Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Narayanswami Iyer (R.K.Narayan) was born in Madras (now Chennai) in 1906. His father was Rasipuram Venkatarama Krishna swami Iyer was a School Teacher in Mysore. His mother was Gnanambalwas a housewife. His elder brother was a popular Cartoonist R.K.Laxman. He graduated at Maharaja college, Mysore. He married to Rajam in 1935. They had a daugheter named Hema, their happiness was shortlived, Rajam died with Typhoid in 1939. A number of female characters in his writings are based on Rajam. For several years after her death, Narayan could not write a novel. The three novels published during his wife’s lifetime were, Swami and Friends (1935), The Bachelor of Arts (1937), The Dark Room (1938).
The works of R.K.Narayan...
It is a devastating exposure of “swamihood” and the credulity of the Indian masses.
Raju feels some holiness descending on him even though he is a fake swami. His deteriorating health becomes a concern for the government and the temple where he is fasting is now a place of piligrimage for thousands of people, who all want to see and touch the swami. Reporters gather there from all parts of the globe and there is even an American who is filming the swami’s fast for people back home.
Raju grows extremely weak on the eleventh day of his fast and the doctor advises him to take some glucose and saline water in view of the grave danger to his life. Raju declines. He goes to the river as usual although he is too weak without any support. He whispers to Velan that he can feel it is raining in the hills and he falls down. The ending is ambiguous as we do not know whether Raju has fallen unconscious or he is dead. But the rumbling of clouds is heard in the distant horizon. It has been commented that the end of the guide is ambiguous. critics have offered different interpretations. Some opine that Raju dies at the end and becomes martyr, while others are of the view that he is saved by a glucose-saline injection and lives to enjoy his reputation as a...
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