Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mario Miranda (1926- 2011) RIP - the 'Goa'toonist who made us laugh by an inimitable style of pen sketches

From yesterday, Goa stopped sending laughter to the world. Thought that it was time for Mario to go and entertain the Paradise. But the creations of eminent cartoonist Mario Miranda will remain eternally forever  in  our world– a distinct style of cartoon featuring a team of naughty characters like  buxom secretary, Ms. Fonseca’ the Boss, office clerk Godbole, Mrs Nimboopan, Bundaldass and Moonswamyi .

Mario was born on 2 may 1926 in Daman, studied in St Xavier College in Mumbai. He attended JJ School of art only for a day and decided to have his own style of drawing. His natural talent saw him as a freelancer and brought him awards and honors.

In 1998 he was conferred Padma Shri and in 2002, Padma Bhushan.

He was the first Indian Cartoonist  to get invitations from across different parts of the world. His creations appeared in international cartoon magazines like ‘Punch’ , ‘Mad’ and ‘Peanuts’ of Charles Shultz in US.

Any one, who thinks of Mario would immediately imagine Goa and vice verse. Nobody would have depicted the packed variety of Mumbaikars and the spirit of the busy Mumbai better than Mario with the pen strokes. He used to say “Salam Mumbai” in his own style.

 In my early years when I open Illustrated Weekly,  used to get amazed at  the way he filled a entire big  page of  the  magazine with lot of characters  sometimes with traffic jam and sometimes with the Goa beach, travelers with big hats and lot of palm and coconut trees. ‘Laff it off’ was his comic series appeared in the Weekly regularly.  Nobody can  forget the ‘sardarji in a bulb’ an icon for Kushwant Singh.

“ I am greatly grieved by his death. Mario was one of our first friends in Mumbai. His drawings and sketches endowed with a special quality that was un matched.” – R.K.Laxman.

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