‘Common Man’ statue to come up in Jaipur school

The statue of “The Common Man”, a fictious cartoon character created by R.K. Laxman, at Worli Seaface in south Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

A statue of “Common Man”, the signature creation of legendary cartoonist R.K. Laxman, will shortly come up at a school in Jaipur to mark the centenary year of his birth and commemorate his special connection with the Pink City.

The late humorist, who died in 2015, had visited the Rajasthan Capital several times.

The iconic character’s statue will be built at Merry Lands School in Jaipur’s Malviya Nagar area. Laxman had attended many functions at the school and interacted with its students.

Dharmendra Bhandari, Jaipur-based author of Laxman’s biography, said here on Thursday that the statue would be a tribute to post-Independence India's greatest artist.

Laxman, born on October 24, 1921, used to come to Jaipur frequently as a guest of Dr. Bhandari. In 2003, he delivered a memorial oration commemorating Dr. Bhandari's mother, Prakash Bhandari, and laid the foundation stone for the Art, Music and Dance Academy at Merry Lands School.

Dr. Bhandari, who was earlier an associate professor in Rajasthan University, served as an officer on special duty to the Reserve Bank of India and an advisor to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on securities scam in 1992-93. He was also on the Board of Directors of Bank of Baroda and JP Morgan Mutual Fund.

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam wrote the foreword to R.K. Laxman: The Uncommon Man, authored by Dr. Bhandari. Laxman drew the cover designs of Dr. Bhandari's several other books as well. Dr. Bhandari said he used to commission the cartoonist for doing a lot of artworks and caricatures.

Dr. Bhandari curated a ‘Laxman Rekha’ exhibition of the artworks of Laxman at Jawahar Kala Kendra here in 2005, which was inaugurated by Kalam. The then President invited the Laxmans and Dr. Bhandari's family for a week-long holiday to Rashtrapati Bhavan later that year.

Dr. Bhandari said he and Laxman experienced the personal hospitality of the President for a week and spent hours conversing about a wide range of subjects. “The only notable omissions from our conversations were politics and politicians,” he noted.

Dr. Bhandari stated that Laxman’s work, which included the pictures of humour drawn in 1950s and 60s, were relevant even now. An exhibition of Laxman’s artworks hosted by the Indian Embassy in Belgium last year was so widely acclaimed that the European Union Parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium exhibited the works for a week.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 10:47:15 PM |

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