“So where do you want to go this time, apart from Mangalore?”Appa had asked me once when my summer vacations had begun.”Malgudi” I had replied I remember.Such was the town’s charm and my excitement.How I wished I lived in Malgudi for at least a day of my life!It took a lot of convincing to make me realize that the town was a figment of imagination.Appa had no choice but to get the book ‘Malgudi Days’ by R K Narayan for me to read,this was one book that made me appreciate the sheer beauty of simple words.The sketches by R K Laxman made the stories all the more better.Whether you watch the episodes or read the chapters the feeling is just the same.Just like the smell of wet soil after the first rain,fresh and alive.
After ages I am on a Malgudi Days watching spree,two episodes every night before I sleep.The delight just gets better each time.Kudos to Shankar Nag,the director par excellence.How many such beautiful works would he have made for all of us to watch,only if he were alive.Today's media lacks people like him.If he was around much sense and goodness would have prevailed!
"Never judge a book by its movie"so said J W Eagan.Malgudi Days is an exception in this regard.Every scene is wonderfully depicted,so much so that it makes us feel that the Malgudi people are always amongst us.There is a weird strength in each character.The kids like Swami,Somu,Rajam,Mani,Radha,Shantha and Kutty have an unadulterated innocence,and that connects with our childhood.It is no ease to portray inherent flaws and raw imperfections,and in Malgudi Days such human expressions and feelings is a pleasure to watch.
What all the more amazes me is the attention to every detail.Even humour appeals in the worst of situations with a unique tanginess.I remember a scene in one of the episodes called ‘The Watchman’where a girl called Padma arrives near a lake to commit suicide,the place which the watchman is guarding.On seeing her he runs to stop her from falling into the lake.When the girl tells him that not everyone faces difficulties in life the watchman shoots back ”Do you think my hair has greyed just by standing under the sunlight?”.We hardly see such play of thoughts and words in writing or on air these days.
Narayan in one of the episodes says “Malgudi has spoken a universal language,it has spoken to so many and now it will speak to you”, and the conversation actually happens.Malgudi represents any town in this world with different people in different situations.Each character is like someone whom we know of,each story carries a message which stirs something within us.The Indianness in the stories touches the most.The music rings with a tinkle of nostalgia.Here is a video I made a while ago.Sit back and watch.Enjoy the little joys which mattered the most once upon a time.Because the best milestones of life are hard to cross again.Agree?Hmm...
"Tanana tana na na na…Tanana tana na na na"