Thursday, 15 June 2017

Indian Writing in English: Revised University Syllabus BA English (Sem 1)



Arrival of East India Company and the associated Impact

The East India Company (also the East India Trading Company, English East IndiaCompany, and then the British East India Company) was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that endedup trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The oldest among severalsimilarly formed European East India Companies, the Company was granted an EnglishRoyal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Tradinginto the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600. After a rival English companychallenged its monopoly in the late 17th century, the two companies were merged in1708 to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies,commonly styled the Honourable East India Company, and abbreviated, HEIC; theCompany was colloquially referred to as John Company, and in India as CompanyBahadur (Hindustani bahādur, "brave"/"authority").The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpetre, tea, and, intoChina, illegal opium. The Company also came to rule large swathes of India, exercisingmilitary power and assuming administrative functions, to the exclusion, gradually, of itscommercial pursuits. Company rule in India, which effectively began in 1757 after theBattle of Plassey, lasted until 1858, when, following the events of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and under the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed directadministration of India in the new British Raj. The Company itself was finally dissolvedon 1 January 1874, as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act.The Company long held a privileged position in relation to the English, and later the British, government. As a result, it was frequently granted special rights and privileges, including trade monopolies and exemptions. These caused resentment among its competitors, who saw unfair advantage in the Company's position. Despite this resentment, the Company remained a powerful force for over 200 years. East Indian company is currently owned by Mr.Sanjiv Mehta, entrepreneur born in Mumbai.
Indian trade links with Europe started in through sea route only after the arrival of Vasco da Gama in Calicut, India on May 20, 1498. The Portuguese had traded in Goa as early as 1510, and later founded three other colonies on the west coast in Diu, Bassein, and Mangalore. In 1601 the East India Company was chartered, and the English began their first inroads into the Indian Ocean. At first they were little interested in India, but rather, like the Portuguese and Dutch before them, with the Spice Islands. But the English were unable to dislodge the Dutch from Spice Islands. In 1610, the British chased away a Portuguese naval squadron, and the East India Company created its own outpost at Surat. This small outpost marked the beginning of a remarkable presence that would last over 300 years and eventually dominate the entire subcontinent. In 1612 British established a trading post in Gujarat. As a result of English disappointments with dislodging the Dutch from the Spice Islands, they turned instead to India. In 1614 Sir Thomas Roe was instructed by James I to visit the court of Jahangir, the Mughal emperor of Hindustan. Sir Thomas was to arrange a commercial treaty and to secure for the East India Company sites for commercial agencies, -"factories" as they were called. Sir Thomas was successful in getting permission from Jahangir for setting up factories. East India Company set up factories at Ahmedabad, Broach and Agra. In 1640 East India Company established an outpost at Madras. In 1661 the company obtained Bombay from Charles II and converted it to a flourishing center of trade by 1668. English settlements rose in Orissa and Bengal. In 1633, in the Mahanadi delta of Hariharpur at Balasore in Orissa, factories were set up. In 1650 Gabriel Boughton an employee of the Company obtained a license for trade in Bengal. An English factory was set up in 1651 at Hugli.  In 1690 Job Charnock established a factory. In 1698 the factory was fortified and called Fort William. The villages of Sutanati, Kalikata and Gobindpore were developed into a single area called Calcutta. Calcutta became a trading center for East India Company. Once in India, the British began to compete with the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the French. Through a combination of outright combat and deft alliances with local princes, the East India Company gained control of all European trade in India by 1769. In 1672 the French established themselves at Pondicherry and stage was set for a rivalry between the British and French for control of Indian trade.
Battle of Plassey - On June 23rd, 1757 at Plassey, between Calcutta and Murshidabad, the forces of the East India Company under Robert Clive met the army of Siraj-ud-Doula, the Nawab of Bengal. Clive had 800 Europeans and 2200 Indians whereas Siraj-ud-doula in his entrenched camp at Plassey was said to have about 50,000 men with a train of heavy artillery. The aspirant to the Nawab's throne, Mir Jafar, was induced to throw in his lot with Clive, and by far the greater number of the Nawab's soldiers were bribed to throw away their weapons, surrender prematurely, and even turn their arms against their own army. Siraj-ud-Doula was defeated. Battle of Plassey marked the first major military success for British East India Company.
Battle of Wandiwash 1760:  From 1744, the French and English fought a series of battles for supremacy in the Carnatic region. In the third Carnatic war, the British East India Company defeated the French forces at the battle of Wandiwash ending almost a century of conflict over supremacy in India. This battle gave the British trading company a far superior position in India compared to the other Europeans.
Battle of Buxar:  In June 1763 under Major Adams British army defeated Mir Kasim the Nawab of Bengal. Though they with a smaller army against Mir Kasim, the English had victories at Katwah, Giria, Sooty, Udaynala and Monghyr. Mir Kasim fled to Patna and took help from NawabShujauddaulah and the Emperor Shah Alam II.  But the English under the General Major Hector Munro at Buxar defeated the confederate army on 22 October, 1764. Mir Kasim fled again fled and died in 1777.  After winning the Battle of Buxar, the British had earned the right to collect land revenue in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. This development set the foundations of British political rule in India. After the victory of the English in Buxar Robert Clive was appointed the governor and commander in chief of the English army in Bengal in 1765. He is claimed as the founder of the British political dominion in India. Robert Clive also brought reforms in the administration of the company and the organization of the army.
Warren Hastings was appointed the Governor of Bengal in 1772. Under the Regulating Act of 1773 passed by British parliament, a Council of four members was appointed, and Warren Hastings (Governor-General 1774-85) was empowered to conduct the Company's affairs with the Council's advice. His task was to consolidate the Company's rule in Bengal. He brought about several administrative and judicial changes. Warren Hasting faced an uphill task in dealing with the Indian rulers. He faced stiff resistance from the Marathas in the north and Hyder Ali in the south. In 1773 he concluded the treaty of Banaras with the Nawab of Avadh appeasing the emperor and getting financial gains thus blocking alliances between the Marathas and the Nawab of Avadh. Under Warren Hastings English army took part in the Rohilla War in 1774 that brought Rohilkhand in the company's jurisdiction.
The First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69)
After the death of the Raja of Mysore in 1760, Hyder Ali, became the ruler of Mysore. He extended his territories by conquering Bednore, Sundra, Sera, Canara and Guti and subjugated the poligars of south India. With easy success in Bengal, the English concluded a treaty with Nizam Ali of Hyderabad and committed the Company to help the Nizam with the troops in his war against Hyder Ali. In 1767, - the Nizam, the Marathas and the English made an alliance against Hyder. But Hyder was brave and diplomatic. He beat the English at their own game by making peace with the Marathas and alluring the Nizam with territorial gains and together with the latter launched an attack on Arcot. The fight continued for a year and half and the British suffered heavy losses. The panic-stricken British had to sue for peace. A treaty was signed on April 4, 1769, on the basis of restitution of each other's territories.
1769–70 there was ‘Great famine in Bengal’ in which nearly 10 million people perished. Later several other famines hit different parts of Indian killing millions of people during East India companies rule. During the period 1772-1785 the territory of the East India Company included Bengal. Bihar, Orissa, Banaras and Ghazipur. It also included the Northern Sarkars, port of Salsette and the harbours of Madras, Bombay and other minor ports. The Mughal territory included Delhi and other surrounding areas. The territory of Avadh, which was autonomous, was bound in an offensive-defensive alliance with the East India Company since 1765. The North Western part of India was under the Sikh clans, who controlled region around the Sultej. The Muslim chiefs ruled in North western Punjab, Multan, Sindh and Kashmir. The Marathas dominated over western India, parts of Central India from Delhi to Hyderabad and Gujarat to Cuttak. The Deccan was ruled by Nizamof  Hyderabad. Hyder Ali ruled over Mysore. Tanjore and Travancore were under the Hindu rulers.
British and Marathas 
First Anglo Maratha war (1775 –1782): Narayan Rao became the fifth Peshwa of the Marathas. Narayan Rao killed by his uncle Raghunath Rao, who declared himself as the Peshwa. The Maratha chieftains under the leadership of Nana Phadnis opposed him. Raghunath Rao sought help from the English. The English agreed to help him and concluded with him the Treaty of Surat on March 7, 1775. According to the treaty the English were to provide 2,500 men and Raghunath was to cede Salsette and Bassein to the English with part of the revenues from Broach and Surat districts.
Maratha army and chiefs proclaimed Madhav Rao Narayan as the Peshwa and on January 9 1779, the British troops met a large Maratha army at Talegon and were defeated. This shattered the prestige of the British so low that they had to enter into a humiliating Treaty of Wadgaon. British had to surrender all the territories acquired by the Company since 1773.
Warren Hastings, the Governor-General, sent a strong force under Colonel Goddard who took possession of Ahmedabad on February 15 and captured Bassein on December 11, 1780. Warren Hastings sent another force against MahadajiSindhia. Captain Popham captured Gwalior on August 3 1780 and on February 16, 1781, General Camac defeated Sindhia at Sipri. These victories increased the prestige of the English, who gained Sindhia as an ally to conclude the the Treaty of Salbai on 17 May 1782. As per this treaty Company recognisedMadhav Rao Narayan as the Peshwa and returned to the Sindhia all his territories west of Yamuna. The treaty of Salbai assured mutual restitution of each other's territories and guaranteed peace for twenty years.
Second Mysore war
In 1780 when the English wanted to attack the French at Mahe, situated on the west coast of Mysore, Hyder Ali did not permit it. Therefore the English declared war against Hyder Ali. Hyder Ali arranged a joint front with the Nizam and the Marathas. In July 1780, Hyder Ali with 80,000 men and 100 guns attacked Carnatic. In October 1780 he captured Arcot, defeating an English army under Colonel Braille. Meanwhile British managed to break the alliance between the Raja of Berar, MahadjiSindhia,  Nizam and Hyder Ali.
Hyder Ali continued the war with the British. But in November 1781, Sir Eyre Coote defeated Hyder Ali at Porto Nova. In January 1782, English captured Trincomali. In 1782, Hyder Ali inflicted a humiliating defeat on the British troops under Colonel Braithwaite. On December 7, 1782, Hyder Ali died. His son Tipu Sultan bravely fought against Britishers. Tipu captured brigadier Mathews, in 1783. Then in November 1783, Colonel Fullarton captured Coimbatore. Tired of the war, the two sides concluded the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784. According to the treaty, both the parties decided to restore each other's conquered territories and free all the prisoners.
Pitt's India Act - 1784 - British Parliament under Pitt’s India Bill of 1784 appointed a Board of Control. It provided for a joint government of the Company (represented by the Directors), and the Crown (represented by the Board of Control). In 1786, trough a supplementary bill, Lord Cornwallis was appointed as the first Governor-General, and he became the effective ruler of British India under the authority of the Board of Control and the Court of Directors.
Third Mysore War - The immediate cause of the war was Tipu's attack on Travancore on December 29, 1789 over aq dispute over Cochin. The Raja of Travancore was entitled to the protection of the English. Thus taking advantage of the situation, the English, making a triple alliance with the Nizams and the Marathas, attacked Tipu Sultan.
The war between Tipu and the alliance lasted for nearly two years. British under Major-General Medows, could not win against Tipu. On January 29, 1791, Cornwallis himself took over the command of the British troops. He captured Bangalore in 1791 and approached Seringapatnam, Tipu's capital. Tipu displayed great skill in defending and his tactics forced Cornwallis to retreat.  Tipu captured Coimbatore on November 3. Lord Cornwallis soon returned and occupied all the forts in his path to Seringapatnam. On February 5, 1792 Cornwallis arrived at Serinapatnam. Tipu had to sue for peace and the Treaty of Seringapatnam concluded in March 1792. The treaty resulted in the surrender of nearly half of the Mysorean territory to the victorious allies. Tipu also had to pay a huge war indemnity of and his two sons were taken as hostages.
Fourth Mysore war - Lord Wellesley became the governor general of India in 1798.  Tipu Sultan tried to secure an alliance with the French against the English in India. Wellesley questioned Tipu’s relationship with the French and attacked Mysore in 1799. The fourth Anglo-Mysore War was of short duration and decisive and ended with Tipu’s death on May 4, 1799  who was killed fighting to save his capital.
Second Anglo-Maratha war, 1803: 
After death of Nana Phadnavis in 1800, there was infighting between Holkar and Sindhia chiefs. The new PeshwaBaji Rao murdered VithujiHolkar, brother of Jaswant Rao Holkar in April 1801. Holkar defeated the combined armies of Sindhias and the Peshwas at Poona and captured the city. The new PeshwaBaji Rao II,  was weak and sought the protection of British through treaty of Bassein in 1802. Baji Rao II was restored to Peshwarship under the protection of the East India Company. However, the treaty was not acceptable to both the Marathas chieftains - the Shindia and Bhosales. This directly resulted in the Second Anglo-Maratha war in 1803.
Sindhia and Bhosale tried to win over Holkar but he did not join them and retired to Malwa and Gaekwad chose to remain neutral. Even at this point of time, the Marathas chiefs were not able to unify themselves and thus the challenge to the authority of the Company brought disasters for both the Sindhias and Bhosales. The war began in August 1803. British under General Wellesley  (brother of Lord Wellesley) defeated Bhosales at Argain on November 29 and the British captured the strong fortress of Gawilgrah on December 15, 1803. In the north, General Lake captured Delhi and Agra. The army of Sindhia was completely destroyed at the battle of Delhi in September and at Laswari in Alwar State in November. The British further won in Gujarat, Budelkhand and Orissa.
By the Treaty of Deogaon signed on December 17, 1803, the Bhosale surrendered to the Company the province of Cuttack and the entire region in the west of the rivers Wards.
Similarly, the Sindhia signed the Treaty of Surji-Arjanaon on December 30, 1803 and ceded to the Company all their territories between the Ganga and the Yamuna. British forces were stationed in the territories of the Sindhia and Bhosale. With these victories Britishers became the dominant power in India.
In 1804 Holkar army successfully defeated British army in Kota and forced them out from Agra. British somehow managed to defend Delhi. However in November 1804 British army managed to defeat a contingent of Holkar army but Holkar again defeated British in Bharatpur in 1805. Ultimately Treaty of Rajpurghat" was signed on December 25, 1805 between Holkar and British.
Third Marataha War (1817-1818):  Marathas were ultimately defeated and Maratha power destroyed by British in several wars during 1817- 1818. Holkar's forces were routed at Mahidpur December 21, 1817 and Baji Rao II, who was trying to consolidate Marathas, finally surrendered in June 1818. British abolished the position of Peshwa and Marathas were limited to the small kingdom of Satara. Thus ended the mighty Maratha power.
Between 1814 to 1826 British had to fight many wars against Gurkhas in the North and Burmese in the North East. After several losses and some gains British signed peace treaties with Gurkhas of Nepal and Burmese. During the period of 1817-1818 British had to fight against non-traditional armies of Pindaris, who used to plunder British territory. British finally managed to crush Pindaris.
During this period in the North West region of Punjab the Sikh power was growing and Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) of Punjab became very powerful. British already had their hands full with problems in different part of India. They were afraid of Ranjit Singh’s power. So in 1838 they made a peace treaty with Ranjit Singh. During the same year there was a big famine in north-west India that killed nearly a million people. But after Ranjit Singh’s death there was infighting amongst Sikhs. British tried to take advantage of this and First Anglo - Sikh war started in 1845. Battle of Mudki and Ferozshah (1845) saw heavy fighting between British and Sikhs. Sikhs were defeated due to the treachery of their generals. The final battle of Sobraon on February 10, 1846 proved decisive where Sikhs again lost due to the betrayal of their generals. The British were able to capture most of India after defeating Sikhs in 1849 in Second Anglo - Sikh War.
The year 1853 stands out to be a landmark year in modern Indian history as the first Railway opened from Bombay to Thane and first Telegraph line from Calcutta to Agra was started. This was one of the first major positive contributions that British made in India. Although the initial purpose of these was to improve the mobility and communication of the British troops but much later they became very useful for common people.
Before 1857 there was nothing much about East India Company except some laws and the take over of the Indian lands. Battle of Plassey was fought in 1757, and Bengal lost. Then in 1764 company won the Battle of Buxar, Bihar. Orissa also got lost. Company got Gangetic plains under them. They then moved towards south to Bombay and Chennai. Anglo-Mysore wars, Anglo-Maratha war both were lost in 1799 and 1818 respectively, giving control to the company of the southern India. They then took over the lands of Punjab, Delhi, Sindh, Kashmir, North West Frontier Province. They took all the major cities of India under their control and most of India by 1857 and then handed over to the Queen of England to rule over. So the role of the East India Company was to gain control over the India's land and pass over the control.

