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R.K. Narayan: Malgudi Days

With the last week of Indian Author Month, it would be a shame if we missed out on RK Narayan, the author of the forever classic Malgudi Days. Who hasn’t heard of this classic? If you haven’t heard of this classic, then you are missing out on a lot of fun! This book written by RK Narayan is based in the fictional town of Malgudi, containing a set of 32 stories.

All these stories, hold accounts of the life of the common man in Malgudi. These stories appeal to a huge mass for the same reason, as it deals with the problems of a commoner, without glorifying his/her life. It shares the chronicles of lives of entrepreneurs to beggars even. The sense of humour I believe is perfect, which never fails to make one relate to the narration without feeling that tale has been over-exaggerated in any way. The stories are exceptionally relatable for the people living in India and feel authentic. One has at least once in his/ her life been through or seen his close ones been through the various struggles the author portrays. From the joy of getting their first payment to the sorrow of their close one’s demise, the author has written it all in all his publications, and Malgudi Days are the best way to get into RK Narayan’s books.

Of all the characters, the ones that stand out the most are the astrologer, a gatekeeper and a man yearning to pass his examinations. We are also introduced to various animals including a forlorn dog who befriends a blind man and a ferocious tiger. Of all the 32 stories, we have picked our top 3 must-reads

1. An Astrologer’s Day:

India is a country where people put major belief on people who claim to be astrologers, or rather claim that they can read their future. Some choose to believe it, some don’t, while some others keep a middle ground. In this story, the author speaks about how the only qualification on needs to be labelled and believed to be an astrologer in India, are a few tilaks and saffron clothing. In this story, the ‘astrologer’ has set up a small shop that admits a busy marketplace, which would ensure the maximum number of customers for him. One evening, when a customer named Guru Nanak comes by the busy market road, the astrologer sees an opportunity to get another customer and invited Guru Nanak to sit and speak to him. Guru Nanak does so but is yet sceptical of the astrologer. He tries his usual chants, but Guru Nanak did not believe him. To prevent him from being called out, the astrologer changes course and says that he sees that Guru Nanak will be stabbed to death. Guru Nanak is then invested and listens to the further details and when asked about the whereabouts of his murderer, the astrologer says that he has already passed away a few months ago. He makes a great deal of money out of this fraud and goes home to his wife to show all the money he earned that day. Later on, he says that a great burden had been lifted off his chest and that he knew who the murderer was…. Can you guess?

2. Ishwaran:

We all fear failure, the fear of losing. Some of us do well coping with up while others just give up. If you are one of the members of the second type of people then look no more, this story is the best piece of motivation one could ever give to you. Ishwaran is now to become your much-needed idol. Ishwaran is one of those kids, who believes that Examinations are the most important thing and it is crucial to succeeding in the first go. The author tries to touch on concepts like a failure in this story. We see that Ishawaran fails in one of the examinations which are extremely crucial for his future. His close friends and relatives make fun of his results which do not help his self-confidence. However, Ishawaran knows how important this exam is for him and he is not willing to give up. He tries hard and works night and day to make it through the year and does his best. Ishwaran however yet doesn’t believe in himself completely and fears failure, and thinks what would happen if he is unable to crack the exam for the second time. As some readers notice that he loses hope in himself eventually but never loses the spirit and hunger to go to his dream university, his ultimate dream. Does he make it to the university he always dreamed to attend? Well, find it out for ourselves! This story is a must-read, and it is indeed thrilling to read the ups and downs of a student facing the same problems as most of the students now do.

3. Fellow Feeling:

No one can deny that the caste and creed system is yet prevalent in many regions of India. In this story, the author deals with this exact problem and we see how small bickering owing to the seating pattern go the passenger’s converts into a full-blown argument between 3 passengers in a train. The argument rises to a point where the 3 of them rise on toes to look one another in the eye with utter hatred and speak ill of one another. With one passenger deeming higher than the other as he is a Brahmin, another passenger does not agree that Brahmin’s should get their way out. This story deals with how caste and creed systems are all based on birthrights and are not proper parameters to win over another. How does the fight end or rather does it end? The best way to find out is to read it yourself! These are a few of our top picks, which ones are yours? If you have read the Malgudi Days, tell us what you felt about it, and if you haven’t, we suggest not wait any longer! It was a great month celebrating the Indian Authors and their works, and we hope we were able to throw light on some of the best books which might have been overlooked. If you have read any of them, please feel free to share your reading experience! We look forward to hearing from you.

We hope we were successful in our aim to suggest the great works of the best of the Indian authors. Pick your pick and let us know what you felt about that book, we would be more than glad to hear from you! We post every Sunday, see you soon! Ciao :)

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