“In 2005, when RK Laxman was asked during an interview, who would carry on his legacy, he said, ‘I have done my job. Now, my granddaughter will take it up’."
And yes, that 'Common Man's' dreams are now coming alive in 'Common Woman.'
Finally, the Common Man's companion will be introduced to the world by his granddaughter's cartoon strip, 'The Common Woman,' that was announced on World Cartoonist Day. In her urge to voice the common woman's life and struggles, Rimanika Laxman came up with her cartoon series.
To know more about the Common Woman, Catch News rang her up the other day.
How have your last few months been? What preparations kept you busy?
I returned from London a month ago. I went there to pursue an advanced course in psychology. Honestly, all that happened back home was because of my mom. While I was concentrating on the concept of the cartoon strip, my mother handled everything about the launch.
The cartoon strip was launched with the tagline 'The society wins if you let it.' I have started with lighter topics that I am sure would hit every woman. Tapsee Pannu inaugurated my cartoon as I believe that her ideologies are very close to what I have in mind for the 'Common Woman.'
Now that the 'Common Woman' is launched, how are you planning to take it forward? Will the web do that job?
My team and I have decided that we will bring out one cartoon story every month. Though we are in talks with several newspapers, my cartoons initially will be launched through social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Also, by the first week of September, we will launch our own website and we might have some hoardings displaying the ‘Common Woman’ cartoons in Mumbai.
The internet gives a hassle-free and wider space to people to share their feedback. On learning that you are the granddaughter of the legendry RK Laxman there are chances of comparisons. So are you prepared if there's any criticism?
I am hopeful of people appreciating our cartoons. Talking about criticism, positive criticisms are most welcome. Suggestions that will help me grow and the ones that I can implement in my cartoons will be appreciated.
So, I don't mind criticism but I will not entertain haters. Also, I know that comparisons will definitely be made but I just want to tell people that my grandfather's cartoons mostly dealt with political issues whereas mine will deal with social causes.
What languages will the ‘Common Woman’ speak?
We are going to start off in English but we will soon expand it to regional languages.
How do you differentiate between RK Laxman's cartoons and that of yours?
My cartoons will be much different from his. They deal with different themes. Moreover, his cartoons were entirely his strokes, whereas the ‘Common Woman’ is a team effort. Our cartoon strip is mostly computerized whereas grandpa's were drawn for print.
How will the social media affect or influence the ‘Common Woman’, since the ‘Common Man’ never encountered that situation?
Social media is going to influence the ‘Common Woman’ massively. We have decided to take suggestions from women living all around the world as to what direction do they want the ‘Common Woman’ to take. We will also chat with women about what issues they are facing so that we can incorporate those suggestions in our cartoons.
If they want to keep their chats anonymous, that will also be done.
What is the extra ordinariness of the ‘Common Woman’?
In our country, most female characters in cartoons and films are centred on male protagonists.
Through my cartoon series, I want to have a platform where the ‘Common Woman’ says something and it is heard.
‘Common Woman’ is of around 20 to 25 years of age. All through her growing up she has watched her grandfather as a silent observer of the problems and pains of the common people. The ‘Common Woman’ is bold, strong in her opinions, independent and a role model for girls, telling them to be confident and not timid when it comes to facing any situation with the peers in school, college and at social gatherings. She is happy with her self and tells others to be proud of them.
And now that is Common Woman for you!