Indira Gandhi – The Final Chapter by Suraj ‘Eskay’ Sriram
The author is a cartoonist who worked for the mainstream media in the 80s and drew cartoons for them. Indira Gandhi – The Final Chapter was a delightful book to read, as there were little text and cartoons always tend to bring a smile on your face. I am not sure why he chose to call it by Indira Gandhi’s name. Probably he thought she defined or epitomized the times that these cartoons talk about. The cartoons are not really limited to her, they cover all the matters that were relevant then.
We usually see cartoons one at a time. As a collection of cartoons published over a period of time, when you read them at one go, you suddenly realize how cartoons are also chronicling the times in their own language. A language that is less formal, more casual and hence more representative of the times. More than the actual events they tell you the reactions to the event. Or how it was perceived or received by the people in general. Another insight that I got after going through this book is that cartoons represent the common man’s perspective more often than not, they tap into his ability to find humor in situations that would otherwise spell gloom.
There are quite a few sketches in the book that tell you about the cartoonist’s skill. At places, he has shared some anecdotes about some of his works. Like the way that idea came. And how at times he had to burn the mid night oil to meet deadlines. Or be a part of the news that was to be broken to the world through his cartoon. I like it when authors put a bit of themselves in their work. It makes them come alive for the reader and establishes a connection between the two.
I am not qualified to comment on the quality of the cartoon drawings. But what I could definitely gather is a certain dignity that he has maintained as a cartoonist. Cartoonists tend to cross lines and loose sometimes that but I could not locate that in any of his cartoons.
Thank You, Eskay and The Sunday Book Club for sending me this book.