Mario Miranda Cartoons All Over In Goa

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Mario Miranda is never far when in Goa.

Google Doodle - Mario Miranda
Google Doodle celebrating Mario De Miranda’s 90th Birthday

I have visited Goa off and on, sometimes for work, sometimes for pleasure before destiny made it my home. It was when I was here for 2 days as part Deccan Odyssey journey that I got to see some new aspects of Goa like Mangeshi Temple and Sahakari Spice farm that I had not visited earlier. I also got to see the mundane Goa as a tourist, its vegetable markets, and various railway stations as we boarded on and off the train.

I could see a stamp of Mario Miranda almost everywhere I walked in Goa. He is Goa’s famous son of the soil cartoonist. Pay a bit of attention to his murals and you would realize his legacy.

Who is Mario Miranda?

Mario Miranda is a legendary Cartoonist from Goa. He was born in Daman.  Mario studied in Bangalore and Mumbai and worked around the world. Imagine the language barrier he would have faced as a Portuguese and Konkani speaker in a country that spoke English and many native languages. Being born to Bhatkar or Landlord family from Loutolim in Goa, he was always a cherished Goan. He did live his post-retirement years in Goa at his ancestral village in Loutolim in South Goa.

Born in 1926, when both Daman and Goa were Portuguese territories, Mario Miranda was never trained as an artist. But then, can that ever be a constraint for a born artist. He started sketching what he saw around him. Incidentally, his first subjects for cartooning were the Catholic priests of Goa. Soon, people started enjoying his cartoons in leading newspapers like The Times of India. His cartoons were signed as MARIO.

Mario de Miranda was awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 1988 and 2002 respectively for his contribution in the field of art. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 2012.

In his later years, Mario painted as well. Mario also collaborated with writers to author a few books. He died in 2011 while still working on his books.

Favorite Themes of Mario Miranda

Everyday life inspired Miranda the most. He has done series of Cartoons inspired by almost all cities he lived in or some that he was invited to.

In Goa, his favorite scenes were that of local Taverna – that I believe he considered an important spot in the villages around. He has sketched a lot of market scenes, capturing the hustle, bustle, and chaos of the local markets. When I look at some of his market scenes, I feel I can hear the sounds and sense the humid smells of Goan markets. As someone who moved to Goa just 4 years back, I can say that my first images of Goa were as they were depicted in Mario’s Cartoons. Can we say that he presented Goa to the rest of the world through his work?

In Mumbai, he captured the life on the streets of Mumbai. He is best known for capturing the small details that most of us tend to miss or overlook. Some of the characters he created for his cartoons included a Bollywood heroine called Ms. Rajani Nimbupani, an office secretary called Ms. Fonseca. Khushwant Singh depicted as a Sardar Ji inside a light bulb was also a Mario Miranda creation. It became the image I associated with Khushwant Singh for a long time. I think it first came in Illustrated Weekly of India that Singh edited.

Mario Miranda on walls of Panaji Vegetable Market
Mario Miranda on walls of Panaji Vegetable Market

Freelance

On his freelance days, he did illustrations for galleries, for restaurants, for book covers and just about what came his way. No wonder hos works find a canvas in so many places even today.

Mario Miranda’s works find resonance with the works of another great cartoonist R. K. Laxman who is best known for his common man depiction. The two actually worked together for some time.

It is interesting that he never did much of political cartoons as most popular cartoonists like to do. However, no one can compete with Mario when it comes to documenting social life of places he lived in through his work.

Mario Miranda Cartoons as Wall Murals in Goa

Vegetable Market in Mario Miranda style wall murals
Vegetable Market in Mario Miranda style wall murals

You cannot miss the wall murals made in typical Mario Miranda style even at the vegetable and fish market in Panaji. The fruit and fish sellers as seen my Miranda are immortalized on the walls.

Mario Miranda Mural at Madgaon Railway Station
Mario Miranda Mural at Madgaon Railway Station

At the Madgaon Railway station walls, there were some trains of thoughts that leave you thinking about this city.

Another Mural at Madgaon Railway Station
Another Mural at Madgaon Railway Station

The state government tourism department is tuned in too with the theme…

Mario Miranda for Goa Tourism
Mario Miranda for Goa Tourism

I am not sure how many of these are original. And how many are inspired by his work? It is good to see a city celebrating its people, its art forms. It is like being inspired from inside.

I think the biggest contribution of Mario Miranda is to inspire the generations of cartoonists who follow his footsteps, adapt his style in their works.

