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A collection of gems by our best-loved cartoonist, R.K. Laxman
'For half a century, the Times of India has thoughtfully provided an antidote to all the bad news brimming on its front pages. It is a sketch, a single box, inked by R.K. Laxman, the . . . sharpest cartoonist and political satirist [of the country]. Each morning, [the] frazzled character, known as the Common Man, confronts [the] latest heartbreak with a kind of wry resignation. Meek, doddering, and with a moustache that bristles like an electrocuted mongoose, he is a witness to everything: scheming politicians, rapacious bureaucrats and gossiping housewives. What is common about this character is that like most Indians, he sees his country being forced through endless indignities by its leaders and yet does not even whimper in protest.' ~ TIME
From financial crises to the woes of householders, from political instability to rampant corruption, these cartoons capture the entire gamut of contemporary Indian experience. Hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time, this is a treasure house of humour from one of the most striking voices commenting on Indian sociopolitical life today.
Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman (1921-2015) was born and educated in Mysore. He started contributing as a cartoonist to college magazines, his brother R.K. Narayan's books, publications such as Koravanji, and also Gemini Studio. He initially worked at Blitz (Mumbai) and the Free Press Journal and, six months later, he joined Times of India, where he enjoyed a long and prolific career. He created India's most beloved and iconic cartoon character, 'The Common Man'.
Laxman's books include Idle Hours (later retitled The Distorted Mirror), The Hotel Riviera, The Messenger and Servants of India. The Tunnel of Time is Laxman's autobiography, and several collections of his cartoons are part of the series The Best of Laxman and Laugh with Laxman.
R.K. Laxman was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan (1973) and the Padma Vibhushan (2005). He was a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1984) and CNN IBN TV18's Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism (2008) as well as several honorary docorates by prestigious universities.