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Kuldeep Kanpur Kanpur’s Chinaman is expressive but temperamentally very different from his role model – the great Shane Warne. (Illustration: Suvajit Dey)

World Cup 2023: How Kanpur shaped the cunning Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav

Well-known political cartoonist Manjul is in the business of unpeeling complex national issues to their basic core with subtle and cutting humour. He left the place of his birth, Kanpur, in the 1990s. But despite the parting, distance and the decades, the chaotic city with an unfair share of comics and wry one-liners continues to influence his work.

Manjul likes to talk about his city and its character that is true to the region’s rail route – it’s between Delhi and Lucknow. “We are not overly polite like Lucknow, nor as brash as Delhi. Kanpur’s humour has humility. It isn’t too direct or toxic, it is …,” he trails off, searching for the right English word.

Eventually, it is Kanpur’s lovingly-preserved lexicon that comes handy. “Our favourite pastime is something called Chikayi, it sums up our self-deprecating city of closed mills, load-shedding and traffic jams where humour helps one to survive,” he says. (READ MORE)

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