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Know R.K. Narayan

Hey there! We had a competition called “Know your author” Here is a sample script which would help you in knowing about R.K. Narayan.

About R.K. Narayan : R. K. Narayan, full name Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanaswami, was an Indian writer, best known for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. 



Prachi:  Benjamin Franklin once said that either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Today, on our show know your author, we have the man who did both – please welcome with a round of applause the famed author Mr. RK Narayan.

R.K. Narayan: Thank you everybody…

Prachi:  Sir, we have come to know that you were born in Chennai. We would like to know about your early years and family background.

R.K. Narayan: I was born in Madras when it used to be one of the British presidencies. My father was a school headmaster. I spent part of my childhood under the care of my maternal grandmother.

Prachi: It is believed that you were quite close to your grandmother. Is it true?

R.K. Narayan: Absolutely. Maybe even more closer to her than to my parents. She taught me arithmetic, mythology, classical Indian music and Sanskrit. She used to call me Kunjappa and I just loved it when she would call me lovingly like that.

Prachi: So, were you a good reader from your childhood?        

R.K. Narayan:  I was an avid reader. As a kid, I would read Dickens, Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy.

Prachi: You were a school teacher for some time. What made you leave that job and turn to writing.

R.K. Narayan: I had always been a passionate reader and writer. I did the job but my mind and heart were not in it. Also, I did not like the system at schools in those days. So I returned to my love – writing.

Prachi: Your book Swami and friends was ridiculed and rejected by a string of publishers. How did you manage to not to lose hope and get it published?

R.K. Narayan: We always question the bonafides of the man who tells us unpleasant facts. People did not like the facts in the book. I had sent the manuscript of Swami and Friends to a friend at Oxford, and about this time, the friend showed the manuscript to Graham Greene. Greene recommended the book to his publisher, and it was finally published in 1935.

Prachi: Your writing style was simple and unpretentious with a natural element of humour about it. It focused on ordinary people, reminding us of those we knew but never noticed. How is it so?

R.K. Narayan: I wrote about the intricacies of Indian society and I did not modify my characteristic simplicity to conform to trends and fashions in fiction writing. I never followed trends blindly. And most importantly I followed my heart.

Prachi: You first broke through with the help of Graham Greene who, upon reading Swaminathan and Tate, took it upon himself to work as your agent for the book  and helped in finding publishers for your next few books. While your early works were not commercial successes, other authors of the time began to notice you. What do you have to say about it?

R.K. Narayan: Writers may have begun to notice me but not the masses. Somerset Maugham, on a trip to Mysore in 1938, had asked to meet me, but not enough people had heard of me to help him. I was writing but not receiving recognition by those whom I wrote for. Greene He is the most important person in my writing life. Almost central. Without him I couldn’t possibly been what I am today.

Prachi: Your life is a very inspiring story full of ups and downs. There must have been times when you felt very sad or depressed. Which was the lowest point of your life?

R.K. Narayan: My wife Rajam died of typhoid in 1939. Her death affected me deeply and I remained depressed for a long time; I was also concerned for their daughter Hema, who was only three years old. The bereavement brought about a significant change in his life.

Prachi: All avid readers have read Malgudi Days. And I have too. It is a book that compiles story in beautiful ways so that they represent life. What do you wish to say about it?

R.K. Narayan:  I really can’t explain its persistence, you know. I had an idea of a railway station, a very small railway station. You’ve seen the kind of thing, with a platform and trees and a station-master. And then what happened was I was thinking of a name for the railway station. It should have a name-board. And I didn’t want to have an actual name which could be found in a railway time-table. Malgudi just seemed to hurl into view. It satisfied my requirement.

Prachi: You have been around on the writing scene for almost fifty years now. You are one big man of India. How much has changed?

R.K. Narayan: It might look very big for you but when fifty years end, you find it just the same – the illusion of time, you know. We are what we are. Whether you grow older, more decrepit, inside, the sense of awareness, of being is the same throughout.

Prachi: Your books and characters have been an object of fascination for many. What have been your objects of fascination?

R.K. Narayan: I am fascinated by wayside shops. They become centres of life, of news. It’s here people gather to exchange stories. All the small things that generally go unnoticed in life tend to fascinate me.

Prachi: You won numerous awards during the course of your literary career. You have won Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, honorary Doctorates, and membership of parliament. Which one do you cherish the most?

R.K. Narayan: I respect all these awards given to me. But the most cherished of all awards is the love that my readers have showered upon me.

Prachi: Yes, it is something that is much higher than all awards. You have done so much but is there still some wish of yours that is yet unfulfilled?

R.K. Narayan: I have made a habit of collecting Golden Thoughts, and I have arranged them alphabetically. I wish to bring them out in book form and distribute them to schoolchildren, free of cost. That is how I want to serve our country.

Prachi: Thank you so much sir for gracing our show and making us more known to you. It really provided us about a view of your life from a distinct view.

R.K. Narayan: Oh! That is my pleasure.


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