Visitors to the rail museum in the city are greeted by a statue of a man with a checked coat and bemused expression.
And it does not take long to ascertain that it is the famous cartoon character ‘’Common Man’’ created by the illustrious cartoonist R.K. Laxman. For, the Mysuru division of the South Western Railway has installed a life-size sculpture of the celebrated cartoon character in the precincts of the museum.
Laxman was born in Mysuru and graduated from the University of Mysore. The character of ‘common man’ appeared for the first time in the year 1951 which also coincides with the journey of Railways in independent India. ‘’This is a small tribute to the creative genius of the illustrator who hails from the city. It is another highlight of the transformed rail museum’’ said Aparna Garg, Divisional Railway Manager, Mysuru.
“Railways in India reflects the hopes and aspirations of the common man. Installing this iconic character is a way of celebrating Railway’s connect with the common man’’, she added.
The authorities engaged Arun Yogiraj, a sculpture artist who hails from Mysuru, to execute the statue.
This is another novel initiative of the Division which recently inaugurated Museum Malgudi at Arasalu station exhibiting various art works associated with the popular serial ‘Malgudi Days’ based on the works of novelist R.K. Narayan. brother of Laxman.