Children’s books author Kamala Laxman passes away

The legendary cartoonist's wife had penned, among others, stories of Tenali Rama that were serialised on TV.

Updated - November 28, 2021 07:40 am IST

Published - November 14, 2015 07:55 pm IST - PUNE:

Kamala Laxman, a noted writer of children’s books and wife of iconic cartoonist and creator of the  Common Man  R.K. Laxman, passed away on Saturday evening here. She was 88.

 Ms. Laxman, the legendary caricaturist’s second wife, was five years younger than her husband and also happened to be his niece.

Incidentally, R.K. Laxman’s first wife was also known as Kamala, the renowned Bharatanatyam danseuse and movie star, who began her career as Baby Kamala and then was later known as Kumari Kamala. They were divorced in 1960.

Ms. Kamala Laxman is survived by her son Srinivas, a retired journalist, her daughter-in-law Usha and granddaughter Rimanika.

Talented artist

 A talented artist in her own right, she was commissioned by the India Book House in the 1970s to pen the Thama stories and tales of Tenali Raman, Krishnadeva Raya’s witty prime minister. The Tenali Raman stories were later memorably serialised and telecast on Doordarshan.

 According to Mr. Srinivas Laxman, his mother’s zest for life was noticeably waning after her husband’s death on Republic Day in January this year. “After his death, she had said that she would join our father soon,” he said.

Bulwark to the cartoonist

Ms. Laxman, who more than held her own against her famous husband, became Laxman’s bulwark after the cartoonist suffered a series of debilitating strokes in 2003 and 2010 that left Laxman paralysed and incoherent of speech.

It was Ms. Laxman who, with tireless devotion, chaperoned and regulated her husband’s life -- from managing the eminent caricaturist’s countless fans and acting as his conduit to the outside world, disseminating his thoughts to visitors.

Born in Chennai, Ms. Laxman studied in St. Thomas’ Convent and later graduated from Delhi’s Indraprastha College. She completed her interior decoration course from Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai.

The funeral is planned for Sunday morning in Pune, said family sources.

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