exaggerated at times to build the contrast. Compare the character of Honi with Hamlet’s, and that of Hagar with Lucky Eddie’s.

3. The humor is simple. It doesn’t make you think. For every person who loves doing crosswords, there are perhaps 10 who have neither the time nor the inclination to tire out their gray cells…

🙂

Caricature/Cartoon – Leonardo DiCaprio – The Abagnale Jr. who grew up to become J. Edgar!

This guy?

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

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

Catch me if you Can!

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Tiniest Biography on the Web

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

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

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

Why Leonardo was called Leonardo?

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

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Famous Movies

Some of his movies are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biography of Galileo Galilei

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

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

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

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

Galileo’s “Pardon”

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

What else did Galileo do?

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

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

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon – Defining Loneliness

Loneliness once was a real feeling resulting from lack of real friends and real family. Now…they say that the feeling of loneliness still is quite real, but its drivers have changed. I grew up in a time when there was no Internet and in places where there was no television, no telephone, and at times no electricity. There were times when my family stayed in places where there were no other families around. Was I lonely? I don’t think I was. I had so much to do. I’d bind my own books, make my own dresses (and my doll’s dresses too,) study, draw, grow vegetables in my mom’s kitchen garden, and even cook. I don’t remember feeling lonely ever.

But now, I hear of loneliness ever so often. I hear of kids not knowing what to do if they didn’t have their smartphones with them, I hear of young girls and boys jumping off the high-rises because they were depressed, and I read about women in apparently happy relationships suffering from anxiety and depression. I am sure that the feeling is extremely real for them, but I can’t really get a handle on the causes…

I just wonder whether we were a stronger lot before Internet shrunk our world into a ragged ball of tangled connections.

Presenting…

Loneliness!

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon - A take on Facebook Depression - Defining Loneliness - emails, facebook, twitter, blog - Depressed Woman.

Loneliness is the state of feeling sad or deserted due to isolation.

If you are troubled by this cartoon, you should click the following links:

PS: If your virtual life appears empty and meaningless, walk out of the door into the street. The real world too has a lot to offer. Give it a chance 🙂

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:

The Time Machine: Asterix the Gaul by Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny

Time Machine Icon for the History of Comic Strips Posts

Introductory Gibberish – Skip it!

Last night when I got into my Time Machine for my umpteenth trip into the past, I forgot to check the fuel-meter. Only when the machine stopped whirring and began coughing and spluttering, did I realize what sort of idiot I had been! Thankfully, the machine stopped in the year 1955, and gasoline had already been discovered. I shudder to imagine what might’ve happened had the gas lasted up to the Neolithic or even the Paleolithic era.

However, the point that I am dying to make is that I turned lucky as the Time Machine materialized in the backyard of a house in France. I stepped out of the machine and looked around. There was snow all around me – and in fact, there was a snowman too. I did a double take when I looked at the snowman. Believe it or not, the snowman looked exactly like Asterix! I shuffled my memories…trying to get the timeline straight. In 1955, Asterix didn’t exist. The world (okay, France) first met Asterix the Gaul in 1959! Something just wasn’t right.

And then I saw a young man wearing earmuffs, a fur jacket, and a pair of snow-boots (No. He wasn’t dressed like Obelix, I assure you.) He was sitting on a log with an A3 Sketchbook on his knees. He was sitting there, drawing people with gigantic noses! That’s how I recognized him. His noses are the biggest in the world of cartooning – and if you tell me otherwise, you must not have read Asterix comics.

I asked the young man about the snowman, and he told me that the snow-guy was a figment of his imagination. Obviously I asked him for his name, and he told me that he was Albert Uderzo.

So, that’s how I ended up writing about Asterix.

Introductory Gibberish Ends 🙂

The Theme of Asterix Comics:

Asterix the Gaul lives in a little Gaulish village that remains unconquered despite rest of the Gaul having been captured by Julius Caesar. The secret of their invincibility lies in a magic potion that Druid Getafix fixes for them. After the villagers tank up on the magic potion, they bash up the Romans and pack them off.

The Characters in Asterix Comics:

While Asterix is the main protagonist, there are a lot of other important characters too, and each of them has his own distinct personality. The second most visible character is Obelix. Obelix is huge and dumb while Asterix is small and smart. Obelix has a cute little dog (a terrier, I believe) who is called Dogmatix (who was called Idefix in French). Then there are the others. There’s Chief VitalstatistixBard CacofonixDruid Getafix, the fish monger Unhygienix, and so on.

