‘Common Man’ RK Laxman re-visited by the School of Artillery
Best known for his satirical cartoons in a National Daily called ‘Common Man’, Padma Vibhushan RK Laxman’s cartoons captured serious issues in the most uproarious manner. The legendary cartoonist, who passed away two days ago in Pune, was the guest at the School of Artillery, Deolali Camp the same day. It has sent down shivers to the people of the School who met him on the last day of his demise. The only prized possession of the cartoonist with the school will be his entry dated June 10, 1998 in their visitor’s book. This entry is the most unconventional cartoon entry the school has ever had and that is the sole reason why the renowned cartoonist will always be remembered by the School of Artillery. Army press release from Deolali said that they paid a rich tribute to the late cartoonist as soon as they got to know about his mournful demise.
RK Laxman gave a demonstration of cartoon-drawing during his visit at the school and had his audience roaring with laughter during his interaction with the officers and their wives. It was a day of happiness, melancholy and a day to remember by the School of Artillery. The legend perfectly captured the idiosyncrasies of life and politics in India, not only through his cartoons but also on television through his show ‘ RK Laxman Ki
Duniya ’. Based on the books and works of RK Laxman, the television series attempted to capture incidents involving happenings in the life of the common man. Nonetheless, he shot to fame for his creation ‘Common Man’ and for his daily cartoon strip “You Said It” in the Times of India, which started in 1951. He once said. “I drew objects that caught my eye outside the window of my room – the dry twigs, leaves and lizard-like creatures crawling about, the servant chopping firewood and, of course, the number of crows in various postures on the rooftops of the opposite building.” No doubt he has been entitled as the ‘common man’!!
At the age of 94, he still had a spark that would put any youngster to shame. He had the charm of leaving his audience in splits, interpreting his sense of humour at an altogether different level. When asked to sign the visitor’s book at the school, he drew his iconic ‘common man’ cartoon holding a written note in his hands saying “I wish I had joined Army, it is so nice here”