Random Black & White Caricatures :)

I was lost in the swirling mist of random assignments – a novel cover, some writing, and a few caricatures.

While randomness rules, here are a few random caricatures that I collected from the past 🙂

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

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

Here’s my take on this legend.

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

The Halo of Music...or Controversies?

A Short Biography of Rahman:

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

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

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

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

Coincidences happen in a chaotic world…right?

A. R. Rahman’s Meteoric Rise:

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

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

Find an extremely detailed biography of Rehman here.

Rahman’s Jai Ho wins him the Oscars:

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

Visit Rahman’s official website here.

Rahman in News Again:

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

Want to know if I am an ARR fan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a short biography of Amitabh Bachhan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amitabh Bachchan – Interesting Infobytes:

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

A List of Amitabh Bachchan’s Films:

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

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