For someone, who spent his vacations in a village amongst trees, lush green paddy fields, and domesticated animals, Malgudi Days brought out those old memories flooding back, and I could, in fact, associate myself with the characters in the book.
These stories depict ordinary men and women going about their daily routine, in their respective professions, ranging from a fortune-teller, a school boy, a postman, or a housewife. Each story deals with common village folks and the issues they face in their day-to-day life. The stories instantly established my connection with the characters.
Actually, one can trace it to any village in South India. These stories carry the scent, smell and sounds of the villages, and instantly take you back into the life you left behind in your memories.
Out of the 30 odd stories, some of them tickle your funny bone, a little boy Swami, wants to skip school and he sincerely prays to God for an earthquake, to flatten the school building. There is another story, about a dog that’s named Attila after the ferocious conqueror, Attila the Hun, but in reality the dog happens to be a very soft natured and a friendly animal that begins to play with a burglar out of sheer boredom and in the confusion, the burglar tries to run away but he trips over the playful dog and falls down and he is eventually captured and arrested along with the loot, and the dog becomes a hero overnight!
The author’s simple and uncomplicated ways of narrating stories makes it a pleasure to read. The author gives more importance to its characters than the plot. However, the plots in most cases, are very simple and his descriptions of characters are quite colorful. Malgudi Days has such a vivid description of life in villages of South India and the geographical features of the imaginary town of Malgudi are so detailed that one could relate it to any ordinary village seen across the southern parts on India.
Malgudi Days doesn’t seem to be just fiction, the incidents depicted in it are synonyms to our lives as kids. Somewhere, we all have wished, hoped, and behaved the way Swami does. We have seen dogs like Attila. The wit and humor of Malgudi Days is impeccable: as the innocence of all the characters in the book. It’s a must read, even if you are not an R.K Narayan aficionado.