In 1773, Company made Kolkata, then Calcutta its capital. Opium trading was the major trade of the Company. New Revenue laws, zamidari system was introduced. They created courts, canal, railways, post offices and telegraph offices. Their major contribution was the English education schools. Economy was quite good till then. After the rule hand over condition got bad to worse.
History of Indian writing in English
English language public instruction began in India in the 1830s during the rule of the East India Company (India was then, and is today, one of the most linguistically diverse regions of the world. In 1835, English replaced Persian as the official language of the Company. Lord Macaulay played a major role in introducing English and western concepts to education in India. He supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as the medium of instruction in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, primary-, middle-, and high-schools were opened in many districts of British India, with most high schools offering English language instruction in some subjects. In 1857, just before the end of Company rule, universities modelled on the University of London and using English as the medium of instruction were established in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. During subsequent Crown Rule in India, or the British Raj, lasting from 1858 to 1947, English language penetration increased throughout India. This was driven in part by the gradually increasing hiring of Indians in the civil services. At the time of India's independence in 1947, English was the only functional lingua franca in the country.
After Indian Independence in 1947, Hindi was declared the first official language, and attempts were made to declare Hindi the sole national language of India. Due to protests from Tamil Nadu and other non-Hindi-speaking states, it was decided to temporarily retain English for official purposes until at least 1965. By the end of this period, however, opposition from non-Hindi states was still too strong to have Hindi declared the sole language. With this in mind, the English Language Amendment Bill declared English to be an associate language "until such time as all non-Hindi States had agreed to its being dropped." This hasn't yet occurred, and it is still widely used. For instance, it is the only reliable means of day-to-day communication between the central government and the non-Hindi states. The view of the English language among many Indians has gone from associating it with colonialism to associating it with economic progress, and English continues to be an official language of India. While there is an assumption that English is readily available in India, available studies show that its usage is actually restricted to an elite, because of inadequate education to large parts of the Indian population. The use of outdated teaching methods and the poor grasp of English exhibited by the authors of many guidebooks, disadvantage students who rely on these books.
Indian English Literature has a relatively recent history, being only one and a half centuries old. The first book written by an Indian in English was Travels of Dean Mahomet, a travel narrative by Sake Dean Mahomet published in England in 1793. In its early stages, IEL was influenced by the Western novel. Early Indian writers used English unadulterated by Indian words to convey an experience which was essentially Indian. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838–1894) wrote Rajmohan's Wife and published it in 1864; it is the first Indian novel written in English. Raja Rao (1908–2006), Indian philosopher and writer, authored Kanthapura and The Serpent and the Rope, which are Indian in terms of their storytelling qualities. Kisari Mohan Ganguli translated the Mahabharata into English, the only time the epic has ever been translated in its entirety into a European language. Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) wrote in Bengali and English and was responsible for the translations of his own work into English. Dhan Gopal Mukerji (1890–1936) was the first Indian author to win a literary award in the United States. Nirad C. Chaudhuri (1897–1999), a writer of non-fiction, is best known for his The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian (1951), in which he relates his life experiences and influences. P. Lal (1929–2010), a poet, translator, publisher and essayist, founded a press in the 1950s for Indian English writing, Writers Workshop. Ram NathKak (1917–1993), a Kashmiri veterinarian, wrote his autobiography Autumn Leaves, which is one of the most vivid portraits of life in 20th century Kashmir and has become a sort of a classic.
Among the later writers, the most notable is Salman Rushdie, born in India, now living in the USA. Rushdie with his famous work Midnight's Children (Booker Prize 1981, Booker of Bookers 1992, and Best of the Bookers 2008) ushered in a new trend of writing. He used a hybrid language – English generously peppered with Indian terms – to convey a theme that could be seen as representing the vast canvas of India. He is usually categorised under the magic realism mode of writing most famously associated with Gabriel GarcíaMárquez. Nayantara Sehgal was one of the first female Indian writers in English to receive wide recognition. Her fiction deals with India's elite responding to the crises engendered by political change. She was awarded the 1986 SahityaAkademi Award for English, for her novel, Rich Like Us (1985), by the SahityaAkademi, India's National Academy of Letters. Anita Desai, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times, received a SahityaAkademi Award in 1978 for her novel Fire on the Mountain and a British Guardian Prize for The Village by the Sea. Her daughter Kiran Desai won the 2006 Man Booker Prize for her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss. Ruskin Bond received SahityaAkademy Award for his collection of short stories Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra in 1992. He is also the author of a historical novel A Flight of Pigeons, which is based on an episode during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Salman Rushdie
Vikram Seth, author of The Golden Gate (1986) and A Suitable Boy (1994) is a writer who uses a purer English and more realistic themes. Being a self-confessed fan of Jane Austen, his attention is on the story, its details and its twists and turns.Vikram Seth is notable both as an accomplished novelist and poet. Vikram Seth's outstanding achievement as a versatile and prolific poet remains largely and unfairly neglected.
Another writer who has contributed immensely to the India English Literature is Amitav Ghosh who is the author of The Circle of Reason (his 1986 debut novel), The Shadow Lines (1988), The Calcutta Chromosome (1995), The Glass Palace (2000), The Hungry Tide (2004), and Sea of Poppies (2008), the first volume of The Ibis trilogy, set in the 1830s, just before the Opium War, which encapsulates the colonial history of the East. Ghosh's latest work of fiction is River of Smoke (2011), the second volume of The Ibis trilogy.
Rohinton Mistry is an India born Canadian author who is a Neustadt International Prize for Literature laureate (2012). His first book Tales from FirozshaBaag (1987) published by Penguin Books Canada is a collection of 11 short stories. His novels Such a Long Journey (1991) and A Fine Balance (1995)earned him great acclaim.
Shashi Tharoor, in his The Great Indian Novel (1989), follows a story-telling (though in a satirical) mode as in the Mahabharata drawing his ideas by going back and forth in time. His work as UN official living outside India has given him a vantage point that helps construct an objective Indianness. Vikram Chandra is another author who shuffles between India and the United States and has received critical acclaim for his first novel Red Earth and Pouring Rain (1995) and collection of short stories Love and Longing in Bombay (1997). His namesake Vikram A. Chandra is a renowned journalist and the author of The Srinagar Conspiracy (2000). Suketu Mehta is another writer currently based in the United States who authored Maximum City (2004), an autobiographical account of his experiences in the city of Mumbai. In 2008, Arvind Adiga received the Man Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tiger.
Recent writers in India such as Arundhati Roy and David Davidar show a direction towards contextuality and rootedness in their works. Arundhati Roy, a trained architect and the 1997 Booker prize winner for her The God of Small Things, calls herself a "home grown" writer. Her award winning book is set in the immensely physical landscape of Kerala. Davidar sets his The House of Blue Mangoes in Southern Tamil Nadu. In both the books, geography and politics are integral to the narrative. In his novel Lament of Mohini (2000), Shreekumar Varma touches upon the unique matriarchal system and the sammandham system of marriage as he writes about the Namboodiris and the aristocrats of Kerala. Similarly, Arnab Jan Deka, a trained engineer and jurist, writes about both physical and ethereal existentialism on the banks of the mighty river Brahmaputra, and his co-authored book of poetry with British poet-novelist Tess Joyce appropriately titled A Stanza of Sunlight on the Banks of Brahmaputra(1983) published from both India and Britain(2009) which is set under this backdrop evokes the spirit of flowing nature of life. His most recent book Brahmaputra and Beyond : Linking Assam to the World(2015) made a conscious effort to connect to a world divided by racial, geographic, linguistic, cultural and political prejudices. His highly acclaimed short story collection The Mexican Sweetheart & other stories(2002) was another landmark book of this genre. JahnaviBarua, a Bangalore based author from Assam has set her critically acclaimed collection of short stories Next Door on the social scenario in Assam with insurgency as the background.

