SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: A question mark hangs over India’s most famous exclamation mark after a further slip in health of Rasipuram Krishnaswami Laxman, the iconic cartoonist of The Times of India.
The 86-year-old Laxman, who has drawn cartoons for ToI for 63 years, has been airlifted to Bombay, reportedly after suffering a “mild stroke”, and is receiving treatment at the Breach Candy hospital, family sources say.
(A report in The Times of India says he suffered three mini-strokes between Thursday and Saturday.)
Already a shadow of his former self after a first stroke seven years ago which affected his left hand, R.K. Laxman, as he is known to newspaper readers, was first admitted to the Sahyadri hospital in Poona, where he currently lives, but was airlifted to Bombay on Sunday evening.
(A PTI report in The Hindu says the three mild strokes have affected the right side of his body as also his speech.)
Mysore-born Laxman was last spotted at the engagement ceremony of his grand-niece in Bombay earlier this year.
Despite his first stroke, Laxman returned to draw the “You Said It!” pocket cartoon for The Times of India every morning, although the state of his health showed in the scraggly lines and often times in the cartoon being desultorily buried in the inside pages.
On days he doesn’t come up with a cartoon, ToI dips into its archives.
Photograph: courtesy The Hindu
External reading: The Ramon Magsaysay foundation citation