Home > Books > A Cartoonist Remembers (OV Vijayan)

A Cartoonist Remembers (OV Vijayan)

“Between historical pessimism and imbecile revolution, there is a stretch of arid territory that the cartoonist retires to. It all begins in a lot of violence, and subsides as ingloriously as it had come. That is history. The cartoonist views it from his arid space and catches its absurdities and contradictions.

This is how I’ve conceived of the peasant and his disturbed son – and their irrepressible questions”

–OV Vijayan in his introduction to the book

Some of the most sarcastic cartoons I’ve ever laid eyes on. Vijayan’s cartoons immediately evoke a smile, which slowly begins to morph into a sense of disgust and impotent outrage at everything that is wrong with this country. Political satire at its best. Another memorable paragraph:

“It is an unutterable sadness which punctuates the reality that I am called upon to portray, and yet the dominant superstition of my profession demands that I raise a laugh. If you are depressed and morbid, I am reminded, there is a custom-made laugh even there, for did not Thurber mourn his epoch with laughter? But I am what Thurber could never understand. I am a Third World cartoonist. In my world, there are children who are fed on grass, and whose eyes, as they peer out of an Oxfam ad, are full of an infantile senility that Thurber might never have encountered.

…..I think of this tryst with grass, and when I do that, I want, in one suicidal sweep, to repudiate all those who lied to me about the tryst with destiny. Now how do I make that into a political cartoon?”

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