A Tiger for Malgudi
Story of a tiger narrated by the tiger`s own mouth
Author: RK Narayan
As is the case of all RK Narayan novels and stories, A Tiger for Malgudi is based in Malgudi, an imaginary township in southern India. It is, in fact, an autobiography of a tiger. The tiger in the novel is the central character around whom the story revolves.
His life in the jungles as a wild beast, his encounter with humans and days in circus and then his escapade in the human habitat are all captured in a gripping inimitable style of story-telling unique to Narayanan.
The tiger, the hero of the novel, initially looks at men as puny and unintelligent creatures til he is captured by them and kept in captivity for circus. As he lands in the circus, he starts dreading human beings whom he had to obey day in and day out. Eventually, he breaks free and strays into town spreading panic and fear wherever he went.
The tiger’s escapades end as he comes in contact with a hermit, swamiji. The wild beast transforms himself into an apostle of non-violence in the company of swamiji and treats humans with respect. This miracle was possible through the mesmeric influence of the swamiji. With his rare skill of communicating with animals, the hermit has some really good discourses with the tiger on topics ranging from philosophy to life which ultimately had humanizing effect on the best.
Essence of the book
Simple plot, lucid story-telling style, the story is humourously presented with a touch of reality and sarcasm are the hallmarks of the novel. A Tiger for Malgudi is essentially a comedy woven in a satirical format by RK Narayan in his unique style which will sure leave a lasting impact on your mind.
The novel combines Hindu mysticism with quintessential human absurdity through the soliloquy of a tiger who finds the world of humans too brutish and baffling till he comes across the saint who teaches him about the philosophy of life in mystic terms. His gentle influence on him compels him to start life afresh in a new avatar as a peace loving creature contradictory to his natural being. The humour and sarcasm inherent in the book are characteristic of RK Narayan style.
About the author
RK Narayan is one of India’s legendary writers who carved a niche for themselves in English literature. Human emotions are focal point of all his writings. All his stories are close to reality, so much so that one might feel he is a part of the novel.
Malgudi Days and The Guide are among his celebrated novels popular in India and abroad. While The Guide has adorned the silver screen as a full-fledged movie starring the super star of that time Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, the stories of Malgudi days have been serialised by Doordarshan as daily soap.
Date of Publication: 1983
About The Author
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