The main and the constant opponent is Julius Caesar who is unable to accept the fact that this little Gaulish village makes minced meat out of his able troops.

The Stories/Adventures of Asterix:

Each Asterix book tells a story. The stories are usually set in an around the Gaulish countryside, but sometimes Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix travel to distant lands.

The Unique Selling Proposition of Asterix Comics:

Why am I, the forever cynic, sold on Asterix comics?
Honestly, it’s because they are simply awesome. The characters, the action-lines that make the scenes come alive, the strength and the smoothness of the drawings, the composition of the scenes, the details of the clothes, buildings, and places – and the dialogs too!

The Creators of Asterix:

Perhaps every Asterix-lover knows that Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo created this little giant who’s loved the world over (perhaps not so much in America, though I wonder why not.)

Rene Goscinny did most of the writing while Albert Uderzo did most of the drawing…but both could draw extremely well. Unfortunately Goscinny died rather young – at the age of 51. In 1977, he suffered a heart attack while he was taking a stress test. This happened while Goscinny and Uderzo was working on Asterix in Belgium. This book was later completed by Uderzo.

After Goscinny’s death Uderzo continued as the sole-creator of Asterix comics. Thus, Adventures 25 to 34 were created by Uderzo alone.

And

A few other things…

for instance,

  • The Gauls are scared of the sky falling on their heads. (So are the Democrats!)
  • Obelix’s favorite war-cry is “These Romans are crazy!” (What’s not noted in the books is that Obelix’s concern was well-founded. Most of those Romans were tattooed and pierced in all the right and some wrong places.)
  • Dogmatix loves trees and he hates it when anyone attempts to harm the trees. (Obviously, because trees are important for dogs.)
  • Bard Cacofonix is often found tied up to a tree while the whole village feasts. (Apparently, this is to stop him from singing. Where were all those human rights people back then?)
  • Chief Vitalstatistix loves to gorge himself all the time, while his shield-bearers use every opportunity to topple him from the shield. (Thankfully there were no unions in the little Gaulish village.)
  • Obelix is invincible because when he was little, he fell into a cauldron of magic potion (Ewww…the potion has cooled down, I hope.)

I could go on and on…but I’d recommend that you read the real thing instead:)

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 🙂

Toony Pretzels Cartoon – Essentials of Asset Evaluation by Shrew and Shrewd!

Toony Pretzels by Shafali - Cartoon of a Nagging Wife and a Cheating Husband - The Shrew and the Shrewd and some Asset Evaluation

If you haven’t done your share of Asset Evaluation, here’s a quick definition to get you going.

Asset Evaluation is the process of determining the current worth of a portfolio, company, investment, or balance sheet item. (Source: Investopedia here.)

I don’t know why but this cartoon reminds me of “The Trump Card,” a twisty tale on the matters of fidelity.

And if you aren’t touchy about the issue of fidelity (or infidelity, for that matter) enjoy some cool jokes about cheating at the following links.

Cartoon/Caricature – Barack Obama lugs the debt burden across a shaky rope!

Click here to view the caricature of President Obama rejoicing upon winning his second term 🙂 (Posted on: November 09, 2012.)

I often wonder how tough it must be to carry the burden of the mistakes made by a whole lot of other people…and then I also wonder how much tougher it must be to zip up and not blame anyone for it, because “officially” you are the one responsible for the mess and also for the cleanup!

A few months ago when the US Congress debated whether the debt ceiling should be raised, and when Standard & Poor’s slashed the credit-rating of the US from AAA to AA+, this is exactly what went through my mind…and so, when my client sent me a requirement for a caricature/cartoon around the concept, the following caricature of a harassed Barack Obama happened 🙂

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

Created for The Suit Magazine – Issue 43 (Copyrighted Image – Please don’t use without Permission.)

Published: The Suit Magazine – Issue 43 – August 2011

I have a lot more to share…

Will be back soon:)

Toony Pretzels – Understanding Theory: To Save or to Practice – That is the Question!

Theory

The term “Theory” is defined as:  Fundamental or abstract principles underlying a science or an art.

Toony Pretzels Cartoon of a doctor operating upon a patient while a nurse looks on - Theory vs. Practice

It’s time for a reality check. We need to know whether the doctor who’d be cutting us open, studied in a medical school with a lab and got some practice…or whether he got that degree online…or did he just buy it off the shelf?