Mario Miranda Galleries

Goan architect Gerard da Cunha had collaborated with Mario Miranda for various projects and he now runs the Mario Miranda’s Galleries across Goa. However, let me tell you that these galleries are more like shops selling the artist’s work – both original and reproduced. It is not a display space for the best of his works.

Houses of Goa Sketches by Mario de Miranda
Houses of Goa Sketches by Mario de Miranda

Mario Miranda’s cartoons and sketches can now be purchased on various merchandise. There are galleries across the state in Goa and even one in Mumbai where you can buy prints of Mario Miranda.

You can buy his works on Mups, T-shirts, Scarves, Bowls, Fridge Magnets, Keychain, cushion covers, gift paper or just plain simple porcelain tiles. My favorite is the works that are replicated on Azulejos Tiles in Black & White or with Colors.

In Goa, Mario Miranda Galleries are at Panaji, Margao, Porvorim, Calangute & Carmona. You can find some of his works at almost every souvenir shop in Goa. You can also buy his products online.

Read More – 20 Top Goa Souvenirs to Buy

Update: Now that I live in Goa, I see more of his works in the state. One good place to see his works and the evolution of him as a cartoonist is Mario Miranda Gallery at Reis Magos Fort across the Mandovi river from Panaji.

Houses of Goa Museum has a lovely collection of his works depicting architecture of Goa.

See some of Mario Miranda’s famous works in this BBC Article on him.

Recommended travel blog on Places to visit in Goa.

  1. Goa Chitra Museum.
  2. Houses of Goa Museum.
  3. Bigfoot Museum.
  4. Pre-Historic Rock Art at Pansoimol.
  5. Bubble Lake.

36 COMMENTS

  1. Hi

    I discover a very nice blog here. I’m travelling India right now. I see such wonderful things.

    I keep reading your blog. Sorry for my poor english, I’m actually french.

    Friendly,

    AleX

  2. I had never hear of Mario Miranda, but I love that his murals are scattered all over. The beach was why I always wanted to visit Goa before. Now I want to find some of these murals in addition to visiting the beaches.

  3. Admittedly I’ve never heard of Mario Miranda before, but his cartoons are definitely incredible! I’d love to see his works too. Good to know there are places where you can appreciate them, without it being too commercialised. Will definitely keep an eye of his works when I visit Goa! 🙂

  4. I never heard of Mario Miranda before, but he is an inspiration to aspiring writers. You can make it big id you keep trying, you also don’t need technical training. It’s different for each and everyone!

  5. This is very interesting – I’m very much into street art. I just came back from Brazil where some of the street art is as well in tiles, like I see here by this artist, too. Do you think it’s the Portuguese heritage?

    • Renata – I do not think it is a Portuguese heritage because he was a cartoonist when India had a few legendary cartoonists. He is not a street artist, it is now that his art is on few walls of Goa.

  6. Mario Miranda is such an inspiration. The walls of Goa prove that he is indeed, one of the best cartoonist in history. Wonderful post and beautiful photos.

  7. I love that Mario Miranda went back to his hometown to create these gorgeous cartoon murals. I really enjoyed seeing his illustrations, as I too, like cartoons about everyday life. I love the one in the vegetable market the most. The pops of color are really fun!

  8. I love his fun style of drawing, his artwork definitely brightens up the walls of the market, railway station and anywhere else they are found I’m sure! It is funny how one man’s vision of his hometown can be so far-reaching to influence people’s view of Goa!

  9. I love cartoons, especially wall murals peppered around a city. And Mario Miranda’s cartoons are gorgeous.You are right, I did notice them everywhere in Goa – railway station, souvenir shops, vegetable and fish markets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring back anything. Maybe next time.

  10. What an interesting post! I never knew a bit of history about Mario and that he was from Goa. I can see through your pictures; his work is awesome and so interesting. The another amazing thing is you stay in Goa. I would love to treat myself with a souvenir of his work.

  11. Love this!! I was in Goa this past month for 4 nights. (sorry couldn’t connect) It was a relaxed trip and I think I definitely saw his cartoons on the walls of Fisherman’s Wharf in South Goa. Very interesting ones. Sharing this Anu!

  12. O wow…Always followed his work and was an admirer but seeing the Goa influence on him and vice-versa , I am bowled over.
    Yes, as you rightly pointed out, his depictions were devoid of political influences unlike the other cartoonists who contributed regularly to media columns.May be that is what set him apart to leave an imprint on his fans like me 🙂

  13. Very knowledgeable and we loved seeing all of his works .. happening pleasure it is! I think I can agree with somebody here, his influence is huge today!

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