Gifted Ramki is not a professional, yet he is flooded with requests for wedding-related drawings.
He is not a professional cartoonist. He is the Chief Coordinator at Coimbatore’s The Eye Foundation, a PR and event management expert. But Ramki’s first love is drawing cartoons. And this fascination is so deeply rooted that Ramki has now started off a new trend.
He had a flair for drawing cartoons from his school days, but Ramki took it up as a hobby only a few years ago. What triggered him off was an incident at a bank. To pass the time, while standing in a queue at a bank to withdraw cash, he started scribbling on a piece of paper. A gentleman, standing next to him, was closely observing this. He appreciated the cartoons Ramki had drawn in the course of a few minutes. The stranger’s encouragement inspired Ramki to take up cartooning seriously. In due course, he proved to be good at it.
Recently, at the request of Dena Bank, Coimbatore, he drew two cartoons for the organisation, which were appreciated by the Branch Manager, who got them laminated and displayed them in the bank. These cartoons never fail to grab the attention of the customers.
A regular traveller between Chennai and Coimbatore, Ramki has made it a habit to start drawing in his notebook from the moment he takes his seat in the train. His co-passengers are often astonished by his skilful work, despite the jerks of the train. Ramki remembers an incident when some co-passengers gave him a poem, based on which he drew a few cartoons instantly, which were highly appreciated. He now has a collection of about 30 notebooks of his cartoons.
Depicting marriage rites
Once, a young man, who was getting married, requested Ramki to capture in cartoons all the events of the wedding. These were later displayed at the entrance of the hall during the wedding and everyone was impressed by his talent. The foreigners among the guests evinced keen interest in them as they depicted the various customs associated with a traditional South Indian wedding. Many of them took photographs of Ramki standing next to his creations.
An Indian staying in the U.S., saw his work on Internet and requested Ramki to do a similar job for his sister’s wedding. This time, Ramki decided to deviate from his conventional style. He collected the photos of some important relatives, cut out the heads and pasted them on bodies that he drew. These cartoons, which reflected all the rituals connected with the wedding, were attention-grabbers.
These days, Ramki is flooded with demands from friends and acquaintances to draw wedding-related cartoons. For which, he works late into the night while listening to old Tamil songs. So far, he has created six series of wedding cartoons, which have received fantastic responses from people.
It has now become Ramki’s daily habit to paste his cartoons, conveying positive messages, on his office board. One such work depicted the Police Commissioner’s advice to the public on ‘How the occupants of multi-storied apartments should interact with one another.’
He admires R.K. Laxman, to whom he once sent his cartoons and the veteran promptly rang him up and appreciated his effort. Ramki is grateful to cartoonist Triambak Sharma for his continuous encouragement and guidance. A number of daily newspapers, magazines and books have published Ramki’s cartoons. He draws at least 15 cartoons before going to bed every night.
A member of the Kerala Cartoons Academy, Ramki’s skills have got him the popular tag, ‘Wedding Cartoon Specialist.’