New Delhi: when Sudhir Tailang wielded his brush like a weapon the ink could turn to blood. His was not an easy job, he would say. On his blog he repeated one of his favourite lines, that though he had to work very hard he could always count on the politicians to work for him full-time.
PMs and Presidents would ask him for copies of his drawings. During Kandahar episode he drew Jaswant Singh in Taliban attire and, Sudhir said, the then minister, far from offended, sought the signed original.
But my favourite was the one that showed Lalu Prasad Yadav, his hair like a pile of hay, looking around and saying “Fodder? What fodder?”
He began with Indira Gandhi early in his career and thereafter spared no one. No subject was taboo and even an incomplete list of his assassinations would require a lengthy chargesheet.
Sudhir would have wanted us to find some humour even in his death. I have tried, unsuccessfully, for the better part of the day. Many artists are cut down in their prime but Sudhir would have known, as many of his breed do, that he would live in his work.
He believed there were few real cartoonists left. Actually, by his death that special species is extinct. We revelled in his fame for he belonged to us. God is laughing up there now that he has him for company.
He will find out sooner than later that Sudhir Tailang is used to having the last laugh. Rest in peace, my friend......