Hero of the Day - RK Laxman

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Laxman (24 October 1921 – 26 January 2015) was an Indian cartoonist, illustrator, and humorist. He is best known for his creation The Common Man and for his daily cartoon strip, "You Said It" in The Times of India, which started in 1951.
Laxman started his career as a part-time cartoonist, working mostly for local newspapers and magazines. While a college student, he illustrated his elder brother R. K. Narayan's stories in The Hindu. His first full-time job was as a political cartoonist for the The Free Press Journal in Mumbai. Later, he joined The Times of India, and became famous for the Common Man character.

Birth and childhood:

R. K. Laxman was born in Mysore in 1921. His father was a headmaster and Laxman was the youngest of six sons (he had a sister as well; an older brother is the famous novelist R. K. Narayan. Laxman was known as "Pied Piper of Delhi".
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After high school, Laxman applied to the J. J. School of Art, Bombay hoping to concentrate on his lifelong interests of drawing and painting, but the dean of the school wrote to him that his drawings lacked "the kind of talent to qualify for enrolment in our institution as a student", and refused admission. He finally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mysore. In the meantime he continued his freelance artistic activities and contributed cartoons to Swarajya and an animated film based on the mythological character Narada.

Personal Life:

Laxman was first married to Bharatanatyam dancer and film actress Kumari Kamala Laxman, who began her film career as a child actress named "Baby Kamala" and graduated into adult roles under the name "Kumari Kamala" ("Miss Kamala"). They had no children and after their divorce Laxman married a woman whose first name was again Kamala. This was the authoress and children's book writer Kamala Laxman. In a cartoon series named "The star I never met" in film magazine Filmfare he painted a cartoon of Kamala Laxman, with the title "The star I only met!" The couple had a son Srinivas, who worked for a while with The Times of India too.

Wikipedia: RK Laxman

Quotes:

A cartoonist enjoys not a great man but a ridiculous man.

Britishers who came to India missed Indian humour since they couldn’t understand our sense of domestic humour. They thought Indians have no sense of humour!

Cartooning is the art of insult and ridicule.

Change? Does the colour of the sky change ever? My symbol will never change.

Crows are so good looking, so intelligent. Where will I find characters like that in politics?

Each morning I grumble, I plan to resign as I drag myself to office. By the time I come home I like my work!

Every one of my drawings is my favourite.

Every single tree spelt adventure. I would scramble right to their top and watch the world from the heights.

Frankly, our politics is so sad that if I had not been a cartoonist, I would have committed suicide.

Generally, people take everything for granted. They hardly see anything around them.

I am grateful to our politicians. They have not taken care of the country, but me.

I do not remember wanting to do anything else except draw.

I have not forgotten that you can see the world through pieces of coloured glass.

I think anarchy would have suited us better.

I think everybody enjoys it when our mighty politicians are exposed in a comical and often ludicrous light.

It is impossible to say how to become a cartoonist; you have to be born with the gift, just as you cannot tell someone how to sing.

Laloo Prasad Yadav, who ought to be inside jail, is actually outside. And Jayalalitha is growing so large that I do not know which jail can accommodate her!

My common man is omnipresent. He’s been silent all these 50 years. He simply listens.

My sketch pen is not a sword, it’s my friend.

Nothing like India for cartooning and drawing!

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?

Searching for new ideas is an endless process.

The cartoon contains observation, sense of humour, sense of the ridiculous and contradiction – life!

[The Common Man] from India can survive without water, food, light, air, shelter!

To a child, reality seems much more fabulous than fantasy.

YourStory.com: RK Laxman

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