Posted in Books

Book Review: A Dose of Laughter, by RK Laxman

About the author:
Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Iyer Laxman is an Indian cartoonist, illustrator, and humorist. He is best known for his creation “The Common Man”, for his daily cartoon strip, “You Said It” in The Times of India, which started in 1951.

My thoughts on the book:
When a heavy on the mind book comes along, you can’t usually finish that read in one stretch. When you start to feel that heaviness, a break becomes essential. If you’re an avid reader, that break probably might involve reading a fast read, maybe a humorous one. This book falls under that category.

RK Laxman is known for his common man cartoon, the frazzled guy with a little moustache who stays silent even though he sees the atrocity around him. This book however is a mixture of both jokes as well as cartoons, and the common man does make an appearance in some of them. One of the cartoons in this book shows the mom beginning to worry that her baby isn’t being normal after seeing her baby reading a Shakespeare novel. It made me wonder, aren’t there some moms who start to celebrate seeing their kid take up a book so early. I’m thankful that moms these days are mostly sensible and give equal importance to reading and playing as well.

This book really lives up to the title. It gifts the reader with loads of laughs. Some cartoons are particularly memorable. There’s one where the guy has fainted, and the other person explains to the doctor that he fainted whilst bravely telling of changes he’s going to do to his life. That felt so familiar. How often do we think of changing and then fear the change and withdraw?

Other than cartoons, this book has a lot of jokes. It alternates actually. Odd numbered pages are cartoons, and even numbered pages are jokes. Together, they make a good pairing. A refreshing read to get your mind clear.


Rated a 9/10
Rated a 9/10

Book details:
Title: A Dose of Laughter
Author: RK Laxman
ISBN: 9780143028932
Genre: Cartoons & Humor
Publishers: Penguin Books India
Price: INR. 200

 


The book was borrowed for reading from the local library. This is not a paid review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.


Shared with Indian Quills at Tales Pensieve.


(April 4th, 2013)

Posted in Books

Book Review: The Common Man Watches Cricket, by RK Laxman

About the author:
Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Iyer Laxman is an Indian cartoonist, illustrator, and humorist. He is best known for his creation “The Common Man”, for his daily cartoon strip, “You Said It” in The Times of India, which started in 1951.

My thoughts on the book:
Can a book be light and heavy at the same time? Possibly not, but that’s what I feel this book is.

RK Laxman brings forth various issues in India through his thought-provoking, yet humorous cartoons. While making us smile or even chuckle in delight at the intent, it also makes us question, “Is this India?” No, it makes us question, “Isn’t this India?”

His character “The Common Man” is someone who sees the country in various situations, but doesn’t talk at all, or raise a voice against it. Much like you or I, a common man in this vast populous.

In this book, the first cartoon left me wondering about the state of cricket in our country. As an ardent cricket fan, I had started to wonder the same long before I set eyes on that cartoon, with that caption. At times, it does seem like the country, and the cricket team, act that way. Looking for fans rather than wins, acting as if the cricket pitch is a boxing ring, and losing their wits in tough matches… yes, even chatting about the matches and corruption in the sport etc. like they were the most important part of our lives… yes, in India, it seems to be true, sadly.

Title aside, the book is much more than just about cricket. It shows the contrast in politics. It shows the state of India might be so low that even the neediest person might think twice before accepting something, or consuming what they find. It shows the politician’s mindset where he’s prepared to leave a public gathering for a private meeting, leaving the people who elect him half way. It shows the other side of the picture. One of my favorites from the book shows the beggar asking the rich person, “The price of everything else has gone up, how come I still get the same old 50 paisa coin?” and another that shows how we punish the innocent by misinterpreting what actually is to be something else.

Want a dose of humor, with cartoons that make you smile and yet think as well? This book does that. Other than a couple of typos in the captions, I enjoyed this book thoroughly.


Rated a 9/10
Rated a 9/10

Book details:
Title: The Common Man Watches Cricket
Author: RK Laxman
ISBN: 9780140299328
Genre: Cartoons & Illustrations
Publishers: Penguin Books India
Price: INR. 200

 


The book was borrowed for reading from the local library. This is not a paid review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.


Shared with the First Reads challenge at b00k r3vi3ws and Indian Quills at Tales Pensieve.


(April 4th, 2013)