Miss Nimbu Pani and Miss Fonseca….the greatest ever cartoon characters were the brain child of non other than the even greater cartoonist Mario Miranda
Mario Joao Carlos do Rosario de Brito Miranda popularly known as Mario Miranda had no formal education in Art of Architecture Born into a devout catholic family in Daman, then in Portuguese India, Mario Miranda started his career for Times of India way back in 1953. After having spent five years of his life in England he return back to his home country and took up the job at Times of India again. He worked for prestigious publications like Illustrated Weekly and Times of India.
So captivating and and attractive were his cartoon and caricatures that Rushi Yazdegardir the owner of the most famous hotspot cafe based in Colaba Mumbai, requested Mario to grace the two opposite walls of his cafe…both having different themes.Cafe Mondegar has one wall fully dedicated to the life of Mumbai and the other dedicated to the Atmosphere of the cafe.
Not only did he have a number of books to his credit, he also illustrated books by Dom Moraes ( A Journey of Goa), Manohar Malgaonkar( J side Goa) and Mario Cabral e Sa’s book (Legends of Goa)Mario Miranda loved illustrating cartoons and caricatures for children and has worked on a number of childrens book all written by Uma Anand and published by India Book House.
Mario Miranda held solo exbibitions in over 22 countries.Including United States, Brazil, Australia, Singapore,France, Yogaslavia, and Portugal not to forget his own country India.The works of Mario Miranda and the aura that he held around him were extremely enchanting and captivating.
He was awarded the Padma Shri Award in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan Award in 2002.
The All India Cartoonist Association honoured Mario with the lifetime Achievement Award.Even the King of Spain Juan Carlos conferred on Mario the highest civilian honour of “Cross of the Order of Isabel the Catholic and made him ” Commander of the Order of Prince Henry”, a Portuguese National Order of Knighthood.
Mario Miranda finally settled in his home town of Loutolim in Goa.He loved travelling and listening to music and it was his ambition to experiment with water colours and write the memories of his early years in Goa, but sadly he was unable to fulfill these later two ambitions as he passed away in his sleep on 11 December 2011.Indian cartoonist Graphic and fine artist Vijay N Seth popularly known as VINS who considered Mario Miranda as his mentor has given a fitting tribute and he says.. I quote“With a pen and ink that were at his command to churn out lines that every nib would be jealous of, he brushed aside the old school of cartooning using the brush of Art”.
Mario created characters that gave his daily audience their quota of smile without malice.. His trips around the globe produced subtle close observation of the local musing- a fitting example of how far can one stretch the parameters of this branch of the neglected art”…..unquote.