The stories and novels of RatanLalBasu reflect the conditions of tribal people and hill people of West Bengal and the adjacent states of Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal. Many of his short stories reflect the political turmoil of West Bengal since the Naxalite movement of the 1970s. Many of his stories like ‘Blue Are the Far Off Mountains’, ‘The First Rain’ and ‘the Magic Marble’ glorify purity of love. His novel ‘Oraon and the Divine Tree’ is the story of a tribal and his love for an age old tree. In Hemingway style language the author takes the reader into the dreamland of nature and people who are inexorably associated with nature.
R. K. Narayan (1906–2001) contributed over many decades and continued to write till his death. He was discovered by Graham Greene in the sense that the latter helped him find a publisher in England. Greene and Narayan remained close friends till the end. Similar to the way Thomas Hardy used Wessex, Narayan created the fictitious town of Malgudi where he set his novels. Some criticise Narayan for the parochial, detached and closed world that he created in the face of the changing conditions in India at the times in which the stories are set. Others, such as Greene, however, feel that through Malgudi they could vividly understand the Indian experience. Narayan's evocation of small town life and its experiences through the eyes of the endearing child protagonist Swaminathan in Swami and Friends is a good sample of his writing style. Simultaneous with Narayan's pastoral idylls, a very different writer, Mulk Raj Anand (1905–2004), was similarly gaining recognition for his writing set in rural India, but his stories were harsher, and engaged, sometimes brutally, with divisions of caste, class and religion. According to writer Lakshmi Holmström, "The writers of the 1930s were fortunate because after many years of use, English had become an Indian language used widely and at different levels of society, and therefore they could experiment more boldly and from a more secure position." Kamala Markandeya is an early writer in IEL who has often grouped with the trinity of R.K. Narayan, Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. The contributions of Manoj Das and Manohar Malgoankar to growth of IEL largely remains unacknowledged.
Nativisation of English
By nativizing the English language, Indian English novelists have created their own language to affirm their own distinct identity. The term nativization of a language can be defined as re-defining the language in one's own linguistic and cultural framework. It is a process of accumulation of new words and meanings to suit the social and cultural requirements. It is a known fact that language change over time and place. English used in environments different from its origin, would adjust and change to suit its new environment. The growth of English in India in all possible genres acknowledges the fact that it has changed and adjusted to suit its Indian environment. Nativization expanded the language, moulded and refashioned it so much so that after all this time it has its own identity and place in the linguistic world. It's very interesting to note that this new variety of English that has passed through the phases of imitation, adaptation and innovation is not only confined to and being used by Indians, it has also entered the lexicon of the so-called native speakers. Indians contributed to the evolution and expansion of this malleable and user-friendly language. The transplantation of English in the fertile soil of India yielded fruits of fresh flavor and taste. The Indian rich soil lent to the language what it had in it as a result of witnessing passage of an ancient civilization and its exploits since the pre-historic times. English mingled with other Indian languages and resulted in a new and distinct variety.
Nativisation of English in India has remained to be a much discussed topic even after, several years of independence. Many critics and writers have expressed their views on the nativisation process in India which has resulted into a new variety of English—distinct in form and content. It has certainly helped in asserting Indian identity in world literature. English language has been redefined by the Indian English writers and used in typical Indian socio-cultural context. The term nativisation has been described variously as acculturization (Stanlaw 1982) Indigenization (Richards 1982) or hybridization of a language in a non native socio cultural context. The term is used to describe the divergence of varieties of language from a parent source (Kachru 1982). In the context of English, the term nativisation refers to the changes which English has undergone as a result of its contact with languages in diverse cultural and geographical setting in the peripheral circle of English. The process of nativisation in English is responsible for deviations in the new varieties of English raising various types of linguistic and sociolinguistic issues. Nativization can be defined as a process whereby a language gains native speakers' This happens necessarily where a second language used by adult parents becomes the native language of their children. Nativisation has been of particular interest to linguists. The process of nativisation is due to the transfer from local language as well as to the new cultural environment and communicative needs (Saghal 1991: 300). Because of deep social penetration and the extended range of functions of English in diverse sociolinguistic contexts there are several varieties, localized registers and genres for articulating local social, cultural and religious identities (Kachru 1997:69). Also, factors such as the absence of a native group, inadequate teaching and acquisitional limitations (e.g. lack of exposure and facilities, learning under compulsion) contribute to the process of nativisation. (Saghal 1991:300). Scholars (such as Kachru, Halverson, Verma, Mehrotra and Sridhar) have all concluded that the Indian varieties of English are being nativised by acquiring new identities in new socio-cultural contexts. They have emerged as autonomous local varieties with their own set of rules that make it impossible to treat them simply as mistakes of deficient Englishes (Kandiah 1991: 275). Indian English (IE) has developed to a more distinctive level than in other countries where English is used as a second language (Crystal 1988: 258). English in India has evolved characteristic features at the phonological, lexical, syntactic and even at discourse level. Initially, these innovations were rejected by purists, but they are becoming increasingly accepted: English is not anymore treated as a foreign language; it is part of the cultural identity of India.
Introduction of English studies in India (Macaulay’s Speech)
Western education was spreading fast in different parts of Indian and was doing much better than the institutions imparting oriental education. The Orientalists and the Anglicists continued to wrangle but it was quite evident that the former were steadily losing ground, till finally, Macaulay's celebrated Minute settled the issue. He declared that it was both necessary and possible "to make the natives of his country good English scholars". On 7th March, 1885, Lord William Bentinck resolved, "the great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of European Literature and science among the natives of India".

Macaulay's Minutes
By the turn of the century, the imperialists believed in giving English education to the Indians. There was a pressing need for Indian clerks, translators and lower officials in administration and knowledge of English was essential for these jobs. Before the close of the eighteenth century, missionaries came to Indian for spreading the "word of Christ" among the native Indians. A large number of missionary schools imparting English education were set up by the early 1800's. The Orientalists opposed the project of importing English education in India.
Lord Macaulay who is called the Father of English education, asserted in the House of Commons a year before he sailed to India; "To trade with civilized men is infinitely more profitable than to govern savages". The civilized subject of Macaulay's imagination was not the slave who performed his salaams to the British officer, but "the English educated gentleman using English tapestry and English cutlery, the man who valued English manufactures and spoke the English language". In 1835, as a law officer to the Supreme Council, he drafted a document which came to be known as "Macaulay's Minute on Education". The process of producing English-knowing bilinguals in India began with the Minute of 1835, which officially endorsed T.B. Macaulay's goal of forming "a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern—a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals and in intellect".
According to Kachru, the far reaching Minute was highly controversial because of disagreement about whether it was correct to impose an alien language on Indians or not. The Orientalists expressed their disagreement in a note dated 15 February 1835, but they could not stop it from passing and had to give way. On 7 March 1835, the Minute received a Seal of Approval from Lord William Bentinck, and an official resolution on Macaulay's Minute was passed. This resolution "formed the cornerstone of the implementation of a language policy" in India.

Indian Diasporic writers
Writers of Indian Diaspora are at the centre stage since last decade because of their capturing works. Indian Diaspora occupies second largest place in the world. The population of Diaspora is approximately 25 million, who settled whole notable regions of the world. Indian immigrants in the overseas are for various reasons like free trade, better standards of life and earning. Diasporic or immigrant writing occupies a great place of significance between cultures and countries. Writings Diaspora benefits many ways and a powerful web connects the entire globe. The foremost characteristic features of diaspora writings involve the quest for identity, nostalgia, familial and marital relationships apart from re-rooting, uprooting, multi-cultural milieu etc. Bharati Mukherjee is an Indo American writer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She wrote numerous works that cover both fiction and non-fiction. Mukherjee has gone to the extent of contemplating herself as an American writer and not a migrant writer. Her works include novels, short story collections, and one memoir non-fiction. She has won National Book Critics Circle Award in 1988 for ‘The Middle and other stories’. Her other works are ‘Jasmine and Wife’. The Middle Man and other stories present the theme of immigration while Jasmine is the story of woman who is reluctant to accept the outdated traditional society. The collection of stories Darkness (1985) focusses the immigrant experience in the USA. In the novel Dimple Das Gupta who dreams to marry a neuro surgeon, had to marry according to the wish of her father and she couldn’t adapt herself to the real life situations. Shauna Singh Baldwin is the Indo-Canadian Diasporic writer. She is the author of two short story collections ‘we are not in Pakistan’ and ‘English Lessons and other stories’. Her stories in the short story collections have been published in various literary magazines. The setting of the novel What the Body reminds the partition theme and revolves mainly around three characters Roop, second wife of Sardarji, infertile first wife and Sardarji whoalways struggle for his identity. This book bagged Commonwealth Writers Prize for the best book from the region of Caribbean and also long listed for the Orange Prize in fiction. JhumpaLahiri was born to Indian parents from London, who settled in the USA after her birth. Lahiri’s debut collection of short stories ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ (1999) brought laurels to her by clenching Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In her first novel ‘The Namesake’ and her short story collections, she is successful in presenting discontentment at the core in the families she portrays. Her ‘Low Land’ is the story of blood relationship that was brutally spoiled by politics, which got shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. AnjanaAppachana is a novelist of Indian origin who lives in the United States. She has written a book of short stories titled ‘Incantations’ and a novel titled Listening Now is a novelist of Indian origin who lives in the United States. Her debut work ‘Incantations and Other Stories’ was first published in England, in United States and was translated into German language. AnjanaAppachana is the recipient of O.Henry Festival Prize and National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowship. Her first novel ‘Listening Now’ based on the themes of female bonding, female sexuality and mother-child relations relationships spans three generations in a narrative that is not sequential, elliptical. The novel is written in English, but we find nativity in the rhythms of the language and the metaphors Anita Nair is an English Language writer of India. Nair, who hailed from a small village of Kerala was educated in Chennai. Her ‘Satyr of the Subway’, a collection of short stories won her a fellowship from Virginia. Nair’s novels The Better Man and Ladies Coupe were translated into 21 collections. Her ‘Ladies coupe’ is about a middle aged Indian unmarried woman on her journey of selfdiscovery. The theme of the story is based on a one way train journey which transforms the life and changes the protagonist into a new woman. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is poet, essayist, author, fiction and short story writer, book reviewer. She is an Indo American poet. Her short story collection Arranged Marriage and other Stories brought her the credit of winning the American Book Award in 1995. Her works are largely set in the United States as well as in India. Her focus sometimes is on the experiences of South Asian migrants. ManjulaPadmanabhan is a playwright, journalist, comic strip artist, an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She was born in India and grew up in Sweden, Pakistan and Trinidad. Her play Harvest was selected for the Onassis Prize in 1997 out of 1470 and bagged the prize. Marginalization and separation are the themes of her writings. Her semi-autobiographical work ‘Getting There’ depicts the plight of young woman illustrator in Bombay. Anita Rao Badami is a writer of South Asia who settled in Canada. Her novels handle with intricacies of Indian family life, cultural gap that is encountered by the immigrants who settle in the west. The Hero’s Walk was placed on the top five finalists for CBC Canada Reads Competition. The book, ‘The Hero’s Walk’ describes the problems in the family life and at last how peace evolved in the family. V.S.Naipaul a Nobel Laureate belongs to Trinidad born in a Hindu Brahmin family. Writer of Indian descent, popular for pessimistic themes. In the novel ‘Area of Darkness’ he focusses on the post-Independence problems like poverty, caste system, neglected areas ofsanitation and segregation by society. In ‘A House for Mr Biswas’, Naipaul presents the sorry state of protagonist having house on his own. ‘The Mimic Men’ criticises the newly liberated countries and individual’s sense of identity. Kamala Markandeya born in Mysore belongs to a Hindu family. She is not only a writer but journalist and activist too. Her marriage to English man, made her settle in London. During intervals, she used to make visits to India. Her ten novels are ‘A Silence of Desire’, ‘The Nowhere Man’, ‘The Coffer Dams’, ‘A Handful of Rice’, ‘Possession’, ‘Two Virgins’, ‘The Pleasure city/Shalimar in the American Edition’ and ‘The Golden Honey Comb’. Her novel ‘Nectar in a Sieve’ is translated into more than dozen languages with the theme, the pathetic plight of a poor peasant. Markandeya is ahead of twenty years in predicting the diasporic experiences in her work ‘The Nowhere Man’. Anita Desai is an Indian writer and professor of Humanities at Massachusetts. Her name was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times. Desai’s novel, ‘Fire on the Mountain’ won Sahitya Academy Award in the year 1978. Her works mainly focus on family in particular, matters about women. Clear light of the day presents the importance of family life. In the work Custody, she describes the problem of alienation of college teacher from his deep rooted culture. Anita is expert in handling literary technique, the stream of consciousness in the novel Cry the peacock. In another novel ‘Bye Bye Black Bird’, she deals with the problem of adaptability; the theme of the story revolves around the three characters Adit, Dev. and Sarah. Salman Rushdie was born in India and studied at Cambridge in England. He is popularly known for his controversial works. His ‘Satanic Verses’ was published amid controversy and violence. It has been banned in various countries. Death sentence was proclaimed against him by the then President of Pakistan. His themes are innovative and about migration and spiritual alienation. MeeraSayal was born and brought up in an immigrant Punjabi family in England. MeeraSayal MBE is a British Indian comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist and actress. Her Punjabi-born parents came to Britain from New Delhi and she has risen to prominence as one of the most UK's best-known Indian personalities. She was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours List of 1997. In ‘The House of Hidden Mothers’, MeeraSayal, as an accomplished novelist, takes on the timely but under explored issue of India's booming surrogacy industry. Western couple pays a young woman to have their child and then fly home with a baby, an easy narrative that ignores the complex emotions involved in carrying a child. Shyama, a forty-eight-year-old London divorcée, already has an unruly teenage daughter, but that doesn't stop her and her younger lover, Toby, from begetting a child together. Their relationship may look like a cliché. But despite the news from her doctor that she no longer has any viable eggs, Shyama's unfair pair is not ready to give up their dream of having a baby. So they decide to find an Indian surrogate to carry their child, which is how they meet Mala, a young woman trapped in an oppressive marriage in a small Indian town from which she's desperate to escape. But as the pregnancy progresses, they discover that their simple arrangement may be far more complicated than it seemed.
Meena Alexander is an internationally acclaimed poet, writer and scholar. Born in Allahabad, India and brought up in India and Sudan. At present she lives in New York City. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, essays, and works of fiction, literary memoirs and literary criticism. Her novel ‘Nampally Road’ published in the year 1999 is haunting and lyrical. The novel Nampally Road brightly portrays contemporary India a woman’s struggle to cut together her past. In the middle of the novel she becomes the victim of the gang rape by the police. The people in that place rise up and burn the police station. The incidents in the novel resemble the recent tragic events in Delhi. Amit Chaudari belongs to a new group of writers whose roots trace back to the post emergency period in India. Setting in his works is in India and in England. His themes are not revolutionary and turbulent but deals with city life servants, Indian culture and family life. Themes are close to diasporic experiences. His major works are ‘A Strange and sublime Address’ (1991), ‘Afternoon Raag’ (1993) ‘Freedom Song’ (1998), ‘A New World and Real Time’ (2002) Vikram Seth became world famous through his novel ‘A Suitable Boy’. Setting of the novel is in a late post-independent India. The theme of the story is social and financial issues; a Hindu Mother who searches a suitable son in law for her daughter. It highlights the issues like land rights, inter religious marriages and identity crisis in sections. This novel is frequently compared to Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ by critics and reviewers. Kiran Desai is an Indian author. Her novel ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ won the 2006 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award, is one of the most highly praised Indian writers of second generation. She grew up in India, the U.K. and the U.S.A. where she has settled down. Her debut novel, ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’ published has praised so much for its subtle portrayal of India. ‘The Inheritance of loss’ eclipsed the first novel. This book won the Man Booker Prize in the year 2006 and received The National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award in the year 2007. Themes include post-colonialism and globalization as they relate to a modern India. It is considered a master piece of Indian literature in 21st century. This extraordinary novel, long listed for the Man Booker prize and produces a strange effect. It is a lengthy novel that stretches from India to New York; an ambitious novel that reaches into the lives of the middle class and the very poor; an exuberantly written novel that blends colloquial and more literary styles; and yet it communicates nothing so much as how impossible it is to live a big, ambitious, exuberant life. Everything about it dramatizes the fact that although we live in this mixed-up, messy, globalised world, for many people the dominant response is fear of change, based on a deep desire for security. Sunetra Gupta Bengali born settled in London, who spent her childhood in Ethiopia, Zambia and Liberia. Her debut novel ‘Memories of Rain’ published in 1992 won her Sahitya Academy Award in 1996. Her works mainly present stream of consciousness style entering on the interior monologues of the characters. Her writings reflect cultures, histories and human understanding and considerations. Her fiction moves the central preoccupation of diasporic writings from the crisis of uniqueness to the mapping of a process of experience and feeling.
In ‘Memories of Rain’, plot from beginning to the end is concentrated within the span of a single day. On that day, Moni, an Indian woman who had come to England after having married the English Anthony, decides to leave her untrustworthy husband and returns to India with her daughter. The association between Moni and Anthony presents regular paraphernalia of cross-cultural differences and racism, with the responsibility of ‘originality’ reversed and applied implicitly to cold England. However, writing is not something that we encounter everyday: almost no period as the prose seems to mimic the rain, sometimes it’s a downpour like when Anthony and Moni meet and fall in love. Sometimes, it is light like when Moni is feeding the doves in England and putting water in the bird bath and she remembers her grandmother’s words.
The list of Diaspora writers is very lengthy and elaborative. The roots of Diaspora spreading from time to time had been representing their home land culture and their nostalgia through their works. The readers of such literature sporadically experience different and relatively unpalatable trends of life in alien lands. At times, they even identify themselves with protagonists and other influential characters in the works. The fundamental element and innate soul in ordinary Indian families under no circumstances are eclipsed by almost all writers. The indissoluble attachment to one’s ground and roots is the common under current in all works

