00000 ABU


ABU

(June 11, 1924 - December 1, 2002)
Born in Tiruvalla,Kerala as the son of A.M. Mathew and Kantamma, Abu started drawing cartoons at the age of 3. After studying French, Mathematics, and English at University College, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and being the tennis champion, he graduated in 1945.[1] He moved to Bombay where he became a journalist in The Bombay Chronicle and its sister paper, The Bombay Sentinal while contributing cartoons to Blitz and Bharat. In 1951, he was invited by Shankar, one of Indias best known cartoonists at the time, to move to New Delhi to work in the Shankar’s Weekly.
In 1953, he met Fred Joss of the London Star, who encouraged him to move to London.[1] At 32, Abu arrived in London in the summer of 1953 and immediately sold cartoons to Punch magazine and the Daily Sketch and started to contribute material to Everybodys' London Opinion and Eastern World using the pen name 'Abraham'.
In September 1966, Abu moved to The Guardian and started to contribute a weekly cartoon to Tribune. During 1968 he edited Verdicts on Vietnam, a collection of cartoons about the Vietnam war.
He returned to India with his first wife (Sarojini, from Tamil Nadu, who he later divorced) and two daughters, Aysha and Janaki, in 1969 to work as the political cartoonist on the Indian Express until 1981. In 1970 he was given a special award by the British Film Institute for a short film based on Noah's Ark called No Arks.From 1972 until 1978, he was elected to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.
In 1975 Indian Emergency was declared and the freedom of the press was suspended, and Abu fell out of favour with Indira Gandhi. The direct result of this was the publication of the book Games of the Emergency in 1977, which contained the political articles and cartoons that he could not print during The Emergency. As well as illustrating other books, other collections of his cartoons were Abu on Bangladesh (1972), Private View (1974), and Arrivals and Departures (1983). He also edited the Penguin Book of Indian Cartoons (1988).
From 1981, Abu was freelance, and then from 1988 mover back to Kerala.

He died on 1 December 2002 and was survived by his British-born wife Psyche.

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