RKN – A Magical Author
As I read this post on The Better India today, about RK Narayan and celebrating his 110th birthday, it gives me immense pride to draw inspiration from such a man. I have always enjoyed reading his stories. I think there are very few authors who make you forget everything and associate yourself with the protagonist of the story. RKN’s stories had that magical effect on me, no matter whether I read it for the 20th time. This would happen not only with the long novels, but also with the 10 page short stories.
There was always something about his stories, the characters were grounded, they were very simple men and women, living their own simple life. The challenges they faced in life were normal, sometimes to do with the insensitivity of the society, sometimes to do with the simple mistakes we all do. And sometimes as simple as a small communication gap like it happened in Swami and Friends. The beauty of this author was that he never looked for a happy, romantic ending in his stories. The stories left a question in the end, a decision for the reader to identify what happened to the protagonist.
The Poetic Justice
Most of the times, his poetic justice hit the mark, right on the dot. Although we have an affection for the character having read so much about it/him/her, when we step back, we realise that it was the best end that character could have had. I remember the days when I used to borrow books from a dear friend and she always had a tough time in retrieving them. There was an absolute sense of magic in all of his books, which perhaps none of the words I write here are going to justify.
Stories, Characters and Life
But I do know that RKN will be one writer to whom I hold an immense amount of respect. Maybe it has got something to do with the fact that most of his stories talk about a lifestyle so similar to the ones people in Mysore have, the home town I come from. At the same time, these stories are classics, events which any person who has lived in India can relate to. There is so much about culture, belief, a way of life which we can all identify in RKN’s works.
Being a history buff and an active part of Royal Mysore Walks where we conduct the Malgudi days tour, taking you through the memory lane of RKN, right from the school he studied to the places where he drew inspiration for his stories and perhaps maybe even some characters which inspired his writing. RKN sure created a magical place called Malgudi in our minds and I strongly believe that when you are in Mysore you are as close to this place as you can get. I am sure RK Laxman’s cartoons will vouch strongly for that :).
Happy Bday RKN, your writing have been a gift to say the least.
Do join us for more such updates,