Monthly Archives: February 2014

Swami And Friends- R.K. Narayan


Cover page on the book

Author: R.K Narayan

ISBN: 9788185986005

No. Of Pages: 184 Pages

My Rating: 5/5

Swami and Friends is a story of a ten year old lad, Swaminathan or Swami, who plays the protagonist in the novel. He dwells in Malgudi, a small fictitious town in South India with his adoring mother, punctilious father and adulating grandmother and a new born minuscule sibling. He receives academic wisdom in Albert Mission school, a British decreed academy. The second episode of the book,”Rajam and Mani” introduces the reader to his bosom pals who are described as antagonistic to each other. Mani is a barbarous type brusque boy, and his amity is loved by Swami. While Rajam who wears a white fur cap and resplendent tweed coat, belongs to upper class of the society as his father is a police superintendent. After their exams, in the holidays R.K Narayan has embellished the novel with some astounding stupendous anecdotes with respect to childhood of the trio.

On 15 of August 1930, two thousand residents of the town protest against the arrest of Gauri shankar, a political leader. Swami join the resistance, saying with the crowd,”Bharat Mata ki Jai, Gandhi ki Jai, Gauri Shankar ki Jai” against the British rule. Engulfed with the essence of patriotism, Swami shatters the window panes of his school but to his misfortune the Principal of the British school glimpses him and on the very next day abolish him from the academy. After his father’s scoldings, he is again admitted to the High board school which eventually isolate him from his two bosom pals.

Some weeks later, Rajam come to Swaminathan’s home to grandly announce the axiom of M.C.C. (the Malgudi Cricket Club) and ask favour from him and when he see Swami’s bowling attack he consider him the big enchilada and his team members baptize him “Tait”, the paramount cardinal fast bowler of M.C.C. Rajam, Mani and their team members accredit a lot of time, patience, sweat and money in raising the M.C.C so that they take the chequered flag. But Swami, due to his school timings is not able to attend everyday’s dose of practice and for this reason Rajam remain on pins and needles. Rajam increases his insist for his indispensable presence and after many damp squibs he bunks the school which ironically marks the end of his school life, he gets banished from his second and the only last school in Malgudi. Fearing of his punctilious father he absconds in the vast jungle of Malgudi. And on the day of the match, M.C.C keenly feel the paucity of their Tait, the whole enchilada goes opposite to Rajam’s desire and they loose the match to Y.M.U (other cricket team). Rajam, completely traumatic circumvent Swami when he returns. But in the last chapter of the book, they patch up with Mani’s endeavour 🙂

Promulgated in 1935, Swami and Friends which has 19 chapters, was Narayan’s first novel. I completely the book in seven days and as the book is authored by R.K. Narayan, vocabulary was superb and you’ll encounter with several new words and phrases. I enjoyed reading it as it helps in comprehending the psychology of a child and also made me remember my childhood.  I, also do agree with Graham Greene (Narayan’s friend) verdict,” It is a book in ten thousand” and I rate it 5/5.

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