Thursday, January 29, 2015

YOU SAID IT, LAXMAN SIR, BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE DID






Pic.: Pradeep Nanda

All through his professional life – for over six decades, that is – R.K. Laxman did only one thing: draw cartoons… He made that - otherwise ignored and uncared - common man speak through his silence, each day… and made him, literally, immortal. He made even that – otherwise most irritating and shooed bird - crow, immortal!

Imagine, a simple soul like you and me – a total common man – becoming a legend called R.K.Laxman… just by drawing his cartoons, every day! That, too, without formally learning to draw them from any school or teacher… Instead learning to do them on his own…

Yes, imagine, R.K. Laxman without his cartooning prowess!

It is just like imagining Amitabh Bachchan without his acting prowess… and Sachin Tendulkar without his batting prowess!

Amitabh did not go to any acting school and Sachin, though had learnt a few subtle things from his coach, Achrekar, I believe, had learnt on his own almost all his colossal batting-skills…

Ditto for Lata Mangeshkar, Milkha Singh or Dada Kondke… Ditto for Narendra Modi…

They learnt it on their own, and, they learnt it the hard way… with loads and loads of dedication, commitment, discipline and passion…

In life, none of us can be good at everything… leave alone ‘the best’. But, if we resolve to be good in one thing – that one thing which is close to our heart – and go about building up that skill, that prowess, by putting our entire heart and soul into it, can’t we excel in it?


Somewhere down the line, things have gone wrong when it comes to our self-belief. Parents, today, enroll their kids to great design schools without checking whether their kids have the aptitude and the attitude in place…

Design schools don’t bring out the designer in you… Your belief in the designer in you, does…

How many Arjuna’s could the great Dhronacharya produce? Don’t tell me, he had only one student under him! And, could Arjuna, the most-glorified student of Dhrona, learn the art of archery the way Eklavya could?

R.K. Laxman, his brother R.K. Narayan, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tenulkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Milkha Singh and Narendra Modi… and hundreds of legends like these – are the Eklavya’s of this world… They discovered that one thing which they could do best in life… and invested all their energies into doing it… They believed in themselves… They remained completely faithful to their commitments…

Minus his cartoons, R.K. Laxman would have passed across this world just as his crow would have passed across the sky…
Just as his silent-man in checks-shirt would have!


You said it, Laxman sir, better than anybody else did!


GERALD D’CUNHA

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