Waiting for the Mahatma

Waiting for the Mahatma

R.K. Narayan / Feb 29, 2020
Waiting for the Mahatma Sriram is twenty As a mark of his coming of age his grandmother allows his the pass book to his savigns in the local bank but Sriram is growing up in other ways too and an enchanting and unpredicta
  • Title: Waiting for the Mahatma
  • Author: R.K. Narayan
  • ISBN: 9780226568287
  • Page: 351
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sriram is twenty As a mark of his coming of age his grandmother allows his the pass book to his savigns in the local bank, but Sriram is growing up in other ways, too, and an enchanting and unpredictable girl leads him into the entourage of Mahatma Gandhi.These are the opening events in R K Narayan s novel It is the finest thing he has yet achieved, and his story of theSriram is twenty As a mark of his coming of age his grandmother allows his the pass book to his savigns in the local bank, but Sriram is growing up in other ways, too, and an enchanting and unpredictable girl leads him into the entourage of Mahatma Gandhi.These are the opening events in R K Narayan s novel It is the finest thing he has yet achieved, and his story of the triumphs and tragedies of a raw young zealot in the service of Gandhi is distinguished for its warmth, its humour, its lack of sentimentality and the stamp of absolute truth.Sriram s evolution into manhood is, for him, strange and bewildering process Bharati, the girl he worship, is witty, infuriating, capable and, wonder of wonders, condescending to the moonstruck Sriram Her first loyalty though, is to the Mahatma, a saint blessed with disconcerting common sense, a man whose tragedy is tat he is so much greater than his followers Most of them accept his ideas enthusiastically, and without realizing it, pervert them to suit their coarser personalities Sriram is inspired by Gandhi, but he is too easily influenced by glamorous patriots of the type of Jagadish, a terrorist.It is a tale of remarkable insight into the upsrge of Indian nationalism as witnessed through the eyes and hearts of Sriram and Bharati, and told with the all genius and compassion we have come to expect from R K Narayan.
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      R.K. Narayan

    About "R.K. Narayan"

      • R.K. Narayan

        R K Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists who wrote in English.R.K Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja s College in Mysore His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there In 1958 Narayan s work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country s highest literary honor In addition to his novels, Narayan has authored five collections of short stories, including A Horse and Two Goats, Malguidi Days, and Under the Banyan Tree, two travel books, two volumes of essays, a volume of memoirs, and the re told legends Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana, and the Mahabharata In 1980 he was awarded the A.C Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Most of Narayan s work, starting with his first novel Swami and Friends 1935 , captures many Indian traits while retaining a unique identity of its own He was sometimes compared to the American writer William Faulkner, whose novels were also grounded in a compassionate humanism and celebrated the humour and energy of ordinary life.Narayan who lived till age of ninety four, died in 2001 He wrote for than fifty years, and published until he was eighty seven He wrote fourteen novels, five volumes of short stories, a number of travelogues and collections of non fiction, condensed versions of Indian epics in English, and the memoir My Days.


    179 Comments

    1. Despite being a devoted follower of Gandhi, Sriram understands very little of Gandhi s philosophy And it seems to be true for everyone except Gandhi s immediate circle And there must have been little to interest a villager in national politics, leave alone abstracts concepts like independence or nonviolence Sriram is in it mostly for his own selfish interest like most young volunteers which in this case happens to be his love for Bharti, a young girl full of patriotism who waits on Gandhi While [...]


    2. 4 The usual suspect of a very promising start Only this time the latter half is also good.Many similarities with his other works Its like a new dish prepared using the same ingredients First there is this young protagonist being idle and inheriting lots of wealth like Talkative Man Falls for a strong female character doing social work Raman and Daisy from Painter of SignsThe tongue in cheek dialogues and witty replies thought in head but not spoken Nataraj from Man Eater of MalgudiHeavy influenc [...]


    3. I make it a point to start my year by reading a book by an Indian author and i couldn t have asked for a better book than Waiting For The Mahatma by R.K Narayan I have always enjoyed his satiric writing Set in the same place Malgudi , this book revolves around Sriram a young aimless boy, who is smitten by a girl named Bharthi and goes after her blindly leaving his granny and finds out that she is one of the volunteer who works for Mahatma Sriram joins the group in a jest to impress Bharthi and h [...]


