The Bachelor of Arts Novel by R. K. Narayan

 

Image Source: Amazon

Author: R. K. Narayan

Language: English

Genre: Novel


About the Author

R.K Narayan was an Indian writer known for his work set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He was a leading author of early Indian literature in English along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. the second book of a trilogy that begins with Swami and Friends and ends with The English Teacher. It is again set in Malgudi, the fictional town Narayan invented for his novels.


Review

The story is  about Chandran a resident of Malgudi and his life through and post Batchelor of Arts and his love story. The Bachelor of Arts lends itself to a few significant themes: the theme of family relationships, the theme of growing up, the theme of love, the theme of renunciation and the theme of friendship.

The story describes the complex transition of an adolescent mind into adulthood and the heartbreak which a youth faces. It revolves around a young man named Chandran, who resembles an Indian upper middle class youth of the pre-independence era. First, Chandran's college life in late colonial times is described.

The story chronicles the complicated transition of a teenage mind into adulthood and the heartbreak of a young man.  It revolves around a young man named Chandran, who resembles an Indian upper middle class youth of the pre-independence era.  First, Chandran's college life is described in the late colonial period.  

After graduation, he falls in love with a girl, but the bride's parents disapprove of him, as his horoscope describes him as a Manglik, a condition in which a Manglik is only  Can marry another Manglik and if not, the non-Manglik will die.  Malathi, the girl with whom Chandran falls from college.

Chandran is so broken that he moves to Madras and starts living on the streets.  Hungry, disillusioned and full of self-pity, he wanders from place to place.  Further disheartened and despondent, he again sets out on a journey as a sanyasi.  In his travels he meets many people and is even misunderstood as a great saint by some villagers.  

After 8 months he thinks about what went wrong and thinks about his parents.  Due to compulsions and realizations, he decides to return home.  He takes a job as a newsman and decides to get married to please his parents, wondering what trouble he had given them earlier.

After returning, he is still unable to completely get Malathi out of his head and although he tries hard, his pictures and memories haunt him for a long time.  After a long time, his father comes to him with a proposal to marry another girl with Sushila.  Chandran is still skeptical about love and marriage and initially refuses but later decides to see the girl.  When he goes to see the girl, he falls in love with her.

“People pretended that they were friends, when the fact was they were brought together by force of circumstances. The classroom or the club or the office created friendships. When the circumstances changed the relations too snapped.” Doesn’t it give you a thought, an answer, a grip to all the memories you’ve had, people you meet and the reality on the silver line somewhere.

It was a delight reading this master piece by R.K Narayan, it is leaves you at tranquility. The charm is created for the readers, sincerely translated from narrator’s mind.

Scientifically, saturation is inevitable. Chandran returns back home with a vision of starting his life on productivity, transformation into a responsible man. In the midst of labor, hard work and hours of constructing ideas into actuality, it was just his way of coming out of the jolted experience of extreme emotion, realizing the absurdity of life.

 

Why this book:

The Bachelor of Arts lends itself to a few significant themes: the theme of family relationships, the theme of growing up, the theme of love, the theme of renunciation and the theme of friendship. One of Narayan’s earlier books still set in the mystical South Indian town of Malgudi, the novel is mostly a breezy affair though it should appear to be bizarre to the modern readers. Graham Greene’s introduction is charming enough though he seems to get his facts wrong when he alludes to a dubious, even dishonest, horoscope entering the ‘marriage-making’ scene.

My Ratings for this book 9.5/10

You can easily order a copy of it from Amazon - The Bachelor of Arts


Written By - Govinda Kumar

Edited By - Anamika Malik

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