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 – 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 – Leonardo Da Vinci’s Thoughts on This Portrait!

I believe that from his studio in the heaven, Leonardo da Vinci keeps a watch on the going-ons in the art-world. I am sure that he’ll see this caricature…and when he does so, he will wonder whether his tedious exercise of creating a self-portrait was in vain!

A caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of the great artist leonardo da vinci who was also a sculptor, an inventor, and a writer.

When Leonardo Da Vinci saw this Caricature...

A Short Biography of Da Vinci:

Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
His array of talents is one of widest ever seen in one human being – he is said the have been the most talented person to have ever lived.

He was born on April 15, 1452, in Florence, and he lived to be 67 – a fairly long life in those days. He trained at the workshop of Verrocchio until he was 20. Da Vinci is primarily recognized as an artist, but not many of his works survive. The inventor and the innovator in him was continuosly experimenting with new mediums and methods. He was an impatient man who often wouldn’t get around to painting what he was paid to paint, until the eleventh hour. Leonardo da Vinci was procrastinator extraordinaire. He was a man of great physical beauty and exceptional intellect, and it’s rumored that he was gay.

Among the three giants of high renaissance (Da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo,) Da Vinci was the oldest.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Paintings:

The two most famous paintings done by Da Vinci were:

And now here’s a Did-you-know of the kind that makes you ask, how the heck I am supposed to know that!

Did you know that I share some traits with Da Vinci. Among the traits I don’t share, the biggest is – he’s Great, I am not:-)) but then…

Here are the traits that I do share with him:

  • He was an artist. I am too:-)
  • He was a writer. I am too:-)
  • He was an engineer. I am too:-)
  • He was a procrastinator. I am too:-)
  • He wrote in reverse. I do too:-)
  • He thought of more projects than he completed. I do too:-)
  • He was attracted to men. I am too:-)

Amazing…how you can find similarities, if you want to!

A Personal Note to Leonardo da Vinci:

Dear Mr. Da Vinci, if you happen to stop here (to view this caricature of yours, of course,) I’d like to tell you that I’ve always admired you. You’ll always remain my idol.

And yes, if you do happen to check out my blog from your computer in heaven, please tell me that you didn’t mind my making your caricature. After all, you too drew caricatures:-)…and do subscribe to my blog (click the button at the top-right.) I might draw the caricatures of Raphael and Michelangelo too…and if I go by the history texts, you might want to look at theirs as well.

Caricature/Cartoon – Queen Cleopatra – Was Cleopatra Breathtakingly Beautiful, Acceptably Attractive, or Unbelievably Ugly?

The question of Cleopatra‘s beauty remains unanswered. However, after innumerable studies, some die-hard Cleopatra scholars have decided that she wasn’t dreadful to look at, nor was she as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor’s rendition of her character makes her to be.

So here’s what she’d think, if she were looking down a 2000 year time-tunnel…watching those posters:)

A caricature, cartoon, picture of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of egypt - Was she beautiful or Ugly?

Was she Beautiful or Smart?

The Story of Queen Cleopatra – the Last Pharaoh of Egypt!

Cleopatra’s Childhood and Youth:

Cleopatra was born in 69 BC. She co-ruled Egypt first with her father, then with her brothers, one of which she also married (Pull in those huge eyeballs. Brothers and Sisters often married in the Ancient Egypt. This “intermarriage” and “inter-breeding” supposedly helped them keep their bloodline pure!) So in those times, this marriage wasn’t incest at all.

Here’s some bit of history in our simple modern language. Cleopatra wasn’t an ordinary woman. Beautiful or not, she was definitely full of gumption. When she was 14, Cleopatra helped her father Ptolemy XII in his work. (Yes, those ancients probably didn’t have enough unique names and so we need to deal with those numbers. Our Cleopatra of dubious beauty too was the VII of the many Cleopatras who bob up and down the Egyptian historical waters.)

When Cleopatra turned 18, Ptolemy XII signed himself out of this world, and Cleo had to marry her young, 12-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII (yes, the unlucky number thirteen!) Within a few months, there was trouble between the young couple (the causes are unknown and unrecorded, yet it isn’t difficult to imagine a young, mature-beyond-her-years Cleopatra struggling to keep calm while her husband threw his rice on the table and yabba-dabba-dooed his way through dinner.)

Cleopatra Turns Political – with Julius Caesar!

So Cleo decided to leave him. While she waited for good things to happen, something (like a severed head of Caesar’s General) brought an angry, smoke-belching Caesar to Alexandria. Cleopatra smartly assessed the situation, wrapped herself in a Persian Carpet, and presented herself to her enemy’s enemy, as gift. One thing led to another…and the two rolled into an item. Among other things, Caesar gave Cleopatra, Caesarion – but refused to name him his heir in Rome, choosing his grand-nephew Octavian instead. At the time of Caesarion’s birth, Cleopatra was just 22.

Cleopatra Tries to Make a Home – with Mark Antony!

To make a long story short, after Caesar’s death, Cleopatra came back to Egypt, and with her brother and husband dead, she became the Pharaoh when she was 25. Later, she had a politically motivated relationship with Mark Antony, who was married to Octavian’s sister, Octavia (Notice the lack of creativity in the way even the Romans named their kids. Tchah!) Then there was this war between Antony and Octavian, and in 30 BC when Antony’s armies deserted him, a 39-year-old Cleopatra committed suicide through the traditional route of being bitten by a poisonous snake.

Here are some links that you’ll find helpful:

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A Note about Cleopatra’s Caricature:)

I’ll be adding Cleopatra’s cartoon/caricature/sketch – call it whatever you like, today! Have you ever asked yourself, whether Cleopatra was really as beautiful as the movies make her look?!

Good Question!

Caricature/Sketch – Abraham Lincoln – The US President who Led the US through the Civil War.

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

What is he thinking?

Abraham Lincoln (Abe Lincoln) was the sixteenth President of the US.

Personal Information:

Lincoln was born a farmer’s son in Kentucky, US. When he was just nine, his mother died. Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He married Mary Todd and had five sons, of which only one survived into adulthood. Now the Lincoln lineage is extinct.

Political Journey:

Lincoln entered politics early, at the age of 23, but it was in 1860 that he got elected as the 16th President of the US. The very next year, the American Civil War erupted with 11 slave states declaring that they wanted to separate from the US. These states were against the abolition of slavery, and Lincoln’s election campaign clearly defined his stance as anti-slavery. Lincoln is known for leading the US through the Civil War and ending slavery.

Five years after becoming the president of the US, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

Some Popular Lincoln Quotes:

  • Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
  • I can make more generals, but horses cost money.
  • In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
  • The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Find more Lincoln Quotes at the following links.