Wednesday, December 1, 2010

R. K. Narayan's Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts (1937) is a novel written by R. K. Narayan. It is the second book of a trilogy that began with Swami and Friends and ended with The English Teacher. It is again set in Malgudi, the fictional town Narayan invented for his novels.

The story revolves around a young guy named Chandran, who resembles a typical Indian upper middle class youth of the pre-independence era. First, the college life of the main character Chandran in late colonial times is described. After graduation, he falls in love with a girl, but will be rejected by the bride's parents, since his horoscope describes him as a manglik,a condition in which a manglik can only marry another manglik and if not, the non-manglik will die. Frustrated and desperate, he embarks on a journey as Sanyasi. On his journey he meets many people and he is also misunderstood as a great sage by some villagers. Due to the compunctions and the realizations, he decides to return home.He takes up a job as a newsagent and decides to marry, in order to please his parents,thinking of the discomfort he had caused them earlier.

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