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Malgudi Adventures
Author - R.K.Narayan

Classic Tales For Children

Excerpt: “In an hour a fantastic world was raised… there were green parrots which stood taller than the elephants beside them; there were horses of yellow and white and green colours dwarfed beside painted brinjals; there was a finger-sized Turkish soldier with not a bit of equipment missing; the fat, round-bellied merchant, wearing a coat on his bare body squatted there, a picture of contentment, gazing at his cereals before him, unmindful of the curly-tailed dog of porcelain on one side and a grimacing tiger on the other. Here and there out of the company of animals and vegetables and mortals emerged the gods – there stood the great Krishna trampling to death the demon serpent Kalinga, undistracted by the leer of a teddy bear which could beat a drum.” From ‘Navarathri Adventure’
This book has a collection of twelve short pieces – three short stories and nine excerpts from well-known novels of R.K. Narayan. First time readers of Narayan will find ‘Malgudi Adventures’ a good introduction to his unique narrative style. Unlike ‘Malgudi Schooldays’ that centered on Swami and his friends, this collection has a different mood, a different theme, and different characters in every story. However, they all happen in the small South Indian town of Narayan’s creation, Malgudi.
Naughty Balu leads his father Margayya on a hot chase into the street. Enjoy how, after pouring ink all over his father’s register and flinging it into the street gutter, it is Balu who gets all the public sympathy.
The little hero of ‘The Framing Shop..’ discovers that his guardian has a notorious past. How he continues to love him makes a wonderful story.
The excitement that comes with the Navarathri festival and the feverish preparations to put up a dolls’ pavilion are described in fine detail in ‘Navarathri Adventure’. All joy disappears when the lights go off and the bad-tempered father returns…
In ‘A Cobra for a Companion’ a snake charmer’s boy quickly gets used to the idea that his father has deserted him. Ironically, his old, good-for-nothing snake, Naga, refuses to go away even when set free.
There is an equal amount of pathos and humour in the story of Leela who finds a school she loves to go to, and a headmaster who understands children.
When a tiger chooses to take a nap in the headmaster’s room, school does become interesting! Exciting and hilarious events follow, with the staff, parents, government officials, onlookers and a shikari plotting to rid themselves of the unwelcome visitor.
The stories clearly illustrate Narayan’s love for children, with all their mischief and innocence. His scorn for the school system and bad parenting are evident in many stories. Children above twelve years and anyone young at heart can enjoy this collection.
R.K. Narayan is one of the most well known writers in India. He wrote many novels and short stories set in the small town of Malgudi. His novel, the Guide (1958), won the Sahitya Academy Award. He also wrote essays and travel books and retold the epics in English. He was honoured by the Royal Society of Literature, and by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2000 he was awarded the PadmaVibhushan by the Government of India. R.K. Narayan died in 2001.

Author: R.K.Narayan
Pages: 270
Published by: Puffin Books (Penguin Books India) 2004
Price: Rs 199/-
ISBN: 0-14333590-1
Format: Paperback.

Review - Revathi.S.

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