Book Review – Swami And Friends by R.K Narayan

Swami and Friends: R. K. Narayan - Article | ATG

The Author of the Novel

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami commonly known as R. K. Narayan, was an Indian writer known for his work set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. In his long career he published fourteen novels, over two hundred short stories, a memoir, two travel books, innumerable essays, and two plays. His first novel was Swami and Friends (1935). Sahitya Academy Award winner ,”The Guide ”was adapted for the film winning a Filmfare Award for Best Film and for Broadway. And He was Also Awarded Padama Bhushan And Padama Vibhushan.

Preface  the Novel

The Novel “Swami and Friends” was written by famous Indian author RK Narayan in 1935, This is a friendship based Book. The full story of this Book is based on Swami and his friends live in the small town of Malgudi in Southern India. Swami and Friends was written between the first and second world wars . A literary Period of notable creative experimentation that likely encouraged Narayan in his mission to create uniquely personal comedic depiction of his remembered childhood.

Theme of the Novel

The whole story revolve around the  10-year-old boy Swami. He is an unconstrained, indiscreet, wicked but then also an exceptionally honest child. His character is a kid in the fullest feeling of the world. How he grows up, his mischiefs which made his family irritated, his wonder, growing pains and innocence and many aspects are being portrayed in the novel. He lives in a universe of bossy grown-ups. He is a student at Albert Mission School. It is a British established school where importance is given to Christianity and English education.

Characterisation of the Novel

Swami is the central character of the plot.. As a child, he goes to school where he does not like studies and gets bored easily. He is an honest boy of seven but, on the other hand, he also does not hesitate telling lies to his father. He loves his granny’s stories. He is good at cricket and is nicknamed “Tate.” Later in the course of the novel, he became bolder and socially prominent.

Mani is one of the closest friends of Swami. He is known as “the mighty good for  nothing.” Swaminathan was proud of his friendship.

Rajam is the son of the Police Superintendent and one of Swami’s closest  friends. Rajam is new to Swami’s school at the start of the novel, and initially Swami and Mani view him as an enemy due to his quick wits, fine clothes, and fearless nature.

Shankar is another bosom friend of Swami. He is a brilliant boy of the class.. He could speak to the teachers in English in the open class

Swami’s another bosom friend was Samuel, the Pea. He was called the Pea as he was very small in size.

Somu, the monitor of the class. He was set about his business, whatever it was, with absolute confidence and calmness. He was known to be chummy even with the teachers.

Swami’s father, W.T. Srinivasan, is an imposing figure who works at the courts and is usually strict with Swami. Swami sometimes feels afraid of his father, but at other times he turns to him for help and support

Swami’s mother appears in the novel only occasionally, usually in the context of providing Swami with something he wants or backing him up in an argument with his father.

Swami’s grandmother, whom he calls Granny, is an old woman who lives with Swami and his mother and father. Swami views Granny as ancient and sometimes embarrassing, but she is also a source of comfort and security during times of change, particularly when Swami’s brother is born.

Conclusion of the Novel

The moral of swami and friends the book written by RK Narayan is it reminds us about our childhood memories such as mischief’s in childhood, plucking mangoes etc. and in short it briefly explains the sweetness of childhood and importance of friendship.  His father use to say you must rise up early to study and “remember boy, your examination is not going to wait but your granny can!”. Therefore this paragraph teaches us that  “never force any child too much to study”, as a first life lesson from swami & friends.