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Caricatured beyond repair, a show unfurls at Bengaluru cartoon gallery

Three veteran cartoonists —V G Narendra, K R Swami and G S Naganath — were honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award
Last Updated : 04 January 2022, 10:40 IST
Last Updated : 04 January 2022, 10:40 IST
Last Updated : 04 January 2022, 10:40 IST
Last Updated : 04 January 2022, 10:40 IST

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A caricature of Poornachandra Tejaswi by Gujjarappa on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery in Bengaluru. 
A caricature of Poornachandra Tejaswi by Gujjarappa on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery in Bengaluru. 
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A caricature of R K Laxman and his Common Man by veteran cartoonist G S Naganath on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery in Bengaluru. 
A caricature of R K Laxman and his Common Man by veteran cartoonist G S Naganath on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery in Bengaluru. 

Ask a cartoonist to draw a straight face and you know he/she wouldn’t budge an inch. Before you scream ‘no’, the artist with a protruding funny bone would have drawn your nose out of proportion, blown your ears beyond anatomical repair and ripped out that thing you cherish called the ego.

No, cartoonist Gujjarappa was not so cruel. He had his whacky pen tightly under control as he caricatured ‘Cartoon Watch’ editor Triambak Sharma, sparking bemused applause at the Indian Institute of Cartoonists here on Saturday.

Three veteran cartoonists — V G Narendra, K R Swami and G S Naganath — honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award along with Gujjarappa sat glued to their seats, as Sharma’s full figure emerged with a stately makeover on the canvas. Gujjar’s generosity was in full flow.

Staring at them and the crowds from the Indian Cartoon Gallery walls were legends from multiple fields and eras, some straight-faced, some not so straight. For, they had been caricatured beyond every conceivable artistic rules by some of India’s and Karnataka’s brightest hands. Drawn, cross-hatched, shaded and framed, the legends could only stare!

From Gujjar’s Poornachandra Tejasvi and Lankesh to Yatish Siddakatte’s Steve Jobs, Satish Acharya’s Amritanandamayi to Naganath’s R K Laxman, the caricatures had a number to celebrate: 21. The 21 cartoonists will have their caricatures stay alive and stare down for another 21 days. Head straight to IIC Gallery off MG Road near the Trinity Metro Station to catch all of them in one go.

In his acceptance speech, Naganath had the audience in splits for a reason: His grandfather’s timely intervention had saved him from his parents’ rejection of him as a child. “I was a rejected child but accepted by the world,” he recalled. Sounding quite amused by a life time achievement award at age number 53, he was clear that even 100 years were not enough to accomplish what he had in mind.

Many squirmed in their chairs as veteran K R Swami unleashed a volley of satirical home truths in a flurry: “Corona has been a boon for cartoonists. We could generate so many lines like corona come, corona go. Before, only those who had something to hide would cover their faces, but now everyone does.” The crowd lapped it all, as the funny bones cracked up in tandem.

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Published 03 January 2022, 19:28 IST

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