Over a career spanning seven decades, R.K. Narayan, easily one of the most influential and important writers of India, populated the fictional town of Malgudi with a host of unforgettable characters: Swami and his gang of friends, the Talkative Man, Raju the guide and Sampath the printer, among many others. These characters have carved out a place for themselves in popular imagination and live on, still fresh and endlessly entertaining, many decades after they first appeared.
Timeless Malgudi brings together a selection of the best and the most enduring of R.K. Narayan’s fiction and non-fiction. The Guide examines, with wit and irony, how a man becomes a godman. The story ‘A Horse and Two Goats’ describes an attempt at cross-cultural communication which goes haywire, with hilarious consequences. The excerpt from My Days, Narayan’s autobiography, paints a poignant picture of the author’s childhood while the ‘Misguided “Guide”’ is a cynical, sharply written chronicle of the making of the film Guide, based on his novel. Also included in this volume are excerpts from the travelogue My Dateless Diaryand a brilliant retelling of the Tamil epic Silappadikaram.
Catering both to Narayan aficionados and to readers who have not yet been introduced to his work, Timeless Malgudi is as much a showcase of Narayan’s writing as it is a celebration of Malgudi, the town which time does not touch.
About the Author
Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanswami was born on October 10, 1906 in Madras (now known as Chennai), India. He is one of the best-known of the Indo-English writers. He created the imaginary town of Malgudi, where realistic characters in a typically Indian setting lived amid unpredictable events, alongside Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. He died on May 13, 2001.