RK Laxman: Cartoonist Who Intrigued Millions with his Cartoon Character 'Common Man' for more then five Decades!
Although their are many famous Indian Cartoonists like K. Shankar Pillai, Abu Abraham, O.V. Vijayan who captured the Imagination of Indians, the One name which stood out is of R.K.Laxman. His minimalist and witty style of story telling intrigued and captured the Imagination of millions through his most popular Cartoon Character the "Common Man."
Born on 24'th October 1921 in Mysore city, he started doodling in his school days and has keen interest in art of Caricature. He is younger brother of famous Writer R. K. Narayan, who is best known for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi.
RK Laxman was first married to Bharatanatyam dancer and film actress Kumari Kamala and after their divorce Laxman married children's book writer who's name is also Kamala (Kamala Laxman). They have a son Srinivas, who also worked with TOI for some time.
While working with India's premier newspaper The Times of India, Laxman Created "Common Man" cartoon character in 1951; which represented hopes, aspiration and even struggle of average Indian man.
The character caught the public's imagination as people relate with its simplicity and is probably most known cartoon character throughout India as its served with morning chai everyday on front page of Times of India for more then five decades. He was inspired by David Low, one of Britain's greatest cartoonists who once dropped by as a surprise at RK Laxman’s office along with his wife.
Laxman once said of his Common Man, “He’s been with me throughout my career. I did not find him. He found me… I would say he symbolizes the mute millions of India, or perhaps the whole world, a silent spectator of marching time.”
Their is one very interesting fact about Master Cartoonist; in his early life after finishing school Laxman applied to J.J School of Arts in Bombay (Mumbai) and was refused admission by dean of the school who wrote to him that his drawings lacked "the kind of talent to qualify for enrollment in our institution as a student." Although later he was once Invited as chief guest for a Function. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mysore.
The Indian Master Cartoonist R.K.Laxman was recipient to numerous Awards including Padma Bhushan (third-highest civilian award) and Padma Vibhushan (second-highest civilian award) by Gov. of India. Laxman died on 26 January 2015 in Pune, But he lives in Hearts and Minds of millions of Indian through his legendary Character ""Common Man." As a tribute to the Character statue of 'The Common Man' are built at Worli Sea Face, Mumbai.
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