The Guide is a Sahitya Akademi Award winning work by well admired literature personality R K Narayan. The narrative style of writing with a slight touch of romance, emotion and the picturization of Indian society makes it as one of the must be stories in ones bucket list.
About the author
Narayan born in 1906 in Madras, India is no stranger to the reading consortium. He is well known for his stories set in the backdrop of the imaginary town,a literary microcosm named Malgudi. He is a Padma Vibhusan awardee, the 2nd highest civilian honor, and a winner of many more loreals in his carrer spanning over 60 years. Narayan stories are quite an elemental in highlighting existing social perceptions and practices and the life of the people under those circumstances through his humorous depiction.
Raju (protagonist), a highly charmer with words and a skillful lier starts his career as a very popular tour guide making himself a fame as “Railway Raju”, with his name reaching far wide corners. Falls in love with one of his tourists, a girl as beautiful and admirable as her passion for the dance form itself. With an unending attraction towards her, his love sets him on a twisted path. The girls finds the lost liberty and freedom to realize her dreams in his company, distances her from her husband and places in Raju’s home under the scrutiny of his beloved mother and not so admired uncle. His endless efforts guides her to become a sensational star of South India and rises him to the stature of high importance but with wealth grows his possessiveness on her and so his life starts to recoil. His life hard hit by the fate of his own making with ups and downs from becoming a popular tour guide to ending up loosing everything including his so called ancestral home and from earning a great fortune to falling back to void. Not to forget a luxurious short trip to prison and back, only to slip into the role people have so admirably preserved for him, as a “philosophist”. He grows himself into the avatar of a saint set to lead the village to a miracle.
“Beauty in simplicity, desire in love and comfort in hope are quite a complicated elements of ones life. One can never get it right or wrong.”
The Story presents the strong essence of Love and Romance and its magic to draw the best out of one and its equal role in one person’s path to greatness and fall. Also, it beautifully draws the element of societal blind acceptance of one mans spirituality and rising him to the status of Demi God just due to his eloquence and coincidence with the activities around. The story underlines the ideology of people in drawing comfort by placing their troubles in hands of others and relax, with hope and anxiousness in exchange of paying them with high stature and respect.