Born in Tiruvalla, India, Abu started drawing cartoons at the age of 3. He moved to Bombay where he became a journalist at 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 India’s best known cartoonists, to move to New Delhi to work on the Shankar’s Weekly. In 1953, he met Fred Joss of the London Star, who encouraged him to move to London. At 32, Abu arrived in London and immediately sold cartoons to Punch and the Daily Sketch using the pen name 'Abraham'. In 1966, Abu moved to The Guardian. In 1969, he returned to India to work as the political cartoonist for the Indian Express until 1981. In the 1975 Indian Emergency, 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.