Having worked together in the Free Press Journal in 1947 as political cartoonists, the bond between Bal Thackeray and noted cartoonist R K Laxman remained intact through the passage of time, spanning decades.
The last gesture the Shiv Sena chief made to his cartoonist friend was sending a bouquet to Laxman at his Pune residence when the latter turned 91 on October 24, 2012.
Thackeray had earlier visited him in hospital after Laxman suffered a stroke; he had also visited the latter at his Pune house.
Laxman, 94, passed away in Pune this evening after suffering multi-organ failure.
Recalling the camaraderie that the two shared, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, "R K Laxman and Balasaheb were cartoonists of the same era, who started their career in Free Press Journal. Both had immense love for each other till the end. During his illness, Balasaheb had met Laxman several times and both fondly remembered their old days. This made Laxman smile even in his illness."
"At other times, he used to get emotional. The blows he dealt to people through his brush were accurate. His brush only cared for the common man and the nation. Nobody will be able to take his place. He was a true friend of Balasaheb," said Uddhav.