The Very Best of the Common Man eBook Õ Best of the


The Very Best of the Common Man The Very Best Of The Common Man is a tribute to one of India's best loved cartoonists R K Laxman It presents a collection of some of Laxman's cartoons based on The Common Man a character that appeared in Laxman's daily cartoon strip titled You Said It for the Times of India publicationThe Common Man an average man representing the hopes and fears of the masses in India remains one of the best characters in the history of Indian cartooning and illustration He is depicted as a silent witness to all the socio political happenings that are presented in the cartoonsThrough the Common Man cartoons Laxman explores every aspect of living in contemporary India From political instability to economic crises from the deeply entrenched corruption to the woes of householders Laxman portrays exactly what it means to live and experience the real IndiaThe book presents some of the best cartoons featuring The Common Man in all his mute gloryThis edition of Dates on which the cartoons were originally Published if provided would have made reading experience much better I never had the privilege of reading the daily political cartoons of the excellent R K Laxman when I was a kid simply because my family never subscribed to Times of India newspaper which published Laxman's cartoons and that delayed my introduction to his Common Man I still remember my first Common man A simple penciled cartoon of a family staring blankly at an empty wall with the caption running along the lines The television is in the repair shop and the family just don't know what else to doI read that one about 12 years ago and it stayed with me ever sinceThis 200 page collection contains 100 single paneled cartoons Laxman drew during his long career His satirical panels presented here hits hard on the evergreen hypocrisy of politicians unfulfilled election promises bribes natural disasters damaged roads cricket child labor and everything under the sun that ails an Indian common man In my opinion naming this collection as The very best of the common man is misleading These 100 panels only scratch the surface of Common man's legendary run and some of the panels presented here repeat itself like old wine in a new bottle I would've loved to see a diverse collection Also I thought it would be interesting to know which year each individual cartoons were originally published but that information was missing too Nevertheless This small book contains the bold legacy of India through the eyes Laxman's common man which reminds us to look at everyday affairs without prejudice and manipulations the two factors which populate our current day media Offhand I can think of few brothers as extraordinarily successful in their fields and certainly as widely admired as RK Narayan and his younger sibling RK LaxmanPerhaps the Attenboroughs come close David and Richard Or in earlier times Lawrence and Gerald DurrellRK Narayan the beloved author had many of his works illustrated by his cartoonist brother RK Laxman to great effect witness the Indian Thought edition of RKN's memoir My Days This 2012 Penguin compilation features Laxman's creation the Common Man a figure integrated into Laxman's editorial cartoons for The Times of India to signify puzzlement mute acceptance or resigned understanding of the politics of India and their practitioners often grandilouent in their promises but under preforming in deed My favourite Laxman cartoons are typified by one depicting a rural scene where an enthusiastic peasant is speaking to visiting officials while the Common Man looks on hands thrust in pockets He saysOh yes this village has improved a lot sir it's almost like a big city now no water no electricity here either Two uibbles no dates on the cartoons which would have helped contextualise them and the short introductory comments to help explain the cartoon not by Laxman are mostly unnecessary PoliticsSaid to be the second oldest profession in the world bearing a close resemblance to the first politics has always been subjected to searing scrutiny and bitter ridicule Especially in a highly populated country like India politicians have been offering a lot of free ‘entertainment’ to the public next only to cinema and cricket Stupid statements senseless actions scams and scandals – you ask for it and the Indian politicians only feel obliged to deliver it for your ‘pleasure’Cartoonists are that rare breed of people who make the caricatured images of theirs speak than a thousand acerbic words mocking the actions of the politicians Especially those cartons that appear daily in the newspapers seem like the oasis amidst all the chaotic news articles RK Laxman is the doyen of the cartoonist profession in India Having had a prolific career that spanned than half a century he is one cartoonist who can really claim to have seen it all and drawn it allThis book contains some hundred plus cartoons of Laxman that have withstood the test of time A mere glimpse at the cartoons and you will realize that our politicians have remained as pretentious as egoistic and as dumb as ever Indulgence in boastful talks broken promises opportunistic behaviors have all been the bane of Indian politicians always Hence some of the satiric jibes that MrLaxman had aimed at the politicians of old remain relevant enough for our ‘leaders’ of these days as well Leaders that visit their constitutions only during election campaigns who don’t think twice before throwing senseless percentages and figures without showing any real progress on ground the servile acolytes who need to flatter their bosses even during their visits to places hit by natural disasters – Laxman has drawn them all keeping his ‘Common Man’ – a lovable bald old man – as a silent observerJust a complaint though The cartoons have all been published on one side while the opposite side is used for a caption of only a line or two Either they have opted to present the book so due to the poor thin uality of the paper that could have made the images on different pages look overlapping and thus messy Or they could have done so to make this book appear in a decent size But this seems to be a blatant wastage that the publishers could have very much avoidedAs for the content a thoroughly enjoyable book and a collector’s treasure

  • Paperback
  • 206 pages
  • The Very Best of the Common Man
  • R.K. Laxman
  • English
  • 23 November 2016
  • 9780143418719

About the Author: R.K. Laxman

'''Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Iyer Laxman''' born October 23 1924 Mysore India is an Indian cartoonist illustrator and humorist He is widely regarded as India's greatest ever cartoonist and is best known for his creation ''The Common ManR K Laxman was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan by the Government of India He has won many awards for his cartoons including Asia's top journalism awa


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