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Malgudi Days

R.K. Narayan

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Malgudi Days is a collection of short stories written by R. K. Narayan, published in 1943 by Indian Thought Publications, the publishing company Narayan himself founded in 1942. He founded the company after he was cut off from England as a result of WWII, and needed some outlet for his writing. It wasn’t just a vanity press, though, as during the war there was no other way to circulate Indian writing, and Indian readers had no access to new work. The press is still in operation, now run by Narayan’s granddaughter, Bhuvaneswari, or Minnie. Malgudi Days was first published outside of India in the 1982, by Penguin Classics. The book consists of 32 stories, all of which take place in the fictional town of Malgudi, in southern India. Each story is meant to portray a different facet of life in Malgudi. The project has been adapted several times, beginning in 1986 when a few of the stories were adapted into a television series, also called Malgudi Days, which was directed by actor and director, Shankar Nag. In 2004, it was revived by the film maker Kavitha Lankesh; the new series was broadcast on the public service broadcaster founded by the Government of India, Doordarshan. 

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Parts

1

AN ASTROLOGER’S DAY

7 October 2023
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Punctually at midday he opened his bag and spread out his professional equipment, which consisted of a dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook, and

2

THE MISSING MAIL

7 October 2023
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Though his beat covered Vinayak Mudali Street and its four parallel roads, it took him nearly six hours before he finished his round and returned to the head office in Market Road to deliver account

3

THE DOCTOR’S WORD

7 October 2023
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People came to him when the patient was on his last legs. Dr Raman often burst out, ‘Why couldn’t you have come a day earlier?’ The reason was obvious—visiting fee twenty-five rupees, and more than

4

GATEMAN’S GIFT

7 October 2023
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When a dozen persons question openly or slyly a man’s sanity, he begins to entertain serious doubts himself. This is what happened to ex-gateman Govind Singh. And you could not blame the public eith

5

THE BLIND DOG

7 October 2023
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It was not a very impressive or high-class dog; it was one of those commonplace dogs one sees everywhere—colour of white and dust, tail mutilated at a young age by God knows whom, born in the street

6

THE BLIND DOG

7 October 2023
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It was not a very impressive or high-class dog; it was one of those commonplace dogs one sees everywhere—colour of white and dust, tail mutilated at a young age by God knows whom, born in the street

7

FELLOW-FEELING

8 October 2023
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The Madras-Bangalore Express was due to start in a few minutes. Trolleys and barrows piled with trunks and beds rattled their way through the bustle. Fruit-sellers and beedi-and-betelsellers cried th

8

THE TIGER’S CLAW

8 October 2023
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The man-eater’s dark career was ended. The men who had laid it low were the heroes of the day. They were garlanded with chrysanthemum flowers and seated on the arch of the highest bullock cart and w

9

ISWARAN

8 October 2023
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When the whole of the student world in Malgudi was convulsed with excitement, on a certain evening in June when the Intermediate Examination results were expected, Iswaran went about his business, l

10

SUCH PERFECTION

8 October 2023
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A sense of great relief filled Soma as he realized that his five years of labour were coming to an end. He had turned out scores of images in his lifetime, but he had never done any work to equal th

11

FATHER’S HELP

8 October 2023
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Lying in bed, Swami realized with a shudder that it was Monday morning. It looked as though only a moment ago it had been the last period on Friday; already Monday was here. He hoped that an earthqu

12

THE SNAKE-SONG

8 October 2023
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We were coming out of the music hall quite pleased with the concert. We thought it a very fine performance. We thought so till we noticed the Talkative Man in our midst. He looked as though he had b

13

ENGINE TROUBLE

9 October 2023
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There came down to our town some years ago (said the Talkative Man) a showman owning an institution called the Gaiety Land. Overnight our Gymkhana Grounds became resplendent with banners and streame

