Today is the 96th birthday of a very famous and renowned Indian cartoonist, illustrator and humorist, R.K Laxman. He was best known for his creation; The Common Man and for his daily cartoon strip, “You Said It” in The Times of India, since 1951.

Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about this creative genius:

  1. R.K Laxman used to make illustrations for Malgudi Days which is authored by R.K Narayan. R.K Narayan was the elder brother of R.K Laxman.
  2. When R.K. Laxman started making cartoons for The Times of India, he tried representing different states and cultures in India. In a bid to meet the deadlines, he started making fewer and fewer background characters, until the point at which only one character remained, one that was clad in a dhoti and plaid jacket – The Common Man.
  3. The mascot for the Asian Paints, Gattu, was created by R. K. Laxman in 1954.
  4. He was refused admission in J.J College of Arts, Mumbai. The dean of the college rejected his applications saying that the drawings lacked “the kind of talent needed to qualify for enrollment in their institution”. Later, R.K Laxman was invited as a chief guest in the same college.
  5. R.K Laxman’s Common Man appeared on a postage stamp in 1988 commemorating the 150 years of The Times of India.
  6. R. K. Laxman became the first cartoonist to exhibit in London.
  7. He received numerous awards, among them, were The Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Magsaysay Award.
  8. An 8-feet high bronze statue of the character, “The Common Man”, stands at the Symbiosis Institute, Pune. Pune is the death place of R.K Laxman.

And some wishes for R.K Laxman, the creative legend: