R K Narayan: Biography, Achievements, Books and Quotes

No matter where in India you grew up, this simple work would immediately take you back to the times of Malgudi days and the grand storyteller behind it all – R K Narayan. A simple man from a simpler age whose literally works continues to weave Technicolor emotions in the hearts of his readers. These few sentences will not be enough to define the depth and clarity of his contribution to the world through his flowing letters and words. Let’s see the path that he has undergone throughout his life.

Journey to His Life:

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Born the 10th of October 1906 in Madras, he spent his early childhood there with his maternal grandmother, as his father was a headmaster who was in need to transfer from one place to another, the love and care of his grandma filled him with all joy and happiness, studying for eight years at Lutheran Mission School and the CRC High School he would go on to obtain his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mysore and began his career in his father’s footsteps as a school teacher, later quitting when the headmaster asked him to work as a physical training master instead. He was drawn to writing and would contribute to a few English magazines and newspapers before starting his own publishing company. The year 1935 saw him begin his writing career with Swami and friends set in the fictional town of Malgudi which would later be turned into one of more than India’s most cherished teddy serials.

Further Contributions and Achievements:

His other works are The Bachelor of Arts (1973), The Dark Room (1938), The English Teacher (1945), Waiting for the Mahatma (1955), and the Man-eater of Malgudi (1961). He has presented the Sahitya Akademi award for The Guide in 1958 which was later turned into the Bollywood classic by the same name. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1964 and nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1989.

Famous Books of RK Narayan

  2. Malgudi Days
  3. The Guide
  4. Waiting for the Mahatma
  5. Swami and Friends’s The Bachelor of Arts and The Dark Room

Follow through “Malgudi days”:

  • This is the synopsis of his most popular work Malgudi days which is a collection of short stories published in 1943 by Indian Though Publications. The book was republished outside India in 1982 by Penguin Classics. The book includes 32 stories all set in the fictional town of Malgudi that is located in South India.
  • It has a series of chronicles which talks about the life of people living in that beautiful town. The stories share the life of everyone from entrepreneurs to beggars all takes place in and near Indian fictional village.
  • Thus, the heart and the soul of that village are on display and we find it a place where most people are haunted by illiteracy and unemployment. Despite the ubiquity of the poor many of the stories come across humorous and good-natured episodes of their lives.
  • Our Indian villages which are viewed as scarcity-ridden infested with extensive occupied by “good for nothing fellows” have another side to them – they have a delight which no one can explain. This charm is depicted and presented in each of the stories in this book.
  • His story is so full of humanity and will invoke that part of ‘you’ which you have forgotten in this deplorable part called Life.

The Guide:

It is a 1958 novel written in English by the Indian author R K Narayan. It is a philosophical novel that describes the transformation of the protagonist, Raju, from a tour guide to a spiritual guide and then one of the greatest holy men of India. The title of the novel has dual meaning, and Raju is in a sense a dual character. The novel also tells two stories, that of Raju’s relationship with the female protagonist as a tourist guide and that of his connection with the villagers as a holy man. Raju played a sympathetic character throughout the novel which brought more readers to involve and concentrate more on his role. As mentioned already, this is the one novel that brought him the Sahitya Akademi award and also pride in his life and profession.

The English Teacher:

This book by R K Narayan was first published in 1945. This is an autobiographical book that the author dedicated to his wife Rajam. The book is poignant, filled with the intensity of feeling with his magical words. The story revolves around Krishna, an English teacher. It tells about his experiences and his quest for achieving inner peace and self-development. Looking into his works, The English teacher is one of the most enormous creations with his attractive and enlightening thoughts that enhance the common man to coincidence with his own life and attain the goal in their life.

The above mentioned three books of R K Narayan are most delighted contributions to the literary field which made him come out of the surrounded circumstances and made his name popular all around the world. To be mentioned, his other works are not less compared as all his books are more incorporated with the individual emotions and feelings making the people get into the fantasies of his stories.

His admiring words:

Sometimes, life feels so heavy when no treatment works on us. It can be the time we feel alone even when surrounded by number of people; it can be the time we feel depressed and cannot find the reason; it can be the time when we feel so upset that nothing more in right direction; it can be the time when we feel to end our life for no ‘good reason’ and it will be time when famous saying and quotes of many people pop-up in front of our eyes that give at least temporary relief to our bad mind-set. R K Narayan’s quotes also seem to be a medicine for many people who are feeling down in their life. The deep meaning of his “Life is about making the right things and going on” quote improves the quality of life to which it looks devastating with their mental status. By including “going on” he beautifully explained that life never stops at any situation and we the one who needs to catch up with its forceful game.

His other sayings:

  • The most admiring thinking is when he contributes his thought to give more importance to his profession and at that juncture, he said, “You become a writer by writing. It is yoga”. This will give enthusiasm to people who took him as their role-model in becoming a writer. He mentioned it as ‘yoga’ which tells that the field of writing involves rules and regulations and also to grab the success it needs to be practiced continuously without having a break.
  • He is the man who also gave significance to nature and considers it to be his child by quoting, “This is my child. I planted it. I saw it grow. I loved it. Don’t cut it down”. When people come across this quote, we feel each plant is our child and it brings that sense of responsibility in nurturing it as we take care of our child.
  • People following in all his aspects know how he is more involved with the happenings of life and for this, he said, “Death and its associates, after the initial shock, produce callousness”. He also said about friendship for life which is mentioned as “another illusion like love”. He also expressed his views on society which became a forcing aspect in our life.

These are some of his quotes that gave importance to the overall development of human nature and by these sayings, he goes into the life of each individual giving them the confidence to lead their path. He gives strength to people to struggle with the obstacles that evil brings into their way and gives them the power to work on the solutions to overcome their penetrating failures.


All writers and authors have their own style of creation which in one or the other way attracts the people to go behind their works. R K Narayan is not less in proving his literary skills to the world and made many followers through his boundless works that created a new rhythm for the writing field. His methodology is, being involved more into the life of common people which grabs the attention of their simpler life and making them the protagonist of his stories gives them extra happiness. Having such a talented person in the field is a proud provoking moment for all of us.


R K Narayan: Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._K._Narayan

R K Narayan | Biography, Books & Facts | Britannica – https://www.britannica.com/biography/R-K-Narayan

R K Narayan Quotes (Author of Malgudi Days) – https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1305302.R_K_Narayan

R K Narayan | Malgudi days summary – http://www.supersummary.com/malgudi-days/summary/

R K Narayan | The Guide summary – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guide

R K Narayan | The English Teacher – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_English_Teacher

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