Monday, May 14, 2018

Gomathi Mohan writes

     (Malgudi Man, R. K. Narayan, died on May 13, 2001)

He wove our childhood with deceptive innocence,  
We believed in his station along with his friends.  
Story flowed smoothly,  characters popped up alive,
Some led a carefree, some a life of strife.
Few emerged weak, demure and pathetic,  
Some came about rude and quite eccentric.  
Few left love-stricken with words unspoken,    
Into an ascetic in momentary delusion, heart-broken.  
Impish Swami, mundane Krishna, contented Chandran,
Like you and me, everyday brethren.  
Poor Sampath and his many missed ventures,
Resourceful Raju, from guide to godly lectures.  
Simple narration of many a quotidian situation,
Rhapsodised to perfect depiction.
All said and done.. he switched  genres with ease,
Plethora of emotions never failed to cease.  
Travails of hoi polloi were no less intriguing,
A meticulous wordsmith, he kept soldiering without fatiguing.  
To make realistic people and places far-fetched,    
Little brother stroked in life, with pencil as he sketched.    
Seventeen year old Rajam.. "An angel from Heavens" !    
Married her despite the house  at sixes and sevens.  
Soon Rajam left him, succumbing to typhoid,
Languishing in melancholy, he could never fill her void.  
Even tried jumping into her funeral pyre,
Left with little daughter and life in the mire.
Wonder ways of God, at a lonely man's plight!  
Sorrow on bereavement, firmed his will to write.  
Across continents and oceans, Universe devised a ruse,  
So that his genius met Graham Green, his Muse.  
A modest, humble, simple soul spun magic with his pen,
To lose ourselves in his world, our hearts continue to yen.  
As pages of his books lock in with our eyes,
We beam having well-spent every single piece.
Kunjappa the "little one" was how he was addressed,
Having a lawyer as an uncle, from childhood was impressed.
Trains at the station too caught his fascination,
To be a lawyer cum engine driver was his ambition.
Kunjappa, B.A.LLB, Engine driver.. at the age of seven,
On the bookshelf pasted the credentials, as given!
To keep Rajam bewitched, up above in heavens,
A racounteur par excellence with his marathon sessions.
He left us this day, seventeen years ago,
In his books he lives with us, are yet to bid him ciao!

Image result for r k narayan


  1. “The English Teacher” was a semiautobiographical novel written in 1945 by Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, the 3rd of his books set the fictional south Indian town of Malgudi. Narayan was one of the 1st Indian writers in English. His father was a headmaster who traveled frequently from school to school, so young Narayan was raised chiefly by his grandmother, who called him “Kunjappa,” a nickname that he retained throughout his life. He started writing in his 20s, but only made 9 rupees and 12 annas his 1st year. In 1930 he wrote his 1st novel, “Swami, the Tate,” about boys at the Albert Mission School in Malgudi, including Swami and his friends, but could not find a publisher. Three years later he met 15-year-old Rajam and, despite financial and astrological obstacles, married her, but the deep depression caused by her death from typhoid in 1939 drove him to write “The English Teacher” about Krishna’s quest for inner peace after the death of his fictional wife. The newly married Narayan sent “Swami” to a friend who was studying at Oxford University, who brought it to attention of the British novelist Graham Greene, who suggested changing the book’s name to “Swami and Friends,” found a reputable publisher, Hamish Hamilton, and arranged the details of the contract. When it finally came out, in 1935, Narayan inscribed his copy to Greene, “But for you, Swami should be in the bottom of Thames now." Greene also arranged for the publication of his 2nd novel, “The Bachelor of Arts” (1937), was about Chandran, who wandered about as an ascetic after not being allowed to marry the woman he loved. “Mr. Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi” came out in 1949. On a Rockefeller Felloship in the US he wrote “The Guide” (1958) about Raju’s evolution from corrupt tour guide to sadhu (holy man).

  2. Thankyou Mr.Duane Vorhees! You have taken such efforts to comment in detail about Mr. R. K. Narayan, a great favourite. Also the picture is so nice. Immense gratitude!!


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