The author R. K. Narayan was a great writer. Much of his work deals with the trials and troubles of 20th century Indian life. And those really touched our day-to-day life in a greater manner. He had born in Chennai, India in 1906. He was one of the few Indian writers who write in English during his whole life. But lived most of his time in India. In all of his creations the everyday life of the folk living in and around the fictional town Malgudi has come up with all nitty-gritty. It was evident in all of his write-ups. His fiction accepts the socio-political situation as it stands and the stories are all the more affecting for that. Narayan's stories are a reflection of life in Malgudi as it is. These are not affected by the political and post-imperial contradictions. And yet, inevitably, these forces come into play. This is what makes this collection stand out somewhat from other short story collections. Narayan inculcates the wider issues with the simple day-to-day tasks of the Everyman, and all this without forcing judgment. He avoids the potential difficulties of cultural understanding simply by avoiding them altogether. The stories do not waste time with social explanation because they stand as their own explanation in their own special way. The stories themselves are acutely original.
'An Astrologer's Day' was first published in the newspaper 'The Hindu'. Afterwards it was made the title story of a collection of short stories, which appeared in 1947. This was the year when India gained its independence. "An Astrologer's Day" remains a major work in his principal sum and displays all the characteristics associated with his writing. Narayan's sense of irony, his deep religious sensibility, his humor, his consciousness of the significance of everyday occurrences, and his belief in a Hindu vision of life are all revealed in this story. He always wrote in his own style depicting different aspects of life and this collection truly express his uniqueness. 'An Astrologer's Day' is mainly a collection of stories about characters from every walk of Indian life and that includes merchants, beggars, herdsmen, rogues, all of them in one place i.e. Narayan's make-believe village Malgudi. This is an important part that these stories are written by an Indian writer and read by a predominantly Native-Indian i.e. English speaking reader. Narayan was not writing to interpret India for Westerners and that was his specialty. All the stories of 'An Astrologer's Day' depict the same character.
Being published by the Penguin Books Ltd. 'An Astrologer's Day' truly signify the scenario of that period which is still applicable in various aspect till now.
The collection 'An Astrologer's Day' actually comprises of thirty pieces. The stories contain all the emotion of human life i.e. humour, laugh, cry, parting, fraud, etc. all of the stories had previously appeared in the Madras Hindu. Thus they had been presumably enjoyed by the readership of one of India's greatest English-language newspapers. Though this readership would include most of the British, Anglo-Indians, and Americans living in South India, it would be made up overwhelmingly of true Indians.
|More Articles in R K Narayan (26)|