"The World Community" - Dr.S.Radhakrishnan
“The World Community” by Dr.S.Radhakrishnan is a plea to the great powers of the world to unite under a single umbrella, namely, a world federal government. To achieve this, he enumerates on the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and wars. According to him, world peace is not a dream in a shrinking world. It is a necessity, an essential condition for the survival of the human race. For this, a world federal government is the way out; with powers limited to establishing and maintaining law and order among the nations of the world.

Wars – An Illegitimate Instrument of Politics:
In World War I, of the ten million people who were killed, 95 per cent were soldiers and five per cent were civilians. In World War II, of the fifty million people who were killed, 52 per cent were soldiers and 48 per cent were civilians. In the Korean War, of the nine million killed, 84 per cent were civilians and 16 per cent soldiers. Thus, war has degenerated into mass murder of the defenceless, women and children. It has become an illegitimate instrument of politics.

Dangers Posed by Nuclear Weapons:
Nuclear developments have given enough power to the great countries to annihilate the human race many times over. Politicians have become indifferent to this growing danger. The apathy and indifference among the masses have resulted in a creeping paralysis of the people. The building of nuclear armaments means, the destruction of cities, the ruin of countries, the suffering of millions of human beings and the demoralisation of the world. There is no protection from nuclear weapons through shelters or emergency regulations.

Alternatives for the Military Methods:
In a world, where peace is becoming more and more precarious, the great powers have a special responsibility. William James in a famous essay on “The Moral Equivalent of War” proposed a ‘substitute for war’s disciplinary functions’. It is necessary that we devise alternatives for the military methods. Issues which were hitherto decided through wars should hereafter be decided by peaceful means. In political life, we cannot exclude conflicts altogether.
These have to be settled by a world organisation, an international authority. Kant, in his essay on “Perpetual Peace”, suggested a group of states’. Observing minimal rights of civilised behaviour. He proposed a notion of world citizenship without the support of an overall sovereignty. World control by a single authority is an illusion. A federal solution is the way out, a world community which substitutes the processes of law for armed conflicts. Dharma, in Indian thought means a gathering in, a binding together, integration; adharma, its opposite, is a scattering out, a falling away, disintegration. Thus, a world federal government capable of establishing and maintaining law and order among the nations of the world is a practical way of achieving just and lasting peace.

Pre-requisites for a World Community:
For a world authority to be effective, a world understanding is necessary. We should work for a world community, for, the alternatives are chaos or world tyranny. The Hammurabi code of the Babylonians, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead contain suggestions of the Ten Commandments of the Israelites. One of them reads, “Thou shalt not oppress the stranger for ye were once strangers in Egypt”. Alexander looked upon the whole inhabited world as his fatherland. All good men are of this world; the wicked are the aliens. Ashoka, Harsha, and Akbar represent this view of life. By continually dwelling on the selfishness of others, we ourselves become more selfish. Not by accusing others do we get out of our selfishness, but by purifying ourselves.
Jesus could not accept the primitive morality of an ‘eye for an eye’. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Return good for evil. Bless those that curse you’, he said. Professor Max Mueller, who did a great deal for the interpretation of Indian religion to the Western world said that the aim of human existence was a world community. The real force working for world unity is man’s inborn compassion for others. 

Unit III: Poetry

                                                                       SRI AUROBINDO GHOSH

Brilliant, crouching, slouching, what crept through the green heart of the forest,
Gleaming eyes and mighty chest and soft soundless paws of grandeur and murder?
The wind slipped through the leaves as if afraid lest its voice and the noise of its steps perturb the pitiless Splendour,
Hardly daring to breathe. But the great beast crouched and crept, and crept and crouched a last time, noiseless, fatal,
Till suddenly death leaped on the beautiful wild deer as it drank
Unsuspecting from the great pool in the forest's coolness and shadow,
And it fell and, torn, died remembering its mate left sole in the deep woodland, -
Destroyed, the mild harmless beauty by the strong cruel beauty in Nature.
But a day may yet come when the tiger crouches and leaps no more in the dangerous heart of the forest,
As the mammoth shakes no more the plains of Asia;
Still then shall the beautiful wild deer drink from the coolness of great pools in the leaves’ shadow.
The mighty perish in their might;
The slain survive the slayer.

                                      SAROJINI NAIDU
O I am tired of painted roofs and soft and silken floors,
And long for wind-blown canopies of crimson gulmohars!

O I am tired of strife and song and festivals and fame,
And long to fly where cassia-woods are breaking into flame.

Love, come with me where koels all from flowering glade and glen,
Far from the toil and weariness, the praise and prayers of men.

O let us fling all care away, and lie alone and dream
‘Neath tangled boughs of tamarind and molsari and neem!

And bind our brows with jasmine sprays and play on carven flutes,
To wake the slumbering serpent-kings among the banyan roots.

And roam at fall of eventide along the river’s brink,
And bathe in water-lily pools where golden panthers drink!

You and I together, Love, in the deep blossoming woods
Engirt with love-voiced silences and gleaming solitudes.

Companions of the lustrous dawn, gay comrades of the night,
Like Krishna and like Radhika, encompassed with delight.

Nissim Ezekiel
Always, in the sun’s eye,
Here among the beggars,
Hawkers, pavement sleepers,
Hutment dwellers,slums,
Dead souls of men and gods,
Burnt-out mothers, frightened
Virgins, wasted child
And tortured animal,
All in noisy silence
Suffering the place and time,
I ride my elephant of thought,
A Cezanne slung around my neck.

The Roman Catholic Goan boys
The whitewashed Anglo- Indian boys
The musclebound Islamic boys
Were earnest in their prayers.

They copied , bullied, stole in pairs
They bragged about their love affairs
They carved the table broke the chairs
But never missed their prayers.

The Roman Catholic Goan boys
Confessed their solitary joys
Confessed their games with high- heeled toys
And hastened to the prayers.

The Anglo – Indian gentlemen
Drank whisky in some jewish den
With Muslims slowly creeping in
Before or after prayers.

To celebrate the year’s end:
men in grey or black,
women,bosom semi-bare,
twenty –three of us in all,
six nations represented.

The wives of India sit apart.
They do not drink,
They do not talk,
of course, they do not kiss.
The men are quite at home
among the foreign styles
(what fun the flirting is!)
I myself,decorously,
press a thigh or two in sly innocence.
The party is a great success.

Then someone says:we can’t
enjoy it, somehow, don’t you think?
The atmosphere corrupt,
and look at our wooden wives….
I take him out to get some air.

This, she said to herself
As  she sat at table
With the English boss,
Is IT. This is the promise:
The long evenings
In the large apartment

 Arun Kolatkar

Look, look
Just look at them.
The crabs
There are two of them.

They’re keeping watch.
On whom, you ask?
On you of course,
who else?

See how they’re looking?
Looking at you,
And you’ll never catch them blink either.

One on this side.
One on the other.
At an angle of a hundred and sixty degrees
to your left and to your right.

They’re going to eat your eyes.
That scare you?
It needn’t, you know.
It’s not as if they’re going to start eating right away.

No. But one of these days.
Tomorrow? Who knows?
If not tomorrow, then the day after.

Or ten years from now, who can tell?

They’re in no hurry.
They have plenty of time.
And they can live without food
for a long time, you know.

Look this way,
Don’t turn your head.
Just move your eyeballs.

Do you see a crab there?
Not the whole crab, may be,
not yet,
but you did see something move?

Now look the other way.
No, no. Not the whole head.
 Just move your eyeballs
like I said.

All you can see for now
Is just the pincers may be,
But you’ll see,
You’ll see the whole crab yet.

And you’ll see it clearly.
They’re only doing their job of course,
but patience
is one thing you should learn from them.

The crabs belong to you,
and to you alone.
They  have no interest in eating
somebody else’s eyes.

They came out of your head.
Where else did you think they came from?
But how they’ve grown.
Look at them now,

Big fat crabs.
They’ve been playing a waiting game
ever since they emerged
from your head.

They’ll come for your eyes
any time you say.
Sometimes I think they’re just waiting
for your permission.

All you have to do is give the word.
And once they’ve eaten your eyes,
their job is done.
You’ll never see them again.

              VIKRAM SETH

Evening is the best time for wheat.
Toads croak.
Children ride buffaloes home for supper.
The last loads are shoulder- borne.
Squares light up
And the wheat sags with a late gold.
There on the other side of the raised path
Is the untransplanted emerald rice.
But it is the wheat I watch, the still dark gold
With maybe a pig that has strayed from the brigade
Enjoying a few soft ears.


Outside they were flashing streamers.
But straying indoors like wavering lanterns
Into widening shadows thrown by excited
Nets of caps and blazers, we caged them
In grass- crammed bottles, the tops
Punctured for air, and watched them
Stare like luminous dials..

I had imagined burning crystals
Or tips of emerald embers,
But found a softer substance-
Soon dimming- the insects, worried
By coarse hands, the walls of glass
Baffling their tiny wings,
Wilted to lifeless specks.

I had felt nothing then.
Only a small pang for the loss
Of a schoolboy’s ornament, But now,
Travelling my daily groove
In the hunt for food and habitat
I remember their trapped blank lights.


Dance like a man
- Mahesh Dattani
Critical Analysis of Mahesh Dattani’s play 'Dance like a man'

 Mahesh Dattani, an authentic contemporary voice, a director, playwright, producer, was born on 7th August, 1958 in Bangalore where he later founded his theatre group 'Playpen’ in 1984 and where many of his settings are constructed; for example, Bravely Fought the Queen is set in the „suburb of Bangalore and the Patels in Tara are from Bangalore. He is an intellectually stimulating Sahitya Academy Winner . Dattani‟s playscript casts its focus and locus entirely on the urban space, specifically rooted in the dynamics of domestic space. Environmental sustainability of the cities like Bangalore or Mumbai in his plays are the symbolic tropes and modes of economic power that can be categorized as the material element for discussing the issue of citizenship that “raise(s) questions around notions of equality and rights, issues of individual, group and community rights, active and passive citizenship and the relationship between, and relative primacy of, rights and duties” (Mallick 131).  There is proper blending of Western intellectual consciousness and

Indian theatrical techniques in his plays. He himself comments on the relevance of Indian theatre:
‘There is going to be a good positive development because as we
get into the internet age which isolates human beings, the act of
communication will be a premium. Theatre is our cultural activity
directly related to human beings’ communication with each other’
(Qtd in Chaudhuri 23).


The play Dance Like a Man, a stage play in two acts, is one of the most wonderful dramatic creations of Mahesh Dattani. It tells the story of three generations; their personal ambitions, sacrifices, struggle, compromises, internal conflicts and the way they try to cope up with the life; and mainly focuses on a dancing couple. The pathos of human predicament is explored in the subtlest way. It embodies a brilliant study of human relationships as well as human weaknesses through its characters. The play depicts the clash between issues such as marriage, career and the place of a woman in patriarchal social set up. It deals with the lives of the people who feel exhausted and frustrated on account of the hostile surroundings and unfavourable circumstances. The story is unfolded in time past and time present. The play was first performed at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore on 22 September 1989 as a part of the Deccan Herald Theatre.