14

FORTY-FIVE A MONTH

9 October 2023
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Shanta could not stay in her class any longer. She had done clay-modelling, music, drill, a bit of alphabets and numbers, and was now cutting coloured paper. She would have to cut till the bell rang

15

OUT OF BUSINESS

9 October 2023
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Little over a year ago Rama Rao went out of work when a gramophone company, of which he was the Malgudi agent, went out of existence. He had put into that agency the little money he had inherited, a

16

ATTILA

11 October 2023
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In a mood of optimism they named him ‘Attila’. What they wanted of a dog was strength, formidableness and fight, and hence he was named after the ‘Scourge of Europe’. The puppy was only a couple of m

17

THE AXE

11 October 2023
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An astrologer passing through the village foretold that Velan would live in a three-storeyed house surrounded by many acres of garden. At this everybody gathered round young Velan and made fun of him.

18

LAWLEY ROAD

11 October 2023
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The Talkative Man said: For years people were not aware of the existence of a Municipality in Malgudi. The town was none the worse for it. Diseases, if they started, ran their course and disappeared,

19

TRAIL OF THE GREEN BLAZER

11 October 2023
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The Green Blazer stood out prominently under the bright sun and blue sky. In all that jostling crowd one could not help noticing it. Villagers in shirts and turbans, townsmen in coats and caps, beggar

20

THE MARTYR’S CORNER

11 October 2023
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Just at that turning between Market Road and the lane leading to the chemist’s shop he had his establishment. If anyone doesn’t like the word ‘establishment’, he is welcome to say so, because it was a

21

WIFE’S HOLIDAY

11 October 2023
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Kannan sat at the door of his hut and watched the village go its way. Sami the oil-monger was coming up the street driving his ox before him. He remarked while passing, ‘This is your idling day, is it

22

A SHADOW

12 October 2023
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Sambu demanded, ‘You must give me four annas to see the film tomorrow.’ His mother was horrified. How could this boy! She had been dreading for six months past the arrival of the film. How could peopl

23

A WILLING SLAVE

12 October 2023
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No one in the house knew her name; no one for a moment thought that she had any other than Ayah. None of the children ever knew when she had first come into the family, the eldest being just six month

24

LEELA’S FRIEND

12 October 2023
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Sidda was hanging about the gate at a moment when Mr Sivasanker was standing in the front veranda of his house, brooding over the servant problem. ‘Sir, do you want a servant?’ Sidda asked. ‘Come in

25

MOTHER AND SON

12 October 2023
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Ramu’s mother waited till he was halfway through dinner and then introduced the subject of marriage. Ramu merely replied, ‘So you are at it again!’ He appeared more amused than angry, and so she broug

26

NAGA

12 October 2023
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The boy took off the lid of the circular wicker basket and stood looking at the cobra coiled inside, and then said, ‘Naga, I hope you are dead, so that I may sell your skin to the pursemakers; at leas

27

SELVI

12 October 2023
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At the end of every concert, she was mobbed by autograph hunters. They would hem her in and not allow her to leave the dais. At that moment Mohan, slowly progressing towards the exit, would turn round

28

CAT WITHIN

12 October 2023
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A passage led to the back yard, where a well and a lavatory under a large tamarind tree served the needs of the motley tenants of the ancient house in Vinayak Mudali Street; the owner of the property,

29

THE EDGE

13 October 2023
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When pressed to state his age, Ranga would generally reply, ‘Fifty, sixty or eighty.’ You might change your tactics and inquire, ‘How long have you been at this job?’ ‘Which job?’ ‘Carrying that gri

30

GOD AND THE COBBLER

13 October 2023
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Nothing seemed to belong to him. He sat on a strip of no-man’s-land between the outer wall of the temple and the street. The branch of a margosa tree peeping over the wall provided shade and shook dow

31

HUNGRY CHILD

13 October 2023
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With thatched sheds constructed in rows, blindingly floodlit, an old football ground beyond the level crossing had been transformed into Expo ’77-78 by an enterprising municipal committee. At the Expo

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