A paper, a pencil and a quiet corner. How much can one achieve with this? Some paintings and drawings, and a few inevitable bulges in the waistline, owing to an inanimate lifestyle, perhaps?
In Mario Miranda's creations, the bulges were only in the eyes of the people he drew, and in the buxom women his work was filled with; and they were anything but inanimate! There was life and movement in his every stroke. And one need not talk about what he achieved from his quiet corner.
Mario caught the essence of India in his work...his drawings were always full of people in wonderful detail. "How much he saw!" said a friend of mine, and I totally agree with that. Not many of us really 'see' things as we go about our mundane lives.My earliest memory of Mario's work is from the Illustrated Weekly of India, a magazine we all read and loved as children. We looked forward to episodes of Minister Bundaldass and his secretary Moonswamy. They were hilarious, filled with tasteful humour, and we enjoyed laughing at politicians, as we did at the film actress Miss Rajni Nimbupani.
Apart from his amazing body of work, I think Mario taught my generation to laugh at ourselves. Yes, India is this and India is that, but what the hell! The cows on roads, the overflowing trains, the streets with people rushing about their daily lives...hey! there are funny things going on around us all the time!
He also depicted romance in a charming way. His lines calmed down, and created a mood at once pleasant and beautiful. His cross hatching was masterly and his buildings and monuments were an architect's delight. I must add that his depiction of flora was amazing too.
On my last visit to Goa in 2008, I wanted to meet Mario, but couldn't. But I was very happy to see that his work was available in stores in Panjim, especially in the elegant Velha Goa Galleria. And now there is a website showcasing his work: http://www.mariodemiranda.com/
Thank you, Mario Joao Carlos do Rosario de Britto Miranda, for being born amongst us, for showing us everything you saw. India will miss you.