Dattani’s plays presents the socio-political issues, domestic and individual problems. In the play Dance like a man, dattani focuses on the conflict and clash between three generations, their conflicts and individual struggle.

Conflict between the three generations :
‘There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original.’
—Judith Butler
Dattani  in this play, puts a few unlikely questions about the sexual construct that a man is or the very constituents of a man’s identity-in terms of sexuality, as the head of the family and as an artist. The play deals with the self and the significance of the other, through the frameworks of gender and gender roles-the prostitute as a dancer and an artist; the man as a dancer; the guru who sports long hair and has an effeminate walk are categories that the older generation, fed on its perception of the self cannot come to terms with. Dattani uses Traditional Dance as a medium that creates conflict in the play within the minds of the other characters. As the play goes forward and the actions take place; Dance takes the center stage and pushes the characters outside. Traditional Dance, in the play, is not only a form or a tool that enables the writer to tell his story but it creates its own psyche that guides or misguides the actors on the stage.
Dance is a very significant factor in this play that means different things to different characters. Jairaj and Ratna wants to develop their career as dancers and for them Dance is not only a form of art but also their life and soul. It is not only their passion but also a tool that will help them to gain desired success.  The stereotypes of gender roles are set against the idea of the artist in search of creativity within the restrictive structure of the world that he is forced to inhabit. Jairaj with his obsession for dance dismantles these stereotypes. This is the twist that the playwright gives to the stereotypes associated with ‘gender’ issues that view solely women at the receiving end of the oppressive power structures of patriarchal society. The play removes this notion and explores the nature of the tyranny that even men might be subject to within such structures. Jairaj and Ratna live within such a structure: the domain of the patriarch Amritlal, Jairaj’s father. 

Dance for him is the profession of a prostitute, improper for his daughter-in-law and absolutely unimaginable for his son. He forbids Ratna from visiting the old devdasi who teaches her the intricacies of bharatnatyam; he cannot tolerate the sounds of the dancing bells that ring through their practice sessions; is astounded at the long-haired guru with an effeminate walk and cannot, most of all tolerate the idea of his son –a man- becoming a professional dancer. The underlying fear is surely, that dance would make him effeminate so that the suggestion of homosexuality hovers near, though never explicitly mentioned. And hence Amritlal must oppose, tooth and nail, Jairaj’s passion for dance. This clash brings about the play of property and money in deciding and manipulating the construction of identities that would conform, but the result is tragic. He makes a pact with Ratna. He will permit her career in dance only if she helps him pull Jairaj out of his obsession and make him a ‘manly’ man. The two can then enjoy the security of his riches (Chaudhuri 67-68).

In this play, as a reader, one may find that the play poses some delicate questions among which one surely is of MALE idea.  Personally for Jairaj, Dance is a form or a means to express emotions and stands as the tool of defiance, revolt, negation of a particular way of life that was decided by his father, Amritlal. He starts dancing as a hobby or rather a fancy that his father thought would perish after a period of time but it does not happen that way. Jairaj continues his practice of traditional dancing in spite of all the opposition from his father and overtly presents himself as a rebel. He becomes more headstrong because of the support of his wife, Ratna who also was interested in traditional form of dancing. The reason behind Amritlal’s opposition suggests that his mind was not ready to accept his son as a Bharatnatyam Dancer. This is more clear in AMritlal’s view of dance.

Amritlal : “ A woman in aman’s world may be considered as progressive. But a man in a woman’s world is pathetic”

Amritlal, though being called as progressive fails to accept dance as a form of art for men. His ideas though were meant to be liberated were actually devoid of progressive ideas. His ideas of freedom and independence was that related to the nation whereas Jairaj’s ideas of progressiveness and independence is way different from that of Amritlal’s. Their conflict in ideas is seen in their argument on progress and freedom.

Jairaj : “Didn’t you have any obsessions?”
Amritlal : “ If you mean my involvement in fighting for your freedom, yes, it was an obsession.”
Jairaj : “You had yours. Now allow me to have mine.”

Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri writes, “Dance like a Man is a play that deals with one of Dattani’s pet concerns – gender – through one of his principal passions, dance.” (p. 67)

              In the society everyone wants the Male to earn that much so that the house would run properly but Amritlal knew that dance would not help Jairaj to earn enough money and that would make him unworthy in the eyes of his wife Ratna. For Amritlal, dance was good as far as it remains a hobby but it was not proper to be taken as a profession. And we should not forget that traditional dance, especially for Male was not considered a respectable profession in the olden days in India. Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri says,

“The underlying fear is obviously that dance would make him ‘womanly’ – an effeminate man – the suggestion of homosexuality hovers near, although never explicitly mentioned.” (p. 68)

In the play Maleness of Jairaj was not that much a question of Body than that of mentality. Researcher found that for Ratna Maleness might have meant one’s independent decision making power, doing the work that one liked, living on one’s own conditions, standing on one’s own feet without any support and some other that Jairaj lacked. Interestingly even Jairaj was trying to prove himself an able MALE to Ratna. When Ratna was worried about finding a mridangam player for her daughter he says,
“Will finding a musician make me a man?

            Dance, for Ratna, serves as an undying passion that drives her character throughout all the actions of the drama. Behind all her moves in the drama, Dance was the main factor. Her character has a negative shade and that makes her different than others. She involves herself in a relationship with Jairaj and that was a clear self-centered decision on her part. No love or attachment with Jairaj was there on the outset of the relationship. Her overconfidence and faith in her own talent was so much that she hesitated not even once to destroy Jairaj’s career as a dancer joining hands with her father-in-law, Amritlal. She single-mindedly follows her heart overpowered by mind; and tries to be famous using Dance as a medium. Traditional Dance stands as a thing that will help her in earning fame and money along with respect in the world of dancers.
            For Ratna Dance was a medium to gain popularity and status and for that she married Jairaj who would never stop her from dancing. Ratna’s selfish inner desire was so powerful that she cold-bloodedly plays with the emotions of Jairaj by misguiding him constantly. In the guise of a true life companion she deceives her husband and tries to curb his potential as a dancer. In order to gain personal aims she sacrifices Jairaj’s abilities. Ratna not only spoils Jairaj’s life but tries to mould her daughter Lata’s life also by making her a traditional dancer. In spite of being a Male member of the family Jairaj never tries to command his authority over Ratna and instead, she, very deliberately plays with his emotions. When Jairaj returned to his father’s house, Ratna disliked it and she says in the play ones,
“You! You are nothing but a spineless boy who couldn’t leave his father’s house for more than forty-eight hours.”
            Lata, her daughter, was used by her to fulfill her inner suppressed desires to earn fame and money nationwide and abroad. Unknowingly Lata falls in the whirlpool created by Ratna and becomes the object only. Ratna’s endeavors seem very ambitious and manipulative. She was ready to establish her daughter’s career on the right track right from the very beginning and for that she schemes, manipulates and uses all her contacts and links. It is very clear that Ratna saw her own self in her daughter Lata and therefore acted so violently to create a firm, concrete base for her. It is this quality that makes her different from others. For her Traditional Dance was important but it never became a wild passion at any point of time. The desire to take dance, as a hobby was very clear in her mind as she tells Vishwas,

“When I was a little girl, I used to stand near the door and watch mummy and daddy practice. It was magic for me. I knew then what I wanted to be.”
            She takes dance as a pure art form and does not link it to any gender. She wanted to pursue dance but her desire was not blended with any passion or force. For her, marrying Vishwas was also important and she wouldn’t sacrifice her love for the dance. Her balanced mind makes her likable and different from her parents. Actually she is away from the circle in which her parents were trapped which was too vicious to believe. She dances and continues to do so because it is a hobby for her and not a way that leads to the path of success. There is no malice, over ambition or misled want in her that keeps her interest in dance. Considering this aspects reader can conclude that Lata stands in stark contrast with other characters.

What therefore starts as a portrayal of staunch patriarchy in most of his plays opens up new domains of study, where Dattani subverts the norms to present the alternate views. Thus, what emerges is a new definition of masculinity not merely as an antonym of feminity but paving a way for men to break their “alpha roars” and do what they would perhaps like to. As Butler says, it is possible to “do” these cultural constructions of sexuality. And as for the females, they can opt for a path of their own too, breaking their silence and the performative roles that they have always played, knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly (Mallick, par.33).

Conclusion :
Dance Like a Man is a play that does not present the character as pure White or Black but it shows their different shades in all possibilities. The play poses fundamental questions and presents the actors with the best of their talents. It demands the answer whether the world is progressive in real sense or we are still in search of that utopian era where no dance form is actually attached to any gender of the dancer but considered as a pure form of Art.

