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Janaki Maami

May 9, 2010

It’s Mother’s Day today,  a fact I wasn’t aware of when I made this comic. Mother of all coincidences, eh ?

Easter egg hunters, connect the comic to Lawrence Fishburne.

If You Come Today : the comic

March 2, 2010

This story is set in an alternate history Bangalore of the late 1970s.

It’s a cocktail of a ‘million memories’, laced with generous amounts of kitsch, hyperbole and vernacular references.

Please take your grammar/spelling/historical-accuracy hats off before you proceed. And watch each panel carefully; I’ve hidden some really hard-to-find easter eggs in there. (If you find that some of the writing’s too small, just click on the image. That’ll load the entire page into your browser and you can then zoom in. Note: there are four pages in all.) Thank you.

Chapter 1 : The Hunt

Chapter 2: New Modran Hotel

If you’d like to spot the easter eggs via a short quiz, go here :

The ‘If You Come Today’ Comic Quiz

Credits, etc:

The Jumma Masjid photograph is from Suyog’s ‘Bangalore Photography’ set. He has some lovely photographs of Bangalore/Mysore, do check them out. Newspaper clippings courtesy the Headline Generator.

Creative Commons License
If You Come Today: The comic by Jai Iyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. You may link to this work.

The comments section is at the top of the post. If this is your first time on my blog , my first INGA (Indian Graphic Art) comic titled ‘The Secret’ can be found here.

And yes, I promise to post more often. Do come back. If you come today..

Allen Mendonca’s Sentinel House

December 16, 2009

Allen Mendonca‘s novel ‘Sentinel House’ hits bookstores today . It’s the story of a (fictional) Indian newspaper house and how its characters ‘play a role’ in the evolution of India over the years.  Allen, a former Indian Express and Times of India journalist , was a good friend. He passed away in his sleep in September this year. He was 49.

Here is an illustration I did for his book. It’s a graphic-novelish rendering of a scene in which Harivanshrai Kumar , the central character of the book , hears about the raid on his newspaper house :

Do note that ‘Sentinel House’ is NOT a graphic novel.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy with other non-art stuff. But I’m working on another INGA comic. Look forward to a post next week.


November 11, 2009

The Mumbai Dabbawala is as Mumbaikar as one can get. Wonder what he’d say about the MNS – ShivSena squabble over guardianship of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ identity?


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. You may link back to this cartoon. For other uses, please email me.

How Obama won the Nobel

October 12, 2009


For those that came in  late to the Internet, here’s an online museum of those annoying banner ads from the late 90s.

Others – If only you’d clicked. Imagine.

Creative Commons License
How Obama won the Nobel by Jai Iyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. You may use this cartoon for non-commercial purposes only- Link back to this site.

Indian Transformers : AUTOrickshawBOT

July 15, 2009


ONEANDHAFF  (one and a half) :

In Bangalore autorickshaw parlance, ‘ONEANDHAFF’ (ie pay-me-one-and-a-half-times-what-the-meter-shows ) is a challenge the driver throws at you, signaling the start of a game of Grand Theft by Auto(rickshaw edition).

The probability of you receiving this challenge is directly proportional to :

a) the distance of destination from driver’s ‘comfort-zone’ regions

b) the distance of your state of origin , measured upwards from the Vindhyas

c) the font size of the word ‘SUCKER’ on your face. For really huge font sizes, there’s also ‘DUBBALMETER’.


Creative Commons License
AutorickshawBot by Jai Iyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. You may link back to this cartoon.

Happy Anniversary

July 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Sandhya and Allen Mendonca 🙂 


( The post is a week late, but that’s just to renew the debauchery for a little while more….)

Christmas, made in India

June 22, 2009

I was a guest at the Madras Gymkhana Club last month.

The Gymkhana’s 125 year history has many quaint anecdotes , such as this one about Santa Claus coming riding in a cycle-rickshaw to the Club’s annual Christmas party :


I dare say this must have been a particularly  delightful turn of events when it happened, with someone first requisitioning the Club Committee (in triplicate) for funds to hire reindeer and a sleigh for the celebrations. And the Committee ,after much deliberation over many a sitting, deciding to go with Selvam and his rickety old rickshaw instead. 

