R.K. Narayan was always in my good book because he filled my childhood with the pleasurable presence of Swami in the town of Malgudi living a simple life, troubled with simple problems. But after childhood, Narayan disappeared from my shelf and came back again only now.
“The World of Nagraj” is a book filled with simplicity, wit. light fun and tragi-comic situations. At the heart of the story is a feeble, fickle mined, cowardly, day dreaming, always scheming but doing nothing kind of a character, Nagaraj, and the world that surrounds him. The language is as simple as it can be. The narrative structure is linear and slow paced. The book describes the slow life with some of its events which invoke some interest in the life of Nagaraj, his plans to write a book on Narada which never comes to fruition, his thoughts of giving tight replies to his brother and others but never being able to say so. It is all very light and at the same time haunting.
It is the magic of Narayan and the simplicity which is so hard to find these days that one wants to read his novels and envision his town of stories: Malgudi.
One trivia: R.K. Laxman, the cartoonist is his younger brother. I never knew that till today.
Many ( well, not so many, only a few ) people have told me that I shoudl write a book and that is my ambition too. But I have not yet a topic close to my heart. But I am thinking ( like Nagaraj ) of starting to write about something, anything very soon.