Swami and his friends
                                      - R. K. Narayan
Swami and Friends is the first of a trilogy of novels written by RK Narayan (1906–2001), English language novelist from India. The novel, Narayan's first, is set in British India in a fictional town called Malgudi. The second and third books in the trilogy are The Bachelor of Arts and The English Teacher.
Malgudi Schooldays is a slightly abridged version of Swami and Friends, and includes two additional stories featuring Swami from Malgudi Days and Under the Banyan Tree.
Overall summary
Swami and Friends is the first of a trilogy of novels written by RK Narayan, a celebrated English novelist from India.
RK Narayan started his prolific writing career with this novel Swami and Friends written in 1935. It is full of humor and irony. Narayan started writing this novel with the words “It was Monday morning…” to the auspicious time his grandmother chose for him. Like many of his fictional grandmothers, he was close to his grandmother who was well versed with astrology. Despite this it took time for the budding writer to be acknowledged as an author. Fortunately for him, he had helped from many quarters, such as the well-established author British author Graham Green. He called Swami and Friends a work of “remarkable maturity, and of the finest promise…and is the boldest gamble a novelist can take. If he allows himself to take sides, moralise, propaganda, he can easily achieve an extra-literary interest, but if he follows Mr. Narayan’s method, he stakes all on his creative power.”
The novel is set in pre-independence days in India, in a fictional town – Malgudi, which has almost become a real place in India today, due to the wide recognition and popularity of Narayan’s many novels. His novels are known for their ‘deftly etched characters, his uniquely stylized language and his wry sense of humor’.
Swami and Friends is the story of a 10-year-old boy, growing up during this particular time, his innocence, wonder, mischief and growing pains. He is a student at Albert Mission School, a school established by the British which gives importance to Christianity, English literature and education. His life is dramatically changed when Rajam – a symbol of colonial super power – joins the school and he and Rajam become friends.
At first glance, Swami and Friends is nothing more than a simple, charming story of a ten-year old boy who lives in a world of (in his eyes) bossy adults – be they parents or teachers at school – and his friends and enemies at school. His life is fairly complex and he has a tough job to do: pleasing both his demanding peers and also the dour world of adults around him. He manages his tough balancing act for a while but then two incidents change his life forever. Finally, he gets out of trouble, but the cost is heavy: he loses the friendship of Rajam, the son of the Police Superintendent and is devastated at his departure at the end.
The central theme of the novel is growing up of young Swami. He is a spontaneous, impulsive, mischievous and yet a very innocent child. His character is a child in the fullest sense of the world. Through Swami’s eyes the reader gets to peak in to the pre-independence days in South India. The life portrayed in the novel is accurate in its description of the colonial days – the uprisings, the rebellions, the contempt and the reverence the natives had for their subjugator, together with varied elements that have become one, such as cricket and education.
Unlike many colonial and post-colonial writers Narayan does not directly attack or criticize the colonial system, although elements of gentle criticism and irony directed towards the colonial system, are scattered through out Swami and Friends and all his other novels. He has rather directed his creativity at depicting the life of the people at the time. It is almost as if he is charmed by these unsophisticated and simple, yet eccentric people and their lives. It is unclear if he refrained from an all out attack on the British colonial system out of choice or reverence. But it seems at this point in his career, (and during this particular point of India’s history), when he is starting out as an author, he would write to the English speaking audience in India and for the vast audience abroad. Hence it would be folly to attack the very system that would sustain him as a novelist, his career of choice. Asked about why he was unbothered about the prevailing political crisis and other happenings during the time, Narayan replied in an interview thus ” When art is used as a vehicle for political propaganda, the mood of comedy, the sensitivity to atmosphere, the probing of psychological factors, the crisis of the individual soul and its resolution and above all the detached observation which constitutes the stuff of fiction is forced into the background.” Beyond this, he also had tremendous regard for the English language and literature as an aesthetic past time, and was not blind to its value in that regard.
The absence of criticism on the colonial system maybe also due to the fact that Narayan simply believed the colonizer and the colonized could live together in harmony, benefiting each other. Most Englishmen and the natives certainly seem to do so in his novels, such as Mr Retty (Swami and Friends) and Matheison (Waiting for the Mahatma). The rice mill owner Mr Retty was “the most Indianized of the ‘Europeans’….and was the mystery man of the place: nobody could say who he was or where he had come from: he swore at his boy and his customers in perfect Tamil and always moved about in shirt, shorts and sandaled feet.” Mr Matheison feels strongly for Indians and considers himself Indian. “You see, it is just possible I am as much attached to this country as you are.” Only Mr Brown seems to be the ‘black sheep’ in this regard. His Western mind is only capable of “classifying, labeling and departmentalizing…” And the gentle criticism and irony directed towards him was in the same way directed towards his fellow countrymen. In his mind British or Indian, they were all human beings with prejudices, follies, errors, kindness and goodness, each in varying degrees.
Narayan’s success as a writer emerges from his portrayal of a unique culture, and yet at the same time a subtle criticism of the alien political power. For this he used the tools of humor and irony. His success in reconciling these two opposing ends is seen in the fact that Narayan’s novels are received well both in his native country India and all around the world.
When the novel unfolds, we are told that Swami has four friends. ‘He (Swaminathan) honoured only four persons with his confidence’ – Somu, the Monitor, who carried himself with such an easy air; Mani the mighty Good-For-Nothing; Sankar, the most brilliant boy of the class and Samuel who was known as the Pea, who had nothing outstanding about him, like Swami, but they were united in their ability to laugh at everything. Swami’s relationships with each of these friends were different, but he cherished them all. This harmonious existence is threatened with the arrival of Rajam. Rajam is the colonial superpower that Narayan introduces. He symbolizes the new Indian middle class that Thomas Babington Macaulay anticipated in his now famous 1835 Minute on Education ‘a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.’
“He (Rajam) was a new-comer; he dressed very well- he was the only boy in class who wore socks and shoes, fur cap and tie, and a wonderful coat and nickers. He spoke very good English, exactly like a European; which meant that few in the school could make out what he said.” The last sentence in the quotation actually runs beyond its literary meaning. Rajam brought up in a different atmosphere than that of his fellow classmates did in fact speak differently and few understood what he said. Rajam wanted to be better than the rest, to be successful, to impress and to lead. As the novel progresses we see that he is neither affectionate, loyal nor faithful to his friends. At the same time he is confident, intelligent and rarely if ever loses his composure. He has developed the proverbial ‘English stiff upper lip.’ Swami was greatly impressed by Rajam and wanted to be friends with him. And when he finally does so, this friendship initially creates friction between his earlier friends.
The turning point in his young life comes when impulsively he decides to join a rebellion against the British. He was however, not being patriotic, but rather impulsive, and was enjoying breaking windowpanes by throwing stones. He is punished harshly by the principal and in a moment of desperation runs away from the school. He is later admitted to another school – Board High School. It is during this time that Rajam, Mani and Swami form a Cricket Club and set a date for a match against another cricket club. Swami is now under pressure by Rajam to attend cricket practices; he skips his drill classes in order to do so, and gets into trouble with the drill teacher. In yet another moment of desperation he runs away both from school and home. He gets lost on the road, but is found by a cart-man and is brought home. He learns that he had indeed missed the cricket match, which he took such pains to practice for.
Rajam stubbornly refuses to see him after this, and after a lapse of some days Swami comes to know through Mani that Rajam’s father was transferred and was moving the next day. Swami is crushed, but in his innocence, he erroneously thinks that Rajam will relent and forgive. Rajam had decided otherwise and hardened himself against forgiving. There is immense poignancy in the parting seen between the friends. It is heightened by the fact that the reader knows that Rajam has not and will not forgive Swami, while Swami believes that he is forgiven and is grieving for his “dearest friend’s” departure:
“At the sight of the familiar face Swaminathan lost control of himself and cried: ‘Oh Rajam, Rajam you are going away. When will you come back? Rajam kept looking at him without a word and then (as it seems to Swaminathan) opened his mouth to say something, when everything was disturbed by the guard’s blast and the hoarse whistle of the engine.……Rajam’s face with the words still unuttered on his lips, receded”
Swami did not have the money to buy a lavish gift for Rajam, but had thoughtfully decided to give him an English book “Anderson’s Fairy Tales” and writes on the flyleaf ‘To my dearest friend Rajam’. In this last episode Narayan stresses the difference between the thoughtless Rajam and his devoted two friends Swami and Mani. Rajam was ‘dressed like a European boy’, his very appearance was alien to them, but it is not only on the outside that Rajam was different, but even within, as the reader sees through out the novel and especially at the end. To Narayan, Rajam’s ways and thinking are different, much like the “Europeans.” Rajam in his superiority does not feel he owes anybody explanations or farewells. He came, he conquered and he will go as he pleases. This attitude of Rajam’s is akin to that of the colonizer who came, conquered, made drastic changes in the lives of Indians and then left just as abruptly as he had come, leaving chaos behind. Rajam was the symbol of that ‘class of people’ the British colonizer bred, who invariably became alien and even contemptuous to their very own culture.
The novel, first intended for a very young audience, later expanded into a universal one, for its simple narrative and depiction of colonial India. Today in India it is recommended as a textbook or a reference book. One of the most glaring facts about the novel is the similarity of children through out the world, and how they have not changed since the time the novel was written. Children are all mischievous, impulsive and innocent like Swami. They all play and enjoy just like Swami, and try to circumvent doing homework by ingenious excuses and methods. Like Swami most children – even today- attend schools that do not nourish their heritage and culture, throughout the world including the US.
The criticism of the educational system and the lack of faith in it is a common theme of Narayan. It runs throughout this trilogy Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts and The English Teacher. Narayan’s own father who was a principal did not think much of the system as Narayan and his many fictional characters, such as Swami, Chandran, Krishna, Sriram and a host of others. But the educational system comes under grave criticism in this trilogy, and discussed at length in The English Teacher. (Read The English Teacher web page in this site.) It is not that Narayan thought that education was useless, but rather that the school and education system founded by the British was irrelevant. He was maybe among the second generation of persons who received a formal education in India during the time, and saw how his grandparents and many other of his countrymen surviving, thriving and living as good human beings, perhaps even better than the ‘educated folk,’ without any education.
R.K.Narayan’s first short novel, Swami and Friends, also provides the setting for his later novels and short stories, Malgudi. Malgudi is the typical Indian middle and lower-middle class town and something that provides a window into the life-blood of South India: its unique culture, its simple people and also its paradoxes.
Swami is a paradox throughout the narration. R.K.Narayan does a wonderful job in bringing out his emotional pysche. While Swami sincerely and innocently believes in the sanctity of his friendship with Rajam, Rajam remains aloof and impersonal. Swami’s relationship with his peer group is very complex as so-called ‘friends’. The novel is full of irony and subtle wit. And also disturbing. Friendship at that age is nothing more than peer pressure and this is a fact that Swami cannot fathom. He tries to impress his friends and peers. He acts impulsively and loses control of himself on more than one occasion. He gets little emotional support at home or from his peers. School is a place where life is tough. Constant pressure from all directions finally tells on Swami and he bends.
Narayan also gently laughs at the world in which Swami lives. The paradoxes of pre-independence India, the alternating aloof and passionate nature of the people, the confusions that encompass the mind of a child in such a volatile environment: all those things are brought out beautifully. Narayan takes a dig at the educational system too as envisioned by the British masters. The use of the cane, the degrading and humiliating nature of the ‘stand-up-on-the-desk’ punishment, the heavy workload are all shown up by Narayan for what they are: a cruel way of education which mass-produces unimaginative clerks and subordinate staff to serve in the British administrative machine. The real irony of this is seen when Swami runs away from the Board High school and feels nostalgic about his old school: the Albert Mission.
In the final analysis, Swami and Friends is more than the story of a child. It is the story of a generation of Indians who are born and brought up in the shadow of the British colonial Raj and who inherit the confusions of the cultural and social conflict. This is best seen where Swami is seen alternatively admiring and envying Rajam: the rich boy who walks to school dressed like a ‘European’. Swami is caught between two worlds as represented by Mani and Rajam. Rajam who stands for all that is posh and urbane, smooth and unemotional, well educated yet hard and ruthless in a way. The other end is Mani who is rough, untamed, naive, emotional and yet loyal. The masterly irony is seen because these two characters not only meet but (in Swami’s eyes) they also apparently get along well. To the end, Swami cannot understand the difference and hence the pathos in the final scene.
Narayan passes no judgement on anybody. He presents Swami for what he is and also the world around him for what it is. His style is smooth and simple. His sentences are crisp, yet unconventional. His use of certain ‘Indianisms’ might alienate the foreign reader, yet they convey his meaning adequately. The apparent discontinuity of narration at places serves to enhance, rather than dispel, the overall effect. The cultural aspect is very visible throughout: for example Swami’s fearful respect towards his father, his closeness to his grandmother, his turbulent relationships at school and his total emotional isolation in spite of physical proximity to so many people are so typical of Indian life where visible demonstration of love and care are seen as signs of weakness and a thing of shame. Throughout Swami grovels in darkness around him and yet does not see himself as being in the dark: that is the final irony and the one the cuts deepest.
A highly readable novel that can be read on all levels. While my review focusses more on the psychological aspects of the book, the book can also be read without all this mental baggage. That is what keeps Swami and Friends evergreen and fresh at even this day and age.
Chapter 1
Raju, the tourist guide has just been released from the jail. He sits cross-legged beside an ancient shrine near the village Mangal. The shrine is on the banks of the river Sarayu. The villager named Velan comes there after seeing his married daughter.
Raju has his last shave only two days before after his release from the jail. The talkative barber says, “You look like a maharaja now”. The barber is a master and wise man. He guesses rightly that Raju has been released from the jail. Raju repeats, “Not a bad place”.
Velan looks at Raju with a great devotion and Raju tells him, “I am not so great as you imagine. I am just ordinary”. But Velan has his own problem to be solved.
Then Raju recalls his own past. He thought that Rosie has not come from a foreign land. She was just an Indian like Devi, Meena, Lalitha or any one of the thousand names in India. Rosie was a great classical but an orthodox dancer. Raju was the first man to appreciate her art of dancing but her husband was a grotesque creature in his life. He looked like a space traveler and was dressed like a permanent tourist.
