Mario Miranda Is No More
A friend said recently,"The Great Reaper has had a rather largish crop this year."good year in 2011." I couldn't agree more. He was referring to the many famous personalities from my youth who were snatched away from us this year. Amongst others, Jagjit Singh, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Dev Anand. Now news comes of the passing away of one of India's greatest cartoonists, Mario Miranda.
He was 85 so many in the present generation may not have seen him in his heyday. He was on the staff of the Illustrated Weekly of India, The Times of India and the Economic Times and we used to look forward to his cartoons most eagerly. Mario created a set of characters who caught the imagination of the people. Amongst others were Mr. Bundledass, the politician, The (unnamed) Corporate Boss, his comely secretary, Miss Fonseca and the film actress Rajni Nimboopani.
He was a true Goan and did much to propagate Goa to the outside world. I don't believe any other cartoonist came anywhere close to him in his depiction of " street scenes". Not an inch of the cartoon was left blank in these. You saw a myriad of faces and figures that you would see everyday on the streets of India and of Goa in particular.
I would love to get hold of a book about the history of Goa called "Inside Goa" written by Manohar Malgonkar with illustrations by Mario. It must have been priceless. Many have spoken of the warmth of the man. A contemporary cartoonist, Manjul has written a nice homage to that master craftsman. I specially liked Manjul's cartoon in homage to Mario where you see The Boss telling Miss Fonseca that they are shutting shop. What a perfect obituary to a cartoonist. Well done, Manjul..
Mario Miranda, rest in peace! I am sure you will entertain us with the rich legacy you have left behind. You can't think of Goa, without thinking of Mario.