MYSURU: Celebrated cartoonist Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman, who was born and brought up in Mysuru, shared a special bond with the city.
He visited his birthplace in 2006 even when he was confined to a wheelchair, and that turned out to be his last visit to the city. During that visit, Laxman and his wife Kamala stayed at the Sri Ganapathi Sachidananda ashram on Mysuru-Ooty road for three days. Laxman used to spend more than three hours a day in the Bonsai garden at the ashram, and would also listen to the keerthanas composed by the swami. The swami described Laxman’s passing as “a great loss to journalism and society”.
During his visits to the city, Laxman usually used to stay with his brother, author R K Narayan, but after the latter moved to Chennai, he rarely visited the city. But whenever he did come, Laxman made it a point to spend time with his classmate and friend, renowned photographer T S Sathyan.
Vijay Kumar, a retired senior official of the Department of Information and Publicity, who met the icon during his last visit to the city, recalled that Laxman had visited the Chamundi Hill temple along with his wife and Sathyan.
Laxman, an alumnus of Maharaja High School and Maharaja’s College, also visited both the institutions with Sathyan and veteran journalist Krishna Vattam. The then Maharaja’s College principal Dr Padma had welcomed them and even made Lakshman sit on the principal’s chair.
“He loved roaming around Maharaja’s and Yuvaraja colleges,” Vattam said. That time, Laxman spent some time with the faculty and students, and recalled his days as a student. “He drew an illustration at the Maharaja High School where his father had worked as headmaster,” Vinay Kumar said.
C N Srinath, professor of English and son of writer C D Narasimaiah, said his father, who had a close association with R K Narayan, met Laxman through him. “Whenever he (Laxman) visited Mysuru, he and his brother Narayan would visit my father as well,” Srinath said. He added, “Now, with the demise of Laxman, we have lost someone who brought the common man into the focus.”