Raju thought about his past life as a tourist guide. He lived in a small house opposite to Malgudi Railway Station. His father had a small shop and all day he sat there selling peppermint, fruit, tobacco, betel leaf, parched gram, and whatever else the wayfarers on the Trunk Road demanded. It was known as the ‘hut- shop’. Raju recalled his childhood memories of his own life, his father, mother and his trips to the town.
When Velan raises his own problem about his father’s last wife’s youngest daughter, Raju talks magnificently like a holy man of Lord Buddha and the dead child. Raju then tells him that everyone has a problem. Velan’s problem is that the girl shows no gratitude and is unwilling to accept his plans for her marriage with his cousin’s son. Raju asks Velan to bring her there and he would talk to her. When Velan goes away, Raju is left alone. He says himself, ‘I shall be rewarded for this profound service to humanity. People will say, “Here is the man who knows the exact number of stars in the sky. If you have any trouble on that account, you had better consult him. He will be your right guide for the skies”. While counting the stars in the sky, he fell asleep under the open sky.
Next morning Velan comes to Raju with his step-sister of fourteen years old. Velan has brought a basket filled with bananas, cucumbers, pieces of sugar-cane, fried nuts, and copper vessel brimming with milk. Raju sat in silence, eyeing the gift for a while and then picked up the basket and went into an inner sanctum. He placed the basket of edibles at the feet of the image and said, “It’s His first. Let the offering go to Him, first; and we will eat the remnant.” Then he began narrating the story of Devaka, a man of ancient times who begged alms at the temple gate every day and would not use any of his collections without first putting them at the feet of the god. This story was told him by his mother but he couldn’t remember the whole story.
Suddenly Raju said to Velan, “I am not going to think of your problem, Velan, not now.” Velan retorts ‘why’. Raju says, “When the time is ripe for it”. He also tells Velan that he should think over the problem and further adds, “Whatever is written here will happen-------.We may not change it, but we may understand it”---------- ‘And to arrive at a proper understanding, time is needed’. Velan understands and appreciates his wisdom. Raju looks at Velan’s difficult sister and says, ‘What must happen must happen; no power on earth or in heaven can change its course, just as no one can change the course of that river’.
Chapter 2
Raju as a child is now growing fast. Very soon the train is to be introduced in Malgudi. He sees the men busy in the track outlines of Mempi Hills. Then Raju’s father does not send him to Albert Mission School but to a Pyol School in Kabir Lane. Raju begins to learn the alphabet and numbers there. Thus Raju’s education begins. The school master gets one rupee a month and some gifts by the students’ guardians or parents. Raju then is sent in Board High School for the first standard.
Velan comes near Raju with the news of a miracle and tells him that his sister’s problem is over and she is ready to marry her cousin. Before The assembled family she said, “I have been a bother to you all these days. Forgive me, all of you. I shall do whatever my elders order me to do”.
One day Velan comes back and invites Raju to his sister’s marriage but Raju avoids the wedding ceremony. After wedding the girl regards Raju as her saviour and tells everyone, “He doesn’t speak to anyone, but if he looks at you, you are changed”.
Very soon a huge mob begins to gather in the evening at the temple on the river bank of Sarayu and takes him as a saint. But Raju felt that he himself was an intruder. After release from the jail he tried very hard to think where he should go next and what to do.
One evening he hides behind a bush to avoid the villagers. One of the villagers said, “He is a big man, he may go anywhere, he may have a thousand things to do”. Another man said, “Yogis can travel to the Himalayas just by a thought”. Next morning Raju realized that he had no alternative. He has to play the role Velan had given to him. Raju begins to play the role of a saint. He calls Velan’s nephew and asks him to tell his uncle that he has come again.
Chapter 3
One day, the Railway station building at Malgudi is ready. The Stationmaster and a porter began to stay in stone house at the back of the station. Raju’s father became a prosperous businessman. He acquires a jutka and a horse in order to go to the town and do his shopping. He uttered the word ‘bank’. As a shopkeeper he runs a shop at the Railway station. Because of Raju’s mother’s continuous opposition, he sells the horse the carriage.
The stationmaster and the porter named Karia came to observe Raju’s father’s shop. As per the suggestions of the stationmaster, the shop is filled in with bananas, Mempi oranges, fried stuff, colourful papermints and sweets, loaves of bread, buns and cigarettes. Occasionally Raju is made the in-charge of this hut-shop and the customers did not find in him a good companion for them. Very soon, Raju’s father asks him to handle the business in the new shop at Malgudi Railway Station  and it stopped his schooling.
Chapter 4
The banana which Raju gave to Velan’s nephew worked a miracle. The nephew told everyone that the saint is back at his post. Naturally, men, women, and children assembled there in a large number. Raju advised them about education. Next day, the schoolteacher visits Raju and Raju tells him the importance of education. He advises the teacher, “After all self-help is the best help”, and “It is our duty to make everyone happy and wise”. The teacher responds him that he will do anything under his guidance.
The result is that the teacher went back to the village as a changed man. The students came there and Raju spoke to them on godliness, cleanliness, and the Ramayana. Raju gets hypnotized by his own voice.
Raju’s father dies and his mother becomes a widow. Raju closed down his father’s hut-shop and set the new shop at Malgudi Railway Station. He felt like an actor who had come on the stage.
Velan comes there and asks Raju, “Give a discourse, Sir”. The only topic on which he could speak with any authority was his own jail life and its benefits for one mistaken for a saint. He says, “All things have to wait their hour”.
Raju soon realized that his spiritual status would be enhanced if he grew a beard and long hair to fall upon his nape. His prestige as a saint had grown beyond his wildest dreams. His influence on the mob was unlimited. He not only chanted holy verses but also discoursed on philosophy. He began to prescribe medicines to children who would not go to sleep. Even he settled the disputes and quarrels over the division of ancestral property.
Chapter 5
Raju became famous as ‘Railway Raju’. Perfect strangers began to ask him about the famous spots around Malgudi. His friend, the old shark is Gaffur, the taxi- driver. Gaffur takes the tourists in his car to various places. Within a few days Raju became a full-blown tourist guide. Occasionally, he asks the porter’s son to look after his shop and he goes with tourists in Gaffur’s taxi. At home, Raju’s mother asks him to accept the proposal of Lalitha, the young daughter of her brother.
In a few months Raju became a seasoned guide. He became a part-time shopkeeper and a full time tourist guide. Malgudi and its surroundings were his special show. His tourists are of many kinds and types and he tries to please them of all. One day a very strange tourist named Marco came to Malgudi along with his wife named Rosie from Madras. Raju made their lodging provision at the Anand Bhavan Hotel. Rosie had a figure. A slight and slender one beautifully fashioned with sparkled eyes and dusky complexion. As soon as she set foot in Malgudi, she asked Raju, ‘Can you show me a cobra- a King Cobra it must be- which can dance to the music of a flute’.
While Marco is engaged in investigating carving episodes from the Ramayana on the stone wall in Iswara Temple in North Extension, Raju took Rosie in Gaffur’s taxi to watch a cobra dance at Nallappa’s grove on the other side of the river. Rosie swayed her body in a dance giving the snake- girl performance. Rosie appears to be the greatest dancer of the century to Raju.
Rosie’s husband, Marco is an extraordinary hateful fellow. When Raju tells his mother about their visit to a snake charmer, she doubts about the girl as a snake- dancer. Thereupon Raju says, ‘Mother, she is a good girl, not a snake-worshipper. She is a dancer’.
Next day, Raju went upstairs to Room 28 on the second floor of the hotel. Marco, the strange man wanted to study the friezes. He also wanted to study the cave-paintings. Rosie is not willing to come with Marco to see caves. But Raju goes back to Room no. 28 and persuades Rosie to come along with them. He appreciates her dance, form and figure and introduces himself in these words, ‘My name is Raju’. Then he asks her to be ready and remarks, ‘Who would decorate a rainbow?’ Yet she is not willing to join them but Raju says, ‘Because life is so blank without your presence’. She responds, ‘Wait a minute, then’.
Now Rosie, Raju and Marco go to the Peak House in Gaffur’s car. The Peak House is situated on the topmost cliff on Mempi Hills. The river Sarayu is seen sparkling at a distance. Joseph is their caretaker. He is nearly sixty years old man. He was converted into a Christian by the missionaries. They have to stay there for a night. Joseph gave them some useful suggestions and said to Rosie,’ If you sit up on that veranda, you can watch tigers and other animals prowling about. But you must not make any noise; that is the secret of it’.
At seven-thirty in the evening, Raju tried to serve the dinner. At that time Rosie said, ‘No, no. Let me serve you both, and I will be the last to eat, like a good housewife’. When Raju tries to serve a dish to Marco, Rosie snatches it from his hands and it is her golden touch on which his memory lingers on. The soul of Raju is crying to say her that won’t she be his sweetheart. After the dinner Raju and Rosie went to the glass veranda to watch animals and Marco was lost in his papers.
Next day, Marco and Raju went to the valley to study caves keeping Rosie in the Guest House. Marco is engaged in his ruin collecting activities. Immediately, Raju went  back  to  the  Guest  House  where  Rosie  was  alone.  Rosie  surprisingly said, ‘Looking for me?’ Raju learnt from Rosie that they had quarrels every night. But Raju said, ‘Being with you must be such a bliss’. Then Raju praised her dancing and spoke out his love for her. He spoke of her as ‘an artist……World’s artist number one’. Then she said, ‘You are a brother to me’ and gave all details of their married life. She told him that she belonged to a family traditionally dedicated to the temples as dancers. The women in her family are considered as public women and are not considered respectable. She has taken her master’s degree in Economics. Hers is a registered marriage with Marco and he is a man of high social standing; He has a house outside Madras. But he is interested in painting and old arts. Raju overcame with the sadness in her life and said, ‘In his place, I would have made you a queen of the world’ and put his hand on her shoulder.
Marco’s car didn’t come back because of breakdown, so they stayed there for another night. When Gaffur’s car came there, Marco asked Raju to bring his black trunk from the hotel. At that time Rosie seeks his permission to go back to hotel and says, ‘We may not be able to return tonight’. After coming back to Malgudi, Raju goes to his home to change. His mother comments, ‘Becoming a dandy’ Gaffur, too, warned him, ‘She is a married woman, remember’. Thereupon Raju said, ‘She is like a sister to me’. At night Raju and Rosie went to see a movie and returned to the hotel after the picture. At midnight, he stepped in Room No. 28 and locked the door on the world.
Chapter 6
Several years have passed. Men and women are busy worshipping Raju as a saint. His disciples brought him special gifts according to seasons and festivals of the year. So he did not require a calendar. His beard now caressed his chest and his hair covered his back. He wore a necklace of prayer-beads around his neck. His eyes were filled with the light of wisdom. Whatever gifts his disciples brought him, he gave them all back to the women and children at the end of each day. He protested to Velan and said, ‘I am a poor man and you are poor men; why do you give me all this? You must stop it.’ But people called him Swami.
In the first half of the year there were rains; but in the second half of the year there were no rains. The summer seemed to continue. Raju asked, ‘Where are the rains?’ The millet crop is all scorched on the stalks. A thousand banana seedlings are dead. Raju’s reaction is, ‘Such things are common; don’t worry too much about them. Let us hope for the best.’ However, the cattle do not get grass to eat. The river Sarayu became dry. Sugar-canes were wilted. The villagers always talked about the scarcity of the rains. Raju decreed, ‘You must not think too much of it. The rain god sometimes teases those who are obsessed with thoughts of him.’ Yet it was reality that cattle stopped giving milk and flocks of sheep became dry. The wells in the villages were drying up. The earth was fast drying up. A buffalo was found dead on a foot track. Velan took the Swami to observe the scene in the village. The Swami raised his hand and said, ‘Be peaceful; I will fix it with gods.’ He gave several explanations of the losses and pleased the villagers.
More cattle were found dead here and there. The village shopman started charging high prices. As a matter of fact, there was a battle between the shopman’s relatives and sympathizers and Velan and his men. Next morning Velan’s brother came to Raju with sad news that several villagers and Velan got injured skulls and burns. After listening to the story of the village quarrel from Velan’s twenty-one years old brother, a semi-moron, Raju said to him, ‘Tell your brother, immediately, wherever he may be, that unless they are good I will never eat.’ Raju has given the message that he will not eat till they are good. Velan’s brother of the lesser intelligences ran into the assembly of his village elders and said, ‘The Swami, Swami, doesn’t food anymore. Don’t take any food to him.’ When asked ‘Why’, the boy replied that it doesn’t rain and there should be no fight. Then all the villagers declared, ‘Let us all go and pay our respects to Swami, our saviour.’
Raju was waiting for his usual gifts and food. He had suggested them to bring him wheat flour, rice flour and spices so that he can prepare something new. He has liking for bonda, which he used to eat in the railway station stall. It was composed of flour, potato, a slice of onion, a coriander leaf and a green chili. Now he sees a crowd coming to him. They called him Mahatma. They touched his feet. Velan said, ‘Your penance is similar to Mahatma Gandhi’s. He has left us a disciple in you to save us.’ Velan remains there to look after him. When Raju says that the next day he will take his usual food, Velan asked him, ‘Do you expect it to rain tomorrow, Sir? Velan expected him to stand in knee-deep water, look to the skies, and utter the prayer lines for two weeks, completely fasting during the period- and so the rains would come down, provided the man who performed it was a pure soul, was a great soul. Raju had told them, ‘When the time comes, everything will be all right. Even the man who would bring you rain will appear, all of a sudden’. Then he asked Velan to live him alone that night and come to see tomorrow night. Velan agreed to do  so.
Now Raju suddenly thinks of leaving the place for good or he might be in trouble. If he left the place, people will conclude that he had gone to Himalayas. He cooked his food and kept a reserve of food for a second meal at night.
Finally, Raju tells Velan that he is not a saint; he is an ordinary man like anyone else. He tells his life story to Velan. Velan listened to him without uttering a word of surprise or interjection in all humility.
Chapter 7
Marco accepted Rosie as a member of the family. He was just an impractical and absolutely helpless man. He married Rosie out of desire to have someone care for his practical life but his choice was wrong. The girl herself was a dreamer. However, Raju gave up all his routine jobs in order to be of service to them. At Peak House he was in entire charge of Marco’s all affairs. Gaffur’s car was permanently engaged for Marco. Joseph looked after Marco’s needs at the hotel and Raju spends much of his time looking after Marco and Rosie. Marco paid him his daily rate also allowed to look after his ‘routine jobs’.
Raju is more interested in Rosie than her husband. Gaffur is not happy with Raju because he does not like that he should get involved with her. While going back to the hotel, Gaffur says to Raju that an old, uneducated wife is better than the new type of girl. Raju is obsessed with thoughts of Rosie. He is now spending more money on being looking very smart. His shop is being managed by the boy. Raju’s mother always warns him to keep eye on that boy. Then Raju went over to the shop and checked the accounts. The boy informed him that the two tourists who were interested in sightseeing went away disappointed. The boy always called him ‘Raju sir’. Raju did not care for his own mother, the shop and his bank balance. The only reality in his life and consciousness is Rosie. The man at the desk and the boys at the hotel were watchful about Raju’s arrival and departure in Room No. 28.
