Mario Miranda (2/5/1926 – 11/12/2011)
I remember Mario’s works from The Illustrated Weekly of India, a magazine that I am afraid no longer exists. Until the 1750s Mario’s ancestors were Hindu Brahmins, but then they converted to Christianity, and Mario was brought up as a Catholic Christian. As a child he loved to draw the scenes of his hometown Goa. Mario’s career begun with an advertising agency, but then he moved into illustrating for TOI, Economic Times, and The Illustrated Weekly of India. He went to Portugal on a scholarship then remained in Europe for a while, spending 5 years in England. His work also appeared in Mad and Punch Magazines, bringing him international fame. In 1974, he travelled to the US, where he also met Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.
Miranda set an excellent example of secular thought by falling in love and marrying a Muslim lady. Other than being a cartoonist, Miranda was an excellent mural artist too. His works still adorn the walls of Goa.
While his unique drawing style and his great use of black and white in his work brought him international fame and he got invited to many different countries to create artworks around their lifestyles, the Indian Government awoke to realize his contribution, only after his death, when he was awarded a Posthumous Padma Vibhushan. We Indians truly believe in life after death.