A Tiger for Malgudi by R. K. Narayan

  Very soon we had a visitor from the town. It was noon. The visitor looked to me a kindly person; he held no whip in hand. He had a companion and down below on the forest track there was a cage on wheels. My Master and the visitor were engaged in a long talk. My Master was saying,‘Keep him well. Remember he is only a tiger in appearance ... He is a sensitive soul who understands life and its problems exactly as we do. Take him as a gift from God; only please don’t put him in rough company. He is magnificent though he is not at his best now. After a few days of regular feeding at the zoo, he will get back the shine on his coat.’

  ‘We’ll take care of that,’the other said.

  ‘Raja, come,’commanded my Master for the last time.

  I came out of the shrubberies and covering. The visitor was rather startled at first and remarked,‘Oh, truly the most magnificent of his kind, regal, of grand stature, although you think he is faded. We have our own system of feeding and improving with tonic and he’ll be record-breaking. Our zoo can then claim to have the largest tiger for the whole country.’

  My master assured him,‘He is quite safe.’

  At first sight, I could understand that this man was fearless and used to the company of animals, and had sympathy, and was not another Captain. He asked my Master,‘May I touch him?’

  ‘Yes, certainly,’said my Master, and patted my back. The man came near and stroked my back, and by his touch I could see that I had a friend.

  ‘May we go?’he asked.

  My Master said to me,‘Raja, will you come with me?’and I followed him. He opened the cage and said,‘You may get in now, Raja, a new life opens for you. Men, women, and children, particularly children, hundreds of them will come to see you. You will make them happy.’The others got into the jeep to which the cage was yoked. Before we drove off my Master thrust his hand through the bars and whispered to me,‘Both of us will shed our forms soon and perhaps we could meet again, who knows? So goodbye for the present.’

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  Malgudi Days

  Here Narayan portrays an astrologer, a snake-charmer, a postman, a vendor of pies and chappatis - all kinds of people, simple and not so simple, drawn in full colour and endearing domestic detail. And under his magician’s touch the whole imaginary city of Malgudi springs to life, revealing the essence of India and of all human experience. ’A treat ... he is an enchanter - Hilary Spurling in the Observer

  The Man-Eater of Malgudi

  Nataraj, owner of a small, friendly printing press in the enchanted city of Malgudi, has never been very successful at making enemies. Until, that is, he meets Vasu. Almost accidentally Vasu, a pugnacious taxidermist, moves into Nataraj’s attic, bringing an alarming stuffed jungle of hyenas, pythons and tigers and an assortment of dancing girls that clump up and down the printer’s stairs.


  The Vendor of Sweets

  A widower of firm Gandhian principles, Jagan none the less harbours a warmly embarrassed affection for his wastrel son Mali. But even Jagan’s patience begins to fray when Mali descends on the sleepy city of Malgudi full of modern notions, with a new half-American wife and a grand plan for selling novel-writing machines ...

  The Painter of Signs

  R. K. Narayan’s magical creation, the city of Malgudi, provides the setting for this wryly funny, bittersweet story of love getting in the way of progress.

  Under the Banyan Tree

  An enchanting new collection from India’s foremost storyteller, rich in wry, warmly observed characters from every walk of Indian life, merchants, beggars, herdsmen, rogues, all of whose lives are a microcosm of the human experience.


  Talkative Man

  Bizarre happenings at Malgudi are heralded by the arrival of a stranger on the Delhi train who takes up residence in the station waiting-room and, to the dismay of the station master, will not leave ... ‘Compulsive and enthralling quality of narrative’ - Sunday Times. ‘His lean, matter-of-fact prose has lost none of its chuckling sparkle mixed with melancholy’ - Spectator

  The Guide

  Raju’s first stop after his release from prison is the barber’s shop. Then he decides to take refuge in an abandoned temple. Raju used to be India’s most corrupt tourist guide - but now a peasant mistakes him for a holy man. Gradually, almost grudgingly, he begins to play the part. He succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju’s new holiness to the test.

  also published:

  My Days: A Memoir

  and, translated by R. K. Narayan:

  The Ramayana

  A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic



  R. K. Narayan, A Tiger for Malgudi



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