It is difficult to Raju to understand Rosie’s mind. She allowed him to make love to her husband on the hill. She would say, ‘After all, he is my husband. I have to respect him. I cannot leave him there’. Furthermore she cries, ‘Is this right what I am doing After all; he has been so good to me, given me comfort and freedom. What husband in the world would let his wife go and live in a hotel room by herself, a hundred miles away?’ Again she says, ‘As a good man he may not mind, but is it not a wife’s duty to guard and help her husband, whatever the way in which he deals with her?’ Raju is now in a confused mood. He feels that Marco would come down the hills and take her away. He asks Rosie, ‘Why don’t you stay up with him, then?’ She tells that he sits up all night writing and all day he is in the cave.
Rosie asks him whether he is also like her husband not interested in her dancing. Raju replies, ‘I will do anything for you. I will give my life to see you dance. Tell me what to do. I will do it for you’. This remark delighted her. She gets a bronze image of Nataraja, the god of dancers. At five in the morning she would start her practice and continue for three hours. She would then spend an hour or two in studying the Natyashastra of Bharatmuni. Raju is not really interested in her music and dancing but keep up the false face. Rosie tells him so many things about the dance and says, ‘What a darling. You are giving a new lease of life’.
Rosie along with Raju goes to the hill to see her husband. Marco talks about a wonderful third cave. Then he showed him some marvelous cave paintings. But Raju is ignorant about them. But still he went through them with a show of interest. Marco told him, ‘When this is published, it’ll change all our present ideas of the history of civilization. I shall surely mention in the book my debt to you in discovering this place.’
Two days later Raju went back to the hill and Joseph told him that Marco and Rosie had gone down and didn’t return yet. After some time Marco returned and Rosie followed him silently. Suddenly Marco said, ‘It’ll not be necessary for either of you to come in’ and shut the door of his room. Rosie then passed up the steps without a word, opened the door of his room and went into the room. This behaviour baffled Raju. Meanwhile, Gafffur came round to ask, ‘What time are we going down?’ Raju said, ‘Why are you in a hurry, Gaffur?’ Gaffur came close to Raju and said, ‘Raju, this in not at all good. Let us get away. Leave them alone. After all, they are husband and wife; they’ll know how to make it up. Come on. Go back to your normal work. You are so interested and carefree and happy then.’
Raju thought over Gaffur’s advice for a while and asked him to wait near the car. Then he heard Marco calling Gaffur, ‘Driver, are you ready to go?’ Marco picked up his bundle and started walking to the car. It puzzled Raju. He tried to cross the hall and open the door but it was bolted. Then Raju went near the car. Marco had already taken his seat. Raju asked Marco with courage, ‘Where are you going?’ Marco replied, ‘I’m going down to the hotel to close my accounts there.’ Then Raju said, ‘Take that man wherever he may want to go and bring me back the car tomorrow- and you will make complete settlement of all your bills with him. Keep a separate account for my own trips.’
There is a quarrel between Raju and Marco. Raju opened the door of the car and pulled Marco out of it and said, ‘You can’t abandon a wife in this place and go away.’ Marco asked, ‘Who are you? What is your business?’ and said, ‘And I dispense with your service from this minute. Give me your bill and be done with it.’ Again, he said, ‘Let us be done with everything, and then you get out of my sight.’ Raju asked Joseph to open the other suite and account it to him. Raju entered in this new suite and left the door open. Marco had gone and bolted himself in his own room.
Half an hour passed without any speech or movement. Raju was worried about Rosie’s food. So he himself put the food on plates, put them on a tray and walked to their room. Rosie was lying on her bed with eyes shut and Marco was sitting in his chair. Raju placed the tray before Marco. Rosie opened her eyes and said, ‘Don’t waste any more of your time with us. You go back. That’s all I have to say.’ Raju said, ‘First, you must have your food. For what reason are you fasting? She repeated, ‘I want you to go.’ Raju became weak and cowardly at her tone and thought that she had been in his arms forty-eight hours ago and was asking him to leave. Raju came back to Gaffur and left the place. Gaffur said, ‘It’s time your elders found a bride for you. Raju I’m senior in years. I think this is the best thing you have done. You will be more happy hereafter.’
Then a more miserable period of his life started. He had no taste for food, no sound sleep, no stability, no peace of mind, no sweetness of temper or speech- no. no. no. a number of no’s. Everything looked so unreal. He relieved the boy and began to look after the shop. He started to work as ‘Railway Raju’, the guide. However, he did not forget Rosie. Thirty days passed and one day his mother said to him, ‘Someone is asking for you.’ There stood Rosie on the threshold, with a trunk at her feet and a bag under her arm. Raju welcomed her and told his mother that Rosie is their guest now. There is a discussion between Raju’s mother and Rosie about whereabouts.
Raju asks Rosie to tell him everything from beginning to end. Rosie asked Marco for his permission to dance but he regarded dancing as street-acrobatics. Rosie said, ‘Everyone except you likes it.’ And it was her blunder. Then Marco worked as an examining doctor and subjected to a close questioning. He asked details of their movements. Finally he said, ‘I didn’t know that that hotel catered to ‘such fervid art- lovers! I was a fool to have taken too much decency for granted.’ Rosie felt that she had made the capital blunder of her life. She realized that she had committed a sin. She was terrified and pitied her husband. Marco felt as if he was alone in the world. He would not eat his food. He did not look at her and speak to her. He told, ‘This is my last word to you. Don’t talk to me. You can go where you please or do what you please.’ Rosie asked for pardon and said, “I want to be with you. I want you to forget everything. I want to forgive me.” He said, ‘You are not my wife. You are a woman who will go to bed with anyone that flatters your antics. That’s all. I don’t want you here, but if you are going to be here, don’t talk. That is all.’ The Othello was kindlier to Desdemona.
One day Marco started packing his luggage in Room No. 28 as he alone was going back to Madras. She also picked up her trunk and followed him. Marco said, ‘I have no ticket for you.’ Then Rosie came to Raju’s home. Raju comforted her and said, ‘You are in the right place. Forget all your past. We will teach that cad a lesson by and by.’ He tells her that he will make her the greatest dancer. Raju’s mother objected to Rosie’s presence at her home but Raju says, ‘I am an adult. I know what I am doing’.
Now Raju has given his shop to a new contractor. Raju slaps the previous boy as he neglected the shop. Then the boy’s father who is a porter remarked, ‘It is not he who has ruined you but the saithan inside. He meant Rosie. There is a quarrel between the porter and Raju and Raju is saved due to his mother.
Chapter 8
Raju’s creditor was the Sait, a wholesale merchant in Market Road. He was a prosperous businessman. He was Raju’s good friend. One day the Sait called on Raju and he personally came to see Raju. He opened his notebook and told Raju the figure of dues nearly eight thousand rupee. There is a hot argument between Raju and Sait and within a week or ten days there is a criminal suit against Raju. He looks out for a lawyer to fight out the case. With the help of Gaffur he finds an adjournment expert.
Raju thinks of starting a new life with Rosie as a public dancer. He needed five hundred rupees to start the new business. He thought of Rosie as a gold mine as the Bharat Natyam is really the greatest art business. He asks Gaffur to help him. Gaffur was essentially a man of heart but he had no money. He advised Raju to send Rosie away and start an ordinary real life. He prayed God to give him better sense and went away.
Sait is bringing a criminal motive to quicken the procedure. Raju had a small lawyer to plead his case. Raju gives him five rupees. He manages to get an adjournment for Raju. Rosie is not interested in this case. Now it is Raju’s mother’s turn. She had adjusted to Raju’s behaviour as a loafer. One day Raju’s maternal uncle dropped in like a bolt from the blue. He was a general advisor and director of all family matters in Raju’s household. Raju’s mother wanted him to marry her elder brother’s daughter. Raju’s maternal uncle took him to task and asked Rosie to go away by the next train. Raju’s mother called her a serpent and a viper. Now, out of anger, Raju’s mother prepares to leave the house. Raju and Rosie pleaded her not to go. But Raju’s mother went away with her brother after the quarrel.
Now Rosie starts a new phase of her career. As a public dancer she has been christened as Nalini, a name that could have significance, poetry, and universality. Raju becomes a man with a mission. He is on the road to become an impresario. He ceases to be the old Railway Raju. When the two men Management Committee of the Secretary and the Treasurer came to Raju’s house to watch Rosie’s Bharat Natyam dancing, Rosie welcomes them with a smile.
Chapter 9
The Union function started and Rosie soared Rocket-like. Her name became a public property. She had the genius in her, and the public had to take its notice. Raju adapts himself into a businesslike impresario. He is now conferring favour on them by permitting the dancing programmes. The people try to catch a glimpse of Rosie. She is so grateful to Raju for her success.
Now Raju is unwilling to stay in his old house. He rents one at New Extension in keeping with their status. Now Rosie had a ‘dance master’, a man from Koppal. Raju has appointed a large staff of servants- a car driver, two gardeners, a Gurakha sentry and two cooks. Raju’s office was on the ground floor with a secretary in- waiting, a young graduate from a local college.
There were several visitors to them. There were musicians who wanted a chance to accompany Nalini. There were others with genuine offers of engagement.  But Raju had a monopoly of her and told the visitors that she was busy. However, there was Raju’s inner circle of friend consisting of two judges, four eminent politicians, two big textile mill-owners, a banker, a municipal councilor, and the editor of The Truth, a weekly. Sometimes there were musicians or actors around Nalini. Raju wanted her to be happy but only in his company.
Now there engagements took them to all corners of South India, with Cape Comorin at one end and the border of Bombay at the other. Raju’s philosophy was centred upon all the money in the world. Raju obtained a medical certificate to say that he needed alcohol for his welfare and became a ‘permit-holder’. Raju played Three- Cards with some men. He now became a man of status.
One day the book entitled The Cultural History of South India arrived by post. Marco was its author who had acknowledged his debt to Sri Raju of Malgudi Railway Station. Raju did not show that book to Rosie and it was his horrible mistake. If he had shown the book to Rosie, everything would have been well. Raju had committed an act of treachery and betrayal.
Three days later Marco’s photograph appeared n The Illustrated Weekly of Bombay. Marco’s photograph was published along with a review of his book, and the book was called, ‘An epoch- making discovery in Indian cultural history’.
Rosie wanted to see Marco’s book. She called Raju’s secretary, Mani and asked him for the book. Meanwhile Rosie had cut out Marco’s photo and placed it on her dressing mirror. Rosie asked Raju, ‘Where have you kept the book?’ Raju said, ‘All right, I will show it to you tomorrow’. Raju explained her that Mani was responsible for that mistake. At night, Rosie said, ‘After all, after all, he is my husband.’ But Raju takes everything lightly and talks about his role in making Rosie the great classical dancer, the figure of name and fame.
Suddenly a letter arrives from Marco’s lawyer in Madras. A letter was addressed to ‘Rosie alias Nalini’. The content in the letter was ‘Madam, under instruction from our client, we are enclosing an application for your signature, for the release of a box of jewellery left in safe custody at the Bank of --------, in the marked place’. Raju did not show this letter to Rosie. He put that letter to his drink casket and locked it up. He thought over the letter for some time. He was in a dilemma whether to show the letter to Rosie or not. She also never asked for it. He thought about the quantity of jewellery in the box. At midnight, he once again saw the letter, and made a careful trial of Rosie’s signature and forged this letter after some struggle in his mind and posted it at seven-thirty in the morning. He now waits for the insured packet to come in return of the letter.
Their programme was going on at Kalipet, a small town sixty miles away. Two hours passed and Rosie was doing her fifth item- a snake dance that lasted for forty- five minutes. When the dance was going on, there came the District Superintendent of Police asking for Raju. He is there with a warrant of Raju’s arrest on the act of forgery. Rosie blamed for ‘karma’ and said, ‘He was no longer my friend, but a frightful technician’.
Chapter 10
Raju has to spend a couple of days in the lock up. Rosie spent much money to save Raju but in vain. Then Raju got the bail. But finally, the case is lost by him and he is in jail. In jail, he becomes a model prisoner. Mani came to visit him. Raju told him that the Central jail is not a bad place. Mani gave him the news that Nalini had cleared out all the financial transaction of the town, bag and baggage. She had settled down at Madras and was looking after herself quite well. She had given Mani a gift one thousand rupees on the day of her departure. Before her departure, she had paid all the debts. She had sold all the furniture and other possessions to an auctioneer. She carried with her only Marco’s book and went away into the car. Mani also told Raju that his mother is keeping well in the village.
Chapter 11
Raju’s narration of his past to Velan was over at the dawn. Raju had mentioned every detail of his career from his birth to his release from the jail. Velan questioned Raju, ‘I don’t know why you tell me this, entire Swami’. However, he assured Swami that he will keep it all a secret and went away to the village.
A wandering newspaper correspondent who had come to the village to observe the draught situations sent off a wire to his paper at Madras to circulate the news in all towns of India. The heading was ‘Holy man’s penance to end the draught’. He sent a second telegram to say, ‘Fifth day of fast.’ He described how the swami came to the river’s edge, faced its source, and stood knee-deep in water from six to eight in the morning, uttering some prayer. Then the holy man would go back to the pillared hall of the temple. There was a big crowd around him. He fasted totally. After meditation, he would go to sleep and his devotees remain there, guarding him.
It was the fourth day of his fast. At the end of the first day, late at night, he went into his inner sanctum and ate the remaining food hastily. After that the vessel was empty. Raju felt that Velan was responsible for his present plight. The villagers have killed the crocodile and found in it the jewellery worth Rs.10000/-.
Raju made the resolution that he would give up all his thoughts of food for the next ten days. For the first time in his life he was making an earnest effort. For the first time he was learning the thrill of full application, outside money and love. It gave him a new strength to go through with the ordeal. He had been fasting to save humanity from draught. He almost lost all sensations.
The special trains for the crowds were going to Malgudi. The journalist had done their work. Gaffur’s taxi drove up and down a dozen times a day. The crowd gathered near the river Sarayu at Malgudi. The public swarmed their life flies. The Health Department came there to prevent some epidemics of Cholera, Malaria and so on. A large crowd always stood around and watched the Saint with profound awe. They touched the water at his feet and sprinkled it over their heads. Velan asked them to go away. The school master took charge of all telegrams and letters from all over the country wishing the swami success. The pressmen were busy with their daily business. The American visitor arrived in a jeep. He said, ‘Namaste’ to Swamiji. His name is James J Malone from California and his business is production and T.V. shows. Raju gave his consent. James J Malone asked him some questions regarding his fast and Raju answered them just like a wise man.
The Government appointed some doctors to look after Raju. American asked some questions to the doctors regarding Raju’s health but they had no permission to answer. Then the American asked the school teacher about Raju’s daily routine and the school master explained him in detail and asked him to see tomorrow morning.

It was the eleventh day of fast. At five thirty in the morning, the doctors declared the condition of Swami. The government gave a top priority to save the life of Swami. Velan sat very close to Swami. Raju asked him ‘help me to my feet’. Then he got up to his feet. He went down the steps of the river. He stepped into his basin of water, shut his eyes, and turned towards the mountains, muttering the prayer. He opened his eyes, looked around and said, ‘Velan, it is raining in the hills. I can feel it coming up under my feet, up my legs’, and with that he sagged down.

Indian Writing in English: Revised University Syllabus BA English (Sem 1)

INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH UNIT I: INTRODUCTION Arrival of East India Company and the associated Impact The East India Compan...