RIP Mario Miranda

If you have the time on your hands and money in your purse, there is nothing like a Friday fling at the Frankfurt Flea Market. … from busts of Beethoven and Chinese porcelain to pretty petticoats and cuckoo clocks. You name it, they have it.

Mario Miranda (1926-11.12.11). Years before I’d visited either Mumbai or Goa, his cartoons made the city familiar to me. I loved his work. His cartoons were funny and full of characters that felt vital. He took us on crowded train rides, dangling along with a score of bug-eyed commuters. Through his cartoons, we went into offices and met Miss Fonseca. We roamed around carnivals in Goa. He took us into fish markets, to funerals, to parties. There was music in his every cartoon; music and people’s chatter. His cartoons were alive.

My sentimental favourite, however, is the cartoon he made of a flea market in Frankfurt. The weak light of early winter is captured perfectly as is the buzzing warmth that surrounds you when you’re in a crowd. And what a crowd! Every face is distinct an has its own expression. There are so many stories in there, so much crowded into one long cell. It’s fantastic.

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