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  • 1. ENGLISH READING PROJECT SWAMI AND FRIENDS -RK NARAYAN 1
  • 2. R.K. NARAYAN R. K. Narayan (10 October 1906 – 13 May 2001), shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami was an Indian author whose works of fiction include a series of books about people and their interactions in an imagined town in India called Malgudi. He is one of three leading figures of early Indian literature in English, along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. He is credited with bringing Indian literature in English to the rest of the world, and is regarded as one of India's greatest English language novelists. The setting for most of Narayan's stories is the fictional town of Malgudi, first introduced in Swami and Friends. His narratives highlight social context and provide a feel for his characters through everyday life. Narayan's short story writing style has been compared to that of Guy de Maupassant, as they both have an ability to compress the narrative without losing out on elements of the story. Narayan has also come in for criticism for being too simple in his prose and diction. In a writing career that spanned over sixty years, Narayan received many awards and honours. These include the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature and the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award. 2
  • 3. SWAMI AND FRIENDS NAME OF THE Publisher: Hamilton YEAR OF Publication: 1935 3
  • 4. WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT? The book Swami and Friends is the story of ten-year old Swaminathan. He is a quite different child than the present day children, a boy full of innocence, wonder, and mischief, and his experiences growing up in the fictional town of Malgudi. His fate lands him in trouble in whatever he does. He is a student at the British-established Albert Mission School, which stresses Christianity, English literature, and the value of education. He has his own perception of the world and tries to be the conqueror in spite of his own shortcomings like fear, innocence, etc. Circumstances make him an un-fit to any school in Malgudi. Life changes dramatically for young Swami when Rajam - a symbol of colonial power - joins the school, and becomes his close friend. This novel narrates Swami‟s experiences with his parents, grandmother, friends, residents of Malgudi, and even his new-born brother when he is in second class. 4
  • 5. DID YOU LIKE IT? Yes, I liked it very much. One of the reasons why I enjoyed „Swami & friends‟ is the simplicity of Narayan‟s fiction, in the terms of literary theory and techniques. He is known for a lean, lucid, undecorated style, but wonderfully expressive and full of understated surprises. I also got a glimpse of the many gray shades of Swami‟s character also. His behaviour with his grandmother, his running away from home oblivious of his parents‟ pain and the careless way in which he thanks the forest officer who took care of him while lost, all point towards a very believable and real character. Generally boys of his age do behave in a similar manner. One cannot forget the typical Indian family, for example; a loving yet authoritarian father; a supportive and doting grandmother who just showers her love on Swami without any selfish motives, even when Swami bluntly tells her that her being so old embarrasses him in front of his friends. His mother Lakshmi, is more or less a secondary influence and has a shadowed kind of existence in his life and this too is pretty common for a boy his age for whom the mother‟s existence is m0re or less related to food and kitchen. The book is an amazing amalgamation of the kids‟ world and the adults‟ world. Swami & Friends truly represents the literature of young adults and I strongly feel that it would be an interesting read for years and generations to come because it talks about something that is basic to the nature of children – affection, friendship, belongingness, security, rebellion, etc. 5
  • 6. Main Character of the Book Swami and Friends revolves around the everyday life of ten-year old Swaminathan, or Swami as he is known by other characters. Swami portrays the growing up pangs of a boy who despises school, as he makes excuses and roams around Malgudi with his friends. Swami belongs to a middle class family. He has a grand mother, father, mother and a little brother. His father is Lawyer by profession and his mother is a housewife. At home, Swami shares his adventures with his aged granny, who lovingly addresses him as "Chamy." Like all other boys of his age he loves to be in the company of his friends. Swami has two close friends: Mani and the son of the Police Chief Superintendent, Rajam. He likes wandering and playing with them. He is a very innocent boy. When his father gives him a very simple to solve, instead of doing calculations he is thinking about the nature of the mangoes and the mango sellers which shows his innocence. 6
  • 7. FAVOURITE CHARACTER Swami is my favourite character. It is because his character represents the normal village boy of about 10 years and the dilemma faced by him. The situations put in front of Swami are very genuine and almost everyone faces problems like those in their childhood. In Swami the author has portrayed the childish nature and a very practical opinion about a child's reaction to situations. Swami likes to spend his time with Mani and Rajam. Since Swami is so much in awe of Rajam and follows him everywhere, he earns the name as “The Tail” of Rajam from other classmates. 7
  • 8. NAME OTHER BOOKS WRITTEN BY THE SAME AUTHOR.  Malgudi Days  The English teacher  The Man-eater of Malgudi  The Dark Room  The Financial Expert  Waiting for the Mahatma *********************** 8