There is always a great pleasure in reading about the unknown and the unfimiliar! A book about distant places, strange lands and different people takes you to a new world, a world that is exiting because it is strange to you! Most of the english books we read in our childhood are of this kind!
But there is also a kind of pleasure in seeing in a book that has something you have already read and you know, something that is a part of your life and you are fimiliar with…..
This book written by R.K.Narayan, and it is a mix of both of these pleasures! It is the story of a school boy named Swaminathan who lives in a small village called Malgudi which is somewhere in the south of our country, India!
Also, because it is set in a much earlier period, a time when the British still ruled India and Gandhiji was fighting for India’s independence, it seems almost like a strange country! Schoolboys usually wore coats and caps to school, and sometimes even a dhoti!! It is a time when children walked to school, carried ink bottles with them and thier money was rupees, annas and pies!
And not to forget that Swami’s one consuming passion is to possess a hoop to play with!
Yet, once you begin reading you will see that Swami and his friends are not so different from the shcoolboys of today!
Like so many children Swami has quite a lot problem in studies, especially Maths, he is also scared of his stern and disciplining father but on the other hand he is also petted by his mother and grandmother!
In school Swami has friends, best friends as well but some enemies like the teachers and his so called extremly cruel headmaster ! Sadly , there are times when even his best of friends become enemies!
All the children sympathise with his attempts to get out of school early just to practice cricket!
This book is futhermore a lot more hilarious than you can imagine! A few good situations could be like Swami’s terror of ghosts and the letters written by his cricket team called MCC !
Although, Swami is a hero too! he takes a small part in the demonstration of India’s freedom, he even burns his cap on the bonfire of ‘ foriegn clothes ‘ and is also expelled from school for his political activities!
This book was a really new experience for me!….I had never given much of a thought to the life of people before the freedom of our country…But after reading this book i realised their difficulties and struggles in life…It actually made me feel more grateful towards Gandhiji and his wise moves…it entirely changed my perspective…
I am not saying this a book about our freedom..it is just that it’s setting has taken place in that time period…and the story has quite a few instances related to the fight of our freedom!
Overall this book showcases a new way to look at the way children studied at that time…the kind of games they played, the punishments they got and not to forget the pranks they played on their teachers!
Also this book is worth reading for all those youngsters who just love everything related to cricket! The instances, experiences and accidents Swami and his friends go through are nothing like it! With every chapter the story gets more and more captivating!
The first time i got introduced to the author as well as the book was in grade 4…it was a part of a school syllabus…But I did not just read it for our exam but also to increase my vocabulary, knowleadge and also for my entertainment!
This book was surely very fun reading! I would surely recommend this book to anyone who loves to know more of our history and loves reading the schooldays of the children of that time period! All the write ups of R.K.Narayan are worth reading!