Railway Raju (nicknamed) is a disarmingly corrupt guide who falls in love with a beautiful dancer, Rosie, the neglected wife of archaeologist Marco . Marco doesn't approve of Rosie's passion for dancing. Rosie, encouraged by Raju, decides to follow her dreams and start a dancing career. They start living together and Raju's mother, as she does not approve of their relationship, leaves them. Raju becomes Rosie's stage manager and soon with the help of Raju's marketing tactics, Rosie becomes a successful dancer. Raju, however, develops an inflated sense of self-importance and tries to control her. Raju gets involved in a case of forgery and gets a two year sentence. After completing the sentence, Raju passes through a village where he is mistaken for a sadhu (a spiritual guide). Reluctantly, as he does not want to return in disgrace to Malgudi, he stays in an abandoned temple. There is a famine in the village and Raju is expected to keep a fast in order to make it rain. With media publicizing his fast, a huge crowd gathers (much to Raju's resentment) to watch him fast. After fasting for several days, he goes to the riverside one morning as part of his daily ritual, where his legs sag down as he feels that the rain is falling in the hills. The ending of the novel leaves unanswered the question of whether he did, or whether the drought has really ended. The last line of the novel is 'Raju said "Velan, its raining up the hills, I can feel it under my feet." And with this he saged down'. The last line implies that by now Raju after undergoing so many ups and downs in his life has become a sage and as the drought ends Raju's life also ends. Narayan has beautifully written the last line which means Raju did not die but saged down, meaning Raju within himself had become a sage.
Character of Rosie
Rosie is one of the main characters in the novel. She is presented in the novel as a beautiful dancer, of the Devadasi type of temple dancers, and the wife of Marco. Her marriage is like a curse in disguise to her as Marco is totally engrossed in his career and is totally apathetic and unemotional to her. She is very passionate about dancing but her husband does not allow her to dance. She tries to persuade her husband and bears all the insults by him just for the sake of getting his permission to dance. When she is left in Malgudi by Marco to live with Raju, she devotes herself completely to dancing. She wakes early in the morning and practices hard for three hours everyday. She is always eager to talk about dance and even tries to teach Raju some of it. She is religious and believes in Goddess Saraswati and has a bronze statue of Nataraja, which is an image of Shiva as the cosmic Lord of Dance, in her office. She does not believe in discriminating between people on the basis of their financial status. When Raju meets rich and influential people, Rosie does not seem to care much about them. Being herself an artist, she respects the arts and likes to be in the company of artists and other music lovers. Her success does not get to her head even after becoming a very successful professional dancer. Raju becomes upset when Rosie spends a lot of time with different artists rather than with him. He tells her that these artists come to her because they are inferior to her and she replies that she is tired of all these talks of superior and inferior and does not believe in any of these. She is also portrayed as a traditional Indian wife. Her husband is like God to her. Marco calls her dancing skills as street acrobatics and compares it to monkey dance. Despite all these insults she continues to be his wife. When Marco comes to know about the intimacy between her and Raju he gets very upset and doesn't talk to her and completely ignores her presence. She apologizes to him and keeps on following him like a dog hoping that his mind would change one day but that does not happen. This incident shows her tremendous...