It is R.K. Narayan’s 110th birthday today. While this man has written many gems of literature, there’s one we all hold close to our hearts. Time for a quick recap?
This guy could make us laugh and cry at the same time. He was a bit like a desi version of Calvin. You got older, Swami never will.
2. The mythical Malgudi itself
Imagine the possibilities when you have an entirely untouched town to explore. Now imagine this through a child’s eyes.
3. Extraordinarily ordinary
While reading/watching Malgudi Days, just how many times did you go, ‘Oh! I’ve done that.’ But you reminisce anyway.
4. Heartbreakingly warm lines
“Death alone can help that dog,” cried the ribbon-seller, looking after it with a sigh.
“What can we do with a creature who returns to his doom with such a free heart?” – From ‘The Blind Dog’
5. The Talkative Man always had a different perspective
Now this guy wasn’t in every story but he was the only narrator around. He had a rather colourful story to tell despite being a journalist. For example, remember the guy who shows up from Timbuktoo?
6. There will be no remake
R.K. Narayan left us on May 13, 2001. Incidentally, the maker of the tele series, T.S. Narasimhan also died in 2013. So bring out your old copies or hop on to YouTube because there’s going to be no Malgudi Days Vol II.
7. It predates Harry Potter
A series of stories located in a fictional land that interest adults and children alike. Where have we heard that before? (Don’t worry, your Hogwarts letters will come.)
8. The Missing Mail made you cry
There are no telegrams anymore. Everything is conveyed in micro-seconds. Don’t you miss that everyday greeting your parents or grandparents shared with the postman? This short story tells the touching tale of one such postman uncle who decides to not deliver a letter.
9. Narayan was the genius behind weaving super short stories into short stories. A bit like a short-storyception.
Sample this: “All the jarring, rattling and clanking, spurting and hissing of the moving train of the train dissolved in the distance into something that was half a sob and half a sigh.”