R.K. Narayan : The Novelist who became Honorary Member of American Academy's image
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R.K. Narayan : The Novelist who became Honorary Member of American Academy

“ The difference between a simpleton and an intelligent man,

according to the man who is convinced that he is of the latter category,

is that the former wholeheartedly accept all things that he sees and hears while the latter never admit anything except after most searching scrutiny.

He imagines his intelligence to be a sieve of closely woven mesh through which nothing but the finest can pass. ”

― R. K. Narayan

Having been born and raised in Madras, in 1906, he was educated there at Maharaja's College. In 1958 R.K. Narayan's work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, the country's highest literary honor. Thus, R. K. Narayan became the most widely known Indian English Novelists.

Let's recite the most adorable poem ‘Malgudi’ to remember R K Narayan, the creator of India’s most loveable town of all time -


I have come to Malgudi –

at last!

All is flux

but Malgudi does not fluctuate.

It is what and where

it always has been,

resting like a cloud

somewhere in South India.

It flows as it has always flowed –

the river Sarayu –

and has not changed course.

Birnam Wood may move

but Mempi Forest – guess what –

it hasn’t moved an inch,

not to Chennai or Mumbai.

Here’s the thing:

all needs are fulfilled in Malgudi.

If rain’s required,

will Raju not earnestly pray

for the first drop to fall?

Furthermore:

if poems need printing

someone will be waiting,

at Truth Printing Works:

why, if they pass muster

one can read them to the long-suffering pupils

of Albert Mission School (established 1904)

or give them first to Srinivas

for top-class editing.

What else?

Should I need oil

is Elliman Street not home

to oil mongers?

What if I get bored?

I can gaze at that statue again –

Sir Frederick Lawley proudly on his horse,

a good Brit: a “Quit India” Brit!

The Boardless restaurant

where only the most exquisite gossip is exchanged:

a certain gentleman of Kabir Street

cuckolded again – for the third time.

Pop up to the station

and see who’s getting off the train.

A Talkative Man, perhaps?

So what if I stare!

In Malgudi, it’s not rude to stare.

A stray dog without a name

lies down beside its weary shadow.

Early morning stroll

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