    4. Not a review, this one, my little homage to a novel I found original and beautiful.I remember I read it when I was in my mid twenties, on a train from Milan to that wonderful city that us Copenhagen Although this novel appears to be, at first sight, realistic, there is magic in it I say it in inverted commas because what I mean by it is not any sorcery, but that this novel, I strongly believe, has a soul It breathes, it has an energy going through it, in waves, from beginning to end I can t quit [...]


    5. Shashi Tharoor in his book Bookless in Baghdad wrote about the simplicity of Narayan s writing On the death of R.K he said he had a mixed feeling because he always found Narayan s English too bland and grammatically incorrect for anyone s taste He called R.K a man who never wanted to learn and lived a negligent life Narayan would have himself partially agreed with Tharoor He never wanted to influence his writing from anyone else s and thus never read any other author s work strange in itself He [...]


    6. Easily among RKN s best works, right up there with Swami and Friends and The Painter of Signs RKN has always specialized in absurdity, the very commonality of the common man that shines through in the most profound or historic of moments And when that gets applied to something as serious as the freedom struggle, what you get is a masterpiece.Given the task of painting Quit India on village walls, he obsesses that the Q takes paint, reducing the tail, ending up with Ouit India The villagers aske [...]


    7. I think it took a great deal of real courage to write and publish Waiting for Mahatma in 1955 The novel, set largely in his fictional city of Malgudi India, begins around 1939 and ends in 1947, just before the partitioning of India.Waiting for Mahatma centers on a young man named Sriram who lives with his grandmother He is in love with and wants to marry a young woman who is involved with Mahatma Gandhi s movement to achieve Indian independence and this draws him into becoming active himself.Big [...]


    8. R.K Narayan takes us to a place called Malgudi which is a fictional town, familiar to readers of his stories.This is a love story which takes place at the time when Mahatma Gandhi was one of the key players in leading India s struggle for freedom Sriram, gets in to India s freedom struggle because he wants to be around Bharati and less because of his love for his country Before meeting Bharati he led an idle life, without any aims, taken care by his grandmother He decides to leave his grandmothe [...]


    9. A compassionate, simple love story set during the times of the Indian independence A refreshing and quick read, Waiting for the Mahatma kept me smiling with many things I could relate especially about Granny and Bhrathi R.K Narayan s writing and sense of style may not delight many, but there is some unexplainable magnetic pull about the book that wants you to go on Some parts do feel a tad childish, and cry out for better story telling, but the book is an overall good read.


    10. An amazing insight into Indian freedom movement through a tale of love A book where you would love and hate to read the ending.


    11. I have really enjoyed the book I have to admit that at the beginning I did not know very well where it was leading, but I ended up enjoying it a lot However, it may be difficult to understand or enjoy if you expect a typical plot with an introduction phase, a conflict, development and resolution It is not that the book lacks it, it is that, under my point of view, it is focused on characters s feelings and in historical events rather than in the plot itself The plot, in fact, is a quite simple [...]


    12. Third person limited narrator, following one Sriram, born in a town and educated pretty well, could have gone to college but apparently did not because he was too stubbornly unwilling to study or follow direction He is terribly innocent When he came of age at the beginning of the book and his grandmother turned over his savings account to him, I thought he was going to lose it all to his neighbor Kanni or other unscrupulous people quite soon But there I was mistaken It turns out that Kanni was t [...]


    13. While I enjoyed this book, and appreciate the concept of an Indian story told in English, I wasn t moved that much The story centers on a boy named Sriram, who has fallen in love with a girl, Bharati But she won t agree to be with him until they receive Mahatma Ghandi s blessing When the story begins, he is living with his grandmother in relative luxury Then Ghandi comes to town, bringing with him a group of volunteers, including Bharati Sriram is quickly taken by her, and agrees to join Ghandi [...]


    14. Another super story by the great man Waiting for the Mahatma is another realistic novel set during the freedom struggle days He comes out with a story which depicts another side of our freedom struggle movement and its impact on the lives of numerous Indian people.The best aspect of this novel is the simplicity of we the Indians prior to gaining independence The long and hard fought freedom struggle which alters the lives of different people like Sriram main protagonist makes one feel about the [...]


    15. Highly humorous and hilarious The book treats Mahatma very much differently from the contemporary novels, as character not a symbol The life of the lazy, wealthy Sriram is interesting in the sense, he is a rare choice for being a protagonist Gandhi Follower in a novel of the times One among the best of RK Narayan.


