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Mario Miranda
Spouse(s) Habiba

Mario Miranda (or Mario de Miranda) (born in 1926) is a well-known Indian cartoonist based in Loutolim,Goa, India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Shri in 1988.

Miranda has been a regular with The Times of India and other newspapers in Mumbai, including The Economic Times, though he got his popularity with his works published in The Illustrated Weekly of India[1].

In a 1999 "slide show" on the work of Mario Miranda, the [2] site says: " Nobody is better equipped to capture vignettes of Goan life than Mario Miranda."

Goa-based editor Manohar Shetty has praised the prominent cartoonist for "his eye for detail, his skills as a draughts-man, and the total absence of malice."




Early life

Mario Joao Carlos do Rosario de Britto Miranda, was born in Daman to Goan Catholic parents of Goud Saraswat Brahmin origin.[3] His ancestral surname was originally Sardessai, before the family converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1750's.[4] At an early age when his mother saw him drawing his home walls, she brought him a blank book, which he calls his “Diary”. He even started getting into trouble at school, for sketching Catholic priests. [5] Mario Miranda's early cartoons presented vignettes of Goan village life, a theme he is best known for even today.

Education & Early Cartooning

He studied at St Joseph's Boys High School, Bangalore and then did a B.A. in History at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, while focusing on the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Thereafter he started studying architecture at the behest of his parents, though he soon lost interest.[6]

Meanwhile his talent was noticed and his friends encouraged him to make postcards and draw for them, which earned him extra pocket money.


Dalai Lama's Painting by Mario Miranda

Mario started his career in an Advertising studio, where he worked for four years, before taking up cartooning full-time.

As a cartoonist, he got his first break with The Illustrated Weekly of India which published a few of his works[3]. His drawings & cartoons also brought him an offer to work at the “Current” magazine.

A year later, the Times of India offered him a slot, even though they had rejected him at first. Thereafter, it didn't take much time for Mario to become a household name, with his creations like Miss Nimbupani, Miss Fonseca appearing on a regular basis in the “Femina”, “Economic Times”, and The Illustrated Weekly of India.

Mario Miranda's life, was to change after being offered the Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian Scholarship which enabled him to travel to and stay a year in Portugal and this time in Portugal according to Mario helped him to broaden his horizons.

After a year in Portugal, Mario travelled to London, England and was to spend five years there, learning as well as doing jobs for newspapers and even worked in. of television animation, at Independent Television.

Mario cartoons also featured in the “LILIPUT” and even in other prestigious magazines like “MAD” (once) and “PUNCH” (twice). This supplemented his finances, and enabled him to travel around Europe, interacting with other cartoonists, gaining considerable knowledge and exposure. This led to his meeting of Sir Ronald Searle, whom Mario considered as his mentor.

Return to Mumbai

After five years in England, Mario decided to return to Mumbai and was offered back his old job with the Times of India, where he worked with noted cartoonist, R.K. Laxman.

Thereafter, Mario met another artist, Habiba Hyderi; soon both got married and had two sons, Rahul and Rashid.

Recognition & Fame

Mario's big break came in 1974, when, at the invitation of the United States Information Services, he travelled to America, which enabled him to promote his art and interact with other cartoonists in U.S.A. and also got a chance to work with Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts) and met Herblock, the editorial cartoonist of the Washington Post.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1988, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and All India Cartoonists's Association, Bangalore, honoured him with a lifetime achievement award.[7]

He has held solo exhibitions in over 22 countries, including USA, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, France, Yugoslavia, and Portugal.[8]

Beyond Cartooning

Besides cartooning, Mario's murals are present on various buildings in Goa and other parts of India. Late in life he took to paintings which receive wide response.

Over the year he has published several books, including “Laugh it Off”, “Goa with Love”, and “Germany in Wintertime”.

Besides his own books, he has illustrated books of Dom Moraes (“A Journey to Goa”), Manohar Malgaonkar (“Inside Goa”) and Mario Cabral e Sa's (“Legends of Goa”).

He is an avid traveller, and loves listening to music.

At present

Mario has now settled in his ancestral home, at Loutolim, a village in Salcete, Goa, with his wife, younger son and their pets. This house also features in 1985 Shyam Benegal film,Trikaal.

Even though retired, Mario's work is seen regularly in Mumbai publications and he gets invited to travel to countries like Mauritius and Spain, and draw their local cultures. [9]


The elder son of Mario, Rahul is a coiffeur by profession, owns his own saloon in New York, while his younger son, Rishad, also a cartoonist, lives with him in Goa, and has designed the book “Legends of Goa”.


External links


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