There was a time when cartoons were made of squigglies put together…squigglies that won’t have meaning unless they were supported by oodles of text in form of captions. Then in 1926, a child was born in Goa and he was given the task of banishing the ugly squigglies from the world of publishing. This child was Mario Miranda, who didn’t need to go to an illustration school to master the art of creating riveting characters that spoke to you without words. The words merely embellished his already rich creations further.
With a heavy heart but with tons of gratitude, I present the caricature of Mario Miranda, one of the very few Indian artists who have left behind characters that will always remind us of him.
In this caricature, most of his fans will be able to identify B.C. Bundaldass, M.C. Moonswami (Bundaldass’s handyman or “side-kick” as Mario used to call him) (I wonder what the B.C. and the M.C. stood for? – Scatological…eh?!) Ms. Rajini Nimbupani (the voluptuous actress,) Ms. Fonseca (the polka-dots-dress-clad secretary with an hour-glass figure,) the loveable little dog.
Quoting Ajit Ninan from TOI – Page 10 – December 13, 2011.
“Mario’s work touched the heart. His characterisation of people, particularly the weakness of the male of the species, was superb. He brought home to you the foibles of man through gloriously detailed illustrations of life in the office, on the streets and above all at parties.
In a nutshell, just as Bollywood brought India to the world, Mario brought Bombay to India. His mastery of architecture and of fashion trends was one of the keys to this. Mario’s ornate illustrations of the colonial structures of Mumbai wouldn’t have been possible for anyone with a less sound grasp of architecture.”
“He (Mario) was among the few who could use both black and white in roughly equal proportions in an illustration to create what is best described as a harmony of clutter.”
I am convinced that as I write this, Mario Miranda is busy attending parties in heaven, and that his illustrations will shortly be published in the Illustrated Weekly of Heaven.