Scroll to know his Story
And he breathed life, on 24th October 1921,
In the Royal Palace city-Mysore, this legend was born.
Now, R K Laxman went to a municipal school,
And unlike other kids- loved the classroom,
He would spend his time observing his peers,
And many a times even his teachers!
A doodle of his teacher looking like a tiger cub
Sent the entire classroom wildly abuzz
His confrontation with his teacher
Led to Laxman’s understanding of the art of caricature.
Laxman drew a pipal leaf in class one day,
And the teacher’s praise came his way,
That a great artist one day he would be
And never since then, Laxman, doubted his destiny.
RK Laxman, growing up, had unique opportunities
To be surrounded by musicians, writers, dancers, artists
Educationalists, film personalities and even Royal families
They were often visitors to the household that was his.
One woeful day, inside a bathroom, his father collapsed.
To their great worry, the door had been latched.
RK Laxman the brave soul that he was,
Took to the ledge that was above a fifty foot drop
Easing his way over the ledge, the door to the bathroom, he did unlock
That day transformed him from a child to a man!
After high school to JJ School of Arts, RK Laxman did apply,
And much to his dismay, to his enrollment;
He got a regretful reply,
That his drawings lacked talent to even qualify!
(It is to this that irony strikes,
Later when he was in his office at TOI
The dean of JJ School called on Laxman
And wanted him to be, a Chief Guest for a function!)
RK Laxman was offered work as a freelancer
Even before he had completed his BA
He initially wasn’t keen to join an English paper
Because in New Delhi he wasn’t accepted by any leading newspapers.
He hit his turning point in glorious career
When enroute to Chennai, in Mumbai had a casual stop over.
When he was given an assignment to do a cartoon strip,
On the notorious Kalbadevi shooting, in the newspaper-Blitz.
A chance meeting with the editor of Free Press Journal
Led him to his job as a cartoonist (political).
And there beside him, where he sat,
Was a fellow cartoonist - Bal Thackeray.
A sudden decision and a dynamic twist,
He walked boldy to the TOI office,
Professor Walter Langhammer, the art director did not resist.
From that moment there was no looking back,
RK Laxman and TOI grew together after that.
The rest as we say is “globally known history”
That he was a world renowned cartoonist
There were many interesting people RK Laxman had met;
In London: Graham Greene, Bertrand Russell, Clement Atlee and T.S. Elliot.
He travelled with J.R.D Tata on Air India the first time,
From Mumbai to Moscow, on the inaugural first flight.
His role model and mentor
The British Cartoonist: David Low
Along with his wife, dropped by as a surprise
At RK Laxman’s office in TOI!
Now we know this great man’s career,
Let’s take few steps back,
And infuse it with things no man should ever lack.
His family and career went hand in hand,
And this is how his fate had it planned.
RK Laxman married his niece Kamala,
His elder sister’s daughter,
He had spent his childhood days with her
And they had grown up together.
A beautiful woman and children’s story writer
Both RK and Kamala had always been a support for each other.
And to them was born their son, Srinivas,
A seasoned space journalist, a writer at TOI.
And then came the beautiful daughter in law
He called Usha the world’s best daughter- married to his son.
Then came the grand daughter, Rimanika.
She was the one constantly in his thoughts,
And gave him a feeling of being reborn.
She was his strength that made him live a long life,
Watching her grow up filled him with pride.
Who he said added a whole new dimension to his life.
Laxman and Kamala, found their happy place,
They settled away from the bustle of Mumbai,
Found their enclosure in a home in Pune,
Were he lived out the end of his days.
His creations spoke of boundless evidence
That leaves us forever in his debt
This story speaks of those flourishing moments
From the time of his first breath, until his death.