The uncommon man passeth
Updated: May 26
Last week, as the uncommon man " RK Laxman *", creator of the common man, breathed his last, a shower of tributes, from common and uncommon people followed. Many of who remembered him with nostalgia, from the days when they waited, every morning, for his appearance in the "Times of India", with his witty, satirical insight into the headline of the day. Such was his impact that it was not even necessary to go through the mountains of written pieces that accompanied the little cartoon on front page, but just a glimpse of the common happenings around the common man would be enough. Even though a common man, he was uncommon by all means, with his pointy ears and wonder-struck expression staying on in the minds of the readers, as he watched everything around him, stoically and silently. Chairs may be hurled around him by the honorable members of parliament, or cows elbow him around, but he just stood. And saw. He had no name, he never spoke, but he said it all. And resounded with the masses of common men.
And sad it is indeed, the day when he fell silent for ever. the 26th of Jan, 2015. No more of his appearances to look forward to. But, such was his charisma and power that he inspired. Inspired many an innovation, starting with Indian Politics . The " Aam Aadmi", none other than a symbol of the common man, that even inspired a party. And the "amblingindian", a rather modern, forward-looking "aam aurat", yet a commoner in the India of today, joined the ranks of his common followers. But, in contrast, while the common man insisted on silence, the "aam aurat- the amblingindian" and others spoke out, and continue to do so. And hope to be joined by many others too, in their quest for commonness. Hail the common man! May his tribe increase!
Aina Rao The amblingindian.
*Rasipuram Krishnaswami Laxman (24 October 1921 – 26 January 2015) was an Indian cartoonist, illustrator, and humorist. He is best known for his creation The Common Man , a satirical innovation, and for his daily cartoon strip, "You Said It" in The Times of India, which started in 1951.