Uncommon tribute to the creator of 'common man'

To celebrate R K Laxman's 90th birthday, nine cartoonists from city will pay homage to living legend at his home

This probably would be the most awaited moment for the nine cartoonist who will be visiting R K Laxman at his residence in Aundh, today. The nine cartoonist who said they consider Laxman as their guru, will visit the 'common man', on his birthday.

Birthday gift: A caricature made by city-based cartoonist Vikas Sabnis
to pay tribute to veteran cartoonist R K Laxman on his 90th birthday 

On the maestro's 90th birthday, the cartoonists will not only get an opportunity to sketch Laxman's caricature but also present him with a cake. Vikas Sabnis (61), a noted cartoonist who worked with MiD DAY during the 80's, said, "I consider Laxman as my mentor. All my caricatures till date are inspired by him and Bal Thackeray." Sabnis who has already prepared a caricature of Laxman, said, "My happiness has doubled today, since the caricature I will be presenting to Laxman, has also found place in the paper."

Laxman's birthday celebration is organised by the Saraswati Library in Aundh.  The entire programme has been planned by the library president, Kailas Bhingare, along with senior social workers, Krishnakant Kudale and Pradeep Niphadkar. "It is a matter of pride for us that Laxman is a Punekar since the past 10 years," said Bhingare.

Unveiling of CD
Bhingare has also compiled a CD based on the information collected from the first national level cartoonist sammelan in 1994. "The second edition of the audio-visual CD, titled, 'The Uncommon Man', will be unveiled by Laxman on his  birthday." Bhingare recounted that Laxman talks about the memories of his first caricature when he was five, in the CD. "Laxman also talks about his 'common man' and several other caricatures," the
president added.

On this occasion, Founder-president of Symbiosis Institute, Dr S B Muzumdar, who put up a statue of Laxman's common man in his institute eight years ago, said, "This is the only bronze statue of Laxman's 'common man' in
the country. Laxman's creativity and common man's hardship is always an inspiration to us."

The 3D challenge
Sculptor Vivek Khatavkar, who took up the challenge of creating a 3D statue out of a 2D cartoon caricature, said, "It was extremely overwhelming when Laxman saab took keen interest in my work and gave me some guidelines to add perfection to the statue. Till date, this has been my most challenging and creatively satisfying work."

The nine cartoonists visiting R K Laxman
>> S D Phadnis (87)
>> Mangesh Tendulkar (81)
>> Vijay Paradkar (75)
>> Vikas Sabnis (61)
>> Vaijanath Dulange (59)
>> Khalil Khan (55)
>> Sanjay Mistri (50)
>> Ravi Mukul (48)
>> Charuhas Pandit (47)

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