NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.
Today, 10th October happens to be the birthday of one of the most prominent literary figures in India – R.K.Narayan. I am pretty sure that if you grew up studying in an English medium school, you couldn’t possibly have escaped his stories in the curriculum. Or at the very least, you couldn’t have missed watching Malgudi days on TV and going through stories so wonderfully penned by him.
I can also proudly say that Indian literature in English would be incomplete without his contributions. From what I have read of his works and remember, his prose was simple. I think he was a keen observer and this very fact reflected in his characters. Even a small character in his stories or novel, left an impression on you. His books were my constant companions and I borrowed and re-borrowed them from my school library, hiding them in between my textbooks and reading them voraciously. It was compulsory to write book reviews of any book borrowed and I gleefully penned my thoughts in immature style, thinking of stepping into his shoes one fine day! 😉
If what I am writing doesn’t make any sense to you, read his Malgudi Days and Swami and Friends. Highly recommended. This will give you the hang of his writing style and you can then proceed to pick up his other works from the nearest bookstore. Here is a video of Malgudi Days, which was aired on TV. The music gives me goosebumps because of the high nostalgia content!!!
The house that R.K.Narayan was born in, also saw another genius (albeit of a different kind) in his younger brother – R.K.Laxman. He will be celebrating his 93rd birthday on 24th October. This powerhouse of talent is one of the most popular cartoonists in India. Long back, I read an interview about him. I remember that he likes the Ambassador car and the crow is his favourite bird. Many of his doodles have crows and brilliantly portrayed at that! Read more about his fascination with the bird here. He also doodled illustrations for his brother’s books. Talk about collaboration 😀
His creation of The Common Man gave a glimpse of political satire and political humor or simply humor in general. A common feature in the national daily, the creation was also a part of a current tele-series. Here is the YouTube video of the series based on his Common Man.
The day I began reading the newspaper, I started with the Common Man cartoon ‘You Said It’ printed on the very first page. Only then did I proceed to read the headlines and the inner pages. At first, I couldn’t make the heads and tails of what is this guy trying to convey! Gradually, the satires started making sense. In brief, I have grown up with his creation and got my lessons in politics from the same. Because the topics depicted in them were all based on the current issues, my G.K. was also quite up to date. Thankyou Mr. Laxman! 🙂
Wishing these two geniuses a very happy birthday 🙂