R. K. Narayan is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India.

Early life

Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Aiyar Narainaswamy (Tamil: ராசிபுரம் கிருஷ்ணசுவாமி அய்யர் நாராயணசுவாமி) was born in Madras in 1906. He worked as a teacher and a journalist before venturing into fiction.

His works

His first novel, "Swamy and Friends" was published in 1935, followed by such classics as "Bachelor of Arts", "Mr. Sampat' and "The Guide". In all, he wrote 15 novels, travelogues, autobiography, several essays and short stories. Some of his works were embellished with cartoons by his famous brother, R.K.Laxman.

Mr. Narayan created the enchanted world of Malgudi. His readers knew of the streets, bazaars, neighbourhoods, schools and other institutions of Malgudi as if it were a real town.

He was 94 when he died. Until his very last days, he remained an avid critic of the changes occurring around his Alwarpet apartment in Chennai, and was also a voracious reader.

Style of writing

Narayan was a pioneer of Indo-Anglian writers. He had a style of writing which was all his own. He started writing during an age when writing fiction meant storytelling and there are few people dead or alive who could tell stories the way Narayan did. He told stories of simple folks trying to live their simple lives in a changing world. His characters were ordinary Indians trying to blend tradition with modernisation, resulting in often tragi-comic situations.

Feel of India

One could get a feel of real India, especially South India, through his writings. He wrote in English but his writings conveyed a unique flavour as if he were writing in the native tongue. His style- simple, unpretentious and witty- won him admirers throughout the globe

See also

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