The author R. K. Narayan is one of the popular Indian writers writing in English often termed as the Indo-Anglican writer. As a novelist he upholds the Indian essence in all his works rather than adopting traditional Western style while the language elected for the expression of his emotion is obviously a borrowed one: English. An excellent short story teller, he wrote many short stories, which are published collectively under many headings. 'A Horse and Two Goats' did not achieve a wide international audience until 1970 when it became the title story of R. K. Narayan's seventh collection of short stories. It was 'A Horse and Two Goats and Other Stories'. It reached an even wider audience in 1985 when it was included in Under the Banyan Tree, Narayan's tenth and best-selling collection. By this time Narayan was well established as one of the most prominent Indian authors writing in English in the 20th century. Narayan is best known for his fourteen novels and stories, many of which are placed in the fictional town of Malgudi. However, the story of 'A Horse and Two Goats' does not unfurl in Malgudi. This story is considered to be a fine example of Narayan's deftness in creating engaging characters and humorous dialogues.
Synopsis of "A Horse and Two Goats" by R.K Narayan
The book 'A horse and two Goats' was first published in Chennai, in a newspaper named 'The Hindu' in 1960. The story presents a comic dialogue between Muni, a poor Tamil-speaking villager, and a wealthy English-speaking businessman from New York. They are engaged in a conversation in which neither can understand the other's language. With gentle humour, Narayan explores the conflicts between rich and poor and between Indian and Western cultures as well.
The story of 'A horse and two Goats' is told in two parts. The first one where the set up of Muni and his life in Kritam is described and the second part deal with the meeting of the businessman and Muni. The first part is mainly to give Muni a kind of depth, and also to make the second part credible to the readers. At the end, it would seem a victory for Muni, who is now in possession of more money than he has held in his life. Beneath the seeming victory, there can be another hidden meaning that ancient India is selling its heritage cheaply, at the cost of its spirituality. There is a lack of interest by the people in the horse and warrior statue and this may generate the need of the highways of present day.
Being published by the Bodley Head Ltd., Hind Packet Books, New Delhi, Viking Press, etc. 'A Horse and two Goats' is a wonderful short story written by R. K. Narayan that includes a charming conservation between a native and a foreigner.
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