The uncommon man of the common man: that’s how we describe the famous Indian cartoonist Late R.K. Laxman. Born in a humble Tamil-speaking Iyer family, RK Laxman was a humorist, illustrator, journalist, reporter and cartoonist by profession. He started his professional career as a part-time caricature artist during his college.
As a beginner, most of his illustrations were meant for his elder brother R.K. Narayan’s stories. After designing cartoon strips for several magazines and newspapers, he finally joined as a full-time political cartoonist for The Free Press Journal.
Laxman rose to fame because of his creations ‘You said it’ and ‘The Common Man’ that started back in 1951. All throughout his life, he won some significant awards for his creative contributions. The major ones were:
- Ramon Magasaysay Award for Journalism, Literature & Creative Communication Arts (1984),
- Padma Bhushan (1973),
- Padma Vibhushan (2005).
Unfortunately we lost the veteran artist on January 26, 2015, at the ripe age of 93. However, his quotes and creations are still fresh in our minds.
Here are top 10 quotes and creations by RK Laxman that will compel you to think again.
- When he was asked to change the protagonist of his Cartoon Stories.
Change? Does the colour of the sky change ever? My symbol will never change.
- His thoughts regarding his profession.
Each morning I grumble, I plan to resign as I drag myself to office. By the time I come home I like my work!
- On the Plight of a common man.
My common man is omnipresent. He’s been silent all these 50 years. He simply listens.
- The real meaning behind cartoons.
The cartoon contains observation, sense of humour, sense of the ridiculous and contradiction – life!
- How Children Perceive Reality.
To a child, reality seems much more fabulous than fantasy.
- If pen is a sword, a sketch pen is your friend.
My sketch pen is not a sword, it’s my friend.
- Growing up has always been a tiring process.
Only when we grow older do we learn to be kind and realise that selfishness is bad. But even then not all of us learn these things. Otherwise, why would there be fights and wars?
This was the RK Laxman at his best!