Serial will introduce youths to cartoonist's work: Prime Minister

The Common Man knocked at your doorstep every morning through the pages of The Times of India. He is now set to enter your drawing rooms. This time in the evening and through the television set.

His creator, legendary cartoonist R. K. Laxman, may not be able to sketch him anymore owing to age and ill-health. But interest in his work has given rise to the idea of a television series on his cartoons.

‘R.K. Laxman Ki Duniya' a serial on Sony SAB TV based on Mr. Laxman's 60 years of work and focusing on the ‘Common Man' will be telecast on November 28th.

“It depicts the family of a common man – the older as well as the younger generation,” Usha Laxman, the cartoonist's daughter-in-law, who is actively involved in the project told The Hindu over telephone.

“The episodes will be [punctuated] with his print sketches. The entire family is involved in the process to see that the artistic value of Dad's [Mr. Laxman's] work is not compromised. We are very particular that the serial stick to the [original] creation. For us, it's a very sentimental project,” she said.

Mr. Laxman himself was very happy about the project, but had concerns about how his life's work will be portrayed, Ms. Laxman said. “He was very happy. It was like recalling his work. It is a walk down the memory lane.”

His only concern was that the spirit of his cartoons should not be distorted. “His humour is not slapstick. It's sarcastic and subtle. He was very particular about the handling of his work,” Ms. Laxman said.

This was the concern the family raised with the producers when they approached them with the idea of televising the cartoons.

PM's message

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has shown interest in the project . “The Prime Minister has sent a message that he was very happy. He said it would be a good introduction to the younger generation who may not be aware about Mr. Laxman's work. As for those who are, they will see a revival,” Ms. Laxman said.

The family is seeking permission from Dr. Singh to air his message as part of the serial's promotional strategy. Many celebrities, including actor Amitabh Bachchan and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, are expected to lend their support out of goodwill .

The title is reminiscent of the 80s' hit, ‘Wagle Ki Duniya', a tele-serial adapted from Mr. Laxman's works.

“Wagle was conceptualised for TV. This is different. This is rendering his work from the print to the television medium. We are working behind the scenes so that there are no distortions,” Ms. Laxman said.

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