Snippets from the life of India's best-loved cartoonist R.K. Laxman has always had a rather unique way of looking at things. His Common Man cartoons have lampooned just about every aspect of political and social life over the past five decades. Now that he has, at long last, decided to write the story of his life, the narrative is imbued with the same acerbic wit and quizzical insights we are so familiar with, while the tone is that of a relaxed after-dinner conversation. There are anecdotes here that can rival the most uncanny adventures of the Common Man. Laxman is tormented by gamblers who are convinced they can see lucky numbers concealed in his cartoons, mistaken for a Mexican and debarred from attending an invitation dinner on Park Avenue because he is carrying a raincoat, and charged with importing obscene literature into the country because a friend has sent him a copy of Playboy. These descriptions are interspersed with delightful thumbnail sketches of luminaries ranging from Graham Greene to V.K. Krishna Menon.Always looking for the contradictions that make life unpredictable and reveling in absurd juxtapositions, Laxman embellishes his canvas with a keen sense of humour and the satirist's ability to take a whimsical, cock-eyed look at just about anything under the sun. He is a gifted storyteller and pulls the reader along on an enchanting, comical journey down the corridors of time.
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