The image ( especially Selvam’s shirt ) was formed in my head long before I put ink to paper ; when I did sit down to sketch it last week , it drew itself.

Basavanagudi – Land of the Bull Temple

June 4, 2009

Basavanagudi. Traditional Bangalore.

Where mornings begin with a walk in Krishna Rao park, past the laughter club’s guffawing women and the old men who enquire “Why you did not come yesterday?” Where you stop at Vidyarthi Bhavan for a ‘strong’ coffee and step outside to smell the roses (and jasmine) at the Gandhi Bazaar market.

Where residents went ‘tut-tut’ at the ‘modernization’ when the swanky Upahara Darshini opened in the late 80’s (but promptly proceeded to indulge in its delicious malnad kadbu and talked about its automatic hand drier over conversations at the Katte BaLaga).

Basavanagudi, land of the December Peanut Fair around the benevolent Big Bull Temple at the Bugle Rock park. Where Bhavani Bangle Stores , seller of  velvet-cloth-flower-painting-kits (as seen on the housewives show on Udaya TV) and Maybeline for the middle class added an additional floor to accommodate customers. Where Sangeeth Sagar tried the same , failed and went back to the narrow column of a shop selling Rajkumar hits on cassettes now also on MP3.

Where the annual Vidyaranya Ganesha festival grew from hosting the local ‘Blue Boys’ orchestra to inviting Daler Mehndi to perform at the Acharya Patashala Grounds. Where many a young impressionable mind grew up reading the dog-eared Asterixes , Tintins and Amar Chitra Kathas at the Public Library at the Indian Institute of World Culture.

A Basavanagudi that’s now choking thanks to the ugly plastic coconut trees on DVG road outside the numerous kitschy Gold Palaces that we are told belong to powerful ministers. Where it’s perfectly okay to ask at Sreenivasa Brahmin’s bakery :” Eggless items are there ? ” Where little Brahmin boys play cricket in the lanes near the Shankar maTa and as adolescents , discover Swami Vivekananda at the Ramakrishna Ashram.

Where Subbamma, maker of deep fried snacks sold her wares from a tiny shop near Surveyor Street. Where the rationalist H.Narasimhiah walked the streets of Gandhi Bazaar during a solar eclipse to prove a point. The same streets Maasti Venkatesh Iyengar took not so long ago from his house in Gavipuram to the Basavanagudi Club, handing out toffees to children along the way.





I’ve lived in Basavanagudi all my life. I drew this map a couple of years ago for Savita, a close friend who does the Traditional Bangalore Walk for Bangalore Walks, run(?) by another friend Arun Pai. It’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend morning – discovering a part of Bangalore you probably didn’t know about over a walk and breakfast. You may sign up here. Better still, send me a mail identifying (any number of) the five places marked on the map above and the person with the most correct answers (lucky draw in case of a tie) shall be invited to an all expenses paid FREE Traditional Bangalore Walk (courtesy Savita). Contest ends 12th June 2009.

Arun Pai does the Victorian Bangalore Walk (around the MG Road area) and there’s also a Lalbagh Walk (Tip : breakfast at MTR ! ). These are fine people you should be spending your weekend with.So , people – if you are in Bangalore, mark your calendars for a Saturday/Sunday morning !

Recommended reading : Multiple City – Writings on Bangalore compiled by Aditi De

INGA (Indian Manga) : The Secret

May 15, 2009

Today, I shift gears on my blog.

I present to you the first in a series of short-stories-in-a-graphic-novel/comic-book-style. That’s a mouthful, so I’d like to call these shorts ‘Inga’ (that’s short for Indian Manga or Indian Graphic Art). I know the name’s a bit lame for a comic-book-genre (and brings to mind Swedish imagery ) but hey, it’s short and Twitter-friendly.

So here you go, my first two-page Inga titled ‘The Secret’.  

Any resemblance to any living/dead person/place  is a figment of your/my imagination(?).


inga_the_secret_page_2 | Digg it | StumbleUpon | Share on Facebook | Tweet this !

Please use the comments section and tell me what you think . Thanks !

Update (18th May 2009) For the record : The technique WORKS. Really.

Hmm, Moore/Gibbons fans – no comments about the last panel ? It’s a tribute.

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