Yesterday I finished a book featuring R.K.Laxman’s cartoon’s: BRUSHIING UP THE YEARS, A CARTOONIST'S HISTORY OF INDIA 1947-2004. Did I say that I read the book? Actually I saw the book, I enjoyed the book and I wish to have that book as it is not a book which you read once and it’s over, U want to refer it again and again it really looks and feels good. The owner of the book told me that it’s the only Coffee table book which he can afford; I really liked the term Coffee table book.
This book only features some selected cartoons of R.K.Laxman; the cartoons, which were published in ‘The Times of India’. It features those cartoons also which were banned to publish in the time of emergency. It mainly attacks on the contemporary Indian politics. Every cartoon has a small side note with it describing the cartoon. G. Swaminathan did a great job in arranging and selecting the cartoons so that one doesn’t feel the gap while reading. The chronological order of the cartoons paints a complete picture of the development on Indian political scenario after independence in the views of R.K.Laxman. But I personally felt that there must be some more cartoons which are missed especially from past ten years. I didn’t feel the gap because I know the scene in past ten years but if someone will refer this book 10 or 20 years down the line, he will not get a complete picture of this time frame. I personally learned a lot of ancient Indian politics about which I didn’t know much. I wish to post some cartoons from the book but couldn’t find a scanner on due to weekend. I will do the same when I’ll find one and the binding of the book allows me to do so.
I liked the common man’s expressions and his appearance in the cartoons. I googled and here are some more facts about Laxman’s common man:
- The Common Man featured in a commemorative postage stamp released by the Indian Postal Service on the 150th anniversary of the Times of India in 1988.
- A 10-feet high bronze statue of "The Common Man" has been erected at the Symbiosis Institute, Pune.The Common Man has a wisp of white hair that is perpetually standing, leaving him with a bewildered look.
- The Common Man has been used since 2005 as the mascot for newly launched low budget airline Air Deccan.