Rasipuram Krishnaswami Ayyar Narayanaswami or R. K. Narayan as he was more commonly known was one of the best-known English writers from India. Malgudi Days is a collection of his short stories, which was published in 1943 by Indian Thought Publications. This widely read Indo-English author, created the imaginary town of Malgudi, located on the banks of the river Sarayu, surrounded by the Mempi Hills, gave his stories a typical Indian setting, and made his characters very realistic.
Through the collection of 19 stories, R.K.Narayans Book Malgudi days portrays a facet of life in Malgudi. The characters have a timeless appeal and these stories tend to stay with the reader long after having closed the book. The stories revolve around the central character, Swaminathan better known as ‘Swami’ to his friends and family.
Through Swami the author portrays the growing pangs of a ten-year old boy, who despises going to school, and makes excuses for not attending classes. He spends his day roaming around the small town of Malgudi with his friends, playing cricket as well as daydreaming. Since the book was written in the early years, the author portrays Swamis father as a Govt. servant of the British Raj and his mother a housewife.
Like most kids of the Indian households, Swami shares his adventures with his aged granny. Swamis close friends include – the hotheaded Mani and Rajam – a brash, rich kid, the son of the Police Superintendent. Through out the story, the author has brought in simplicity, innocence of the kids and a strong bout of Indian ness. The short stories in this collection include ‘Swami and Friends’, ‘Vendor of Sweets’, ‘The Undelivered Mail’, ‘A Hero’, ‘The Hoard’, ‘Leela’s Friend’ etc which have been portrayed on the small screen by actor and director, Swanker Nag in 1986. The other stories in this collection include ‘An Astrologer’s Day , The Missing Mail, The Doctor’s Word and Fellow Feeling.
The collection of stories in Malgudi days by R.K.Narayan, is a classic collection and the technological innovations has not only reproduced it on to the silver screen but also as digital formats in CDs and e-books or online books for easy access for the die hard readers. Available in online shopping portals, one can buy Malgudi days or any of R.K Narayan s books.