10 iconic quotes by R.K. Narayan - The Malgudi Man

14th May 2016
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Today marks the 15th death anniversary of the man, who made us all want to pack our bags and move to the fictional town of Malgudi.

Bound in every middle-school textbook, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami’s stories weaved a spell on classrooms that no teacher could ever conjure. R.K. Narayan was known for his simplistic writing style, his ability to juxtapose fiction with reality, and to subtly embed simple, yet, deep lessons in the mind of the reader.

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His works are often considered synonymous with the innocence of childhood, and even today the social undertones of his writing echo the complexities of the Indian society.

With a clever use of just the right amount of humour, Narayan was able to transform his seemingly ordinary characters into larger-than-life individuals who brought a change in the existing social and political structures of Malgudi, a microcosmic representation of our nation. And, with this, he inspired us to think, dream and write differently, to delve into a magical reality far better than the one we knew.

As a tribute to this great man of literature, who was among the first Indian English writers to be taken note of by the West, we present a list of 10 of his most iconic quotes to keep you inspired through the day:

  • “Life is about making right things and going on...”
  • “It is stimulating to live in a society that is not standardised or mechanised, and is free from monotony.”
  • “No one ever accepts criticism so cheerfully. Neither the man who utters it nor the man who invites it really means it.”
  • “Do you realise how few ever really understand how fortunate they are in their circumstances?”
  • “If you threw a stone into a gutter, it would only spurt filth in your face.”
  • “Past is gone, present is going, and tomorrow is day after tomorrow’s yesterday. So why worry about anything? God is in all this.”
  • “In a world where we are accustomed to rivalries over possession, authority, and borders, and people clashing over the issue, ‘Ours,’ or ‘Mine, not yours,’ it is rather strange to find two people debating whose the kingdom is not, and asserting: ‘Yours, not mine.’”
  • “It seems to me that we generally do not have a correct measure of our own wisdom.”
  • “You become writer by writing. It is a yoga.”
  • “We are a flawed, weak species, he gently reminds us in these pages, focusing his attention, clearly and without sentiment, on those who will stoop low, those who will stop at nothing. What makes us care for such frequently pathetic characters is that they, like most of the rest of us, are strivers, driven by hopes for a slightly better life.”

R.K Narayan has left us a great deal of knowledge to use and cruise through life. If only we try to understand, grasp and implement - are we going to see a whole new perspective of living in the Indian society.

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