    16. This is one of those book that one can cherish all there life once he or she has read it.The emotions in this book are so grounded in a period of time,so honest and innocent that you feel like transported to that era,those events.


    17. Definitely one of my favorite books Simple prose and subtle humor A book that is as likely to induce a gentle smile as a silent tear.



    18. An interesting story that revolves around days of freedom movement Climax is really interesting.


    19. Waiting for Mahatama is interesting novel that explores the human condition and one may find the humour, sad, joy anxious and principles in the journey of Sriram s life Most of Narayan s novels have characters that are financially sound and whose basic needs are met But what they lack is warmth and care Often they are attracted by women and in pursuit find their worth, purpose and actualize their potential It is also an assumption that person who does not have daily means to survive may not spen [...]


    20. Waiting for the Mahatma was in some words, a gamble But then again, Narayan has often chosen difficult subjects, what with infidelity in the Guide andmisplaced patriotismin this particular novel.You can almost imagine Sri Ram as a walking talking entity in today s political scenario Sri Ram would be a man boy who is busy updating his status on Facebook from At the movies to having lunch at KFC with mah buddiez and wondering whether he should buy an iPhone 6 or the latest Nexus Everything changes [...]


    21. The young SriramThe beautiful BharatiAnd of course the great Mr Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi known as Mahatma GandhiSriram is brought up by his grandmother and when he reaches twenty, his grandmother hands over his heritage that she was saving for him After couple of years he meets a beautiful girl Bharati who is seeking for donation and trying to arrange the event for welcoming Mahatma Gandhi Here we should know that Sriram was not Gandhi s follower, yet for the affection that he has to Bharati a [...]


    22. I found this book very enjoyable It reminded me a bit of the Stranger since the main character, Sriram, is a bit clueless However instead of being apathetic about everything the main character cares for Bharati than for anything else he finally has found some direction in his life in the form of following Bharati in whatever she is doing, which just happens to be doing the work of Gandhi and spreading the non violent freedom movement The book was subtle and a bit silly at times, in a very humor [...]


    23. The book starts pretty normal with granny giving the responsibility to sriram for his money but things change when bharati enters the scene He joins the independence movement to woo Bharati even if he himself is not motivated interested enough The rest of the story follows his life as he contributes his part in the independence movement however small it seems The rural landscape somewhat romanticize the whole affair of freedom The nation s struggles run parallel to his love story Gandhi is pivot [...]


    24. My first book this year and what a book to start witha beautiful coming of age romantic drama set in 1940s in Malgudi, when India is struggling for independence a young boy Sriram falls in love with a girl but not any normal girl, a girl fighting for independence with the Mahatma And then starts his persuit for life and love As the story is set in RK Narayan s Malgudi, so is filled with his elements of common man s humour and agony A beautiful story, I wish Chetan Bhagat and Co could create some [...]


    25. A simple idyllic romance unfurling in the midst of a momentous political scene Possibly the most nationalistic of R.K Narayan s works The author has set the conflict of emotions, which is a recurring motif in his works, against the backdrop of the Indian struggle for freedom The character of Mahatma in the novel can easily be seen as the very human conscience, whose guidance we continuously refuse.


    26. A well crafted story by one of my favourite writers, R.K Narayan Patriotism and romance are balanced effectively in this simple, yet elegant, story where Gandhi s ideals are injected in small doses It was like viewing major historical events like the Indo Pak partition, independence and Gandhi s assasination through the eyes of the young characters of the story A very simple story but a good read


    27. A true mark of R.K.Narayan Splendid NarrationThe way he carried the love story before Independence of India was mesmerizingThe Principle of M.K.Gandhi and his followersTHE QUIT INDIA PROTESTS,life in Prison before freedom was well narratedSriram s effection and love towards Grandmother and her lady love Bharati was closely related and mixed up with gentle emotions of human life was well described


    28. Sriram is a young man who lives with his grandmother and keeps daydreaming about something bigger than his life He criticises everything and everyone until he sees Bharati for the first time She s a follower of Gandhi, and Sriram will be involved in the history of India The novel was written in 1955 but it s still freshvelopingreport Revie


    29. RK Narayan is best known for his work based on the quaint South Indian town of Malgudi In Waiting for the Mahatma , he manages to combine the magic of Malgudi with the heady atmosphere of the Indian freedom movement and what results is a truly novel novel pun intended Read the full review here indiabookstore bookish


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