Sunday, 8 February 2015

The World of Nagaraj - R.K.Narayan

     

       Nagaraj's world is quite and comfortable. Living in his family's spacious house with only his wife Sita for company, he fills his day writing letters, drinking coffee, doing some leisurely book keeping for his friend Coomar's Boeing Sari Company, and sitting on his veranda watching the world and planning the book he intends to write about the life of the great sage Narada. But everything is disturbed when Tim, the son of his ambitious landowing brother Gopu, decides to leave home and come to live with Nagaraj. Forced to take responsibility for the boy, puzzled by his secret late-night activities and by the strong smell of sprits which lingers behind him, Nagaraj finds his days, suddenly filled with unwelcome complication and turbulence, which threaten to alter for ever the contented tranquility of his world. The latest of R.K.Narayan's magnificent Malgudi books, The World of Nagaraj is beautifully written, funny and haunting , evoking in marvelously rich detail the atmosphere of a small town in southern India and creating a magical world into which the reader is instantly drawn.

Review:

R.K.Narayan

       This is my first R.K.Narayan book and I must say I'm pleased with the book. Though some online browsing suggested me that this is not the best book by RKN, I personally loved the book for its simplicity and brilliant portrayal.

          I've personally heard and read a lot about the mystical town, Malgudi but this is the first time I'm experiencing the town through the author's words. I'm from south India and I must say it was refreshing to see a great author's take on my part of the country. Yes, Malgudi was brilliantly portrayed and I loved every street, every shop and every corner of the ethereal city.

          The World of Nagaraj is about an honest and simple man named Nagaraj  who has inherited a huge sum of money that allows him to spend his life in silent contemplations and thoughts. He thinks he is a man with a mission but doesn't know clearly what his mission is. He has a silent and peaceful life with his wife Sita who is shown to be a caring and affectionate spouse. RKN reveals through a series of flashbacks the characters of Nagaraj's mother, his brother and his sister-in-law. His brother, a dominat and self-imposing elder brother had wanted the farmhouse after their father's death and that was well for Nagaraj who wanted the Malgudi house for himself. All was well in Nagaraj's life until his brother's son, Tim enters his life.

          From the start, Tim had mysterious ways and was unpredictable. Nagaraj never had the nerve to ask Tim what he was up to. Tim eventually married and his wife Saroja only added to Nagaraj's woes by playing her harmonium which got on Nagaraj's nerves. Throughout all these incidents, Nagaraj had the mind to stand up for himself or to defend his rights. His is a typical soft character who lets others rule his mood. Thus, Nagaraj's mission of writing about the great sage Narada could never be realised.
Since this is my first RKN novel, I can;t compare it with his previous works but it was a good and enjoyable read with a good dose of humour thrown in.

Rating: 2.8/5

Buy the book online here:

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