Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman was born in Mysore in 1924. he began cartooning for the Free Press Journal, a newspaper in Bombay, in 1947, soon after he graduated from the University of Mysore. Six months later he joined the Times of India as staff cartoonist; he continues to draw for the newspaper even today.
R.K. Laxman has written and published numerous short stories, essays and travel articles, some of which have been collected in the book, The distorted Mirror. He has also written three works of fiction,. The Hotel Riviera, The Messenger and Servants of India, all of which have been published by Penguin Books. Penguin has also published several collections of Laxman's autobiography, is also available from Penguin.
R.K. Laxman has won numerous awards for his cartoons, including Asia's top journalism award, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, in 1984. the University of Marathwada and the University of Delhi have conferred honorary Doctor of Literature degrees on him. In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Vibhushan.
Back of The Book
From financial crises to the woes of householders, from political instability to rampant corruption, Laxman's cartoons capture the entire gamut of contemporary Indian experience. Hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time, this is a treasurehouse of humour from one of the most striking voices commenting on Indian socio-political life today.
'For half a century, the Times of India has thoughtfully provided an antidote to all the bad news brimming on its front pages. It's a sketch, a single box, inked by R.K. Laxman, the country's sharpest cartoonist and political satirist. Each morning Laxman's frazzled character, known as the Common Man, confronts India's latest heartbreak with a kind of wry resignation. Meek, doddering, and with a moustache that bristles like an electrocuted mongoose, he's witness to everything, scheming politicians, rapacious bureaucrats and gossiping housewives. What's 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'.
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