The World of Nagaraj – R. K. Narayan


The World of Nagaraj

The World of Nagaraj (1990) is a classic piece of literature by R. K. Narayan. As usual, it is based in the fictional town of Malgudi.

Nagaraj, a resident of Kabeer Street in Malgudi, is a contented man who lives on his father’s fortune in his family’s large house with his wife, Sita and the mother. He has a routine for every day. Waking up, going to the town to read the one leaf newspaper and going back home, writing letters, drinking coffee, doing some book-keeping for his friend, and sitting on his verandah watching the world.

His comfortable lifestyle gets disturbed when Krishnaji, known as Tim, who is the son of Nagaraj’s brother Gopu, comes to stay at his house. He is thrust upon the responsibility of taking care of the boy who has a troubled lifestyle of late-night activities. There is also the smell of alcohol that comes from his mouth when he comes home.

Later in the novel, Tim marries a girl who loves to play harmonium and settles down in Nagaraj’s house. The tranquility of the house is broken with the sound of the harmonium and Nagaraj is greatly annoyed but unable to resist the harmonium.

The only dream of Nagaraj is to write a book about the great Sage Narada who is said to have led a spiritual life. The problem with Nagaraj is he has no right material to write the book. He goes to several people who fail to come up with the right content and ultimately he is forced to go to an absent minded priest who has some Sanskrit books about Sage Narada. It is interesting to read whether he succeeds in his attempt.

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